Learnings from #TrendingNorth – January Event by Ad Fed MN

Last night, my coworker Annie (business developer at ArcStone) and I attended the #TrendingNorth event hosted at The Social Lights, sponsored by Ad Fed MN. In a nut shell, we received a fresh zest of social media inspiration that might help your nonprofit as well.

A common tendency of many of us is to log in to our social media accounts, post a few times in hopes our organization will sound awesome, check our follower count and then log out to pursue our lengthy to-do list.

Sadly, even if you take those 15 minutes each day, when you report on these efforts to your Board, you realize your time hasn’t made much of an impact. Your nonprofit’s voice was lost amongst the rest.

Seeing as there were hundreds of people in attendance the #TrendingNorth event last night, I think we can assume you’re not alone in this problem. We were hungry for some social media “umph” – not to mention literally hungry for burgers… shout out to My Burger.

And that’s just what we got – the room collectively rekindled our excitement for social media. With Peter Heidorn of Fair State Brewing Coop facilitating, we listened to six experienced and enthusiastic panelist. The audience was able to pick their brains on all things social media.

The major theme across all their answers was not in time-saving tools or growth hacks – which is what most social media content covers these days. Instead they all honed in on what inspires them and what our strategy should revolve around: authenticity. Read my favorite thoughts of the night from each panelist below…

1. Drew Gneiser, Social Media Strategist at The Social Lights put his advice like this: You don’t need to reach everyone. You need to reach the right people. Think about what they need, and help them out.

*This is a big one for nonprofits especially. Hone in on your audience, and reach out to them specifically rather than trying to reach everyone. Tell them meaningful stories about your nonprofit rather than asking for their money.

2. Spencer Barrett, Founder of Great Lakes Collection, really emphasized authenticity. He explained that as long as you do something you love and stay authentic in your social media strategy, it’ll come through to potential customers and they will want to be a part of it.

*This should be easier for nonprofits – you’re not trying to sell a product, you just have to show your love for your cause and illustrate to your audience why they should take part in it too.

3. “Stay human!” That was Katrina Wollet, Communication Strategist at General Mills, biggest assertion. She pointed out it’s not about getting more likes, but instead, you should focus on engaging.

*If your nonprofit’s goal is increasing your Facebook followers, maybe revisit it and focus on increasing the comments on your posts and the number of real conversations your team has over social. As much as you can show your organization’s people and write from a more personal place.

4. “If you haven’t found your community yet, build it.” Annie D’Souza, Founder of The Midwestival, reminded me that that’s really what social media is about – finding community.

*If your nonprofit is struggling to find an online following/community, you can build it yourself. Follow people and organizations that inspire you, reach out to people individually, and your community will start to grow.

5. Laura Rae Founder of Laura Rae Photography warned that people will know if you posted something just for the sake of posting it. Potential supporters will see when you’re merely trying to keep up with what’s trending rather than bringing your own thoughts to the table. Laura advised us to find a purpose. She brought it back to how everything stems from the simple question, “who are you?” and to use your answer to guide how you interact online.

6. “The more you are yourself, the more you are exactly where you need to be.” This was my favorite quote of the night, which came from Joseph Harris Co-Founder of Bodega Ltd. It goes beyond best practices for social media, however it resonated with me as I thought of how much of a struggle it can be to establish a voice and brand on social channels.

*If you simplify it down to remembering what your organization does and what you represent, your voice will eventually establish itself.

Image uploaded from iOS (2)
Another shoutout – The Great Lakes & their amazingly warm hats. Find yours!

Annie & I hope to see you at the next event! If you want to stay in the loop, check out our post on upcoming events in 2017.

For more help with social media take a look at these posts »

How to microblog on Instagram as a nonprofit

We’ve already established that as nonprofit marketers, there’s never enough time to keep up with the social media sphere. Luckily, there are a few shortcuts here and there. One such method of building your brand efficiently: the microblog via Instagram.


What is a microblog?

