Marketing & Engagement 

Nonprofits and social enterprises are driven by a passionate desire to make the world a better place. However, it is profoundly complicated not only to strategically communicate that passion to others, but to also convince them to engage with your cause.

Especially in an age of online and social media engagement, it is crucial to proactively modernise your website, utilise seemingly disparate social media platforms, and drive engagement with your organisation’s core products and services.

The following frameworks aim to clarify the optimal tools and strategies to drive effective communication with a variety of targeted audiences.

1) Website Optimisation

How can we help our clients to create compelling, multi-platform websites that directly support their organisational goals?

2) Social Media Strategy

What combination of and approach to various social media platforms should our clients take in order to further their strategic objectives?

3) Event Attendance

How can we advise our clients to most efficiently attract and retain volunteers and supporters for their most important events?


Website Optimisation

Understanding the organisation’s vision and branding is essential for delivering bespoke, useful web improvements

  1. Conduct personal interviews with the client to understand their high-level goals and gain context on their organisation
  2. Analyse the entire online presence of the organisation to ensure continuity of narrative from other sources, such as social media
  3. Ask the question: why does the client exist? It will be helpful to distill your interviews and research into a concise statement of purpose for the organisation that communicates its emotional and practical value to viewers

  1. Work with the client to segment their market and identify target profiles
  2. Discuss the concrete results sought (e.g. increased revenue, attracting volunteers), and identify measurable metrics for attaining those results- that is, what does success look like and how is it measured?
  3. Discuss the impression they want to leave visitors with in order to inform the language and design of the page

Essentially, you want to work with the client to understand how the goals of the website align with the goals of the organisation, and tailor your suggestions accordingly

For the B-school guide to market segmentation, check out this 1968 HBR article

New Criteria for Market Segmentation


For determining how to use modern social media and web-based analytical tools to aid in market segmentation

5 Audience Segmentation Tools Every Marketer Needs


Check out this quick guide if you’re in a hurry

Customer Segmentation


Determine which fundamental components of the site need to be added or improved


Which key areas of improvement would bring the most benefit, and how should the client achieve them? Consider methodology, feasibility, and cost.

  1. Consider which key metrics are most suitable for your client in evaluating improvement options.For example: cost of improvement, potential to generate revenue, likeliness to acquire volunteers or platform users, time needed to effectively implement a given improvement, etc.
  2. Use these metrics to determine which of the identified improvements from the fundamental components checklist should be prioritised
  3. Map those outcomes in a visual tool with corresponding written explanation:

Empower your client to understand how tracking data analytics can help them constantly improve the way they create content and approach targeted demographics

For a simple introduction to the power of Google Analytics (one such data analytics platform), watch the video below:

It is also worth noting that user-friendly sites, such as WordPress, Wix, or any number of others, will allow for quick implementation of add-on tools that aid in iterative improvement. For example, the WordPress engine on which I’m writing this article has search engine optimisation (SEO) and readability assessment plugins available to purchase which are cheap and simple to install.



Social Media Strategy

  1. Meet with your client to understand their organisation’s main purpose (e.g. are they looking to find donations? Attract volunteers? Drive product engagement?).
    -Define the broad goals they have set in order to achieve this purpose
  2. Identify specific targets and metrics for each major goal identified
    -An example of this logical flow is given below:


  1. Build a relevant understanding of different social media platforms in order to determine which ones the client should focus their resources on. These choices should reinforce the brand and goals of the organisation as defined at the beginning of the project
  2. Identify your client’s target demographic and build customer profiles of their user base: different social media platforms will attract different market segments. These market segments are used to:
    – tailor your content and offers to a specific group
    – adapt your content creation to the platforms most likely to reach your intended audience
    – deepen your expertise in areas with the greatest impact on your business or NGO

Check out this infographic from 9Province:

  1. Use critical thinking and data analytics to examine what sort of content would appeal to the client’s target segments while suiting the platform on which it’s hosted Hint: Hootesuite recommends ‘mirroring’ the posting/reposting of your followers- what do they share and why?
  2. Help your client to create a ‘social media calendar’ mapping when they plan to post content and on which platform. Hint: strategise what sort of content variety your client should achieve- for example, the rule of thirds.The rule of thirds is defined by Hootesuite as:
    – 1/3 of your social content promotes your business, converts readers, and generates profit
    – 1/3 of your social content should surface and share ideas and stories from thought leaders in your industry or like-minded businesses
    – 1/3 of your social content should be based on personal interactions and build your personal brandYou can read the rest of the article here: Hootesuite’s social media calendar template here:
  3. Ensure consistency of branding, logos, font, etc across platforms. Lack of consistency distracts the reader, and ruins both the credibility and flow of your content

  1. Use ‘social listening’ to keep ahead of market shifts- watch both audience sentiment and competitors’ actions
  2. Make recommendations for how clients can leverage Google Analytics and Facebook Analytics to determine what is working and whyTake a look at this example from a 180DC team that highlights important data gathered on their client’s website and Facebook page. This data-driven discovery led to some of the core improvements that made this project such a success:
  3. Help the client determine ambitious yet realistic goals for their improvement. Remember- good goals are measurable! Check out this guide to creating Objectives and Key Results (OKRs):

Finally: periodically audit and continuously improve!


