Which Nonprofit Snapchats to Follow?

0

Snapchat is a social media channel that is growing in popularity, hence importance, especially among younger generations (think GenZ and Millennials). It only stands to reason that, when appropriate (i.e., target includes that demographic), nonprofits should leverage this channel to help increase their cause’s awareness and keep stakeholders engaged.  But it’s still pretty new– so where to start? Since TopNonprofits loves examples and learning from the best leaders and organizations, we’ll begin by taking a look at some nonprofit snapchats that are already leading the pack. This post was originally published on WeDidIt’s blog and is being shared here, with their permission.

By Andrew Littlefield

I gotta say, I’m fully hooked on Snapchat.

Like a lot of people, when I first tried Snapchat, I didn’t quite get it. I wrote it off as something that I must just be too old for (oh God no, it’s finally happening!) and didn’t open it for months after that.

But a few months back, I decided to give it another shake.

Now I can’t put it down.

Naturally, I wanted to see how nonprofits were using it, so I started following every single org I could possibly find.

And after a few months of watching their snaps, I’ve come up with what I think are the absolute best nonprofits on Snapchat.

It’s clear these orgs have a well-defined strategy and goals (as you should before diverting resources to a new social media channel). They’re not just snapping just to snap: they’re really delivering value to their audience.

I didn’t throw anyone on this list willy-nilly. In fact, the list was 8 at first, but then I took a hard look at a few and thought “Are they doing something truly creative?”

Simply put: these are the best of the best. At least that I’ve seen.

Here are my 5 favorites, in no particular order:

By the way, to follow any of these orgs, just open Snapchat, point your camera at the snapcodes below, and hold your finger on the screen to scan it (provided your app is up to date). 

AND if you’d like 55 more to follow, here’s my list of 60 great orgs on Snapchat!

 

1. WNYC

Username: wnycradio

What they do well: Consistency, programmatic material

FullSizeRender_3-2.jpg

It’s not surprising, but WNYC has done a fabulous job of creating regularly occurring “bits” on their Snapchat account that they consistently deliver.

IMG_9316-1.png

Through daily segments like weather updates, podcast recommendations, “meme of the week,” and short interviews with radio personalities, WNYC engages their audience in a humorous and creative way. They’re able to use their Snap stories to recommend new content to their followers, all while putting a face behind the voices they love.

Nonprofits on Snapchat

 

2. P.E.T.A.

Username: officialpeta

What they do well: Practical content

FullSizeRender_4-1.jpg

As you might imagine, someone who is interested in the work P.E.T.A. is doing is very concerned with animal welfare and likely also interested in learning more about a vegan diet.

So P.E.T.A. uses their Snapchat to feed that need (HAH! Get it?!). They offer regular “kitchen segments” where they walk you through tasty vegan recipes. In addition to that, they bring their Snapchat audience along to animal rescue projects and shelters. Who doesn’t love a video of a rescued pup playing fetch?

 

3. L.A.C.M.A.

Username: lacma

What they do well: Relevant/pop culture snaps tied to their core mission

FullSizeRender_2.jpg

When one thinks of art museums, they don’t typically think of teenagers (Snapchat’s core audience for most of its history). But the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (L.A.C.M.A.) was one of the earliest “viral” stars of snappin’.

How’d they do it? They just let their personality shine through.

L.A.C.M.A. publishes memes and captions over images of art in their collection that play right into the humor, culture, and dialect of digital natives.

lacma_snapchat.jpg

They’ll also frequently create stories using song lyrics and works of art that represent the lyrics in a humorous way. Definitely worth a follow.

 

4. Compassion International

Username: compassionintl

What they do well: Updates from the field

FullSizeRender_6-1.jpg

It can be difficult to get people passionate and connected with a cause that seems very far away. Compassion International’s field work reaches far and wide all over the planet.

So what better way to bring the mission right into people’s home than by using a platform like Snapchat? Snapchat is instant, visual, mobile-only, unfiltered platform. Compassion International uses this brilliantly to place their audience in the middle of the work they’re doing.

 

5. DoSomething.org

Username: dosomething

What they do well: Creating a path for action

dosomething.jpg

I almost left DoSomething off this list, not because they are fantastic at Snapchat (they are), but because I feel like I mention them in almost every blog post I do.

But I just can’t help it! DoSomething really is one of the best examples of a nonprofit that is laser-focused on their audience and totally dialed into what makes them tick.

dosomething_snapchat.png

When it comes to Snapchat, they’re particularly good at creating a path for engagement and action. An oft cited (and fair) criticism of social media for nonprofits is that people who follow, like, or share a cause-related post don’t do much more beyond that.

DoSomething’s entire mission relies on engaging young people in acts that improve the world around them. So they use Snapchat to introduce a cause or mission, then the story ends by instructing viewers to text a certain number to learn more about that mission. By utilizing a text-message based sign up system, users can immediately get involved. Snapchat is mobile-only, so they already have everything they need to get started right in their hands.

 

It’s Okay to Just Watch and Learn

You’re resourced strapped, I know it. Most nonprofits are. You can’t jump into every social network that comes along.

But it’s okay to just watch, learn, and ideate on Snapchat for now. Make a personal account, follow those five orgs, and see how they do it. That’s exactly how Beth Kanter got started when she saw some “Snapcodes” (those yellow boxes above you use to follow people) appear from nonprofits in her Instagram feed. Take note of what you like, what you don’t, and think about how your org would adopt these techniques should you decide to move forward.

And that’s really the best way to learn and get good at new platforms like Snapchat. Simply filming around your office is unlikely to engage people in a meaningful way. But with some creativity and inspiration, you can pull off a strategy that makes your memorable.

Happy Snapping!

 

About author

Amy DeVita

Amy DeVita is managing partner at Top Nonprofits. A publisher, entrepreneur, mother, wife, social media enthusiast and fan and avid supporter of the do-gooders in the nonprofit/ for-impact sector. She has written for Top Nonprofits and Third Sector Today; she has been quoted on pieces about social media and social impact on The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast. She was named to the Leading Women Entrepreneurs in NJ Monthly and she is a member of Social Media for Nonprofits’ Leadership Council. In her spare time she enjoys kayaking, yoga, hiking, traveling, and playing Scrabble. Amy lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children, and three dogs. In 1984 she earned the “Most Improved Average” honor on her bowling league.

No comments