Easy as A, A, A.

Easy as A, A, A.

This simple three-part social media strategy aims to overhaul the ways non-profit organisations use social media

Picture the scene. You’re half-asleep, scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed on your commute into work. Mindlessly, you find yourself watching a video of a rotating cheese advent calendar, an M&S special just in time for the Christmas season. You haven’t yet had breakfast. You salivate. You tag a mate.

You fell for it.

Another page you liked for the sole purpose of receiving crispy banter and high-quality memes has sold out to ‘The Man’ and is subtly sharing sponsored posts and advertising products for private companies. Social-savvy businesses understand the value of utilising platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to help them sell their wares. With the right tools, it’s easy, inexpensive and extremely effective to dominate the livestreams of their target audiences. But why does it seem like the private sector are the only ones who are availing of this opportunity?

Why are non-profit organisations not using social media to help spread their messages and achieve their goals?

Non-profits undervalue social media

Non-profit organisations, like NGOs and charity groups, typically undervalue and misunderstand the importance of a strong social media strategy. Many opt to use email as their primary communication method, even though social media communities are growing 3 times faster than email, with email list sizes growing by just 11% this year, and Facebook and Twitter presence increasing by 42% and 37% respectively.

Non-profits misuse social media

74% of nonprofits are guilty of using social networks primarily as a loudspeaker to update their communities on their news and donation information. However, the power of social media marketing is at its strongest when used to convey an emotion. Herein lies an opportunity for NGOs to bolster all aspects of their work, by igniting an interest within people for what they do. Encouraging people to care about their cause more than your cash-flow will majorly bolster support for their work in both the short and the long-term and consequently lead to more donations organically.

The Three A’s

Steven Shattuck at Hubspot has discovered a straightforward and effective strategy for non-profits to boost their online presence, improve their overall image and reinforce their sustainability.

  1. Appreciationa third of all social updates should recognize donors, supporters, volunteers, and employees 
  2. Advocacya third of all social updates should engage and share with the content of other groups or non-profits who are relevant to their area 
  3. Appealsa third of all social updates should solicit donations or help


Einstein seems to have seen this one coming. It is high time that the nonprofit sector begin to take advantage of modern technology in the same way that the private sector do, before the income gap between the two spheres widens even further. NGOs can no longer afford to depend on contributions thanks to the goodness of people’s hearts – they need to get tech-savvy and they need to do it fast.

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