How to Make Nonprofit Content Stick on Social Media


Some nonprofits are in a better position than others to create compelling content, especially in social media marketing. For instance, the number one tip we come across is to post compelling photos, but let’s explore that for a moment:  how can a nonprofit offering management consulting services compete with another working to find homes for kittens and puppies? It’s a question we ask ourselves often at ESC, but we’ve come across a few strategies that can put any nonprofit in a great position for recruitment, fundraising and general exposure on any social media platform.

Create content that works in a way that fits your brand
You see this same advice over and over again—post photos! Post videos! This can be an extremely simple process with huge results for “photogenic” organizations like animal shelters, nature conservations and other photo-friendly nonprofits. You also don’t need a media release signed by that dog up for adoption or a beautiful sunset. So what can organizations with more obstacles do?

One option is to post photos that are more genuinely graphics. Posting photos on social media is all about share-ability. Make a statement or insert a quote using sites like Quozio, ReciteThis, or BeHappy.Me, slap on your organization’s logo (Microsoft Paint will do the trick if that’s all your working with), and post away. This is the simplest way for organization’s who don’t necessarily have the subjects, time or resources to take photographs for content.

Share what’s already been created
Another strategy, while less direct, is to share photos from other pages that are relevant to your mission. If you work with other organizations, share their content and write unique posts that tie in your connection. Whatever connected content is out there is an opportunity to save you time—and as nonprofit professionals, we understand you can never save enough time in the day. You can, and should, do the same with videos. Work with your Marketing Manager, Executive Director, or Media Committee to decide how to promote your organization by rebranding relevant content.

Do less
Veering away from photo and video sharing exclusively, be sure that whatever you tweet, post, pin or share is accompanied by (or made up of) copy that is short and to the point. Even on Twitter where your messages are limited to 140 characters, don’t use up all the space if it’s not entirely necessary. As shown in the above graphic, attention spans online have dropped from 12 seconds to 8 seconds over the past 13 years. While this may seem like a tiny change, it represents the absolute necessity for content to be concise online. Don’t throw just anything on social media hoping for eyes. Take time to whittle down your words, simplify your images, and make sure that what you share is not just seem but absorbed in, quite literally, the blink of an eye.

If your nonprofit could benefit from social media marketing consulting or other consulting services, including traditional marketing, branding, strategic planning and more, please contact ESC Director of Consulting Ulea Lago at or call 617-357-5550.