Five Social Media Trends for Nonprofits
Social media is an ever-evolving landscape, and deciding which platforms to use and how to manage your time can be challenging. Social media is a leading source for both finding information on and donating to nonprofits—being active on social media is no longer optional for nonprofits but essential.
Our social media team stays on top of the latest trends and changes to the platforms to help nonprofits build strategies to reach supporters on social media. This summer, they attended the Social Fresh Conference and came back with five takeaways and trends that nonprofits should be aware of.
1. Short form video is king
During the conference, there were many presentations on video content. It’s hard not to notice the rise of short-form videos as you scroll social media for both personal and professional purposes. Videos are trending, and platforms are rewarding the use of them to keep up with emerging platforms like TikTok, which are entirely based on video. Nonprofits must develop a short form video skillset to keep pace with others and stay in front of supporters.
During the Social Fresh Conference, Lauren Teague spoke in her session about Instagram and how the platform is now video-first. The company confirmed this late in 2021 by emphasizing that the feed will become even more focused on video, and all video formats will merge with Reels. Nonprofits must be prepared to adapt to Instagram’s video shift. Video is quickly moving to the forefront on Instagram and other platforms, and, to quote Lauren, “If you’re not all in on video, you might as well just stop.”
2. Work with creators
With an increased focus on video and authenticity, hiring creators is more critical than ever. Platforms are investing in brand/influencer collaboration. Remember: Instagram and TikTok are made for creators, not brands. An influencer brings a human face to your brand and can be used to leverage their existing relationships and loyal audience base.
In her session “The Evolution of Influencer Marketing,” Zontee Hou discussed that the distrust of social media is rising, organic social media is driving fewer results, and audiences are more skeptical of brands—but influencers can help build that trust.
Another session with Microsoft’s Karianne Stinson, “How to Source Great Content Without Burning Out,” recommends “getting other people to do your work for you” (which, of course, takes work!). Content creators provide a way to generate more high-quality content efficiently.
If you’re a mission-driven organization trying to create impact and awareness through social media, you may want to rethink where you’re putting your dollars. What if you stopped investing in social media ads altogether? What if you put money into creators’ pockets instead of the Metaverse? While this can be intimidating, micro-influencers are often an excellent resource for nonprofits. Depending on your goals, your money might go further in a creator’s pocket rather than in paid social. Micro-influencers provide more authenticity, often cost less than running an ad campaign, and can help you reach a more niche and engaged audience.
3. Content matters
While you should keep up with social trends, it’s also important to note that the quality of content matters. Algorithms are important, but there should still be a focus on fresh, original content. Stop focusing on the small formulaic framework, and ensure you create genuine content that works for your brand.
During Social Fresh, a session with Twitter’s Ted Harrison, titled “Building Content on Twitter – The Power of Attention,” focused on the psychology of good content and how to capture attention. He reiterated that design captures attention first, and putting the most important part of the design in the upper right corner or middle drives the best results. Grabbing attention leads to engagement, which can lead to participation and conversation.
4. Invest in social teams
One thing was made evident in almost every session of the conference: leadership MUST invest in social media teams and trust them to experiment on each platform. The days of the intern running social media are over—social media includes a massive amount of strategy, planning, reporting, creativity, and testing. As video and creative are so important on social media, teams need the creative resources to make this content. Nonprofits should invest in social media teams, specifically creative people dedicated to social media. Don’t have the resources internally to work on social? Consider working with an external agency to manage your social content and strategy (PS, we’re one of those agencies – check out our services).
5. Continue to update and improve your strategy
As we can see from the conference highlights, or anytime you open a social app, the landscape is constantly evolving, and it’s important to keep up—or risk being left behind. One of the biggest things you should keep in mind when it comes to social is to keep an open mind and constantly adapt and pivot your strategy. By keeping up with the latest trends and changes, you’ll stay ahead and keep your mission top of mind with supporters.
We hope you found these takeaways insightful and helpful in your social media strategy. If you know you need to invest more in social but aren’t sure where to begin, reach out to our social team to learn more about our services to help impact your mission through social media.