Social Media Trends Nonprofits Need to Pay Attention to in 2019
Social media is and always will be the wild, wild west. It is ever changing and evolving, and we nonprofit communicators must keep up with the trends. What worked a year or two ago will likely not work in 2019. It can be overwhelming to keep up with brands and companies with big budgets and a full social media team to boot. But we can do this! I have broken down how you can adapt your social media plan with the likely limited capacity you have. Here are five 2019 social media trends nonprofit communicators should know about:
Social media management is not free
I repeat, social media management is not free. More than ever, it is going to take time, resources, and labor to break through algorithms and the masses of voices online. I know budget season is behind us, but take time assess your resources and put aside a healthy social media budget that accounts for staff, outsourcing to creatives, trainings, tools (management, analytics, and design), and possibly even advertising. If thought leadership, creating community, branding, or building your audience for fundraising sound like familiar goals, you must set aside funds and capacity to do so.
People have become very distrustful of social media
This as a result of 2018 scandals surrounding top social media platforms. Just a few days ago, New York Magazine published the article, “How Much of the Internet Is Fake? Turns Out, a Lot of It, Actually.” So that’s what your audience is reading and talking about. A recent study showed that 60 percent of respondents believe social media companies are not effective in controlling fake news, deterring hate speech, and protecting privacy. People want transparency and accuracy. People want to interact with real people. Smart nonprofit communicators will have to think way outside of the box to engage with their audience online and on social media in 2019. If your content is not creating dialogue or community, it will not break through. Consider managing a Facebook group instead of a Facebook page. Give your organization a face and personal voice. Which brings us to the next trend.
CEOs need to be active on social media
It is important that nonprofit leaders have a social media presence to establish trust with their constituents and audience. People want to engage with people, not institutions. This is especially true for fundraising. When planning content and messaging, create messages for your CEO to share on their Twitter and LinkedIn. Get them trained and excited to share their passion for your organization’s mission and insights from their field or experience.
Find your micro-influencers
People have caught on to celebrity influencers, and feel they are not genuine. People now are more likely to trust their peers, family, and friends. This is very good news for the nonprofit realm! In 2019, we will see a rise in micro-influencers, who may have a small, but mighty following of people who trust their expertise. Identify the micro-influencers that align with your mission, and find ways to collaborate with them on social media. Ask them to co-host a Twitter chat, to contribute to your Facebook group, or to write a short piece for your blog.
Videos will continue to thrive on social media
In fact, one study projects that people will spend about the same amount of time watching media on social media as on the television next year. If you do not have the resources to create videos, continue to share videos that are relevant to your brand. Be sure to add content that sparks conversation (shared content has a much smaller reach than original content, so don’t do this too frequently). Take advantage of story features on Instagram and Facebook, and try Facebook live at events or for Q&As with your staff.
Remember that there are people that care deeply about your issue and mission, and they want to engage with like-minded people. With planning and creativity, your organization can cultivate a powerful community on social media. Cheers to what will be your most successful social media year yet!