In short, the microblog is a short-form blog post. The user optimizes a social media site – such as Instagram – to share short updates and content relevant to their audience. Rather than taking a few hours to write out a full post, a microblogger / your nonprofit can share a quote, a quick update, a photo, infographic or video without a long introduction that a typical blog would necessitate.

And why Instagram?

Because Instagram operates around visuals, it’s ideal for quick and easily-digestible posts. How so?

a) It’s not as busy as Twitter and is not limited by characters.

b) Since it uses an algorithm similar to Facebook’s, if people care about your cause and they like and comment on related content, your content is more likely to show up in their feeds.

c) Millennials love Instagram. In fact, “Over half of all millennials use Instagram every single day” (Media Kix). If you’re nonprofit is seeking out that age group, leveraging a microblog may be key to your strategy.

d) Everyone seems to love visuals. “Visual content drives engagement. In fact, just one month after the introduction of Facebook timeline for brands, visual content – photos and videos – saw a 65% increase in engagement” (Hubspot). Seeing as microblogs on Instagram are largely comprised of a visual component, and your nonprofit is probably full of photos/content from your work, this makes it a powerful tool for your nonprofit.

Ways to begin microblogging:

1.Find your value proposition:

What does your nonprofit know a lot about? Most likely you’re highly informed on whichever cause your fighting for, even if you don’t stop to consider it. Share content from the field with a perspective that news stations don’t have. For the most part, people want to become more informed, even when they’re just passively scrolling through Instagram.

2. Share tips:

Not only is a list-based format more digestible, as you see on posts with tips, it can also be the best way to reach an Instagram audience. If you can have your visuals tell the story or inform the viewer quickly, you’ll get closer to the power of the microblog. In fact, 23% of Instagram users get their news on this app so it’s likely they’ll appreciate an update from your field (Pew Research Center).

3. Entertain:

The first two points being said, your posts don’t all have to be facts and figures. The whole idea of a microblog is that your posts are quick and frequent. And perhaps more importantly, Instagram was created for community and fun, more so than for products and marketing. If that means you post an update on your team’s latest staff party or a funny photo from a recent event, more power to you!

What to keep in mind:

1. Connect with your other content

Instagram is a strong tool for community-building, but it’s even more impactful if it connects users to your site and inspires them to take action. Remember to entice them to read your blog or follow up with a call to your organization.

2. Recognize your specific goals on this platform vs. others

Your goal is not necessarily the same here as it may be on your actual blog. Your site’s blog can revolve around in-depth content and case studies, while your microblog can be focused on getting people to read these longer posts or simply reminding people of your nonprofit’s presence.

3. Encourage interactions

If your nonprofit wants attention on Instagram, you should give it as well! Follow other nonprofits, recognize your donors and volunteers, comment on posts related to your cause and have something to say about the greater good.

A nonprofit’s guide to social media posts [Infographic]

Sometimes it’s tempting to hand all our social media accounts over to the youngest person on a nonprofit staff. They know social media better than you, right? The problem with that is they might not know your nonprofit as well as your senior staff does. Since establishing a strong voice on social media is huge for your nonprofit’s digital presence, we encourage you to involve someone on your nonprofit team who knows your nonprofit’s voice and mission in your social media strategy – even if this someone isn’t a social media expert.

Luckily, there’s plenty of resources to help the non-social-media staff of the world. Here’s an infographic that walks through the main social media channels and how to post on each. If your a social media novice, this is your new best friend! Even if you’re comfortable with the social sphere, check this out to make sure you’re optimizing each post.

Infographic credit: Unbounce & MyCleverAgency


For more on targeting your audience on social media, listen to “Focusing your nonprofit’s social media efforts” – a podcast by ArcStone co-owners, David & Lisa.

Building a nonprofit’s Facebook presence & community: success story by Presbyterian Homes & Services


Finding time to post on Facebook is tough. Getting people’s attention on Facebook is even tougher. Perhaps most challenging of all is convincing your nonprofit coworkers and your board that a strong nonprofit Facebook presence is crucial to building up your nonprofit community.

