As your nonprofit probably already knows, connecting with your supporters on social media isn’t always easy.
With a constant flood of information online, it can be difficult to catch your supporters’ attention and keep engaging them—that is, if you can even get your content seen in the first place!
However, social media is an important part of any digital stewardship strategy.
It’s estimated that nearly 80% of American adults now use at least one social media site, so you could potentially be missing out on a wealth of engagement opportunities if your organization isn’t on these sites.
Don’t worry. While it might be difficult to get your content to stand out from the crowd, it’s certainly not impossible. All it takes is knowing how to approach it.
And this article is a great start! Here, I’ll share 6 tips to help your organization better connect with supporters on social media.
The topics we’ll be covering include:
- Diversify your posts.
- Highlight your donors.
- Add a “Donate Now” button to your Facebook page.
- Run a peer-to-peer campaign.
- Participate in #GivingTuesday.
- Try out Snapchat.
By the time we’re finished, you’ll see that social media is nothing to fear, but just another excellent outlet for engaging your supporters.
Let’s get social!
While you can certainly use social media to ask for donations, encouraging giving shouldn’t be the sole (or even the main) focus of your social media strategy. Instead, your organization should be using social media to establish stronger relationships with your donors and engage them beyond the donation process. As far as strategy goes, that means that your organization shouldn’t just post donation asks.
Regardless of which social media sites you’re using—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, you name it—you should be diversifying your posts.
Diversifying your posts is exactly what it sounds like: varying the type of content that your organization shares with supporters.
Aside from donation asks, you could:
- Tell your story.
- Ask questions (this is a great way to boost interactions with your posts).
- Share photos, videos, or messages from those you serve.
- Acknowledge your donors or members.
- Share organizational content and news.
- Re-post relevant content from other sources.
The possibilities are really endless here, so get creative!
Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that you should be balancing out original posts with posts from other sources.
While there’s been some debate as to what the optimal ratio is, a good rule of thumb to stick to is the ⅓ rule.
It states that:
- ⅓ of your content should be original posts (not including direct asks),
- ⅓ of your content should come from outside sources,
- And ⅓ of your content should be direct asks or other appeals (for example, requesting an advocacy action).
The ⅓ rule is easy to remember and will help your nonprofit maintain a diverse posting strategy.
So now that you know how it’s done, you might be wondering: why is this important?
For a start, asking for something all of the time can alienate your supporters and make them feel drained. You’re using social media in the hopes of building stronger relationships, and any type of relationship should involve some give as well as take.
Plus, not all of your supporters will want or be able to contribute to your organization by making monetary donations. By varying your content, you’ll be able to touch on your supporters’ different preferences and provide them with multiple ways to get involved.
And when your supporters can choose their own involvement, they’ll be much more likely to jump in and contribute to your cause!
The takeaway: Diversifying your posts leads to the more natural and meaningful donor relationships that result in increased social media engagement.
Your donors are interested in your organization itself, but they’re even more interested in how people like them became involved in your organization and made a difference.
Plus, your donors have played a pivotal role in furthering your organization, so any piece of communication that you send out should center around their achievements and concerns.
That goes for your social media posts, too!
One of the easiest ways to ensure that your social media pages are donor-centric is to highlight your donors.
If it seems overly simplistic, that’s because it is. All this strategy involves is regularly featuring your donors in your social media posts. For example, your organization could start a Donor of The Week or Member of the Month program that highlights the contributions of donors or members who have gone above and beyond to further your cause.
Trust us: your donors will absolutely love it!
Although your supporters don’t expect recognition, it feels good to be recognized for your great achievements from time to time. If the satisfaction of doing a good deed is the cake, then the recognition is definitely the cherry on top! This strategy provides the perfect opportunity for you to connect with your donors on social media. Think about it: you’ll have to tag them so that they’ll see the post, and who wouldn’t want to share or comment on a post that boasts their achievements?
Furthermore, donors who feel appreciated will be far more likely to become recurring givers. And recurring donors give much more over time than one-time donors ever could.
Not only should your organization see more engaged social media followers, but you should also have a much more valuable donor base.
The takeaway: Highlighting donors on social media will boost both your online engagement and your fundraising efforts!
In terms of number of users, Facebook is the reigning king of social media. And, luckily for nonprofits, they’ve added a handy feature that can help you see greater conversion rates from your page.
This handy feature? The “Donate Now” button.
Any page that’s registered as a nonprofit has the ability to add this button to their page, and your organization should, too.
While it won’t enable supporters to give directly through Facebook, it does take them to your online donation form, which—if you ask me—is even better!
Sending supporters to your website means that they’ll be directly interacting with you and your brand for longer. Plus, if your website is integrated with your CRM (which it should be!), data collection will be seamless.
