Creating a Robust Language Guide for Nonprofits

Creating a Robust Language Guide for Nonprofits

Creating a Robust Language Guide for Nonprofits

This post is an additional resource to Digital Marketing Therapy podcast episode 221.

Ever felt lost in translation, even when everyone’s speaking the same language? Welcome to the club. A language guide, like a compass, points us toward clearer communication.

I remember my first time navigating corporate jargon – it was like deciphering hieroglyphics! It made me realize how important common ground is for effective conversation.

Let’s jump into language guides. We’ll uncover key elements of a good language guide and why they matter. We’ll delve into inclusive language, its significance, and how you can adopt it in your organization.

The end game? A comprehensive yet practical toolkit that helps communicate with empathy and clarity. Ready to turn confusion into connection?

Table of Contents:

Understanding the Language Guide

A language guide serves as a roadmap for communication. It outlines how we express ourselves and interact with others. Much like following GPS directions on an unfamiliar road, a language guide helps us navigate complex conversations.

The importance of a language guide cannot be overstated. It’s more than just grammar rules or vocabulary lists—it shapes our understanding and expression of ideas, feelings, and information. But why does this matter?

Imagine trying to assemble furniture without instructions—confusing right? A language guide works similarly by providing clear directions for effective communication in different contexts such as academic writing, business meetings, social interactions etc.

This doesn’t only address the search intent for “Language guide”, but it also promotes clarity, consistency, inclusivity in communications—an essential aspect in today’s globalized world where miscommunication can lead to unintended consequences.

Language Guide Overview

In essence, a language guide is akin to your trusty compass, directing you towards successful verbal and written interactions. You see: not all words are created equal. The way we use them—their tone or context—can greatly impact their meaning and reception by others.

If used effectively though (and that’s where your handy-dandy language guides come into play), they can bridge cultural gaps; eliminate confusion; even help avoid potential conflicts.

The Importance of Language Guides

  • Cultivates empathy: By using inclusive terminology suggested by these guides—we foster environments conducive to mutual respect & understanding between diverse groups;
  • Promotes effective communication: Imagine speaking ‘English’ in France and ‘French’ in England. Language guides help ensure we’re all on the same page, no matter where we are;
  • Encourages learning: These resources provide an opportunity to expand our linguistic horizons, appreciate different cultures & dialects.

Language guides can thus play a pivotal role—making communication not just possible but meaningful. After all, it’s not always about what you say; often—it’s how you say it.

Key Takeaway: 

Think of a language guide as your communication GPS. It does more than just list grammar rules or vocab—it shapes how we share ideas and feelings. Used well, it clears up confusion, bridges cultural gaps, and even prevents conflicts. With the help of a language guide, you can promote understanding between diverse groups and make sure everyone’s on the same page.

Key Elements of a Language Guide

A language guide is not just about grammar rules and syntax. It’s also an opportunity to foster inclusivity, sensitivity, and understanding through our words.

Understanding Message Types and Field Numbers

The core of any language guide involves breaking down the message types we use every day. For instance, in communication apps like Slack or Teams, different message types can include direct messages (DMs), channel posts, or thread replies.

We also need to understand field numbers. Think of them as unique identifiers that help keep track of which parts belong where in a sentence structure—kinda like putting together IKEA furniture.

Exploring Inclusive Language

Never has it been more essential to be inclusive. Inclusive language matters because it creates an environment where everyone feels respected and seen for who they are.

This means moving beyond gendered terms like “guys”, replacing ableist phrases such as “turning a blind eye”, or avoiding culturally insensitive idioms that may offend certain communities.

The Impact of Identity-First Language

“Identity-first”, sounds empowering right? That’s because it is. By allowing individuals to define themselves first – whether by their profession (“doctor”), nationality (“American”) or even health status (“autistic person”) – identity-first language gives control back into the hands of the individual.

An effective way to implement this would be asking someone how they prefer being referred to instead of making assumptions based on what you think might be appropriate.

Remember folks, when developing your own organization’s language guide, consider the importance of understanding message types and field numbers. More importantly, be mindful about using inclusive language to promote respect and sensitivity among all members. And lastly, let identity-first language take center stage in your communication strategy – because we’re not just talking words here; it’s people’s identities at stake.

Key Takeaway: 

A robust language guide goes beyond grammar, fostering inclusivity and understanding. It involves breaking down daily message types and using unique identifiers for sentence structure clarity. Emphasize inclusive language that respects everyone’s identities and let people define themselves first in communication – because words shape our world.

Creating an Inclusive Language Guide

Making a language guide that respects and celebrates diversity is no small feat. But, it’s essential to create a workplace culture where everyone feels seen and valued.

The first step in creating an inclusive language guide is acknowledging the diversity within your team. People from a variety of backgrounds, possessing different experiences and outlooks, exist.

Incorporating diverse populations means being aware of how certain terms might affect different people. Some words may seem harmless but could potentially be offensive or triggering for others due to historical or cultural reasons.

