May 18, 2020
Harnessing the power of social media to connect with donors
In times like this, social media is a huge driver to connect your communities. Social media posts can help build brand awareness, cultivate new donors, and ultimately lead to greater financial success for your organization. Once your donors start sharing, commenting, or liking your organization’s posts, it will start to spread to a bigger network. Whether your organization has a strong social media presence or you’re just starting, there’s always something new you can try to connect with your donors on different platforms.
Stay Active & Engaged
As you start or continue to build your organization’s social media presence, the key to connecting with your donors is to stay active on your social media accounts and to engage with your community. Develop your organization’s profile by posting on a consistent basis, whether it’s once a day or once a week, and create a cadence that works for your organization and your community. It might be helpful to plan out your posts in advance and establish a social media calendar, integrating your organization’s programming with the type of content you’ll share.
Engagement is crucial to sustaining a strong social media presence. Like or comment on every comment or post that your organization is tagged in, giving recognition to those that have connected with you. Keep your direct messages public on each platform to keep communication open with your community and respond to these messages in a timely manner. Once you start a campaign, share a hashtag, or promote a virtual event, increase your social media activity to reflect the amount of engagement you’d like to see from your donors. Giving recognition and spotlighting those that support you on social media will ensure that your community feels appreciated and eager to share on your organization’s behalf.
Turn Your Donors and Board into Influencers
Your donors and board are often your biggest advocates – take it a step further and ask them to share about your organization on their own personal social media accounts. It’s helpful to provide some guidance – should they share a photo with a personal story about their connection to their organization? Should they use a specific hashtag or tag your organization? Encourage them to post and then reshare their posts on your organization’s account to give them recognition.
If you want your donors to share a specific message, write an easy copy & paste caption or message to share with donors, or create an image that shares information about your organization, campaign, or virtual event. Free tools, such as Canva, can help you create stylish images without needing a graphic designer. You can find specific dimensions for image sharing on each social media platform here.
Be sure to extend this ask to your donors in a concise way, with simple steps and easy to download graphics. Even if some of your donors aren’t as savvy, your organization’s clear communication will encourage them to give it a try!
Set Aside the Time
It can seem daunting to manage multiple social media platforms at once, especially if you’re just starting. Set aside some time, either daily or weekly, to go through each account. It’s easy to set up push notifications for the accounts, but that might be overwhelming, especially if it’s not related to an upcoming campaign or event. Dedicate an hour to post, comment, like, respond to DMs, and follow new accounts. As we mentioned above, it’s important to stay active on your organization’s accounts so that you can see the benefits of social media connections.
There are a variety of free and paid tools available for social media management, with features ranging from posting at certain times to providing data insights on your accounts.
If you’re planning any sort of event or campaign use your social media accounts to promote it. Tools like Hootsuite and Sprout allow you to schedule social posts in advance so that you don’t have to manually post every time you want something shared.
You should promote through multiple channels but social is an important one to remember. It’s easy for donors to share information with their networks if they’re excited about your upcoming campaign, course, or initiative. Promoting on social is also a good reminder for your supporters that you have something coming up. They may have read your email, registered, and completely forgot…until they saw your post.
#RaiseAwareness through Hashtags & Photos
Hashtags can be a useful tool in streamlining posts across your various social media platforms, as well as tracking engagement. If you’re running a specific campaign or virtual event, create a hashtag to use in all your posts and encourage donors to use it when they post, too.
Share photos of donors and volunteers and tag them – this will encourage them to share the posts their personal accounts, helping to raise awareness for your organization in their networks. If you don’t have any recent photos, post a #TBT! Throwback photos are a wonderful way to share the stories of your organization with your network while keeping your social media accounts active.