by Kristen DeMint, Author, The Essential Guide to End-of-Year Fundraising for Nonprofits of All Sizes
With the prominence of social media, you simply can’t (read that: shouldn’t) ignore it as a vital part of your online marketing strategy. With a majority of adults on one or more social media site and about half the U.S. population comprising active Facebook users, that’s a whole lot of people from which to create a community!
Think about it: It’s really difficult to create communities through the mail. And that’s the very reason most organizations use social media outlets. Even if I donate and get a thank you note, I’m not going to feel as connected to your larger community.
The great thing about social media with regards to fundraising is that you can create an online community and keep your supporters engaged, which means they’ll be more likely to care about, connect with, and financially support your cause.
Show people how your organization impacts the world, and, ideally you can engage more supporters in your conversations. An organization (no matter the size) can develop a powerful online presence by following a few simple steps:
- Determine your online narrative. This incorporates your organization’s mission and goals and reflects the values of your target online audience. In order to maintain a cohesive, message-driven social media campaign, everything you post should be a reflection of this online narrative.
- Choose your outlets. Don’t create an account on every site. Stick to the one or two sites that your target audience is already using and that your staff is most familiar with. Facebook and Twitter are great places to start.
- Create an updating schedule. Ensure that your organization posts meaningful content at regular intervals. Create an updating schedule. You don’t want folks to stop following your social media because you have no interaction. The schedule should include a list of content (news, reports, events, and so on) posted over the course of the week, with corresponding staff assignments.
- Stick to the basics. As a nonprofit, you really need to worry about only a few types of posts:
- New website/blog content from your organization
- Relevant news articles and blog posts
- Retweets/reposts of content from supporters and partner organizations
- Calls to action (petitions, e-mail campaigns, and so on) or upcoming events
- Response posts/tweets to questions, comments, or statements from your fans and followers
- Discussion starters (questions, humorous comments, and so on) — whatever gets your audience excited about your content
- Use social media outlets to build your e-mail list. You can do this by
- Setting up custom tabs in Facebook
- Putting your URL in the About section in Facebook and as the website link in Twitter
- Continuing to ask your audience to sign up for your e-mail list
- E-mailing your list and asking them to become Facebook fans and/or Twitter followers
- Take advantage of social media management tools. Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, and Act.ly are all great tools to explore, along with Salsa Labs’ new integrated social media features — especially if you’re already using Salsa for blast e-mails and other organizing tools.
Now, take a deep breath and download the free e-book, The Essential Guide to End-of-Year Fundraising. No matter how big or small your nonprofit, this easy-to-read book is packed with tips and advice for creating your year-end online fundraising plan, utilizing many low cost online tactics.