This is where addressing bias comes into play. Bias can sneak into our speech patterns without us even realizing it. An effective language guide helps pinpoint these biases so we can work towards eliminating them.

Promoting Equity through Communication

Promotion of equity should be at the heart of every communication strategy, including your language guide. Ensuring equity requires providing individuals with the resources they need to succeed, tailored to their unique situations.

Drafting Guidelines for Developing a Language Guide

  • Create clear definitions: The most effective guides don’t leave room for interpretation when it comes to using respectful terms.
  • Solicit input: Ask employees from all levels and departments what they think would make communication more inclusive.
  • Educate staff: Host workshops or seminars explaining why this initiative matters.

Collaboration Is Key

  • Avoid making decisions in isolation: Collaboration fosters buy-in among stakeholders which makes implementing change easier.
  • Foster open dialogue: Encourage team members to share their experiences and suggestions. This can help identify potential blind spots.
  • Testimonials from various stakeholders: Include testimonials in the guide, this will provide examples of how others talk about the organization. It’s a great idea to adopt techniques that foster inclusivity.

Remember, creating an inclusive language guide isn’t just about avoiding offensive terms; it’s also about choosing words that make everyone feel valued and respected.

Key Takeaway: 

Creating a language guide that champions diversity is key to fostering an inclusive workplace. Start by acknowledging team diversity, then understand how words can impact different people. Aim for equity in communication and solicit input from all employees when drafting guidelines. Remember: collaboration and open dialogue are crucial, and the goal isn’t just avoiding offense—it’s making everyone feel valued.

Implementing the Language Guide

So, you’ve got your language guide. But how can you make it operational in your organization? Well, let’s look at some practical steps.

The first step is training on the language guide. This shouldn’t be a one-off thing; it should be an ongoin’ part of staff trainin’ plans. It helps everyone understand why this change is happening and how they can contribute positively.

We need to consider legal implications as well. You see, language has power and misuse of certain terms could land us in hot water legally speaking. To avoid any missteps here, getting legal advice when developing or modifying our guide might not be such a bad idea.

Social Media Usage & The Language Guide

In today’s digital age, social media plays a significant role in communication strategies. Therefore integrating the developed language guide into these platforms becomes vital too.

How about we draft clear guidelines for all team members managing official accounts? These will include specifics on tone of voice and word choice aligned with our inclusive principles from the guide. Here are some additional tips on crafting social media content with inclusivity in mind.

Policies help keep things fair and consistent within organizations – that includes communication practices too. By including specific clauses relating to respectful interaction using our new-found linguistic prowess could make implementing changes smoother. Here’s an example of a policy that prioritizes respect in communication.

Involving stakeholders from various departments can help us make sure the new guidelines are feasible and relevant. Plus, it’ll give everyone a sense of ownership.

The Role of Media Coverage

Finally, media coverage is an important component of our organization’s outreach. This could be press releases or interviews – any public-facing content really.

We need to ensure consistency here too because this is where our organization’s voice will reach further than ever before. To maintain uniformity across all channels, let’s prepare some templates for common scenarios using our language guide principles.

Key Takeaway: 

Getting your language guide to work in your nonprofit means training staff consistently, considering legal aspects, and integrating it into social media strategies. Be mindful of policy implications while involving stakeholders for relevance. And don’t forget about consistency in public-facing content like press releases.

Evaluating Your Language Guide

It’s crucial to evaluate your language guide. It’s akin to getting a medical exam; you need to guarantee everything is running as expected. This involves looking at the effectiveness of your language guide and seeing if any revisions or updates are needed.

The evaluation process starts with analyzing how well the guide meets its objectives. If the goal was inclusivity, does it cover all aspects of diverse communication? Is there room for more nuanced expressions that cater to different groups within your organization?

Consider seeking feedback from those who use this tool daily – employees, stakeholders, even customers. Their insights can help pinpoint areas where improvements might be necessary.

Tips on Revising Your Language Guide

To start revising your document, compile all feedback received during evaluation and categorize them based on themes or issues raised.

Next up: tackle each issue head-on. Look at suggestions made by users and see how these could enhance clarity in communication while maintaining respect for diversity and inclusion principles already established in the original draft.

In case some parts need updating due to changes within the company or industry trends (we know change is inevitable), do so keeping relevance top-of-mind.

Maintaining Relevance in an Ever-Changing Landscape

We live in dynamic times which means we have new terms entering our lexicon every day (Hello ‘Zoom fatigue’.). Therefore, keep abreast with emerging terminology relevant to both internal operations and external interactions involving clients/customers/stakeholders etc., because let’s face it – nobody wants their lingo stuck in yesteryears.

Your language guide isn’t carved into stone but rather etched onto a whiteboard – open for continuous tweaks based on evolving needs and norms.

Finally, remember to share updated versions with everyone in the organization. A language guide that isn’t known or used is like a secret recipe lost in an old cookbook – useless.

