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#NPSocialSummit Recap: Part One

Tim Sarrantonio

The first-ever Nonprofit Social Media Summit was held at Babson College recently and it was an extremely inspiring gathering of folks looking to take their social media engagement to the next level. Neon One was a presenting sponsor of this event and I wanted to share some of the insights that were presented to an engaged room of 80 folks. 

Julia Campbell brought together an amazing lineup of experts in all things social. Together. they answered some of the biggest questions organizations have when it comes to properly social media. Since the conference packed so much into one short day, we’ll be breaking up our recap into two parts.

Part One

  1. The Nonprofit Social Media Landscape
  2. Livestreaming Content
  3. LinkedIn
  4. Personalized Donor Videos

Part Two (Coming Soon!) 

  1. Top Social Media Tools
  2. Facebook Ads
  3. Mobilizing Social Fundraisers
  4. Streamlining Your Marketing and Communications

Social Media Matters

Julia Campbell kicked things off with an exciting overview of the social media landscape for nonprofits. There’s a lot that happens on the internet, with 188 million emails sent, 4.8 million GIFs used, and $996,956 spent online every single minute. The majority of adults in the United States are still actively using Facebook and YouTube, while younger folks are utilizing multiple platforms at once.

When it comes to nonprofits, there are some important stats to keep in mind:

  • 29% of donors worldwide say that social media is the tool that inspires them to give
  • 56% say that Facebook inspires them the most
  • $125 million was raised on Facebook on Giving Tuesday in 2018

Julia also shared this handy graphic to outline the impact of each social media channel.


Set a tone for all of your social media engagements by asking yourself and your staff the following questions:

  • How is the message delivered, and by whom?
  • Are you utilizing photography on your website?
  • Are you telling stories on social media?
  • Are you representing your staff and board diversity on social media?
  • Do people see others who look like them they look at your organization’s marketing?

Livestreaming Is Getting Big

Next up we heard from Chris Strub, another Neon One Certified Consultant who’s also known as the “Giving Day Guy.” He works with multiple major giving days around the country, including Give STL Day, and specializes in social media strategy and livestreaming content.

He pointed out that there’s a participation inequality, with 90% of users only reading or observing content but not contributing. 9% of users may contribute here or there but other priorities preclude them from really engaging. 1% of users are going to account for the majority of social media interactions for your organization.

Streaming your content on Facebook Live or other mediums can have a major impact on your engagement and revenue. Your organization should think about content episodically, creating a common set of talking points that help tie things together. Chris shared some easy content ideas that any nonprofit can start today:

  • FAQs about the organization
  • Volunteer spotlight
  • VIP Access (aka Behind The Scenes)
  • An employee of the month feature
  • Taking a tour of the facilities
  • Board Member of the month
  • News updates on what’s going on

He also shared a list of the tools that organizations can use that won’t break the bank, such as camera stabilizers, microphones, and lighting. Check out his list of field-tested video tools here.

LinkedIn – Untapped Potential

One of my favorite sessions of the day was a deep dive on how LinkedIn can benefit nonprofits, outlined by Angela Pitter. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, with 610 million people utilizing the platform.

LinkedIn can be leveraged in two primary ways – first is a professional profile to help tell your own story and then as an organizational profile for your nonprofit.

Some easy ways to make LinkedIn a “go-to” resource for people to understand your value are:

  • Adding a professional photo, which leads to 21 times more profile views
  • Branding your headline with your organization’s logo
  • Branding your headline and summary pages
  • Making sure you fill out the Volunteer Experience section
  • Using LinkedIn’s video features

Want more LinkedIn tips? Check out Angela’s article, 21 Days to Creating the Ultimate LinkedIn Personal Profile.

Your nonprofit’s business page should be used to showcase your value. With staff turnover continuing to plague the industry, attracting top talent should be a high priority for your nonprofit. A well done LinkedIn Business Page will go a long way.

There was a lot in this session, but some high-level tips are:

  • Let your ‘about’ section work for you by using keywords related to your organization. This will help you pick up additional search traffic.
  • Invest time in building out the Life tab to tell your organization’s story. This can help attract great employees, board members, and major donors
  • Post consistent updates, including video updates (use the tips from above!)
  • Get familiar with the Documents posting feature, one of the most underrated features on LinkedIn!

Finally, one of the most important ways to use LinkedIn is to connect with people and build your network. Anyone can become a social ambassador for your nonprofit, including volunteers, board members, donors, partners, and more. Make sure that your staff is “connected” to all board members and encourage them to post updates about their work with your organization (remember to help them fill out their Volunteer tab!).

I had the pleasure of presenting a deep dive on leveraging social media in your peer to peer fundraising campaigns with Krista Landry of Rallybound client Homes For Our Troops. Check out the full recap of that session on the Rallybound blog.

We also heard from Neon One Certified Integration Partner CauseVid on the power of personalized video as a gratitude and engagement tool. Learn more on how to leverage personalized video with this great overview from CauseVid founder Adam Wilbur.

In part two of our recap of the Nonprofit Social Media Summit, we’ll dive into top tools that your organization should be using on social media, how you can get started with Facebook Ads, coordinating mobile social fundraisers, and streamlining your operations to optimize your marketing and communications. There’s so much to unpack!

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