How to use video in social media for nonprofits

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Video use in social media for nonprofits

As you already know, one of the most important strategy in content marketing is using video. Knowing how your nonprofit can use video in social media, is key to engage with your stakeholders.

In this article I’ll give you some insights on how you could use video in social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter.

About video in the social media

Before we start, lets review some basics about creating nonprofit videos for social media.

To begin with, always have in mind a bigger communication strategy: where does the video fit in it, how and where it will be shared, who is the target audience, …


Then, if it is a pre-recorded video, focus on it being shareable. You should optimize it for the platform and also for it’s own shareability. This implies to know well your stakeholders: how to engage with them emotionally, what are they expecting from your nonprofit, …

And finally, try to make it about real-time engagement and authenticity. Specially if it is a live video. Your target stakeholders should feel that they are in a conversation with you.

Having this in mind, let’s see what are the differences between the different social media, regarding video.


YouTube is the the one of the oldest platforms of online video. It’s huge and it keeps getting bigger every minute (more or less 300 hours bigger every minute).

YouTube can be very useful as a “home” for your videos. It is almost a must, since is very video oriented and it works like an organized video library, where anyone can easily find all your videos.

It is also a very open and appropriate platform for educational videos. According to Google, “education and learning videos earn 4X the watch time of animal videos on the platform today.” Using YouTube to upload your educational videos, will help you reach more viewers eager to learn more about your cause and your nonprofit.

Plus, it has a very intuitive and adaptable way of sharing (or embed) your video in other platforms and websites. Let’s say you are running a crowdfunding campaign. The standard platform where you’ll upload the video, to embed it later on your crowdfunding homepage, it will be YouTube.

In other words, it can be very valuable to your nonprofit, as a way to growing your brand and reach and as a support for your SEO efforts.

But this wont be enough. You’ll probably need to use other social media platforms to reach and better engage with your stakeholders.

Why? There are several reasons for this.

First, although YouTube is growing, it is actually losing to other social media platforms as Facebook (with a daily video streams).

Then, YouTube content is not as shareable as other social media platforms content. Videos on Facebook, for example, are more likely to be interacted with, whether it’s in the way of a like, a share or a comment.

And because there is no group or friend dynamics in YouTube, you are basically competing with everyone else. Which might became a bit noisy.


Facebook is already the biggest competitor when it comes to content distribution and video marketing. It has more than 1.94 billion monthly active users and their consumer data is available, so marketers can better target their ads and video content.

You can upload your nonprofit videos directly to Facebook, showing them to your fans and friends. And you can make video ads to reach new audiences in a very efficient and targetable way.

But remember that Facebook content should be smart, personal and shareable. In other words, here you really need to have into account that the objective is not only just exposure, but it’s more like a conversation. You want to engage your stakeholders and get more than just a like or a share – you want them to engage in a conversation.

A great way to use this potential is to make Facebook Live videos. If done right, Facebook Live gives you endless possibilities to engage with your stakeholders.


But although YouTube and Facebook are priorities, you shouldn’t ignore the potential that other social media platforms can have, when reaching your target stakeholders. Let’s go into some of them.


Snapchat market is pretty big right now. It has more than 2 billion video views per day, and the way this platform works has a some curious features.

Snapchat lives out of the individual stories available on the platform. Mainly from 13 to 34 year-old there are more than 100 million users watching and posting short term content in this social media platform.

Here videos have a life from 1 second to 24 hours, depending on the users choice. So the urgency of seeing something before it disappears can be a plus to engage some of your stakeholders.

And although it seems to be a challenge to use it to promote a cause or an idea, this social media platform is getting the attention of nonprofit communicators. Whether it’s through the organic reach or through the use of Snapchat’s Discover feature.


Bought by Facebook, Instagram is another big player in social media channel. It has over 500 million active users, and more than 20 billion videos and photos shared.

It’s a platform mainly focused in images and videos. So, here you need to invest in visually, immersive quality, while keeping captions to a minimum. The videos need to grab the attention of your stakeholders in a maximum of 60 seconds.

And although it might seem hard, in fact, Instagram gives you a unique opportunity to brand your nonprofit, while focusing in small storytelling videos, about your products, your stakeholders and your beneficiaries.

It’s also a good space to build a sense of community and ask them to share their stories related to your cause, for example.


Video on Twitter can be a great way to get your connected stakeholders attention, in a platform that is flooded with information.

Also, due to the huge amount of information the users are exposed to, there is this sense of urgency in every post you create. And because of that, any post that is time-related can be a good option.

There are several uses of video in this platform, as:

  • creating your nonprofit real-time news;
  • creating small videos announcing future events;
  • or to create awareness about small but urgent problems in your local community.

Just remember to keep the videos short!

As you see, there is a lot of space for video marketing in your nonprofits’s social media communication strategy. In fact, one third of all online activity is spent watching videos! And it is studied that videos are a key tool that people use to make buying decisions.

So, whether your are raising awareness around your cause, or helping your beneficiaries to sell their products, you should use video as a way to connect with your stakeholders in social media.

Just remember that reaching successful social media moments does not guarantee the actual change your nonprofit seek. If you want to change a behavior or raise support and really engage with people, you need to convert awareness into action. In other words, you need to convert moments into movements.


And to finalize I’ll leave you with a great infographic about video marketing, made by websitebuilder.

video marketing infographic

To see the full infographic, please visit websitebuilder.

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