I speak to nonprofits every week. I have to admit, some executive directors and fundraisers love social media and others hate it. Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay so you better get used to it. And, more importantly, you should try to work it into your overall planning.
I’ve had chats with folks who’ve told me they’re working on social media but they’re not seeing results. The most important thing to know about social media is that it’s not a stand-alone marketing or fundraising tool. It has to be used as part of a multi-channel program.
For those organizations that use social media consistently and effectively, social media is an excellent way to help raise brand visibility. It’s also a good tool for fundraising. If you haven’t done so already, this is a great time of year for you to begin to test social media fundraising. That way, as you go into the year-end, you know what works and what doesn’t for your organization.
- When you’re posting on social media for fundraising purposes, you must have a call to action. You’ve told your story. You have a great picture or video, but you don’t have a call to action on your post. Want to know the number one reason why people don’t give? They weren’t asked.
- Response rate increases with a responsive site. A survey done by Blackbaud showed that donors were 34 percent more likely to give through a link tied to a responsive website.
- Don’t forget about LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great platform for business minded people. You can also get a lot of awareness (and donations). Create a group and message your contacts to join your group. If you’re doing a special fundraiser, send a group message asking people to support a great cause.
- Individuals who earn $25,000 or less give a higher proportion of their income to charity. The higher you go in earnings, the smaller the percentage of income donated to philanthropy. People who earn $25K or less give 16.6% of their income. That means you shouldn’t assume that only the wealthy give to charity.
- Create a social media volunteer corp. Social is all about engagement. You want to get people to enter into a conversation with you. One of the best things you can do is ask your supporters to help you amplify your voice. By creating a volunteer program, shareable posts and tweets, and directly asking your supporters to share, you’re able to go beyond your own followers. Create a program of social media volunteers to help you promote and fundraise for your cause.
- Post at the right times on Facebook. Most of us know Facebook is the grand-daddy of the social media world. Your posts on Facebook have a short life – in other words, you’ll get most of your engagements on Facebook within the first 90 minutes of posting. Post during the business day. Stay away from nights. Some people think weekends work. If you want to try it, go ahead, but always test engagement. Figure out the best times of engagement for your posts.
- Ask questions and engage. It’s all about social networking. That means it’s a two-way street. In order to know what your supporters want to see, you have to ask questions. Ask them what they think about your work. When followers comment on your posts, respond back to them. Ask them what may have resonated and why.