Evaluating effectiveness of your language guide, making revisions when needed and ensuring it stays up-to-date are critical steps for maintaining clear, inclusive communication within any organization.

Key Takeaway: 

Think of your language guide as a living document, just like the dynamic times we live in. Regular check-ups ensure it’s working well and stays relevant. Gather feedback for improvements and tackle issues head-on. Keep up with new terms, make updates when needed, and share them organization-wide to keep communication clear and inclusive.

Language Guide Examples and Resources

If you’re looking to create or improve your organization’s language guide, it helps to see what others have done. We’ve got some killer examples and resources lined up for you.

Case Studies on Successful Language Guide Implementation

Diving into case studies can give us valuable insights. Take the example of Apple’s Language Style Guide. It perfectly outlines their brand voice, maintaining a consistent tone across all communication channels.

The tech giant didn’t pull this off overnight though. The key was in building upon each successful implementation stage. And voila – they achieved a seamless blend of information delivery with Apple-esque charm.

You don’t need to be an Apple-sized entity to achieve comparable success. Your own unique language style guide could become the cornerstone of your organization’s communications.

Utilizing Code Generators and Language Specification Tools

In addition to examining how other organizations do it, there are tools available designed specifically for creating comprehensive language guides.

Swagger, a popular open-source tool used by developers worldwide is one such resource worth checking out. This powerful code generator allows teams to define APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) using simple JSON format – making collaboration easier than ever before.

  • Acknowledging various groups through specific guidelines shows respect and inclusion.
  • The best practices gathered from diverse organizations will help fine-tune your strategy.
  • Last but definitely not least: don’t forget about those nifty code generators when crafting technical documents.

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The Role of Stakeholders in Developing a Language Guide

Creating a language guide is not an isolated task. It’s similar to throwing a dinner gathering, where each attendee adds their own distinctive taste to the event. And guess who your guests are? They’re your stakeholders.

Stakeholders play a vital role in shaping language guides. But why so? Because they know how they talk about the organization best. Think about it: would you ask someone else to describe your favorite dish at that party better than you?

You see, collaboration with stakeholders helps ensure everyone’s voice gets heard and valued during development stages. Their insights can help craft content that truly reflects organizational culture while promoting understanding across diverse groups.

Involving Different Stakeholders

Different types of stakeholders bring varied perspectives when developing these guidelines for communication. Employees might highlight jargon needing clarity or cultural nuances requiring respect.

Clients or customers could offer invaluable feedback on how they perceive and understand company messages – after all, who knows what resonates with them better than themselves?

Potential investors might suggest industry-specific terminology ensuring the guide remains relevant and impactful within its field.
This collaboration isn’t just beneficial; it’s essential.

Beyond Collaboration – Validation & Testimonials

Apart from contributing ideas, stakeholder validation plays another critical part in this process by reinforcing trustworthiness through testimonials which become valuable assets within the guide itself.
We’ve found out something interesting: organizations often include examples showcasing how different stakeholders talk about them as proof points highlighting their commitment towards inclusive communications. Check this out.

The language guide is like a menu at our dinner party. The more varied and comprehensive the language guide is, the better everyone’s experience will be. Involving stakeholders in its development ensures that every guest finds something to their taste.

Key Takeaway: 

Think of creating a language guide as hosting a dinner party – your stakeholders are the guests bringing their unique flavors. Their insights shape content that mirrors organizational culture and promotes understanding across diverse groups. Employees, clients, potential investors – all bring valuable perspectives to ensure clear communication. Stakeholder validation further adds trustworthiness with testimonials becoming assets within the guide itself.

FAQs in Relation to Language Guide

How to learn a language guide?

To master a language guide, start by studying its elements. Practice regularly and use it in your communication.

How do I make my own language?

Create your own language by defining its grammar rules, vocabulary, syntax structure, and phonetics. Keep practicing for fluency.

What is scientifically the best way to learn a language?

Studies show that immersive learning is the top method. This means living among native speakers or using apps with interactive lessons.

What should you learn first in a new language?

In any new lingo, begin with common phrases and greetings. Then tackle basic grammar rules followed by vocabulary expansion.


Creating a language guide isn’t just about eliminating confusion, it’s also about fostering inclusivity. With these tools, you are now prepared to create a language guide that not only eliminates confusion but also promotes inclusivity.

The importance of inclusive language? You’ve got that down. The impact of identity-first language? Now in your communication toolkit.

You learned how to create an effective and comprehensive guide for your organization. Remember: cater to diverse populations, address bias and promote equity!

The journey doesn’t end here though. Implementing this knowledge into practice is crucial; make sure everyone gets on board! With time, you’ll see improved clarity in communication.

Evaluate regularly, tweak as necessary and always keep learning – because great conversation starts with understanding!


Boosting Nonprofit Growth with Social Media Marketing

Boosting Nonprofit Growth with Social Media Marketing

Boosting Nonprofit Growth with Social Media Marketing

This post is an additional resource to Digital Marketing Therapy podcast episode 219 featuring Amanda Kohal.

