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Social Media Best-Practices for Nonprofits (And Mistakes to Avoid)

by Jeremy Silverstein  |  
January 26, 2017
  |  6,186 views

Social media marketing is a one-to-one relationship-building tool for businesses. Though it allows you to speak to many at once, the interaction feels more personalized to your customers. They're "friends" or "followers," after all.

Social media cuts through the barriers between the average person and a company, and lends itself to engagement and a wide array of mutual benefits.

For nonprofits, social media marketing can be just as advantageous as it is to businesses. It's a great way to build support for your organization, grow the ranks of your volunteers, and increase donations. For your social media marketing to be fruitful, however, you need to be extra vigilant about your communications.

Social media marketing can be planned well ahead of time, but there's a variable of spontaneous communication as well. It's important to respond to those who support you on social media, whether that's a simple matter of replying to comments or engaging in extended conversation—a feature that makes social media effective.

That also means anyone managing the accounts for your nonprofit needs to have a firm handle on some best-practices to ensure that your organization maintains the reputation it has built.


There are topics that may inflame or could be misinterpreted, so you'll likely want to develop a list of things to avoid discussing on social media. The person maintaining your social media accounts speaks for the entire organization, so any opinions or controversial stances should match the nonprofit message specifically, else they should be avoided.

As social media marketing evolves, new tools and platforms continually emerge and advances improve the way you can reach and interact with people; ultimately, though, a lot of best-practices center on the human experience for your volunteers and followers.

Best-Practices for Your Nonprofit Social Media


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Jeremy Silverstein is vice-president of operations and vehicle dispatching at Goodwill Car Donations.

LinkedIn: Jeremy Silverstein

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  • by Michele Engel Thu Jan 26, 2017 via web

    These are excellent guidelines and recommendations, Jeremy. I'll be sharing them with a nonprofit Board I work with
    at our meeting next week. So timely! Thank you!

  • by amit Wed Oct 4, 2017 via web

    Social Media Optimization is a process by which visitors are attracted to a website by promotion and publicizing through social media. Social Media Optimization is more commonly known as SMO, which is regarded as a subset to the social media marketing. SMO is known to be one of the best tools of website optimization.
    SMO can be of two types :

    Adding social media features to the content, which include social news, RSS feeds, polling and user rating tools and incorporation of third party functionalities like videos and images.

    Promotion in social media apart from content marketing which includes blog posting, blog commenting, participation in group discussions and updation of status in social networking sites.

    The concept of Social Media Optimization is often mixed up with the idea of search engine marketing. Though the main focus of both the processes is to drive traffic, but they are very much different from each other. SMO also benefits the clients with improved page ranking.

  • by Designsearch Thu Dec 7, 2017 via web

    Read your blog and it is simply marvellous and conveys useful tips for beginners of digital marketing, explanation of importance of content is highly useful.

    Tips on how and why to engage customers is crucial for marketing people, information conveyed is in detail and easy to understand language. Overall, it is the great blog for digital marketers.

  • by Charlie Keenan Tue Jun 26, 2018 via web

    Interesting Jeremy, I wonder if we can extend commercial marketing to nonprofits online as well.

  • by Avp Libi Tue Jul 10, 2018 via web

    Yes Mr Jeremy Silverstein, Response is very important in social media and replying to comments that makes social media effective.This is the best way to buildup the organizations.

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