Social media has changed the nature of nonprofit advocacy by making advertising more affordable, targeted, and accessible than ever before. However, unlike traditional ads that sell products, nonprofit ads must communicate values. The task is to build community around a common cause and actions that further it. If there is a secret formula to mobilizing advocates on social media, it’s worth cracking. Facebook alone has over 2 billion active monthly users, over a quarter of the world’s population. Twitter has over 328 million active monthly users, and Instagram climbed to 800 million monthly users in 2017. The average person now spends roughly two hours per day on social media. At Phone2Action, my team and I see which nonprofit advocacy campaigns achieve exceptional results and how social ads play into their strategy. Based on those observations and further research, here are five tips for social ads that can increase traction and improve the performance of your campaigns. Choose the right platform It’s tempting to treat social media as if it were one channel, but each network serves a different purpose. Facebook is the most effective platform for generating conversions, campaign actions, and leads. Its targeting tools are unparalleled.
whichever network you choose. You’ll receive better technical support, and the networks offer integrations with Salesforce, Constant Contact, and other platforms you might use to store and distribute content. Use videos and livestreaming whenever possible Video is to other social media advertisements what Mount Rushmore is to the nearby hulks of granite: impossible to miss. When you’re scrolling through social feeds, videos stand out from the flow of indistinguishable photos, images, and taglines. Videos on Facebook have 8.4 times more engagement than any other social channel and drive 135 percent more engagement than photos. On Twitter, videos drive 2.5 times as many replies and 2.8 times as many retweets compared to average tweets. According to research by HubSpot, Instagram videos should be 30 seconds long, Twitter videos should be 45 seconds, and Facebook videos hold the audience’s attention at 1 minute. Since viewers often watch these videos without audio, use subtitles, cartoons, or other visuals to make the meaning clear with or without sound. What nonprofits have in abundance is personal stories, the best material for videos. You don’t need a professional video team to create this content in-house. Most smartphones have high-definition video
However, Twitter is the most effective medium for increasing public awareness of an issue. Facebook is friends, family, and people you target; Twitter is the world. One concise, eye-catching tweet can take the network by storm and spark chains of retweets. Instagram is the rising star of social media advertising, and perhaps the most underutilized network in the nonprofit space. It’s the place to convey a story through images.Now owned by Facebook, Instagram’s engagement rates are 58 percent higher than Facebook’s and 2,000 percent higher than Twitter’s. Instagram is a good choice if you’re trying to create brand awareness with 18- to 30-year-olds. The right channel depends on your audience. For the rising Gen Z (22 years old and younger), focus on Instagram Stories and Snapchat, and keep an eye on emerging tools like Houseparty. Although Houseparty doesn’t facilitate advertising yet, it has become a go-to app for live video chatting and a digital environment where teenagers hang out. Average users spend more time on Houseparty daily than people do on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger combined. Don’t feel pressured to use every channel; meet your audience wherever it is. However, always open a business account with
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