Maximizing Engagement on a Budget

Published 3 months ago • 5 min read

Engaging and posting effectively on social media can be daunting for nonprofits and small businesses operating on tight budgets. This issue is packed with insights and tips designed to enhance your social presence, foster meaningful connections, and grow your community—ensuring your message resonates.

Community Management

Proactive AND reactive engagement is crucial for staying relevant and growing your brand or organization on social media.

Proactive engagement: actively seek out conversations with your community, target audience, and similar accounts. It’s about being visible and involved in relevant discussions, highlighting your presence and commitment.

This can significantly grow your community by showing you’re interested in what others have to say. It fosters new relationships and encourages others to engage with your content.

Reactive engagement: responding to comments and messages as they happen, showing your community you’re listening and value their input.


Indicators of your social media performance. Engagement metrics like views, comments, likes, and shares help gauge your content’s impact on your audience. Remember, not everyone who appreciates your content will interact with it directly.

To track metrics, utilize the analytics tools provided by each platform. Focus on posts with higher engagement to understand what your audience prefers. While it’s not mandatory or essential, in all cases, to report on and analyze your metrics, having a top-level understanding of what’s performing and what isn’t is essential.


For an effective strategy, begin with crafting a plan that addresses your social media goals, aligned with your business objectives. Set clear objectives, like increasing awareness, boosting community engagement, or driving donations. Identify your target audience and tailor your message to resonate with them. Your target audience isn’t always the same as your engaged audience, and that’s important to keep in mind.

Perform a competitive analysis to understand what similar organizations are doing and identify unique market opportunities and gaps.

While a social media strategy is crucial, executing it flawlessly requires in-depth social media knowledge. Consider investing in a professional (like me) who can craft AND guide the execution of the strategy, ensuring your efforts yield the desired results without overwhelming you.

Content Calendar

A doc, spreadsheet, or slides that organize when and where you’ll share your content, helping maintain a consistent presence on social media.

The thought of preparing content ahead of time can seem overwhelming, but I promise it’s much easier than always posting on the fly. Having a calendar ensures you have a balanced mix of content types and themes, focusing on key dates and events relevant to your audience and business.

Content Curation

In addition to content creation, you create original content. Select and share existing content with your unique twist. Incorporate user-generated content (UGC) for authenticity and engagement, and showcase real stories from your community.

Repurpose high-performing posts across different platforms to extend reach without additional resources. Leverage volunteers, your community, and colleagues to contribute fresh ideas and content


AKA: the caption. Focus on crafting compelling, clear, concise copy that speaks directly to your audience’s interests and needs. Authenticity and conversational tone go a long way in making your content relatable and understandable.

Here are three examples: which one would you choose for Little League?

• Support our league to make a difference. Every bit helps. Donate now!

• Join our mission to elevate the Little League experience by funding new uniforms, state-of-the-art-equipment, and comprehensive training camps designed to nurture our young athletes’ talents, ensuring they have the resources to thrive both on and off the field.

• Your support and donation helps us buy necessary gear, fund utilities, umpires and scholarships, ensuring every player gets the chance to play, grow and make memories and friends that will last a lifetime! (this is the one you should choose)


Hashtags are not shortcuts to get your content seen. Hashtags don’t have the same impact they once did due to changes in algorithms, platform priorities, and user behavior. Focus on the quality of your message rather than overloading posts with hashtags.

Platforms prioritize content based on user engagement and interests, making quality content more important than ever. While hashtags can help with visibility in specific cases, they’re not a guarantee for reach or engagement.

#Nonprofit might seem like a good way to increase visibility, but it’s not as effective as you might hope. It’s highly saturated, making it difficult for your content to stand out.

Imagine dropping a single-colored ball into a jar filled with beads of the same color – it becomes nearly impossible to pick out that one bead again.

Who do you want to see your content when you use #nonprofit? What are other ways you could get their attention? (This is where a strategist comes in).

Content Themes

Foundational topics or categories, typically three, around which you build your social media content. They ensure consistency and relevancy in your posts. They differ for every business, but for a nonprofit, they could be:

Community Engagement: share stories of how your business or nonprofit is making a difference in the local community. This could include volunteering, sponsoring events or any initiatives that support local causes.

Behind the Scenes: Give your audience a peek into the day-to-day operations. This could be highlighting your team, showcasing how products are made or sharing someone’s journey.

Success Stories/Transformations: Highlight positive outcomes from customers, clients or those benefited by your business. Share testimonials, case studies, before and after transformations to illustrate the impact of your work.

Collaborations & Partnerships

Working with influencers, advocates, other brands or volunteers who share your mission can significantly extend your reach and amplify your message. Identify potential partners whose audience aligns with yours and reach out with a proposal that outlines mutual benefits.

Effective collaborations can result from shared content, co-hosted events or cross-promotion on social platforms, providing both parties with access to a broader audience while enriching content with diverse perspectives.

Your socials need to have a good foundation before you try to use partnerships to extend your social reach – you cannot rely solely on a partnership or collab post to grow your social. That’s not what it’s for.

For Little League, partnering with a local sports equipment retailer provides players with a discount on equipment, and the league promotes the store through social media and email. This partnership supports the local business and helps the league with cost savings, and provides added value to its families

Actively engaging with your community and creating quality content are not quick fixes but are integral to your ongoing marketing. The expertise of a professional can be invaluable, guiding you to refine and effectively execute your strategy ensuring your social media efforts are both impactful and sustainable.

& if you're looking for more tips and strategies, check out all of my previous issues here!

Have you listened to my new podcast 🎙️Marketing Chat? Today’s episode just dropped: The Digital Blueprint: Crafting Your Brand’s Online Presence. You’ll also enjoy the one about Community and Authenticity in Marketing


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