These are obstacles Minnesota-based nonprofit, Presbyterian Homes & Services, ran into this past year: not everyone believed Facebook would be worth such an effort due to the expense and time commitment. Likewise, seeing as the nonprofit serves 42 communities across 3 states, their reach is fairly widespread, which makes a well-maintained Facebook page an even greater feat. One final challenge? The employees of this nonprofit consider themselves as guests in these residents’ homes. Because of this, when the staff have photos or stories to share online, they have to make sure each individual feels comfortable sharing the content.

Despite these challenges, like many nonprofits, Presbyterian Homes & Services rose to the occasion. Since they’ve seen such success, we can all follow their lead. They even found out ways to make the process rather fun. Read how they approached increasing their nonprofit’s Facebook presence and review some examples of their success below. Hopefully you feel as inspired as we were.

Success by numbers

Presbyterian Homes & Services Facebook page was set up back in 2012. For the first few years, they were comparable to other nonprofits on social media, struggling to increase interaction on their page and not finding the time to develop a strong social strategy.

In the last six months, they launched an effort to start pilot pages as branches of their main Facebook page – which they hope to eventually do for each of their 40+ communities – and to put more energy into the Presbyterian Homes & Services page itself. Since this initiative, it is rare to see a post on this page that didn’t have Facebook reactions like hearts or thumbs up and several shares. What’s more, they now have over a thousand page likes.

The reason for the success?

Besides their diligence and hard work, it’s become clear the community is there – their target audience is already on Facebook (find out more about meeting your target audience on social media in this podcast). Plus, there’s evidently a desire from this audience to connect with fellow residents and share this community with their friends and family.

How did they do it?

To cover this story, I spoke with Director of Sales & Marketing, Darcy DeMars, and she excitedly shared how this success has unraveled.

As far as residents sharing their stories, they’ve continued to make sure the needs of residents are met first, so they only share with permission. The positive effect of this is it also means the posts that are shared are often from people who are more excited to be a part of the social media effort. They these folks share with their family and friends.

Darcy admits it takes some time to gather content and manage this social strategy on her own – an hour or so each day. Fortunately she also gets help from members of other staff as they enthusiastically share photos and stories from their own community. This work has resulted in several success stories of which Darcy and crew can be quite proud.

To track all of this, Darcy takes notes on what’s worked. She’s also careful to track holidays and other such trends to makes sure Presbyterian Homes & Services has something to say. She has experimented with Hootsuite, but is still figuring out the best tool to help manage all this content.

Telling Residents’ Stories


Having Residents & Family Check In


Connecting & Building Community


Showcasing Awards


Promoting Their Communities & Services




Celebrating Holidays


Participating in the Greater Good & Spreading Awareness


Recognizing Employees


HR Recruiting


What can you do now?

As Presbyterian Homes & Services continues to grow their Facebook presence, they are working towards getting each community on its own Facebook page and encouraging them to post more frequently. Then, once those pages are regularly updated by each separate communities’ staff, each community can share content and stories amongst one another. Hopefully, this will increase ties between communities, while also building up each community as a whole.

Share this post if you need help showing your nonprofit board or fellow staff members all that social media can do. Similarly, take a look at “Convincing your board content marketing matters” to help your case.

Focusing your nonprofit’s social media efforts [Podcast + Worksheet]


What are your greatest priorities when it comes to digital marketing? And what are some of the biggest obstacles your nonprofit faces as you pursue these goals? These are some of the questions we asked to the nonprofit marketing, tech and communications teams at the Nonprofit Tech and Communications Conference this past spring.

If you missed it, take 10 minutes to listen to part 1 of the series, “Why I chose nonprofit work” and to gain context into this series and get inspired by these wonderful nonprofit workers.

Now, in part 2, we will focus in on the common priority (and obstacle) of most nonprofits: social media. David and Lisa attempt to answer the question, “Which social media networks should my nonprofit be on?” and walk you through an exercise for optimizing your social media efforts. Through this you can better allocate your limited time and budget to the places that fit most with your nonprofit audience and mission.

Listen up on Stitcher, Soundcloud, iTunes, or this page. Then download the guide below to make some real improvements to your strategy.