Including a “Donate Now” button on your page should take some of the stress of asking for donations online off of your organization. Hopefully, supporters who land on your page and are moved by your cause will see your button and donate without you even having to ask!
In any case, letting supporters know exactly where they can donate leaves no uncertainty and, thus, usually results in more donations.
A “Donate Now” button at the top of your page will be pretty hard to miss!
The takeaway: Adding a “Donate Now” button on your organization’s Facebook page should result in increased social media donations.
If you really want to amp up your social media engagement, look no further than the peer-to-peer campaign.
For those of you who haven’t yet tried one—during peer-to-peer campaigns, nonprofits mobilize their supporters to fundraise on behalf of the organization.
While there’s often an event incorporated in a p2p campaign, most of the action takes place on social media, with donors-turned-fundraisers tapping into their networks to ask for donations.
Peer-to-peer campaigns are one of the most active ways to engage your donors, both through social media and more generally. Your supporters are stepping into your shoes and fundraising for you, so there’s really no way to involve them more deeply in your organization’s efforts! Plus, because they’re fundraising for you, your organization will have ample opportunity to reach out and interact with your fundraisers.
To get started with a peer-to-peer campaign, you’ll need to enlist the help of your most loyal supporters and provide them with the all the tools they need to get started.
Most importantly, each fundraiser should be equipped with a personalized donation page that they can share with their friends, families, and other peers to collect donations.
To provide these pages, your organization will probably need to look into purchasing some excellent peer-to-peer software.
Not only are peer-to-peer campaigns excellent for engaging your current supporters, but they also provide you with an organic way to reach new donors.
Think about it: if 50 of your fundraisers even won donations from just two of their peers, that would be 100 new supporters you could start engaging through social media!
The takeaway: Hosting a peer-to-peer campaign is a highly interactive way to engage your supporters through social media.
As far as social media fundraising trends go, there’s not one bigger than #GivingTuesday. If you’ve never heard of #GivingTuesday before, it’s a charitable reaction to the retail-driven nature of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
The Tuesday after Thanksgiving, nonprofits run a social media fundraising campaign to get people back into the holiday spirit of giving. The hope is to reach a set goal within 24 hours.
The urgent and definitive nature of #GivingTuesday campaigns can really spur donations. When donors feel the pressure of the clock ticking, they’ll have to give and give fast! To get started, your nonprofit will first want to register as an official #GivingTuesday partner. By doing so, information about your organization and how to donate will be listed in #GivingTuesday’s directory for donors to consult. You’ll also want to set a clearly defined and realistic fundraising goal.
In the month or so leading up to #GivingTuesday, make sure to hype up this effort to your donor base. Your marketing should:
- Inform them that you’re participating,
- Emphasize your goal,
- Share the reason behind why you’re raising money,
- Give them details regarding how to get involved,
- And encourage them to share your posts with their networks.
Once the day of the event rolls around, all your organization needs to do is start sharing your #GivingTuesday donation page! Also—remember to give frequent updates throughout the campaign. When donors see how close you are to reaching your goal, they won’t be able to resist donating to your cause!
The takeaway: #GivingTuesday is all the rage in fundraising right now. If your organization wants to connect more deeply with donors on social media, consider running this type of campaign for yourself.
Because it’s such an impermanent form of social media, many organizations are hesitant to incorporate Snapchat into their engagement efforts.
However, this app is growing in popularity, and if used right, can be an excellent way to connect with your supporters.
So, how can your organization stay memorable when you only have 10 seconds max to make an impact?
Use Snapchat during your fundraising events.
Your organization can live stream actual goings-on at your fundraising event, so that even donors who aren’t present can join in on the fun. During your event, assign one of your staff members to be in charge of this social media effort. They can take original, behind-the-scenes footage to share and also curate videos and posts from your attendees. Make sure to encourage lots of snapping!
This strategy should be made even simpler with the introduction of the Snapchat Memories feature, which allows your organization to make collages out of your content before sharing.
Using Snapchat is an excellent way to engage both donors who are attending your event and those who can’t make it.
Those in attendance will love the opportunity to share their experience firsthand. The fact that their snaps might be featured by your organization can turn Snapchatting into a fun game! Those who can’t be there, on the other hand, will feel like they’re present. When they’re getting live footage of all your event happenings in real time, they’ll be more invested in your organization.
The takeaway: Using Snapchat during live events enables you to engage donors both near and far over social media!
Social media is only growing in popularity, so it’s an important part of any nonprofit’s digital engagement strategy. The 6 tips discussed above should help your organization connect more deeply with your donors, so you’ll have stronger relationships both online and off.
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