Why would nonprofits (or any company/business for that matter) want to drive engagement on their social media profiles?

The answer is simple: The chances of more people seeing your posts are far greater when another person takes some kind of social action on your post.

On Facebook, the only way your post will appear in someone’s news feed is if you can generate organic likes, shares, and comments. Here’s three things Facebook looks at to decide whether your post is important enough to appear in someone’s news feed:

1. How often you interact with a friend or page – the last 50 interactions are particularly important
2. The number of likes, shares and comments a post receives total – and from your friends in particular
3. How much you have interacted with this type of post in the past

This weekend at the Engineers Without Borders – USA (EWB-USA) Midwest Region Conference, I presented to a group of engineering students and professionals alike on the topic of driving social media engagement. There are six basic goals that nonprofit organizations should shoot for when using some of these fundamental social engagement tactics:

• Increase awareness
• Build trust
• Increase traffic
• Build relationships
• Drive donations
• Increase membership, volunteers

The presentation below, entitled Driving Social Media Engagement for Nonprofits, concentrates on Twitter and Facebook, which are the two social networks that most EWB-USA members at the conference were familiar with and/or already using.

Even though many of the people who attended the session were college students, few of EWB-USA members had actually started using their Twitter account for professional networking or information gathering, so this presentation focuses on identifying your audience and some of the core tactics that will help grow your nonprofit’s social media presence organically, and how to encourage other people and like-minded organizations to share your content. These tactics can be used in part of a larger strategy with a more specific goal in mind.

What tactics has your nonprofit used to drive social media engagement? What has worked and what hasn't?