Table Of Contents:

The Role of Social Media in Modern Marketing

Using social media to create a connection between businesses and their customers is essential in our digital age. The smart use of these channels forms the backbone of any modern social media marketing strategy.

This involves using social media to boost brand visibility, build donor loyalty, raise money, and increase conversions. A successful social media strategy takes into account factors like audience preferences, competitive analysis, platform selection based on target demographics, along with content creation that aligns with organizational goals.

Gauging Success in Social Media Marketing With Metrics

Accomplishing achievement is not just about accumulating likes or shares; it’s tied in with conveying quantifiable outcomes that supplement your more extensive organizational objectives. ‘Social Media Metrics’, therefore, are vital tools marketers use to evaluate performance across different channels and make data-driven decisions.

Determining success starts by pinpointing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) specific to your organization’s goals. Engagement metrics, including likes, comments, and shares, provide insight into user interaction while reach measures the extent your message spreads across various networks. Click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, alongside website traffic generated from social posts, offer quantifiable proof regarding campaign effectiveness when tied back into overall return on investment (ROI).


Build visibility for your nonprofit with social media marketing. Over 40% of people now start brand searches on social platforms, not Google. Harness this power to boost visibility and growth. #NonprofitMarketing #SocialMediaStrategy

Boosting Your Brand: TikTok and Instagram for Audience Growth

Given the challenging landscape of low organic reach on most social media platforms, it’s clear that marketers need to think outside the box. The solution? Harnessing the power of TikTok and Instagram together to grow your audience and increase conversions.

Dive into Video Content Creation

TikTok marketing is soaring, largely due to its focus on video content. It’s no secret – engaging videos captivate audiences like nothing else can. But how do you make a splash in this dynamic pond?

The first step involves understanding your audience inside out – their interests, challenges, and aspirations should guide your creative process. Next comes personal connection; weave elements that resonate with viewers personally into your narrative.

Achieving success means embracing trends while staying true to your brand’s voice and message—a delicate balancing act indeed. This approach not only increases brand awareness but also establishes an emotional bond with consumers which goes beyond mere transactional relationships.

Cultivating Community Engagement through Authenticity

Fostering community engagement plays a pivotal role in any successful branding strategy—especially when it comes to social media platforms like TikTok or Instagram where authentic content tends to draw more interaction than purely promotional posts alone.

  1. To spark genuine conversations around your brand, consider sharing behind-the-scenes footage or user-generated content (UGC). Offering such transparency helps strengthen trust between you and consumers by giving them insights into how you operate as a business.
  2. An interactive live Q&A session provides another avenue for authenticity—it allows direct customer interactions fostering relationships based on openness leading towards long-term loyalty from followers who feel valued by these exchanges. It also goes a long way in building trust.
  3. Last but certainly not least—consistency matters. Whether daily updates or weekly features, keep fans informed about the latest developments within the company, ensuring continued interest and involvement from audience members alike.

Key Takeaway: 

Don’t just watch from the sidelines on TikTok and Instagram. Jump in and start creating videos that align with what your audience loves and dreams about. Build a real connection by being genuine – show them what goes on behind the scenes, have live Q&A sessions, or showcase content made by users themselves. Remember to stay consistent – keep your fans updated about all things related to your company.

Unleashing the Power of Instagram Stories and the InstaSite™ Method

You may assume Instagram is merely a place to post pics. But did you know it can be utilized to foster connections with your target market? Or that it can help convert followers into advocates for your brand?

Let’s take a closer look at these capabilities, specifically focusing on Instagram Stories and Amanda Kohal’s unique approach called the InstaSite™ method.

Drawing Connections Through Instagram Stories

A story told well has power – it draws people in, holds their attention, and builds bonds. This concept applies even in the digital realm of social media where fleeting moments are shared through images or short videos. Enter: Instagram Stories.

This feature allows users to share snippets of their day-to-day lives which disappear after 24 hours, creating an urgency that drives engagement. It encourages interaction between brands and followers, leading not only to increased visibility but also stronger connections. Instagram stories are also an easy way for people to engage with you to help you start one-on-one conversations.

The Innovative Approach: InstaSite™ Method

Moving beyond stories, let’s turn our focus towards another strategic maneuver businesses can adopt – The InstaSite™ method. Developed by Amanda Kohal, this technique offers something new – imagine turning your static profile grid into a dynamic website-like experience.

This strategy involves careful planning around what each row on your grid should represent about your business, such as product categories or service types. Then, designing individual posts accordingly provides clear navigation, similar to browsing different pages on a website without leaving the app itself.

Tips To Maximize Visibility Using The InstaSite™ Method

  • Create Consistent Branding: Uniformity matters. Use consistent colors and fonts across all posts for seamless visual appeal.
  • Craft Clear Messaging: Each post should have a purpose, whether introducing new products/services or promoting ongoing offers.
  • Leverage Calls-to-Action (CTAs): Compelling CTAs encourage users to take desired actions, like visiting the link in bio, etc.

