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Social media trends for savvy nonprofits

(Image: Elena Koycheva)

Social media is always on – which means it's the perfect channel for engaging your supporters with what's going on right now, whether that's a fundraising campaign, a policy alert, or an unfolding emergency.

But social media is always evolving as well. With new trends cropping up all the time, marketers must stay up-to-date and ready to adjust in order to stand out from the rest of the feed and command attention.

To help you make the most of your online outreach, here are four top social media trends for 2020 that nonprofits should be making the most of.

1. Social media is the source for customer service. 

One of the most important channels for customer service is social media. Are you talking to donors via social media messengers and DMs? Use them to make direct contact concerning everything from event logistics to payment questions to service updates, and more.

This is especially important in a time of uncertainty and increasing need, as in the present COVID-19 outbreak: If you aren’t listening and responding via social media, you will see massive repercussions in terms of trust, engagement, and organizational reputation.

2. Videos dominate. 

Are you including video in your regular content strategy? If not, you need to start – stat! According to Cisco, 82 percent of all internet traffic will be video by 2022. Bring your mission to life by using video to tell stories of your work and share the impact of your organization.

3. Personalization is paramount. 

Social media ad targeting is a powerful way to connect consumers with products and services that are most important to them – even for nonprofits. In addition, you can pair them with tracking tools (like the “Facebook pixel”) to better understand your online audience as well as the effectiveness and efficiency of your advertising.

4. If your marketing strategy is a game of chess, "Stories" are your queen. 

According to Hootsuite, 64 percent of marketers are using Instagram Stories as part of their content strategy. Are you one of them? Giving you an easy way to combine photos, video, text, emoji, and tags to create online content, “stories” are only gaining in popularity among social media users. Now available on Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, and WhatsApp, they’re a fantastic way to showcase the personality of your nonprofit as well as the impact.

Ready to learn more about these trends and others, and discover how to develop a rock-solid social media strategy? Join me at GCN’s Nonprofit University for the four-part Certificate of Nonprofit Social Media, starting April 21.

April Voris is co-founder, partner, and chief zealotry officer of marketing agency GRM, and a Nonprofit University instructor.

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