Event Attendance



  1. Determine what the client wants to get out of hosting. What does success look like?
  2. Ask how the event aligns with the mission of the organisation. Having a cohesive narrative will help with later marketing efforts



Develop customer segments with corresponding customer profiles in order to help the client understand the broad type of attendee they should be targeting with their engagement efforts

For the B school guide to market segmentation, check out this 1968 HBR article:

New Criteria for Market Segmentation


For determining how to use modern social media and web-based analytical tools to aid in market segmentation:

5 Audience Segmentation Tools Every Marketer Needs


This Lloyds Banking Group segmentation, developed by McKinsey & Co, provides an excellent example of this practice:

Check out this quick video if you’re in a hurry:

Customer Segmentation


  1. Look at the people chosen to attend: will they help the client accomplish the event’s goal?
  2. Assist the client in analysing past data to re-target attendees from past events, those who have engaged with the client’s communication efforts in the past, and those who have attended similar events. Such analytical tools are available via Google and Facebook analytics, among others
  3. Consider researching similar events the client could attend to network for their own events

  1. Using many of the lessons from our Social Media LINK and Website Design LINK framework, create a bespoke suite of content aimed at each of the segments you’ve identified.Be sure to hashtag on Twitter and Instagram!
  2. Be sure to help your client create a schedule of posts on relevant social media sites that frequently -but not too frequently- remind your targeted audiences of the event. This especially applies to any paid advertising
  3. Consider researching and proposing one of several tactics to encourage your client’s target segments to share with other, similar people. Some strategies include:- Message-driven photos and videos- Contests- Giveaways



Tailor this content to the client’s initial purpose, designing communications to seek donations or volunteers, reinforce a social message, or simply thank attendees to promote future relationships



Case study: website design


Delivered by a team in the Sydney branch of 180 Degrees Consulting, this project focuses on a deep analysis of the structure and content of an organisation’s website.

The project brief:

How can the client could improve marketing and operational strategies to ultimately increase revenue and event attendance?

The team’s process

The wider brief was to conduct a full-scale analysis of the different mechanisms by which the client engaged with its membership base, examining their social media, online, marketing, and operational efforts. The Sydney team initially met with the client to determine their strategic objectives as an organisation: it was determined that a combination of social media and website marketing improvements would enable the client to both increase the value proposition for existing members and attract interest from prospective members.

The Sydney team then performed analysis to determine how well the current website was suited to helping the client achieve their goals. They carefully identified several major areas of improvement, noting how the current site had a complicated layout, non-intuitive menus, and large clusters of unnecessary text. Changes suggested in response to these notes included:

  • Simplifying the content to immediately communicate essential information
  • Improving the overall navigability of the website
  • Optimising the layout for a more user-friendly experience
  • Increasing font size and readability

Recognising that the improvements their client could make were limited by both time and money, the Sydney team broke down the approximate cost and commitment of each suggestion. They further selected 3 metrics, reach, feasibility and effectiveness, by which to discern the potential value of each improvement strategy. Finally, they included numerous visual examples from other websites, pointing out which measures were effective and why.

Why the project was a success

The Sydney team quickly identified the purpose of the client’s website, then assessed how well the current site was accomplishing that purpose. Once the team determined the most significant shortcomings, they suggested bespoke, actionable improvements that considered the client’s budget and time constraints. They illustrated potential improvements with high quality visual examples and tools.


Case study: social media strategy


Social Media Case Study


Carried out in 2015 by a 180 Degrees Consulting team in Copenhagen, this project exemplifies the strategy and methodology necessary to create an effective social media presence

The project brief:

How can the client develop and implement a Social Media Strategy aimed at mobilizing and activating volunteers, as well as promoting engagement with their organisation’s mission across Denmark?

The team’s process

The Copenhagen team first set out to cultivate a deep understanding of exactly what their client wanted (a sustainable social media strategy), and why they wanted it (to drive engagement and volunteering with the organisation). They aimed to meet this need by designing a strategy that would attract, involve, and retain visitors through their social media platforms.

They then utilised online analytics tools (Facebook and Google Analytics) to draw powerful insights on the demographics of visitors, peak engagement times, channel of interaction (e.g. mobile, tablet, etc), and types of content that had yielded optimal results in the past. They communicated these insights to the client in a straightforward manner, successfully translating data-driven observations into clear recommendations.

Having already identified Facebook and the organisation’s website as the optimal platforms for engagement, the Copenhagen team set out to strategise how the organisation could meet its goals of mobilising volunteers and gaining exposure. They proposed a framework for identifying, engaging, and sustaining volunteers, and then proposed specific types of online content and links to support this framework. The Copenhagen team then finished their analysis by proposing a set of data-backed criteria for evaluating the success of their proposed social media campaign.


Why the project was a success

The Copenhagen team worked to determine exactly how social media would help the client to accomplish their specific organisational objectives. They identified who they wanted to engage, and how to most effectively attract, involve, and retain these individuals. They supported this effort both by analysing historical data, and making recommendations for how the client could leverage analytics to continuously adapt and improve their social media presence.


Other useful tools

Introducing the DIY Toolkit, an absolutely incredible set of 30 practical tools to trigger and support social innovation curated by the leading social innovation foundation, NESTA. See the full toolkit here.


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