Search Engine Optimization, also known simply as SEO, is a term that gets thrown around…
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn—and all the others—have become integral parts of our everyday lives. They connect us with friends, family members, colleagues, customers, brands and community organizations—even our pets.
There is a reason why these platforms are great tools that can be used to engage your target audience when you’re running a business or a nonprofit.
However, when you’re running a social enterprise, it might not always be that obvious how to use these platforms to grow your online presence and promote your mission-driven work to the world.
So if you’ve ever wondered how to turn social media into your social enterprise’s secret weapon, just know there are many ways in which social media can help you build your brand awareness, increase traffic to your website, boost sales and raise funds for your organization.
Let’s go over the top five social media tools that can help you make that happen effectively and authentically.
Buffer is an open source social media management platform. Its core features include scheduling and drafting posts for multiple social networks, and the app allows you to monitor your social media analytics.
The most important thing to understand about Buffer is that it’s not just another social media tool. It has a unique set of features designed specifically to help you build relationships with people who matter to you.
The original Buffer only let you schedule individual posts ahead of time one at a time.
In the new version, Buffer lets you queue up multiple posts for later publication across different channels.
You can use this tool to schedule when you want Buffer to post new content for you. As you continue adding new posts to Buffer, they will be added to the next available time slot automatically.
With this method, you’re able to share content across all your social media channels without having to think about when to publish each specific piece of content.
So just think about it: While you’re out there figuring out how to solve your community’s most pressing issues, you could have a steady stream of social media posts automatically published throughout the week telling your social enterprise’s story and engaging with the people who want to support your cause. That’s powerful!
If you’re looking for inspiration to figure out what type of content will work best for your social enterprise’s social media accounts, BuzzSumo is the perfect tool for you.
This tool (it’s free but I like the paid version) helps you find the best-performing social media content on the web by analyzing data from hundreds of sources.
It also gives you insights into what types of posts perform well on social media, which means you can quickly learn how to create content that captures people’s hearts and minds. And you’ll get ideas for topics to cover in future posts.
In a nutshell, this tool helps you answer the question, “What should I post today?” You might find that, instead of posting about the recent election or Veterans Day, your audience is more interested in talking about the fact that the Las Vegas Raiders are looking to hire a director of diversity, equity and inclusion.
3. Facebook Ad Library
I’m sure you already know about Facebook ads. But did you know that you can actually spy on the visuals, marketing copy and budget of other businesses and nonprofits that are running Facebook ads?
That’s right, Facebook now offers a feature called the Ad Library. This tool lets you see the ads that others are running on their Facebook pages.
And it works really well. If you click on the “Ad Library” button in the page transparency section of any Facebook page (usually under the About tab), you can see the ads that other businesses and nonprofits are currently running.
For example, if you look at the “Ad Library” for the NAACP’s Facebook page, you can easily see that they’ve been running several ads recently to promote their quarterly fundraising drive.
But what’s cool about the Ad Library is that you can also search through the library by topic or keyword to find ads that others are running. So you can see what others are doing to promote their products and services.
So whether you’re trying to decide what kind of video to make for your social enterprise’s Facebook page or you need some inspiration for your next blog post, the Facebook Ad Library is an awesome resource.
4. Instagram Auto-Generated Captions
OK, so maybe you don’t use Instagram as much as I do as a digital communications manager. Maybe you’re not even on Instagram yet.
Either way, it’s important to understand that Instagram has become one of the top photo- and video-sharing platforms online. According to Wordstream, 95 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram per day.
It’s especially important to understand how videos work on social media nowadays because most people are watching videos on their phones with no sound (because, you know, everyone’s “working”).
But unless you understand video production, I’m not expecting you to know how to caption videos on your own. That’s why many brands are turning to Instagram’s auto-generated captions feature.
This feature allows users to view Stories or Reels without needing to activate their audio settings. Captioning can help those with hearing issues, and it’s also good for those who don’t want to worry about disturbing others by turning on the sound.
If your social enterprise is all about advancing racial equity and inclusion, this is one of the most inclusive things you can do.
5. Your Story
Social entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations have another powerful tool they can utilize on social media, and it doesn’t require downloading any extra apps on your phone or computer.
I’m talking about authentic storytelling.
In an effort to increase engagement and drive traffic to their sites, many social enterprises are simply focusing on telling compelling stories about their work.
For the most part, they’re creating videos that showcase their efforts because these types of posts can help them connect with potential customers and supporters who may not know much about what they do.
The main thing to keep in mind with using storytelling on social media is that it needs to be a balancing act.
You want to talk to your audience about the cause you stand for as well as the day-to-day activities you’re doing with your social enterprise. If you’re talking about the social issues you care about too much, it might look like you’re aren’t making any progress. And if you’re talking about yourself too much, your audience might get confused about your overall mission.
Don’t worry: The stories you use on social media don’t need to be Hollywood productions. The whole point is to tell a story that gets people excited about your work.
As you can see, there are tons of ways to improve your social enterprise’s online presence by using social media. But, if you want to be effective and (most importantly) if you want to make the biggest social impact possible, there are a few things you absolutely must do before you start posting content on any social network:
- Get familiar with the different tools available to you.
- Make sure you’re following best practices when it comes to storytelling.
Once you’ve done these things, then you’ll be able to take advantage of every opportunity that social media offers.