By Abbie Peterson  

Whether you love it or hate it, social media has become so ingrained in our daily lives that it’s unavoidable. In fact, if you look at my screen time (which, I hope you don’t!), I spend roughly five hours a day on my phone. From checking Instagram for breaking news, scrolling TikTok to find the newest viral trends, to spending time on Pinterest for creative inspiration, there are few parts of my day where I don’t need an app. With so many people online, it can feel difficult to stand out through the noise. I live and breathe this when managing our Event 360 social media channels. It’s a constant battle for a place on people’s feeds and depending on where you look, you’ll get conflicting advice on how to do it. 

“It’s okay to cross-post! It’ll save you time and won’t affect your analytics!”  

“Don’t cross-post, you need to cater content to each specific platform.” 

“Short-form video is in. Scratch that, long-form video is in.” 

“Do this to help your content be seen! Wait, don’t do that. Do this.” 

All this, paired with the limited resources of working for a nonprofit, can make being successful on social media feel like a pie in the sky idea best kept on that parking lot list of to-dos for future you. Plus, if you’re a remote worker with no colleagues around to collaborate with, you can feel like you’re on an island lacking the tools you need. 

I’ve seen a lot of over the years on how to be successful at social media. And although I do not have the magic key for this, I wish I did, what I do have are a few tried and true methods to utilize to move the needle on your organization’s channels. It’s not glamorous, but it’s honest work! 

Step outside the mental box you’ve put yourself in. 

The best trend I’ve seen on social in recent years is the move to a seemingly more authentic way of posting. Less curation and less worrying about finding the perfect shot or perfect clip. Because of this, user-generated content (UGC) has risen in popularity. Which makes sense! People want to see products and people they love and admire shown in real life. You can use this to your advantage in a couple different ways.  

  1. Reach out to beloved team captains, participants, volunteers and ask them to record a short video for social. Evergreen topics like why they participate, or their personal stories are great additions to the content calendar anytime of the month and showcase the heart and soul behind your mission. Try it with staff or board members too! 
  2. Use apps like CapCut to find easy to use, plug and play templates. Here’s an example of a Ted Lasso meme we did on our channels. A text-based meme is a great filler for those days you want to stay active and on trend but have no new content. 
  3. Save trending sounds or templates you like on Instagram or TikTok. Build up an arsenal of preferred sounds and use them when they naturally fit into your feed, reducing the pressure to jump on every trend immediately. 

Planning is key. 

If you’re not using a monthly content calendar, I cannot recommend this enough. Whether it’s a Word document or spreadsheet, it doesn’t have to be fancy or final. Seeing all your ideas laid out can help streamline communication of important event details, deadlines and fundraising challenges on social media. This allows you to double check that your announcements and challenges get the attention they deserve and aren’t overshadowed. Your community may need to see posts multiple times before they remember to act!  

Planning content and need to fill in some gaps? Google what fun, national holidays are coming up. We’ve celebrated days like National Pet Day where I’ve emailed staff for photos of their furry friends. Trust me, pet owners will always send you photos of their babies. 

Ultimately, content calendars help get the ideas out of your brain and onto paper so you can build them out and actually use them. 

Just post. 

I’m saving my best piece of advice for last… stop thinking and just post! A lot of social media managers (myself included) dream about going viral and tend to spend hours making and remaking videos, deleting good drafts or not posting at all because we don’t think it will perform. This mentality can cause more harm than good. If your post relates to your organization, is approved and ready to go, just do it. At the end of the day, social media analytics are important and helpful in creating goals and guiding content, but a steady, solid feed is going to help your organization more than one viral post. It’s okay if the meme you tried doesn’t get 10,000 views, I promise. Creating a feed that is engaging, shares your mission and highlights your event participants will boost your digital footprint.  

 

At the end of the day, social media is supposed to be fun, authentic and engaging. Even if your organization has a mission that’s not “flashy” or doesn’t easily pull at the heartstrings, don’t let that deter you. There is so much content out there to use and tailor to fit your channels. Don’t get down, get out there and have some fun. 


Abbie Peterson

Abbie is the Marketing and Social Media Manager and joined the Event 360 team in March 2022 after working on the Walk team for multiple nonprofits doing both fundraising and production. She now flexes her muscles on the Creative Services team, obsessing over all things social media and looking out for the next coolest marketing campaign. On event, you’ll find her hauling signage, tables, chairs and anything else. Her favorite workout!


 

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