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Rethink, reuse, and repurpose: How to create more social media content with less work

A woman looking at her smart phone.

Creating a consistent supply of social media content for a nonprofit is hard. Unless you work for an animal shelter with cute puppies or a museum with extensive collections you can photograph as needed, it can be a challenge.  

At Candid, we don’t have cute animals, we don’t have historical collections, and we can’t even capture the work that we do because it’s primarily digital. Despite that, we’ve found ways to come up with a lot of content that is engaging, and sometimes even entertaining.  

At the Nonprofit Marketing Summit earlier this month, I shared how we do this—from how we rethought why we are on social media and our process for repurposing content (without getting too repetitive). Here are some of the highlights:  

1. Rethink why your organization is on social media

It’s likely that your audience logs on to social media expecting to be entertained, educated, or informed. According to Hootsuite, 34% of followers think that nonprofits on social media are too focused on self-promotion, and 53% think they need to be more relatable.  

So, consider social media as a way to educate and inform people about your mission. At Candid, our mission is to get you the information you need to do good. And our social media efforts are an extension of that. We highlight trends in the sector, drill down into nonprofit data, offer tips for fundraising and grantwriting, and share free resources. Yes, once in a while, we promote Candid nonprofit profiles or an upcoming webinar, but the bulk of our social media content is designed to help you do more good. 

This approach also affords you a lot more content to work with. You’re no longer limited to talking about just your organization; you can share broadly about your cause.  

2. How to find more ideas for social media content

There is so much you could share about your cause and organization, but you can start by asking colleagues the top questions they get from supporters, donors, and the community they serve. This will help you understand what your audience may be interested in. You can use it as a starting point for developing social media content—and also help reduce the burden on staff who are constantly answering these questions. 

Another great way to get more content is to make all staff part of the process. Social media really is a team sport, so encourage staff to keep you in the loop about what’s going on and share content ideas as well as photos from events and work happening behind the scenes. Then celebrate the content you’re sourcing from staff so others can see what you’re looking for. You may get some blurry photos and ideas that don’t pan out, but tell them how to make it better next time and encourage their enthusiasm. 

3. Creative ways to reuse and repurpose social media posts 

Now that we’ve rethought what counts and we’re finding more content, how do we get the most out of it? Here are some of Candid’s favorite ways to reuse and repurpose our content: 

  • Update old content. We routinely look to see what past content performed well and could be updated. Last year, we were inspired by a video from 2011 to create our series on “red flags” funders look for in grant proposals.  
  • Alter the tone. That same “red flags” campaign was used to create content around “green flags for funders.” We shifted the content from negative (“don’t do this”) to positive (“do this instead”).  
  • Focus on a different aspect. We love to share data; it’s kind of our thing. But sometimes we also have a great emotional quote to share. If you lead with data the first time, lead with the quote the next. 
  • Turn it into an opportunity for engagement. We like to transform data or previous content into trivia or an opinion poll. For example, prior to sharing content on how generative AI can be used in grantwriting, we asked our audience whether AI could replace grantwriters. 
  • Change the content type. Whenever we make a video, we also think about whether it could be made into a graphic carousel for Instagram or a text-based post on Facebook. The scripts you make for videos are great short-form social media content that can be reused.  
  • Change for a current event. Use a current event or holiday as inspiration for reusing content. For example, we’ve been comparing nonprofit data to holiday-related statistics, like how much people spend on Halloween versus how much they donate to charity in October. 
  • Repost it. If your social media content is over a year old and is still relevant, consider reposting it as is.  

Now, you’re probably thinking, “Isn’t this going to be repetitive?” Nope. Less than 10% of your audience sees any given post. Repetition doesn’t just help reduce your workload; it makes sure your audience really understands your message.  

Have you found a creative way to generate more content? Share ideas in the comments so we can all learn how to do more good with less work! 


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