Key Takeaway: 

Don’t underestimate the power of Instagram for your brand. With Instagram Stories, you can capture attention and build relationships through fleeting moments. And with Amanda Kohal’s InstaSite method, transform your profile into a dynamic website-like experience. Craft clear messages, maintain consistent branding, and use compelling CTAs to maximize visibility.

Here are some examples of InstaSites™ in Action


Authentic Gazzy Instagram Feed grid

Still have questions about Social Media Marketing? Check out these FAQs.

What do you do as a social media marketer?

A social media marketer crafts and implements strategies to promote a brand on various platforms, driving engagement, building communities, and boosting conversions.

What are the 5 ways of social media marketing?

The five key methods include content creation, community management, influencer collaborations, paid advertising campaigns, and data analysis for strategy refinement.

Is social media marketing easy?

Social media marketing requires skillful planning and execution. While it may seem straightforward initially, understanding algorithms, audience behavior patterns, and emerging trends can be challenging.

How to do social media marketing for beginners?

Newbies should start by learning about different platforms’ nuances. Then they should focus on creating engaging content that resonates with their target audience while analyzing metrics to continually refine their approach.


Unleashing the power of social media marketing can revolutionize the growth of your nonprofit organization. You have already learned about the crucial role it plays in modern business strategies and how it is reshaping the landscape of digital marketing. In addition, we have explored the metrics that truly matter in measuring the success of your social media campaigns.

TikTok and Instagram have emerged as powerful platforms for audience growth. Embracing video content on these channels is key to effectively engaging your community. Don’t underestimate the magic of Instagram Stories, as well as Amanda Kohal’s InstaSite method. Both of these tools can significantly boost your visibility while fostering strong relationships with your followers, who can become passionate advocates for your cause.

If all of this sounds exciting but overwhelming, don’t worry! We are here to help you navigate the world of social media marketing for nonprofits.

H & E Marketing Solutions provides one-on-one consulting. Through our sister company, The First Click, we create educational content through the Digital Marketing Therapy podcast, where we delve deeper into topics like social media , content, and email marketing. Join us to continue learning and growing together!

12 Ways to Write Better Social Media Posts

12 Ways to Write Better Social Media Posts

12 Ways to Write Better Social Media Posts

Connecting with your audience on social media starts with writing posts that are engaging and connect. They also encourage engagement and interaction. This blog post gives you tips and ways to think about the posts you create.

1. Know Your Voice and Tone Establishing a consistent voice and tone is like defining your nonprofit’s personality. Are you formal or friendly? Serious or lighthearted? Your choice will depend on your target audience and the nature of your cause. A conversational and approachable tone often works well for nonprofits seeking to build genuine relationships. Social media isn’t a super formal place. If you want people to feel comfortable engaging then ensure your tone is conversational.

2. Craft Compelling Headlines In the fast-scrolling world of social media, your headlines must grab attention instantly. Craft headlines that are concise, intriguing, and relevant to your content. Consider using action words, posing questions, or teasing a benefit to entice readers to click through. If you have a longer post, remember that the first sentence is what you’ll see when you’re scrolling. That initial sentence will be what encourages people to read more or click to expand your post.

3. Embrace Visual Storytelling Pair your written content with eye-catching visuals. A powerful image or video can convey emotions, tell a story, and stop users mid-scroll. Whether it’s an impactful photo from your latest project or a short video showcasing your team’s dedication, visuals enhance the effectiveness of your message. Personal photos are best, but if you can’t, stock photos are just fine.

4. Keep It Concise Brevity is key on social media platforms where character limits often apply. Get to the heart of your message quickly. If your content requires more explanation, consider writing a blog post, article, or landing page for interested users to explore further. People will read longer posts if the content is good and it’s formatted well. Posts should be as long as they need to be to get the point across, concisely!

5. Tell Stories that Connect Stories have an incredible ability to resonate with people. Share anecdotes about the individuals your nonprofit has helped or the challenges you’ve overcome. Personal narratives foster empathy and make your cause relatable. People remember stories about the individuals you serve vs the community at large or stats. 

6. Inspire Action Every piece of content should have a clear call to action (CTA). Whether it’s donating, signing a petition, attending an event, or sharing your post, guide your audience on what to do next. Use action-oriented language to encourage engagement. Make it super easy for them to know what to do.

7. Utilize User-Generated Content Encourage your supporters to create content related to your cause. Sharing user-generated content not only showcases your community but also boosts engagement and authenticity. Reposting a supporter’s testimonial or photo can be incredibly impactful.

8. Educate and Inform Use your social media platform as an educational hub. Share informative posts, statistics, and insights related to your cause. Becoming a reliable source of information positions your nonprofit as an authority in your field.

9. Infuse Positivity and Hope Amidst the noise of social media, positivity stands out. Share stories of success, progress, and positive change. By doing so, you create a sense of hope and optimism that resonates with your audience.

