What Gets Your Online Community Buzzing


For nonprofits, the best thing about the Internet, and social media in particular, is the ability to be involved in a community or conversation at all times. No matter where you are, what you’re doing, or what’s happening in your hectic everyday life at the office, chances are, there’s a conversation happening online that pertains to your mission.

Twitter is great for this. Searching simple search terms, your nonprofit’s Twitter handle, or the hashtag that’s associated with that community or conversation provides instant feedback on what’s being said at that moment. Good, bad, or indifferent.

But sometimes, getting that conversation started is the difficult thing. On social media, and Twitter in particular, there’s such a deluge of information, tweets, posts, pins, and shares happening, getting noticed can be difficult. This is what makes phenomenon like the Ice Bucket Challenge so rare and special.

In fact, there are almost 350,000 tweets sent every minute of everyday, which equates to over 500,000,000 tweets being sent everyday. And that’s just Twitter. On Facebook, there are over 180,000 likes, and approximately 41,000 posts every second. That’s a lot of social interaction!
Here’s an awesome visualization of all that incredible data.

So how does your nonprofit reach through all that ancillary noise and interact with your target audience? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

    • Ask a question

      Probably the easiest way to stir up some interactions on your social feeds is by simply asking your followers a question. And not just a “how are you?”
      Ask a pointed question that has to do with your nonprofit’s mission. Try getting a little controversial and get a conversation started. Remember, the more people who are aware of your mission, and are talking about it, the better. As long as it is not in poor taste, or reflecting negatively on your organization, stirring the pot and asking the tough question never hurt anyone.
    • Share your blog

      Perhaps too obvious, but if your nonprofit is writing even a bi-monthly blog, and not prominently featuring those posts through social media, you need to start. As long as the content you’re creating on your blog is relevant and has is purveying information that can potentially be used by someone in your community, there’s not a reason in the world you should not be pushing it out to your followers through social.
    • Host a webinar

      Got a few tips and tricks you think your community could benefit from? Try hosting a webinar and even directly inviting members of your community to attend. Whether through Direct Messaging or calling them out through @mentions, make sure when you plan a webinar, you pull out all the stops to raise awareness to it.
    • Post pictures

      There’s no denying that visuals rule the internet. According to recent research, Facebook posts attract more attention when images are included with them, and photos attached to tweets do the same thing. There’s no denying visual content trumps text.
    • Try using video

      Even more than static images, video is garnering more and more attention from online marketers. Our short attention spans online is a well documented phenomenon. But recent research tells us that videos 30 seconds or less are keeping our attention almost 90% of the time, while videos up to one minute long are keeping our attention 80% of the time.
Topics: npsocial
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