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Social Media Marketing and Blogging - 5 Tips for Small NGO's

May 2017

Lynn Steinberg 

Social media marketing and blogging takes time, effort and consistency at small NGO’s. This is often challenging when so many grassroots organizations are already strapped for the time it takes to execute a successful and ongoing online marketing presence. Here are some very useful Social Media Marketing tips for the vibrant community at Project Eudaimonia.


1. Good photography 

Superior photography is beneficial, especially on Facebook and Instagram. If you don’t have a photographer that can travel, raise funds to buy a good camera for in-country staff. Spend the time training them on how to take some good pictures. Set up a schedule of when they are downloaded and send your Social Media Manager the photos. As a Marketer, I don’t believe in what is known as poverty porn to elicit donations. Instead, I recommend showcasing the happiness and positivity that your work brings to communities.


2. Authenticity

Everyone says to be authentic, but does everyone do it? Social Media Managers at nonprofits struggle with finding new ways to convey the same message to a variety of personality types over an extended period. What happens when you try to please everyone is that the posting begins to sound generic. The truth is, you don’t have to worry about everyone at all times. When I was regularly managing the social media accounts at Roots Ethiopia, I did my best to find an inspiring photo and tell the story in my own words as if I was talking to my best friend.  It’s okay to be cheerful, genuine and even funny on social media.


3. Blogging

Oh, blogging! Blogging is so hard for small nonprofits to fit into their already tight schedules. However is so important, especially for SEO. Find a group of keywords that you want to be included in your blog posts and go for it. At Roots Ethiopia, some of our keywords include Ethiopia charity, Ethiopia nonprofit, Ethiopia Give Back, Education Ethiopia, etc.…do your research. I prefer using Moz for keyword research. They have a great free tool that will help you choose basic keywords. I also like the Yoast plugin for Wordpress. Yoast helps you craft posts optimized for SEO, and once it is SEO friendly, they give you the green light, meaning that your post has a good chance of being discovered. An editorial calendar for scheduling blog posts is an excellent idea. Editorial calendars are easy ways to organize and assign posts to different writers. They also help you plan ahead.

4.  Tweeting

Don’t Be Tacky. Twitter is different from other Social Media mediums and needs a unique skill set for it to prove effective. I view Twitter as a virtual happy hour. It’s a great way to reach out to other like-minded individuals who could be interested in your cause. With Twitter, authenticity comes into play immensely. Randomly tweeting celebrities about your cause is, in my opinion, tacky. However, if you have a blog post or new initiative that you want to share, find the influencers who might have connections to the Melinda Gates of the world rather than just tweeting her directly. We all know Ms. Gates isn’t managing her Twitter account.  Do your research. I was always looking for people with strong ties to education and job creation in East Africa. Start a conversation with the people you want to connect with slowly as if you were meeting with them in person. If you care about your cause, you will naturally care about the people with similar passions. Be real.


5.  Pick 3

Do not be on Social Media accounts that you cannot manage properly. You will not be successful is try to try to be on every social media channel. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are currently the best social media platforms for small NGO’s to establish an identity on.


Okay – one more tip! SET GOALS. Set realistic goals that you track each month and report them into your Board of Directors. If your Board of Directors cares about being on Social Media, they should also care about Social Media growth. 5-10% growth on each Social Media channel is a realistic goal to set for a small NGO. Encourage Board members to share, like, and retweet posts, and before you know it, you will be on your way to social media success.


If you found these social media and blogging tips useful, SHARE this article with other small NGO’s!


About the Author

Lynn Steinberg is an expert freelance writer at several parenting, pet, and nonprofit websites. She lives in Chapel Hill, NC with her husband, four children, and three dogs. When Lynn is not writing or taking care of her family, she can be found on her Nook reading, listening to podcasts, or gossiping with her friends. Lynn is also Marketing Advisor and Board Member at Roots Ethiopia. 

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