[Click on the image to see the full pdf version]



How the University of St. Thomas uses Snapchat to tell its story and reinforce its brand

While reviewing branding and social media strategies for nonprofits, I came across the University of St. Thomas, a nonprofit university in Minnesota, and was immediately struck by their work. Their branding is clear and student engagement is high – if I were applying to schools or visiting my alma matter and saw this digital community, I would be thrilled to be a part of it. Read how St. Thomas’ digital content strategist, Kate Metzger, describes their transition to Snapchat and walks us through how this became such a success. 


The University of St. Thomas has always placed a high value on storytelling. Our award-winning magazine, multimedia news website and robust social media presence allow us to communicate an authentic and meaningful story to the people we care about most.

But as many higher ed communicators know, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to reach our students and prospective students with our story.

Our challenge: Communicate the university’s mission and personality to our young, technology savvy audience.

Our solution: Adding Snapchat to our social media strategy.

Put a ghost on it

How we got our students to start using our snapchat

We began integrating Snapchat into our social media strategy in 2015. Our first step was finding followers. We know from previous years that Welcome Week (the first week of the semester, starting when freshmen move into residence halls) is a time that our students are most-engaged with our social media profiles, and also the time of year where we see the largest gains in followers.

During Welcome Week, we placed our snapcode in some of the most visible places on campus:

  • Prior to a screening of “Inside Out” on our football field, the snapcode was displayed on the jumbotron.
  • Our student center has a large digital display in its main atrium, which featured the snapcode throughout Welcome Week.
  • We shared the snapcode on our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook profiles.
  • To help get students in a snapping mood, our admissions staff handed out T-shirts with “University of St. Thomas Selfie Shirt” – printed in reverse so it would show up the correctly when taken in Snapchat selfie mode.



Taking advantage of Snapchat’s “Add by snapcode” function, we made it as easy as possible for our students to find us. They simply used Snapchat to scan our highly visible code with their mobile devices and we were instantly connected.

For those who already knew us on social media, we used UofStThomasMN as our username – something we have kept consistent across all our primary social channels.

In addition, our admissions staff included Snapchat in its communication planning with prospective students. Our username and snapcode are included in the packages that go out to our accepted students, as well as promoted at all admissions events.

Our best ambassadors

How we grew engagement on our snapchat

Now that people knew where to find us, it was important that we post engaging content that resonated with our audience.

We enlisted a group of student interns to come up with content ideas. After coaching them on how to best represent the university and providing them with a set of guidelines, we set them loose on campus and beyond.

One of the first and most successful ideas they implemented was the “Tommie Takeover” where one student would take over the account for a day and post snippets of his or her life as a Tommie. Takeovers represented a broad range of students with diverse backgrounds, majors and experiences – from biology to business to Catholic Studies.

In addition, we had students share stories from their time studying abroad, with stories from Poland to Thailand to Guatemala – in fact the entire month of January, when we have the most students studying abroad, was dedicated to takeovers from other countries.

Some of our most engaging examples include:

  • Students studying at our campus in Rome sharing a day-in-the-life in the Eternal City
  • The swimming and diving team manager covering the NCAA national swim meet, where one of our women swimmers won three national titles
  • The Tommie dance team member who took over during the team’s trip to UDA College Dance Team Nationals, where the Tommies won their 10th national dance title
  • The launch party for the university’s new logo, brand and tagline
  • The final seconds of the Tommie men’s basketball national title championship game
  • Students from our Student Diversity and Inclusion Services office taking over to promote Black History Month and other heritage celebrations

Allowing our students to serve as Snapchat ambassadors for the activities they care about most enabled us to tell an authentic story that helps define the personality of our university.

As a result, in less than a year we went from zero to averaging more than 1,800 views per story.

You were there? Prove it!

Using Snapchat to engage the community at large

In addition to using Snapchat to tell our story, we also use it as a vehicle to extend the reach of our brand. Snapchat users who visit our St. Paul campus can share with their friends that they visited St. Thomas by using one of our branded geofilters.


The filters are available automatically for users who are standing on the geographic footprint of our campus. We have plans to add more filters this year that incorporate our newly launched tagline, “All for the Common Good.”

