If you’re like most nonprofit leaders, you pour your heart and soul into your work. After all, you have a front row seat to see the impact you have on people’s lives, so it’s easy to understand why so many nonprofit leaders are emotionally invested in everything they do at work, including social media.
While this emotional investment can motivate you to do wonderful things and care deeply for your mission, it can also lead to that sucker-punch feeling when it comes to poor social media performance.
How many times have you spent an hour creating the “perfect” Facebook or Instagram post and you eagerly check back a few hours later, only to see one or two likes? Or how badly does it feel when someone “unfollows” your nonprofit’s page?
The letdown makes your heart sink a little, doesn’t it? It’s hard to keep going and invest time when it feels like social media is one big killjoy.
Remember, Your Impact is Greater Than Your “Likes”
Your impact on the lives of others is so much bigger and more important than how many “likes” you get on a social media post or how many followers you have. What matters infinitely more, is the number of people you’re helping.
Facebook and Instagram “likes” and followers don’t tell the whole story. Sure, it’s a nice self-esteem boost to have them and they can help your posts be seen by a wider audience, but sometimes nonprofits have to post about sensitive topics.
If someone “likes” a post on Facebook or Instagram, their reaction is public. When they hit that little thumbs up or tap that heart button to “like” a post, the whole world can see it.
Think about it - if your organization has to do with anything medical or health-related, you can expect that not everyone is going to be “liking” your posts. Medical situations are sensitive, and frankly, not everyone wants the world to know that they need to see a doctor, or visit a free clinic. Don’t get discouraged if the “likes” aren’t pouring in on your posts about sensitive topics.
If your organization has anything to do with helping people in need, like a food bank or a recycled clothing store, you might not get a lot of “likes” from the people that need your services because again, by “liking” your post, they might feel like they are making themselves vulnerable, and nobody likes to feel that way. They might not “like” your post, but they still might seek out your service.
Remember, you’re not trying to become famous on Instagram or Facebook, you’re trying to get people through your door. Those are two different goals with two different outcomes – one is followers, one is changing lives.
Instead of measuring your success in “likes” and followers, pay attention to how many people are coming to you for help.
Here are two free templates for information and intake sheets you can use at your nonprofit to help you keep track of how many people you serve.
Remember your mission and stay consistent with posting once or twice a week. Have confidence in the real life results you’re producing, and don’t let the number “likes” or followers shake that.
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