Getting the most out of nonprofit events via social networks

February 5, 2015

Getting the most out of nonprofit events via social networks


Social media is a pervasive and powerful tool for nonprofits.


Social media is a pervasive and powerful tool for nonprofits. The organizations that can harness the power of having an instant form of communication and connection with contributors, volunteers and other stakeholders can increase the success of many different programs, fundraisers and other aspects of operations. Nonprofit events, no matter their purpose, can be boosted with some coordinated social media efforts. So how can nonprofits take into account the unique aspects of events – their one-off nature, their high level of importance relative to the amount of time they’re allotted – when using their social network presence as a promotional tool?

Here’s some advice on getting the best return when promoting events on social media:

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[item]Plan each phase early: Having a social media plan is a good best practice in general, but there are specific considerations to make when it comes to promoting events. Segmenting the types of posts is important. One simple strategy is to focus on being promotional in the beginning, then offer live or after-the-fact updates from the event itself, and the results and future plans to be sent out in the days and weeks afterward. It may seem obvious to read now, but some nonprofits run into trouble when they don’t carefully plan ahead before the event.[/item]

[item]Segment by channel: Event 360, a team of event management specialists, stress the importance of accounting for each type of social media. Playing to the strengths of channels such as Twitter or Instagram is important because they are inherently limited in the types of information being shared. More details can be provided on Facebook or through links to a write-up on a nonprofit’s website. On the other hand, Instagram is great for photos taken at the event and Twitter is powerful when it comes to sharing bite-sized pieces of pertinent information, such as total attendance or contributions gathered.[/item]

[item]Encourage participation: There are plenty of opportunities to encourage followers to promote an event through social media – and to encourage stakeholders at an event to start following a nonprofits presence on these channels. Everything from a simple request in the invitations to mentions at the event itself can boost social media recognition. This approach also opens the door to crowdsourcing some of the photos and other posts that attendees will inevitably make.[/item]

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