New social networks are popping up every day. At St. Thomas, we carefully consider each one before making the investment required to support them. In the case of Snapchat, we are happy with the results we have seen so far and are excited to continue to tell our story.

Review or follow St. Thomas’ other social media sites –

Read more on incorporating your audience personas into your college or university’s marketing efforts.

How to Mimic the Best Nonprofit Social Media Accounts, Even with a Tight Budget


If you’re working for a nonprofit with a moderate (if not lack of a) social media budget, it sometimes feels wasteful to put any effort out there at all. When you can’t keep up with the likes of UNICEF, World Wildlife Fund, American Red Cross, and Susan G. Komen, are you ever going to have an avid enough following to generate interest in your nonprofit via social media?

Through this post I want to give a shout out to the successes of the four nonprofits below – well done! And I also want to take what is likely a somewhat discouraged response to these successes and help you see them as inspiration. There are a few ways you can look to these nonprofit social media giants and come away with resources to better your own accounts.

Facebook – UNICEF

Some say you should only post a few times a week on Facebook, but UNICEF doesn’t seem to follow that rule. And it works quite well for them! They post 2-3 times a day. With this they have over 6 million likes on their page, tons of traction on each post, and a great variety between each one.

But don’t be discouraged! Just because you don’t have a dedicated social media specialist doesn’t mean you can’t take on a thing or two from UNICEF’s social media strategy. Read more on how to use Facebook as a nonprofit in Facebook for Nonprofits – A Huge Helping Hand. Here are three tactics to try out yourself:

1. Quote the ones who use your services

With a tight budget, it’s unlikely you have high-quality photos of all your favorite people using your services. However, it’s pretty doable to at least grab a fun quote from a few of them. Keep a record of these quotes and pull them for a post once a week. People want to see tangible evidence your efforts affect others and you easily have just that! Facebook is an especially good space to inspire others with peoples’ stories, as users likely came there to hear about others.

If this is a success even with lower-quality photos, consider allocating some of your budget to a professional photographer at your next event. Once you have a handful of photos, you can cycle through them for a while.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 10.09.36 AM

2. Respond to world events

It’s likely you’re already paying attention to what’s happening in your nonprofit’s realm, but are you helping others pay attention? Follow thought leaders and news sources on social media, pull excerpts on what they said, and share it on Facebook. It helps when DiCaprio’s got your back…


3. Respond to responses

Take advantage of each comment made on your post. There are several ways to encourage commenters to read more about your organization, spin negative comments to positive ones, and establish stronger connections. Read more about managing comments in “How to Handle Negative Reviews Online.”

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 10.09.16 AM

Twitter: World Wildlife Fund

Just coming off of a hugely successful Twitter campaign with Apple, WWF can teach us a thing or two about this platform. Apple might be a bit of a doozy to get in touch with, but let’s consider some other ways you could create success on Twitter as a nonprofit.

1. Find Partnerships

Twitter is one of the best platforms for following influencers in your field and forming relationships with them. Follow other nonprofits, thought leaders, news channels and the like, and consider messaging them about coordinating a campaign together.

It’s also the place for forming a trending hashtag. Especially good for if you’ve formed some sort of partnership, tag each of your posts with related events or content with a consistent hashtag. When tweeters click on the hashtag, it’ll bring them to all the related content.


2. Show positive stats

You don’t have to rely on guilt to inspire people to donate or volunteer. As seen with the example below, people thrive on success stories as well; you can show people the change that is happening with impressive stats and the like.

Read more about avoiding nonprofit “guilt marketing.”


LinkedIn – American Red Cross

LinkedIn is an interesting space for nonprofits. It’s mostly a place for professionals to share information and to recruit talent, but it can serve as another platform to attract volunteers and donors, if your nonprofit uses it correctly. Read more in “Nonprofits Link Up on LinkedIn,” and follow suit of the American Red Cross.

