Marketing for NPO’s Made Easy: Planning it Out

By now you should know why your nonprofit organization should use social media (you can reach stakeholders worldwide and it’s a great way to increase donations). So, you are probably asking yourself, what now? Now you begin the process of marketing yourself on social media sites! I know this seems like it should be an easy step because many of us are digital natives but, in fact, marketing your NPO requires several important steps that we normally do not think to do when using social media.

The first step in marketing that organizations usually forget when using social media is to PLAN. Planning out your campaign is extraordinarily important. JD Lasica in his article “The 7 elements of a Strategic Social Media Plan“, on SocialBrite, actually compares NPO campaigns that are not strategically planned as just putting out a bunch of fires repeatedly.

The good news is that planning for social media marketing includes just seven steps which will give your NPO a successful campaign! Authors of the textbook, Social Media Marketing, Tracy L. Tuten and Michael R. Solomon give an in depth explanation of strategic planning for social media marketing, but here I will just reiterate the main points in the planning process they discuss:

  1. Conduct a situation analysis and identify key opportunities
  2. State objective (S.M.A.R.T goals)
  3. Gather insight into and target one or more segments of social consumers
  4. Select the social media channels and vehicles
  5. Create an experience strategy
  6. Establish an activation plan using other promotional tools (if needed)
  7. Manage and measure the campaign. (Tuten & Solomon, 2013).


Important side note: During the part of your planning when you pick what social media platform to use (this is step 4 if you are going by the list above), you should consider, according to Jennifer Gmerek, a content marketing specialist, and Steph Drahozal, a social marketing maven, these platforms as your top choices:

Be sure to check out their site to get more detailed information about why these platforms work for nonprofits, so you can make an educated decision when you decide what sites to use!

Lastly, if you need some inspiration to get your planning started check out Nonprofit Tech for Good’s list of the Top 11 NPO’s who excel at social media! Checking this out will show you what the end product of a well thought out campaign looks like and hopefully guide you and your NPO towards success as well!



Drahozal, Steph., & Gmerek, Jennifer. (2014, July 3). Best Social Media Platforms for Nonprofits to Explore. Retrieved from:

Lasica, JD. (2012, February 15). The 7 elements of a Strategic Social Media Plan. Retrieved from:

Tuten, Tracy L., & Solomon, Michael R. (2013). Social Media Marketing. Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

(2012, July 30). 11 Nonprofits That Excel at Social Media. Nonprofit Tech for Good. Retrieved from:

Allison Robert


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