Many nonprofit marketers take a passive role in social media, only following other organizations online after those organizations have followed them. A more proactive strategy will jump start your organization’s presence and reach on social media.

On Facebook, it’s not possible for your organization’s page to add individuals as “friends,” but it is possible to “like” other pages.

Use the list below to brainstorm a list of pages to follow.

  • Community partners
  • Sponsors
  • Event donors
  • Like-minded local organizations
  • Like-minded organizations in other markets
  • National parent organizations
  • Local print, broadcast and electronic media
  • Public officials

That restaurant that donated a gift certificate for your auction? You should be following it on Facebook. The mayor? You should be following her. That organization in Seattle that has a similar mission? You should be following it.

This same list can also be used to find organizations to follow on Twitter and Instagram. However, Twitter and Instagram allow your organization to follow individuals as well.

On Twitter, you can upload your contacts from your Gmail account or from your phone. Instagram offers the same options.

To take advantage of this functionality, merely export email addresses from your organization’s database and add those contacts to an existing Gmail account, or to your phone. Once added, search Twitter and Instagram for users to follow. You’ll be able to make dozens (or hundreds) of new connections on Twitter and Instagram in a single day.