1. Recognize special events, outside of your nonprofit’s

The Red Cross drew on a national event/holiday and made it their own by telling engaging stories. Try to recognize events and news and then even take them one step further by adding your two cents.

nonprofits-on-linkedin-american-red-cross Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 10.53.06 AM

2. Tell stories about other professionals doing work for your nonprofit.

If people are checking LinkedIn for jobs or professional updates, use this aspect as a way to tell your volunteers’ and donors’ stories. The day-in-the-life story works well to grab attention as we all love to be inspired by others.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 10.53.48 AM

3. Use others’ input

Keeping in mind that this platform is a space for professionals, create an opportunity for people to use their career talents as a way to volunteer. With the example below, American Red Cross created a space for young professionals to gain experience, and for others to help without investing much time or money. Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 10.54.00 AM

Instagram – Susan G. Komen Foundation

This is the place to rely on your heartstring-pulling photos and inspiring quotes. People come to Instragram to see what catches their eye. For more on how Instragram now works for nonprofits, read this update.

1. Be sweet! Find ways to pull on users’ nostalgia

Capitalizing on another holiday, the Susan G. Komen Foundation posted this cute vintage photo below. They go beyond what you might think of when you hear breast cancer awareness by drawing on viewers’ tie to their own family. Try to find a way (without pushing this too far) to show the user what it might be like if they were affected by your cause.


2. Make a statement

Here the nonprofit doesn’t just post a photo of what you might expect when you picture their cancer walk events. It takes the cause beyond the events and makes it something to think about every day.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 10.58.58 AM

3. Keep it simple

As you can see, you can say a lot in only a few words. Find a short statement and try leaving out the photo for a change. Use a wonderful tool like Canva to make a simple graphic like below (without using a designer)
Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 10.59.09 AM

For more on the best nonprofits on social media, take a look at this list from Top Nonprofits.

Spring Your Nonprofit Social Media Profiles Into Action

You may be busy with many other priorities at your nonprofit, but we think it’s time to get back into action on those dusty social media accounts. Although it’s okay to sometimes let some things take a backseat as you pursue other projects, let’s keep in mind that social media is an incredibly powerful way for your nonprofit to spread the word and engage your following. This only happens when used correctly.


Here are 5 affordable and doable ways to improve nonprofit social media presence.

1. What’s your nonprofit’s social status?

If you haven’t updated your social media pages in awhile, go through them.Take a look at how to create a more optimized LinkedIn profile, and consider applying such changes across the board.

If you can’t manage to monitor them all, consider removing ones that aren’t as relevant to your audience. Here’s a post on finding which social media networks you should be on and just focusing on those. Don’t be afraid to cut out places that aren’t right for you for right now.

2. Run paid ads.

Paid ads are one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your pages, especially if you’ve been inactive for awhile. Yes, as a nonprofit “paid” anything sounds daunting. But fortunately not only does this have a huge pay off if done well, it can also be affordable due to how Facebook, Google & other tech giants offer discounts for nonprofits.

Moreover, social media has made changes to make news feeds more relevant to users. Consequently, your nonprofit might not just show up in front of users as it once did, unless you invest in promotion.

Review the resources below including offers and basic best practices for social media and paid ad campaigns.

3. Run a contest or giveaway.

Ask yourself, what’s something you can give away to your audience? Is a dinner at a fancy restaurant? A tech product given to you by a donor? Get creative!

Once you have promoted this offer, you can ask people to participate on your social media page or clicking through to a landing page on your site. If you choose the social media route, you can ask people to interact with you via a certain hashtag. If you link to your site, you could place a form on a landing page to collect information about users. By doing so, this is not only a fun way to engage your audience, but can help you gain contact and interest information to put into your donor and volunteer database.

4. Create a social media-specific campaign

Ice bucket challenge anyone? If you’re having trouble incorporating social media into a current campaign, create a social media-only campaign. Use social media with what it’s best at – getting people to interact and share with each other.

Review how the Ice Bucket Challenge worked and find more ideas here.

5. Interact with others


  • Similarly, get involved in the conversation. Curate content, tweet or write to others in the field, and participate in Twitter chats.
  • Follow relevant influencers (people who have a large following in your field and who share content) and follow your followers. In the end you want to show people you’re present and excited to interact.