10. A/B Testing and Adaptation Experiment with different content formats, styles, and posting times. Use A/B testing to compare the performance of different approaches. Regularly review your analytics to understand what content resonates the most and adapt your strategy accordingly.

11. Emojis and Hashtags Strategically incorporate emojis and hashtags to enhance your content’s visibility and emotional appeal. Emojis can add a touch of personality, while relevant hashtags make your posts discoverable by a broader audience.

12. Stay Authentic and Transparent Authenticity builds trust. Be transparent about your nonprofit’s goals, challenges, and progress. Share behind-the-scenes glimpses to humanize your organization and showcase the real faces behind your work.

In a world where attention spans are short and competition for engagement is fierce, the ability to create compelling social media content is a game-changer for small to medium-sized nonprofits. By mastering the art of concise yet impactful writing, these organizations can effectively share their mission, build a dedicated community, and drive meaningful change.

6 Ways You Can Turn Social Media Engagements Into Conversations

6 Ways You Can Turn Social Media Engagements Into Conversations

6 Ways You Can Turn Social Media Engagements Into Conversations

Being social on social media is the name of the game. It is a great place to come together, have conversations, learn about new things, and build relationships. In order to do that, you need to engage and contribute to the conversation. Have you heard the term, “post and ghost”? It refers to posting something on social mediaand then being frustrated when people don’t take immediate action. Action on social media could be a like or a comment, or if you’re really lucky, a direct message. To make the most of these interactions it’s up to you to engage and guide the conversation. This post will give you ideas for how to take the conversations to the next level and truly be social on social media.

What to do with “reactions” on social media.

Reactions on social media include likes, loves, laughter, etc. They are the easiest way for people to share that they are interested in the post, like your organization or care about what you’re talking about. They are the easiest actions for someone to take, as easy as double tapping on your phone. Even though the engagement is easy that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow up with people that engage.

It’s important that you take into consideration the personal relationships you have with people so that the interaction is authentic. For example, you wouldn’t want to blanket message everyone that likes your post the same thing. Each person might have a different type of relationship with you so your follow up should be unique as well. You’ll also want to consider the type of post. Is it sharing general information? Are you asking for feedback? Is it promotional in nature? Are you looking for something specific? This will guide the way you follow up.

From here you take it to the direct messages. Taking into consideration the elements above, craft a direct message that makes sense for the post and the relationship with the person. Here’s an example.

Let’s say the post has an adorable photo of an adoptable pet and says:

Did you know that approximately 85 million families are pet owners? Are you part of that group?

If so, let’s see those photos 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼
If not, let’s chat! Our team is here to help you find the right fit for your household and lifestyle.

We currently have 20 pets looking for loving homes, each with their own personalities, ready to bring joy to the right home.

Now you’ll probably get a lot of reactions because, let’s face it, people love cute animal photos. Your DMs could look something like:

Hey Jamie,

Thank you for liking our post! Do you have furbabies in your household?



Hey Jamie,

So glad you liked the content in our pet adoption post. Have you ever adopted a pet before?



Hey Jamie,

Can you believe how many families have adopted pets! Do you have any questions about pet adoption?


Couple of things to take note of. Make sure they’re signed by someone in your organization. The messages are short and not pitchy. They haven’t take a specific action or left you any information about what their level of interest is. The goal is to get them into a conversation where you can learn more about them, not to get them to adopt a pet right away.

Turning comments into conversations

Comments are fantastic. It means that someone has enjoyed the content enough to take that extra step to leave you a comment. Yes, some of them are spam, or negative, or don’t really make sense, but that doesn’t mean you don’t respond and engage in a way that makes sense. There are a couple of reasons for this.

  1. It helps with the algorithim. Social media platforms love content with lots of comments. It signals to them that people really enjoy the content you’re sharing, and will share it with more people. The more you respond, and the more back and forth, the more it signals that this is content people care about.
  2. It’s always a learning experience. Commenting and responding gives you an opportunity to furthur educate. Don’t take things personally or get frustrated with peoples comments. Even a negative comment is an opportunity.

The easiest way to start conversations in this case is responding to comments! While that may seem obvious, many organizations forget to do this. Some comments are easier to respond to than others. Let’s go back to the example above.

If someone posts a photo of their cute furbaby that’s an easy response. You can comment on their pet, ask the name, breed, about their personality, where they got them, etc. The harder comments are things like, “yes,” or “cute.” These are still opportunities for conversation. Ask them questions about the types of pets they like, how many they have in their home, etc. It’s on you to drive the conversation. Don’t just like their comment and move on.

You never know when a conversation can turn into something bigger!

 At some point you might feel like the conversation would be better to go into direct messages or email. At that point, ask them if you can send them a DM with additional information. You never want to ask for their email or phone number in the comments. Use your best judgement on when the timing is right to take it into a DM.

Going straight to the DMs.

