50 ways to use social media for your non-profit event

Posted by: Scott Tuesday 31st January 2012
Categories: Latest News, Social Media

Need some help getting started with social media? Or perhaps your non-profit has been using social media for so long that you’re struggling to come up with new ideas?

We’ve compiled a list of 50 ways your non-profit can use social media for your next event. Take a look through the list and let us know what you would add.

1. Create a LinkedIn or Facebook group

Give your attendees a place to congregate online. With a dedicated place to discuss your cause, your event and related topics, your audience will have more reason to revisit your page and share it with friends.

2. Create a Facebook event

A Facebook Event provides an easy way for your audience to discuss your event with others and share it with their friends. By bringing your event to their natural sharing environment, you will make this process easier, and thus increase your audience.

3. Create a Twitter list

Create a Twitter list of your guest speakers or high-profile attendees. This will make it easy for you and the rest of your audience to follow updates before and during your event.

Twitter List

4. Create a Twitter hashtag

To help other users follow discussions about your event, create an official Twitter hashtag and promote its use early.

5. Add your event to Upcoming

Upcoming is an events guide that allows users to search events by category and find popular local events to attend.

6. Add your event to Lanyrd

If you are holding a conference, add your event to online conference directory, Lanyrd. Before, during and after your event, Lanyrd is a useful tool to bring attendees together and help them get the most out of your conference.


7. Test your ideas

Using your social media community as a collective sounding board, you can get early feedback on ideas for your event, including locations, themes, guest speakers and fundraising ideas.

8. Find the info you need

Put your social media community to work by tapping into this collective knowledge-base when you’re looking for information. The great thing about social media is it makes sharing so easy, so even if no-one in your immediate circle can help, they can surely pass along your request to people they know.

9. Find people to help

Your extended network online can be helpful if you are looking for people to help plan your event. Whether you’re after specific skills and experience or just general volunteers, reaching out through social networks will give you a multiplied word-of-mouth approach.

10. Ask for advice when problem-solving

If you have cultivated a community of people who work in similar fields to you, this will be a good resource for help with solving problems. No doubt many people you know will have come across the same issues before, and have some helpful ideas about how to get around them.

11. Notify attendees of last-minute changes

When you come across the inevitable curve-balls that force you to change your event plans at the last minute, social networks like Twitter and Facebook will be handy resources to help you notify attendees.

Cancelled events on Twitter

12. Provide tips about getting there

If your event attracts attendees from far-and-wide, they will surely appreciate any extra effort to make their experience as smooth as possible. Providing maps, directions and tips about getting to the event will help you as well, by making it less likely that you will have people coming in late or getting lost.

13. Get inspiration and ideas

Browsing blogs, forums, networking groups and social networks is an easy way to get inspiration for your next event. Pinterest is a popular visual bookmarking network that is useful for design and decorative inspiration.

14. Prepare your audience

A quick update on Twitter or Facebook is useful for preparing your attendees for last minute weather changes. If they need to slip, slop, slap or bring an umbrella just in case, this is a good way of getting the information out there quickly.

15. Integrate your traditional and social media marketing

Integrate your traditional marketing materials with your social media profiles by adding your website URL, Facebook Page URL or Twitter handle. Using a QR code, you can also link directly to one these links for anyone who scans the code.

QR code event flyerImage credit: QReate & Track

16. Find your target market

Use social media tools like Twitter search, Facebook and LinkedIn groups, Socialmention and blogging communities to find out where your target market spends their time online.

17. Share the planning process

As you plan and organise your event during the lead-up, give your social media community insight by sharing images, videos and blog posts with updates on the process. Giving your audience an idea of what you’re working on will whet their appetite as they anticipate the event.

18. Monitor mentions of your organisation or event

Set up Google Alerts for free using your organisation’s name and the name of your event. You can also use these alerts to monitor related keywords.

Google Alerts

19. Find opportunities to connect

Connect with bloggers in your field to find opportunities to share your content, and guest-bloggers to feature on your own blog. You may also find community blogs related to your organisation where you can post content on a regular basis.

20. Join in conversations

Join in online conversations to offer your insights from within the organisation and add context to the discussion. You may be surprised to learn what people are saying about your event, and how you can help.

21. Generate new discussions

Ask questions and target users interested in your field to generate conversations online. Focus on topics about your field in general, to include as many people as you can.

22. Respond to questions & concerns

Setting up a hashtag for anyone with questions is an easy way to keep on top of these. Using your hashtag, you could also organise a regular time to be online and respond to user questions and concerns in real-time.

23. Find negative sentiment & turn it around

Keeping on top of the conversations about your event will give you the best chance for responding to negative comments quickly. Do what you can to turn negative feedback around by fixing the problem, apologizing, and keeping the conversation public so others in your community can see your proactive efforts.

24. Highlight positive feedback

Highlighting positive audience responses in the lead-up to your event will give you leverage to sell more tickets. You may want to use this feedback during your event to highlight your active community members and thank them for their contributions.

25. Encourage user-generated content

Using networks like Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr or Facebook, attendees can upload photos and videos taken during your event and tag your accounts. This will give you an opportunity to share user-generated content with your wider community online.

World Scout Events on Flickr

26. Bring people together to form a community

Use your influence on social networks to connect people who are interested in your cause. Bringing them together will not only further develop their engagement with your organisation, but help to create new relationships within your wider network.

27. Keep attendees updated

As you add new features, guest speakers or highlights to your event line-up, use social media to keep your audience updated. If you announce key news on your blog on a regular basis, this will ensure those who are looking forward to attending or considering purchasing tickets will continue to come back for updates.