For more help with your social media strategy, contact the social media strategists at ArcStone!

Instagram for Nonprofits: How the New Feed Works

An Instagram feed update in attempt to engage Instagram users will certainly affect Instagram for nonprofits as well.

The recent Instagram announcement showed they’re looking to keep up with the likes of Facebook, by showing the posts users want to see first. This replaces the former way of showing posts in chronological order. For each new post your nonprofit publishes, you’ll want to consider a few new aspects.


Why this update?

The previous Instagram feed showed posts based on what time they were published. The downside to this was users were seeing a lot of posts they didn’t care to see. On top of that they were missing posts they cared about because they had been published earlier when the user wasn’t logged in. Instagram started losing users because of this (TechCrunch).

How the new Instagram algorithm will work:

Now the algorithm is being set up so that the social platform will pull in posts based on users’ previous likes and interactions. A post with more likes/comments/interest will be pulled to the top of users’ feeds more often.

What this means for your nonprofit using Instagram:

In order for your nonprofit’s posts to show up in front of users, according to Christopher’s Pen, you’ll need…

a) High quality images: You’ll want to focus your social media time and budget on producing only the best images. Rather than posting as often as possible to stay in users’ feeds, you can now spend your time finding and editing engaging photos. If you have great images, it’s more likely users will interact with your posts, and you’ll show up at the top of feeds.

b) Specific and relevant tags: Instagram also uses your hashtags in its new algorithm. Only choose ones that are fitting, rather than spamming your posts with as many hashtags as possible (or with ironic hashtags users often use to be funny).

c) An understanding of users: Now that users will have a more personalized feed based on what they like, you need each of your posts to be more targeted so you can fit your ideal audiences’ preferences. Use our audience persona guide to more fully understand your users.

More on this post from TechCrunch and Christopher’s Penn. To receive help with your social media efforts, contact our team at ArcStone!

Facebook for Nonprofits – A Huge Helping Hand from Your Facebook Friend

Whether you’re just getting started with your nonprofit’s use of social media, diving deeper into raising awareness, or simply trying to raise funds, Facebook wants to be there for you. They recently launched “Facebook for Nonprofits” as a website to guide this effort. We want to do a quick recap to make sure you don’t miss any of the ways this social media giant can help your effort.


How Facebook is Helping Nonprofits

Similar to any organization/company’s page, a nonprofit Facebook page is different than a personal page. It’s set up more like a website, with sections such as About Us, Reviews, and Events. Take a look at an example with Ashoka’s Facebook Page.


Through the Facebook for Nonprofits website, they walk you through numerous aspects of a successful social media presence including:

1. Page set up: Their guide includes page creation, categorization, details you should be sure to include, and the best ways to manage it all.

2. Managing admins & using your resources: There are several features you can personalize such as…

a) How often you’re notified about page activity

b) Scheduling tools for your posts

c) Administrative access options if you have a larger team with various users

Photo Source: Facebook for Nonprofits

3. Getting social media savvy: They include SO many details on enhancing your page, each post and each event you create on the page. This includes:

a) Photo and optimization tips

b) Page analytics and how to best monitor them

Photo Credit: Facebook for Nonprofits

c) Slightly lesser known tips like how to pin or promote a post

d) Getting your users to promote your page for you

e) Setting up a full on campaign strategy! Targeting your audience strategically is often hard for nonprofits to do since it can take so much time. Facebook makes it simple.


4. Increasing engagement from your followers and beyond: This takes your page to the next level – it’s not just a stagnant page for people to come to for reference, but rather serves as another hand in the field, fully engaging with others. They point to ways to…

a) Grab your followers’ attention with posts and through targetting the right audience

b) Create effective Facebook Ads to show up in more feeds

c) Use Facebook as a means to having people post their own efforts and launch peer to peer fundraisers

d) Launch a fundraising campaign

Photo source: Facebook for Nonprofits

As you can see, Facebook has friend requested you, and all you have to do is check it out! If you’d like to talk to a social media strategist on how to use Facebook as a nonprofit, contact our team at ArcStone.