DMs are a tricky thing. They are quickly abused and while they are a great way to connect, you still have to build trust. The best is when the DMs come to you, but still there is a bit of editing. Remember to be authentic and real. DMs are a great place to share links to additional resources, share contact information and build a connection. The goal is always to get people out of the DMs and into other avenues like your email list, email in general, phone calls, etc.

Resist the urge to make an ask in the DMs unless they initiate that conversation.

DMs are a great way to connect with people. Also, it’s about meeting people where they’re at. Some prefer to connect on social media. Ask them how they prefer to stay connected with you. Meeting them where they’re at helps you get more out of the conversation because it’s where they feel comfortable.

Managing your time.

This might feel overwhelming with regards to managing your time. Just because you want to stay on top of comments and messages it doesn’t mean you have to be on social media all the time. Set two times on your calendar each day to respond and get back to people. Blocking off 15-20 minutes each time should be more than enough to go through your social platforms and respond. When you stick to a regular schedule, things don’t get out of control and you can get through things more quickly.


Don’t let the hard work you put into creating your social media content go to waste but not maximizing on the engagement they’re giving. Each engagement is an opportunity to talk with new people and stay connected to your regulars. 

Instagram Stories 101 | How NonProfits Can Leverage Stories for More Engagement

Instagram Stories 101 | How NonProfits Can Leverage Stories for More Engagement

Instagram Stories 101 | How NonProfits Can Leverage Stories for More Engagement

Being on social media is somewhat of a love hate situation. You know you need to be there but it takes a lot of time and effort for seemingly little results. Part of being on social media is playing to the strengths of the individual platform and not blanket posting the same thing everywhere. There are two reasons for this! 1) By utilizing the platform the way it’s intended you’ll get better reach. 2) You’ll be engaging with your audience in the way they want to use the platform, making deeper connections.

This post focuses mostly on Instagram, specifically Instagram stories. This is how most people engage with the platform and a great way show you personality and impact.

Why You Should Care About Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories is a feature that allows users to share photos, videos, and other content that disappears after 24 hours. Despite their fleeting nature, Stories are a powerful tool for nonprofits. Here’s why:

  1. Real-time Engagement: Viewers know they go away in 24 hours so they are more likely to engage immediately. It’s also great for people to feel like they’re following along with things you’re doing in real-time. You can share timely updates, event highlights, and behind-the-scenes glimpses in a way that feels authentic and in-the-moment.
  2. Interactive Features: There is a direct way you can encourage engagement on your Stories such as donations, polls, Q&A stickers, and quizzes. These features provide a unique opportunity to gather feedback, answer questions, and involve your audience in decision-making. The best thing is they automatically lead conversations into your DMs.
  3. Adding links: It’s easier than ever to link posts to your website. Post links on your stories to blog posts, donation pages, etc. Keep it in alignment with the goal of the post so when people click through they see relevant content.

Strategies for Nonprofits to Make the Most of Instagram Stories:

Create content categories for your stories just like you would for posts in your news feed or other social platforms. That way you can ensure you have regular content you can share mixed in with real-time content. Don’t feel like your stories must be posted in real-time. Some content might need to be but most can be planned out.

  1. Behind-the-Scenes Sneak Peeks: Show the human side of your nonprofit by sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses of your team in action, event setup, or day-in-the-life of your work. This gives your audience a sense of involvement and connection. These can be recorded in advance and shared as needed.
  2. Story Highlights: Don’t let your amazing Stories disappear after 24 hours. Use Story Highlights to curate and categorize your best content so that new followers can catch up on your nonprofit’s journey. Some examples might be; impact stories, event highlights, testimonials.
  3. Event Coverage: Whether it’s a fundraising gala, a volunteer event, or a community workshop, use Stories to provide real-time coverage. Show your followers what’s happening and how their support is making a difference. Think about this from beginning to end. Picking up silent auction items, thanking sponsors, table design ideas, these are ways you can shout out people that are involved and also have people engage with event and generate buzz.
  4. Educational Snippets: Break down complex issues related to your nonprofit’s mission into bite-sized, informative Stories. Use graphics, animations, or short videos to simplify concepts and raise awareness. People aren’t as involved in the work you do as you are. Get back to basics and keep it simple.
  5. Volunteer and Beneficiary Spotlights: Feature the people who make your nonprofit’s work possible. Share stories of dedicated volunteers, success stories of beneficiaries, and the impact your organization has had on their lives. Even better, pull them into the videos with you. Do quick Q&As that you can use multiple times.
  6. Announcements and Updates: Use Stories to share important announcements, upcoming events, and milestones. The urgency of the 24-hour timeframe can encourage followers to take action quickly. These could be exciting grant announcements, enrollment into your services, tickets sales, have fun with it.

Stories can be a combination of direct-to-camera conversations, pre-recorded videos with voice overs, or graphic elements. Create them specifically in Instagram so you can add the stickers and other elements to increase engagement.

Driving Website Traffic through Instagram Stories:

Getting people to your website is a great way to grab more of their attention. They will be able to dive deeper with your organization instead of getting lost in the next person’s Story. Again, it’s important that any links you add are related to the content you’re sharing. There are several ways you can drive people to your website.

