by Sue Ann Muller, Social Media Manager at Social Mission
READ for Life Uganda is a non-profit organization that trains and supports Ugandan teachers to teach literacy to their students. It is a relatively new organisation comprised of a small and dedicated staff based in Northern Uganda. READ for Life was established by Jody Unterrheiner, an inspiring Australian woman living in Uganda who is passionate about training local teachers how to teach literacy and phonics using local resources in order to transform the lives of Ugandan children.
READ for Life were keen to ramp up their social media efforts in order to create a stronger online presence as a means to attract and engage existing and potential donors. They reached out seeking a Social Media Review, Strategy and Execution.
Step 1: Define social media objectives
It was important to define the scope of the project and to identify the objectives for READ for Life’s social media. Given their limited resources why did they want to spend precious time on social media? How could it benefit the organisation?
- To create a supportive and engaged online community of donors, interested organisations and individuals
- To inspire social media followers to become donors
- To create a professional online presence that assists/supports Learn to Read’s ability to receive grants and other funding
- Drive traffic to the website and blog in order to increase reach and knowledge of READ for Life’s work
- Create an online resource for trainers and teachers to post and share ideas and support them in their work (Pinterest only)
Social Media Audit – Where are they now?
An audit was conducted of all the existing social media channels.
Simple metrics were set up to measure success as the strategy is rolled out.
Step 2: Analysis – What’s working? What’s not?
A dive into Facebook, Instagram and Twitter Analytics revealed:
- The ages and gender of current followers and the peak times when many of them are online
- The posts that received high engagement.
- Characteristics of the popular posts.
- What attracted more interest and attention
- Best times to post
- What was unique to the image that was used? Did they feature close ups of children, one child, groups of teachers, resources, classrooms, were they upbeat, somber etc.
- High performing hashtags (Twitter, Instagram)
- Types of posts – native posts, shared content, photos, videos or something else?
Once that information is available the optimal times of day to post can be identified, the frequency of posting that is appropriate, and the types of posts that resonate with current followers
Step 3: Housekeeping
A recommendation was made to add links to all the social networks on the READ for Life website and to display them prominently on any online communications such as emails and newsletters
- The Facebook profile was completed and the website link added
- A Donate button was added to the Facebook banner linking to READ for Life’s website
- The Facebook account was linked to the Instagram account
- Given the limited resources available it was considered that READ for Life didn’t have the capacity at this time to run a Twitter account based on the small number current number of followers, low engagement and the resources required to develop a strong following. If a volunteer was available to run the account it could proceed. Twitter was put it on hold until more resources are available. Better to run a few accounts well than spread finite resources too thin.
- The account was converted from a personal account to a business account and the profile completed with a bit.ly link to the website so traffic from Instagram can be measured.
- Research was done into relevant hashtags and batches of hashtags prepared
- Recommendations were made to tweak the kind of posts featured. Gorgeous images of kids learning to read or teachers being inspired to are more likely to get engagement and inspire giving than the very creative resources being created used by staff. It was agreed that Pinterest was a better platform for this.
- Suggestions were made to follow like-minded people and organisations and accounts and to engage and make comments on their posts
- A READ for Life company page was created, staff were added as Admins
- Staff were encouraged to invite all their personal followers, staff, board members and volunteers to follow the company page and post the blog posts here
- Pinterest serves a slightly different purpose to the other READ for Life channels and is primarily to be used as a resource for finding and sharing ideas with other teachers worldwide. It has the potential to become a best-case resource for organisations working in this field.
Step 4: Set up an Editorial/Content Calendar
- A free, online and shareable editorial calendar was set up using Trello and staff invited to join as admin. An outline of a schedule for blog posts was developed and relevant International UN Days added in the calendar. Staff can then allow volunteers who are working on the blog posts and posting on social media access to the schedule for reference if needed
Step 5: Define Visuals and Branding
- READ for Life was successful in applying for a nonprofit account with Canva.com which is a great online resource for creating graphics for social media.
- READ for Life brand colours were identified based on their logo and templates set up for the various social platforms for anyone from the organization to use to create visual content
Instagram and Facebook– quote templates, international days of the year
Step 6: Recommendations for creating content on social media
- Tell a story
- Always add a call to action at the end of each post:
- E.g. Read about it on our latest blog post
- Watch this video and enjoy
- Donate (no more than 1 out of 5 posts)
- Be social! Ask a question to encourage the followers to engage:
- What was your favourite book as a child?
- What are your favourite children’s books?
- Respond to comments. A simple “thank you for your comment”, and if appropriate ask them a further question. There are two reasons for this:
- It makes the commenter feel heard and part of your community
- Any engagement on the post pushes the post further up the page of your followers and increases the reach of the post
Types of content to post – examples
- Create images with quotes on Canva – related to teachers, education, literacy etc. particularly popular on Instagram
- Additionally, quotes from the blog can repurposed as a stand-alone image
- Thank you/ appreciation posts to show donors how their money is being put to good use
- Case studies – students and teachers. What they have learned, progress made, outcomes
- Photo stories
- Countdown posts – 7 days until ……
- Videos – a short video was created using Animoto software to promote the progress of the organisation so far
- Share or create Infographics on the importance of education, literacy, reading and completing school. This graphic was created quickly and easily on Canva using a template
Step 6: Test, monitor and analyse results and adjust strategy as required
Once the strategy is rolled out a monthly check-in and check-up is advised. What’s working, what’s not, what can be done differently, plan for upcoming events and create batches of content.
Do you have any questions for us about creating a social media strategy for your non-profit?