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3 Tips for Building Social Engagement with Volunteers

You know social media has become ingrained in our culture when “Facebook” is now a verb, as in “Just Facebook me.”

Nonprofits can certainly use Facebook and other social sites to their advantage, as these platforms allow organizations to instantly communicate with thousands of potential volunteers. That reach can be limited, though, by ever-changing algorithms, which dictate how posts will be seen (especially on Facebook).

So, how can you effectively build volunteers’ trust via social media engagement? In this article we’ll share three best practices to help get your message across - and make sure your posts stand out in a crowded digital landscape.

What to Post

First and foremost, organizations should commit to crafting compelling content that will not only attract attention but also motivate volunteers to engage. If you’re thinking this is easier said than done, we’re here to provide you the keys to a great post. Use these questions as guides before hitting the “Share” button.

  • What types of posts do our Facebook fans engage most with: videos, text, or photos? (Keep in mind that images and videos typically receive much more attention than plain text posts.)
  • What topics spark the most fan interaction?
  • What would motivate me to comment on, like, or share a post?
  • What creates dialogue among our fans?

When to Post

It’s important not only to be very strategic about what you post - but also when you post. Research shows that Facebook users are most active in the evening when their workday is finished. Therefore, posting after 6:00 PM local time increases the likelihood that your message will be seen.

Not only is the time of day important, but take into account the day of the week, too. Weekends are prime Facebook time. However, be sure to change up the content and tone of these posts so they reflect a weekend vibe; go for family-oriented and relaxed. Consider featuring information that is useful during the weekend, such as family events or ideas for projects that families can do together.

Who to Target

Facebook makes it easy to tailor your audience to maximize a post’s effectiveness. With organic targeting, your organization has the power to boost Facebook visibility based on gender, age, educational status, relationship status, location, and even specific interests. This helps your organization create awareness with specific demographics and deliver highly relevant information to both existing and prospective volunteers.

Now you know the “who, what, and when” of effective social media posts. Armed with this knowledge, your organization can create targeted messages that maximize reach and elevate your volunteers’ trust.

For more tips for engaging volunteers via social media, click here.

Corbit Harrison Corbit Harrison

The preceding is a guest post by Corbit Harrison, Chief Operating Officer for VolunteerHub, a cloud-based volunteer management software application that offers online event registration, email and SMS (text) messaging, report generation, and much more. Corbit has been actively helping non-profit organizations better engage constituents for over 10 years. Connect with Corbit on LinkedIn. This is part of our ongoing VolunteerCorner series – focusing on issues that you need to know about in the nonprofit sector.

Topics: Communications