For the last five to ten years, the name of the game for nonprofits has been: market to Millennials.
Understanding the behaviors, preferences and motivations of this enormous generation was crucial to nonprofits’ abilities to craft the right messages.
Millennials remain a key focus, but now there’s a new kid on the street who requires the same attention: Gen Z. Like Millennials, Gen Z is a huge cohort. Like Millennials, Gen Z is motivated to contribute – both in time and money – to causes that make a positive impact. Like Millennials, Gen Z intentionally shapes their lives so that they bring the most good to their work, personal life, and relationships.
Like Millennials, Gen Z is online. And not just anywhere, but on social media.
Opportunity for Nonprofits
Together, Millennials and Gen Z make up more than half of the world’s population.
They also make up the majority of social media users.
Think about this:
There are nearly 150 million Millennials and Gen Zers in the world. Recently, Sprout Social reported that 72% of Millennials say that social media is an essential part of their lives, the highest of all age groups. Plus, 65% of Gen Z consumers have increased their use of social media in the last year. 45% of them think that’ll increase even more over the next three years.
Nonprofits have a huge opportunity to leverage this captive audience. These users are not only consistently present, but they also have an inherent motivation to live and give in ways that make a positive impact on society.
Message to them effectively, and you’ll attract new supporters, recruit more volunteers, appeal to new donors, and retain the donors and volunteers you already have.
So, how can you use social media in a way that targets Millennials and Gen Z best?
5 Ways Your Nonprofit Can Target Millennials and Gen Z
These five social media strategies will help your nonprofit reach Millennials and Gen Z – and motivate them to engage with you.
1. Grab Attention with Video.
We’ve talked about this a lot lately, but we can’t say it enough: images and video are key to any organization’s marketing strategy. The driving forces behind it? Millennials and Gen Z.
Attract these users’ attention by giving them what they want: rich, real, riveting photos and videos. Post this media alongside relevant content, and you’ll increase the likelihood that these users will stop scrolling and start engaging.
2. Tap into Values through Storytelling.
Millennials and Gen Zers value authentic, raw, honest narratives that reveal your nonprofit’s deep impact. They don’t just want to know about your numbers and statistics – they want to know about the lives that were changed – the people, the places, the futures.
This is where a good storytelling strategy comes in. In the copy that accompanies your photos and videos, share the stories about what’s going on. What has been at stake for the people or places featured? What happened when your organization started helping? What is STILL at stake? Storytelling will help tap into the emotions and value systems of Millennials and Gen Z – and help your audience grow.
3. Create Relevant Hashtags.
Millennials and Gen Z intentionally follow hashtags. This means they want to maintain awareness of topics and issues that they care about.
Find the hashtags that are specific to your cause, projects, and daily tasks, and add these to your posts. By doing so, you’ll engage your current supporters in meaningful ways, AND you’ll expand your reach to users who might not have found you in the first place.
4. Invest in Paid Social Media Ads.
Social media provides a great opportunity for your nonprofit to expand its reach without breaking the bank. Even $100 has the potential to bring your nonprofit’s story to the attention of thousands of new people – maybe even more.
Carve out space in your time and budget to think about your target audience, select strong keywords, and craft the best message. Place ads on relevant social media channels. While Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok tend to be the place Millennials and Gen Z spend most of their time, make sure to tailor this to YOUR specific audience’s behaviors and activity.
5. Allow Donations through Social Media.
Millennials and Gen Z prefer mobile giving opportunities. They also are less willing to jump through a lot of hoops to get to the point. So, give them a frictionless donation experience by allowing them to donate right in your social media channel.
If you haven’t already, sign up for Facebook’s Charitable Giving Tools, which will permit your nonprofit to add crucial tools to your page and posts. You’ll be able to have a donation button on your page, attract attention with fun donation stickers in your posts and videos, add a donate button to your live videos, create individual fundraiser pages, and more.