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These five, frequently surfacing issues seem to hinder the social media success of many NGOs:

  1. You’re scaring and depressing me
  2. Your visuals are done with the left hand
  3. You are posting in languages your followers don’t speak
  4. Your staff doesn’t share your content
  5. You’re not being social on Social Media

2. Your visuals are done with the left hand

Have a look at any of your SoMe analytics systems, and you’ll notice that your most successful social media posts feature visuals; be it memes, cartoons, illustrations, photos or videos. Does it mean you are doing it right? Unfortunately no.

Check again. Are your photos touring the world right now – but without your logo? You’re not exactly doing favors to your brand recognition. Did you forget a copyright from the photo, and therefore disappointed the volunteer or maddened the professional who took it? Is your expensively produced video uploaded to Facebook – but without subtitles, so the majority won’t understand the language?If you are not harnessing the full power of visuals, you are lowering your social media impact.

Further problem, which makes me wince, is hitting the “share” button on the NGO website, which often leads to sharing unrelated, randomly cropped images. A very common cosmetic error is sharing visuals, where part of the text within the image is inconveniently cut off from the preview, for example in tweeted pictures. Sometimes your visual design hinders you from promoting your well-performing posts, like when breaking the „max 20% text within an image“ rule on Facebook.

Optimizing most visuals for each social media channel requires basic image editing skills, a Photoshop license and time. If you are in the blessed position of having a graphic designer at hand, or outsourcing visual design to an agency, ask for campaign visuals to be delivered in a package which includes all the key visuals in optimal dimensions for social media use. This package should have the profile, header and background graphics, and images in right dimensions for newsfeed posts, as well as video files in correct lengths and formats for each SoMe channel your NGO uses. This SoMe image dimension chart is always up to date.