28. Engage your audience with games

Twitter hashtag games are a fun and popular way to engage with your online audience. Using a short, snappy hashtag and a theme that’s related to your event or your organisation’s general field, create a game based around silly puns, creative wordplay or fun trivia questions.

29. Set up promotions and giveaways

Set up a giveaway or a competition on Facebook, Twitter or your blog. To encourage engagement, ask your follows to retweet something or share it on Facebook for a chance to win.

30. Share memorable quotes

As your event takes place, collect the best quotes used by guest speakers, members of your organisation or attendees. Share these with your followers online, or hang on to them to enhance your follow-up blog post or video.

31. Run a live blog

Using a platform like Cover It Live, set-up a live blog on your website to keep your online audience involved as your event unfolds. Add information like memorable quotes, audience reactions and topics covered.

32. Live stream your event

If your event is highly visual, set up an account with Ustream or LiveStream to run a live video stream for your audience at home. These sites also let you save the video to watch again later.


33. Engage with audience members who can’t attend

If you are using a Twitter hashtag, Facebook page or LinkedIn group to collate conversations and engagement, keep monitoring this during your event to engage with those who can’t attend. Answering questions, providing updates and posting highlights as the event takes place will keep these people involved.

34. Find relevant content to share

Pinterest and Flickr are perfect for finding photos of related events and causes. YouTube and Vimeo both highlight popular video content, and Google Alerts or Google Reader will help you stay on top of news and relevant blog posts.

35. Highlight leaders in your field

When you find other users online who are providing relevant content to your audience, give them a shout out and say thanks. This will add to your network, as well as peripherally promoting your organisation and event.

36. Get ideas for new content

Collecting and sharing great content you find online is a perfect way to inspire new ideas about content you can create to promote your event. Take note of the content that works best with your audience.

37. Find out what others are doing

Track your competitors to see what strategies are working for them, and how they are building their audience online. Although not every strategy they use will work for you, it will give you ideas about new ways of developing content and increasing your network.

Pinterest event lighting ideas

38. Start a blog

A blog is a dedicated environment for you to communicate with your audience. This space can be used to update attendees on the progress of your event planning, sharing highlights from previous events held by your organisation and sharing the motivation behind the creation of the event.

39. Create a photo blog

For the more visually-geared events, a photo blog might be a better option. Using images allows your audience members to quickly get a feel for your organisation and your cause.

40. Create slide presentations

Using a service like SlideShare, you can create a slide presentation to use during your event, which can also be shared online before and after the event. Not only is this an easy way for attendees to revisit topics covered in your event, but it allows other users to share and view your presentation online as well.


41. Record and share videos

Use a video-sharing site like YouTube or Vimeo to upload and share videos of your event. Edit clips together to create a highlights reel that runs for more than a minute for the best traction.

42. Share audio files

Record interviews or speeches and share the audio files with a service like Soundcloud or Broadcastr, which lets you tag audio uploads with your location.

42. Record podcasts

Interview regular donors, celebrity attendees, speakers and people within your organisation to create a series of podcasts leading up to your event. Provide interesting teasers about what the event will involve as well as interesting discussions on related topics of interest.

43. Create a photo album

Create a photo album on Facebook, Google+ or Flickr to collect images of guest speakers, celebrities, attendees and representatives from your organisation during the event, as well as some ‘behind-the-scenes’ photos as you get set-up.

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference photo albums

44. Send email newsletters

Send regular updates to your email subscribers including news about your organisation and its activities, as well as reminders about your event. Add some dynamic content to your newsletter to spice things up, as well – photos, videos and links to relevant content online will make for a more engaging read.

45. Create a QR code

Use a service like Kaywa or QR Codes Australia to create a QR code linking to your event website or tickets page. Print this onto your traditional marketing materials as well as using it on your website.

46. Check-in with geolocation

Use a service like Foursquare or Facebook Places to check-in to your event and encourage attendees to do the same. Offer a reward for checking-in, or leave tips about the venue or the surrounding area.

47. Follow-up

Reach out through your social networks and email list to follow-up with attendees after your event. Catch up on any questions or concerns you haven’t responded to yet, and provide some feedback about the success of the event and whether you met your fundraising or awareness goals.

48. Re-live the event

Use Storify to create a timeline of all the online content surrounding your event. Pull in related tweets, Facebook updates, photos and videos to create a dynamic overview of your event as it unfolded.


49. Thank attendees

Send personal thanks to those attendees who participated in your event through social media by providing feedback or spreading the word. If you are short on time, a general thank you will remind your audience that you appreciate their efforts.

50. Get feedback

Use an online survey or poll, or simply ask your online audience to share their feedback after your event. If you use a Twitter hashtag or Facebook group, this will help you collect feedback into one space.

Got something to add? Leave a comment below and let us know how your non-profit uses social media for events. Can we get the list up to 100 ideas?

Did you like this post?

Share your thoughts with us by making a comment below. You can also follow us on Twitter or via our RSS Feed.

3 Responses to “50 ways to use social media for your non-profit event”

  1. Steve Tolin Says:

    like your list…thanks for signing up for our following @desertcharities

    do you follow BizBash?


  2. Mayank Says:

    A very comprehensive list..a great guide for businesses!

  3. max Says:

    you missed a new one: http://www.youmpa.com
    Started in Milan one month ago, it’s a social network for geolocalized events. only italian language, but soon we’ll translate it in english. Thanks!

Leave a Reply