It was incredibly important to organizations looking to grow their engagement with donors pre-March 2020, but we know that now, engaging over social media is more important than ever. And while we may often think, “our donors are getting so much information thrown at them” or, “maybe we should go a little quieter and not have as much content out there,” we’ve seen from past examples that organizations that kept communicating and kept fundraising through crises were the ones that did best. We want to make sure that we’re actually asking our communities to give us their time, their advocacy, their influence, and their attention — in addition to their money! Here are six tips to help you best leverage your social media content and empower your audience to give.
Tip #1: Be Urgent and Unique
When telling the story of your organization, focus your content on the why, what for, and why now of your mission. But make sure it’s specific for right now — you need to cut through the noise with a call to action that relays urgency. Find the reason that makes what you do important today, and let that be what differentiates your organization.
Tip #2: Plan Ahead
It can be hard to plan ahead in an uncertain environment, but planning two to four weeks in advance can guide what you’re sharing while allowing for flexibility informed by what’s changing at your organization and in the world. You don’t necessarily have to write all your content four weeks ahead of time, but at least getting a sense of what we want to post down the line will help you organize and create a sense of anticipation for your donors.
Tip #3: Plan for Your Look and Feel
“Authentic” videos and pictures are fine. An executive director holding an iPhone to give an update from their home office? Perfect! We’re actually seeing a lot of engagement with those type of videos — more engagement, actually, with than with overly produced ones. So, keep videos short and tell a really specific story. Also, consider livestreaming. People engage three times more with live videos than with recorded content.
Tip #4: Put Your Content First
When there isn’t as much in-person programming, such as over the past year, we need to make sure we’re still making new visual content to keep feeds fresh. Tell stories about your organization: the clients, the impact, the social issue, the need for our services. You can even add in some personal stories about staff, board members, and dedicated volunteers. The more your audience hears from the people on the ground, the better
Tip #5: Analyze Trends
People are spending more time on social media since the pandemic and are seeing so much content, so it’s important that we’re thinking critically about when we’re posting and what we’re asking people to do. Use data around engagement to inform what you share and when.
Tip #6: Be Different
Cut through the noise by making sure your content is empowering your audience. Your content isn’t just there for your audience to kill time with and browse through, but to tell them what they can do to make a difference. Finally, a lot of groups are finding groups on social media, like Facebook, to be really effective now for creating a sense of community. But make sure you’re using groups to build goodwill before you use them to fundraise!
This post was based off Matt Gayer’s webinar “How to Engage Your audience with Social Media and Email.” Want to learn more? Check out the webinar here.