What’s the first thing you check in the morning? Chances are you answered with some sort of social media: Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram - there are so many to choose from!
When you are creating a multi-channel marketing campaign, it can be overwhelming to start. There are so many channels; which ones are the best for your nonprofit? How can you incorporate social media into your fundraising strategies?
Well, we are here to encourage you to take a deep breath and give you some quick and simple ways to use social media to secure donations online. With the right messaging and approach, you can expand your outreach using without spending hours logged into your account.
So how can you hit the ground running? Here are our tips:
1) Start By Finding the Right Channels For Your Organization
If you're not social media savvy, it can be difficult to navigate between all of the social platforms. Our advice: keep it simple. Pick one or two platforms to start, test then grow. It’s better to commit to a platform and create great content than stretch yourself too thin.
When choosing what platform to use, think about:
- Which platforms have the most people interested in your cause?
- Where do most of your supporters and ideal donors communicate? Try to find this out with a donor survey or by researching each platform's demographics.
- Who are the influencers and changemakers who are involved in your cause, and where do they engage?
- The channels you are familiar with, however, we encourage you to challenge this if it means finding a platform that better serves your demographic
Once you decide on a platform, get comfortable creating posts and maintaining a consistent schedule. Do some research and testing on the optimal length, and include photos and video. If you don't have a full-time social media manager, it may help enlist the help of volunteers or staff to create content and post using a scheduler like Buffer or Later.
Once you master your first platform, then consider adding another if you feel it will help achieve your goals.
2) Utilize Hashtags and Trends!
Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and Linkedin all use the power of hashtags to suggest and organize their content. This means if you aren't utilizing their power in your social media posts, you could be missing out on increasing your online reach.
According to Social Media Today, Tweets with hashtags receive two times more engagement than those without. That means taking the time to insert one or two #'s in your Tweet can double your engagement and chances of being seen by a potential donor!
Each platform is different so let's look at some basic rules for hashtag use by platform.
- Twitter: Stick to 1-2 hashtags max! Tweets are short, and some research from Buddy Media shows more hashtags can actually decrease your engagement, so use tags that best reflect your message.
- Instagram: Research done on small Instagram accounts indicates that 11+ hashtags tend to be the sweet spot for those with 1000 followers or less.
- Facebook: This was the only platform that saw little to no effect when using hashtags. What we recommend is to test 2 posts (one with hashtags and one without) on similar topics and see which performs best.
If you need help choosing the right tags to use Hashtagify and Tagboard are great places to start!
3) Focus On community Building
As fundraisers, you know everything is about relationships. Community is number one, and there has to be an emphasis on keeping your supporters engaged and happy both on and offline.
Your community can help create a dialogue around your cause, provide valuable insights on your target demographic and be the perfect place for prospecting new donors!
After deciding on your main social channel, you have to learn how to use the platform. If you choose Instagram, think of ways to utilize all of its features like stories, save, posts, IGTV, polls and more! Using the platform authentically to its full potential is crucial!
Create posts that encourage a conversation between you and your supporters. Ask questions, think of ways they can get involved or even submit content to be featured on your page!
4) Find the Perfect Mix of Give and Take
Adapt a push-pull technique when posting. Meaning you want to provide valuable content and make sure to promote your nonprofit and its programs! 80% of your social content should be to entertain, inform or inspire. These are posts giving updates on your campaign, sharing valuable information on your cause or giving helpful tips and advice to followers.
The content you create doesn't have to be incredibly complicated, use software like Canva to create a consistent look and feel for your posts and then fill in the content with short videos, images and graphics surrounding your work and your cause.
The other 20% should be asks or appeals, the action you want your followers to take like volunteering at a big event or donating! When framing your asks, keep them short and simple and link directly to where you want them to go (if it’s possible).
Don't forget to schedule posts that thank your donors and show gratitude for all the support they give you!
5) Test, Track and Repeat!
When it comes to social media, you have to be ready to adapt and change your plan at any moment.
To find what works best for your audience you have to test, test, test! Tracking the types of content you’re putting out is the best way to find what works for your audience. See how many likes, comments, saves, reposts or shares it gets. Do you find you received a lot of new posts after sharing a certain type of content? Mix it up, post about your programs, impact, how to get involved, and donation asks! Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions or get interactive. Just be sure to monitor and interact with your supporters.
Look at what you are putting out with a critical eye, and don’t be afraid to try something new, as long as you track it!
Conclusion: Be Authentic and Integrate With Your Other Channels!
Social media channels shine when paired with a multi-channel marketing approach. Adding links to your profile in your email signature or newsletter is a quick and easy way to direct people to your social channels and grow your following! Experiment with posting content from your direct mail, out of home, or DRTV on social media. Creating various media touches with similar content can continue to influence your supporters to action.
Not to mention you can drive traffic back to your site by posting small snippets of blog or web content than leading followers to your site to learn more. Some channels like TikTok and Facebook have features that allow you to collect online donations right on the platform!
If you want to save time, you can recycle content email and social media by sharing the most popular posts on your newsletter! There are so many options, you just have to decide what works best for your organization.