Are you struggling to define and grow an audience for your cause?
If you are, social media marketing — the use of social networks (like Facebook) to build awareness about your Non-Profit— could be just the key.
In this article, we’ll review four ways to use social media platforms as a tool for connecting with constituents, raising awareness, and collecting donations.
1. Give Supporters Something of Value
To use social media effectively in your Non-Profit, you need to understand that social media is about building meaningful relationships with people.
A meaningful relationship means that each side both gives and takes, and a part of what you give to the relationship is value.
The audience you build on social media isn’t going to continue following you just because you’re there. You need to repeatedly provide value to them until they come to know, like, and trust you, and are willing to engage with you.
The “value” you deliver to followers can take a number of forms. Generally speaking, delivering value refers to producing high-quality content that engages people on relevant topics. This may include videos and images of your Non-Profit-in-action, contests that solicit submissions and social sharing from followers, and even live interviews in which a member of your organization addresses its constituents.
Remember, managing a social media page is about creating a meaningful experience for your followers. Ask yourself: How am I providing value to my page following, and would I follow this page myself?
2. Expand Giving through Social Fundraising
Also called peer-to-peer, social fundraising refers to a method in which your supporters fundraise on your behalf.
Sounds great, right?
When it comes to managing peer-to-peer fundraising through social media, the steps are relatively simple.
First, you’ll need to recruit volunteers either to set up their own individual campaign pages (called “community pages” on Facebook) or to utilize their personal social media profiles to spread the word about your Non-Profit.
Second, you’ll want to provide your volunteers with a steady stream of high-quality posts to share with their networks. Think videos, images, and contests here.
Thirdly, you will continue to stay in regular contact with your volunteers and keep a close eye on insights (e.g., the engagement rates of your shared content) and ensure that volunteers are redirecting queries about, say, donations to someone within your organization.
Social fundraising is a fabulous technique to raise awareness about your Non-Profit and to solicit donations. But it’s only as effective as your ability to follow up with your volunteers and answer questions that people within their networks may have.
3. Try Crowdfunding — But Do Your Research!
Social fundraising is a great technique if your organization already has a number of committed followers. But if you’re just getting off the ground, you might consider “crowdfunding.”
Crowdfunding is a way for people, businesses, and (yes) Non-Profits to raise money through individuals or organizations that invest in crowdfunding campaigns.
That said, there are nearly 200 social platforms upon which to launch a crowdfunding campaign, and not all of them will be right for your organization.
You may be tempted to think that going for the most popular ones will give you the best chance of success, but depending on your Non-Profit, this may not be so.
Do your research and find a platform that’s best suited for your particular cause and crowdfunding campaign type.
4. Support Other Charities
You know the old saying, “What you give is what you get”?
This applies equally to Non-Profits and the people who run them.
You can’t expect that others will support your cause, no matter how important, if you and your organization are unwilling to support the causes of others.
When it comes to social media, supporting other organizations provides opportunities for cross-promotional campaigns.
This means that your content and your Non-Profit will be broadcast to a new audience with values that are similar to the audience that already follows you.
So, again, do your homework. Visit the social media pages of organizations that follow and use similar hashtags, reach out to their directors, and propose a cross-promotional campaign through which content — and expenses — might be shared.