  1. Add the Link sticker: This is the most obvious way. You can add the sticker and choose the URL and the text displayed.
  2. Ask a Question: Adding this sticker to your Story can allow you to engage with viewers. You’ll be able to see the answers and can follow up with them directly in your DMs. If you ask questions relevant to your blog post or long form copy you can easily follow up on their response as well as DM the link to learn more
  3. Track Performance: Instagram Insights lets you track the performance of your Stories. Monitor the number, link clicks, and overall engagement to refine your strategy.


Instagram Stories offer a dynamic and engaging way for nonprofits to connect with their audience and direct them to their website. By leveraging real-time engagement, interactive features, and links, nonprofits can share their mission, stories, and impact in a way that resonates with their supporters. So, start crafting compelling Stories and watch as your nonprofit’s online presence flourishes!

    Which Social Media Platform(s) Are Right For Your Organization

    Which Social Media Platform(s) Are Right For Your Organization

    Which Social Media Platform(s) Are Right For Your Organization

    In today’s digital age, social media has emerged as a powerful tool for nonprofit organizations to connect with their audience, raise awareness about their causes, and inspire action. However, with an abundance of social media platforms available, it can be overwhelming for nonprofits to determine where to focus their time and resources for the most significant impact.

    Being on social media is an important part of a digital strategy, but not THE only important part. And a big part of success on social media is consistency. So a big disclaimer before we get into the things to consider when it comes to showing up on social. Start with one and do it excellently. Once you feel good about that platform, add on another. This blog post is by no means meant for you to automatically start adding in platforms that fit the criteria.

    Define your goals

    As with all things, understand what you’re trying to accomplish with social media. Is it raising awareness, getting more donors, finding volunteers, etc? It will likely be a combination of different things. Ensure that the goals you set for social media are helping you work towards bigger picture organizational goals.

    For example, let’s say one of your goals is increasing your donor retention rate! In that case, a goal for social media might be tailored around getting donors to follow you on social media and/or reshares of your posts by your followers.

    Or, maybe you’re trying to build more brand awareness. In that case you might have KPIs around comments on posts or direct messages.

    Goals on social media can be very different depending on what the end result you’re looking for is. Without these goals, though, you’ll spend way too much time on a social media strategy that isn’t supporting your business.

    Know your target audience

    Different platforms definitely cater to a different demographic. Understanding who you’re targeting will help you prioritize the platforms you’re on and the types of content you’re creating.

    If you are looking to reach Gen Z and Millennials, then TikTok and Instagram are the place to be. Older Millennials and Gen X are more active on Facebook. Are you trying to target businesses? Then maybe a focus on LinkedIn is a bigger priority. Moms or women 25 – 50, might want to look into Pinterest.

    Go back to your goals and figure out what the biggest priority audience is to help you reach those goals. Start with the platform that is best suited to hit that demographic. It’s not about where YOU feel most comfortable, or the loudest board member, or volunteer. Stick to the data of who is using what platform and take the personal opinions out of it.

    Create platform specific content

    If you remember in the beginning, I mentioned starting with one platform that you can do well before adding in more. This next piece is why!

    Yes, of course, you can repurpose content on multiple platforms. We do this all the time. However, different platforms prioritize different things.

    If you aren’t creating short form video then there is no reason to be on TikTok. If you don’t have blog or video content to send people to, then Pinterest isn’t going to do you any good. You get what it, right!

    Get really clear about the platform you’re going to be posting on and ensure that what you’ll be posting will connect with your audience that’s there.

    Other things to consider are the captions you create. You might use hashtags on some but not on others. On some platforms you might have a more formal approach and others more causal. Even when it comes to repurpsoing, consider the audience there when writing your caption.

    Do some research

    Research what other organizations are doing on social media. Take a look at the types of posts that are getting them the most engagement. This is to copy them but instead to get ideas about how successful posts are being created so you can make it your own.

    There are several types of organizations to research.

    – those in your area of services.
    – those that are outside your geographical area but serve a similar community.
    – those that are of similar size to your organization.
    – those that are in similar poplation areas like you are.

    You can learn a lot by what people are already doing to help you make decisions about where you choose to participate.

    Follow the data

    If you’re already on some social media platforms, figure out which ones are giving you the most engagement. Double down there and see what kind of impact you can create instead of spreading yourself too thin.

    Then, double down on the exact types of posts that people are really enjoying. We can have all the ideas in our head, but the market will tell you what they want.

    If you’re just getting started with social media, give it time. It’s a long term play but you won’t know what types of decisions to make if you don’t get started.

    Review you analytics ever 30 days to see how things are trending. If you’re tracking towards specific goals then the data will clearly guide you in the decisions you make.


    At the end of the day, it all starts with meeting your audience where they are. This is going to help you reach more of the right people and engage with them where they’re most comfortable. Social media is meant to help you start conversations. So get out there, start chatting and sharing content that people want to engage with.


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