You’ve heard of the major social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, etc. But is your nonprofit maximizing their marketing potential?
With so many social media sites it can seem overwhelming just to try to keep up an online presence. But the truth is that social media is a powerful tool (especially for nonprofit organizations) so it’s worth putting in the effort to make an impact on these popular sites.
Nonprofit organizations have the ability to tell a persuasive and empathetic narrative on social media platforms because they’re tailor-made for storytelling!
Your nonprofit already knows that it has a compelling story and does good work, but do your social media followers? Without a well-thought-out social media strategy in place, you may not be getting the most out of your presence on these popular sites.
Building up your online presence can help your organization raise awareness, garner funding, and grow your community. You just need to know how to market yourself effectively on each social media platform you decide to use.
Try these 5 creative strategies for boosting your nonprofit’s social media marketing strategy:
- Feature matching gifts in your social media posts
- Integrate social sharing into the donation process
- Offer branded merchandise to reward engaged followers
- Incorporate social media into your fundraising events
- Emphasize social media during key giving times
Many organizations are initially overwhelmed by social media platforms, but it doesn’t need to be as complicated as it seems. Dive into these creative strategies so you can boost your online presence and reach your full social media marketing potential!
1. Feature matching gifts in your social media posts
Many companies (from small businesses to large corporations) offer matching gifts programs to their employees. In these programs, employers commit to matching charitable gifts to many nonprofit organizations.
Depending on the company, donors could be matched at a rate equivalent to 50% of their original donation or maybe even 100% of it!
All too often, donors are unaware of the fundraising possibilities available to them through their own employers. Your nonprofit has the opportunity to inform them of how matching gifts work as part of your social media marketing strategy.
Matching gifts appeal to the donor’s sense of giving without asking them to give additional funds.
In your social media posts, share a link to a matching gifts search tool so donors can quickly find out if their employer will match their contribution.
Your marketing team can recommend a tool like Double the Donation’s matching gifts database, which allows donors to see whether or not their company will match their donations and the guidelines to their employer’s matching gifts program.
To make sure followers see these crucial matching gifts posts, try these social media strategies:
- Include an eye-catching visual to direct your audience to your matching gifts search tool. You may choose a photo, an infographic, or another graphic that reflects your style and stands out on a social feed.
- Create a video of your staff explaining what matching gifts programs are and how to submit a matching gift request. Followers are naturally drawn to interesting videos and will love seeing the faces of nonprofit staff members.
- Try a weeklong “matching gifts blitz” where you post information on matching gifts throughout the week. Tell your followers about matching gifts, call on them to search for their company’s matching gifts policies, and watch as your donations soar.
Keep an eye out for programs similar to matching gifts as well! Many companies also financially match volunteer’s time contributions through volunteer grant programs.
Encouraging donors to take advantage of matching programs offered by charitable organizations is a great way to help your giving community reach its full financial potential. The next time you write a social media post, be sure to prioritize promoting matching gifts!
2. Integrate social sharing into the donation process
The voice of your organization is important, but the voices of those in your community can be just as—if not more—important.
In addition to establishing your own brand voice on social media, allow your social media followers to share their voices as well. When donors show off their contributions to your nonprofit, they are spreading the word about your cause!
When your donors have just made a gift, they’re more likely than ever to take the time to post about your organization to their personal networks. Take advantage of this opportunity by including a social sharing button on your giving forms to empower your donors to market for you!
Online giving pages can spread the word of your organization far and wide across the internet by channeling those who already contributed to your cause.
With customizable nonprofit fundraising forms your organization can perfectly tailor your giving pages to meet the needs of your organization and its community.
Invite your donors to share why your nonprofit is important to them personally or why they may choose to donate through a customizable message template. You can even offer them prompts to get them started.
Your donors have important and touching stories. Social sharing buttons allow them to share these stories. Not only will you get to see how much your nonprofit means to people, but so will the rest of the world.
3. Offer branded merchandise to reward to engaged followers
No matter which social media platform you are using, encourage the engagement of your followers.
Supporter engagement with your nonprofit will spread your name further across the internet. Encourage your social media followers to interact with your nonprofit so their online friends will also hear about your organization and its needs.
There are a few ways you can encourage this engagement:
- Create branded merchandise. By using a t-shirt fundraising site like Bonfire you can offer a free customized t-shirt to your supporters who choose to donate from a social media platform.
- Run contests and offer prizes for engaged followers. For example, ask supporters to share their story of why your cause matters to them with a designated hashtag for a chance to win a piece of branded merchandise.
- When someone donates, tag them in personalized “thank you post” as a personal touch. Personal attention acts as an incentive just like a tangible reward. Staying engaged with your followers shows them you are attentive to their needs and appreciate their support.
Incentives on social media keep current followers engaged in your social media updates. However, it is also a marketing technique which broadens the audience of your content from just your followers to their online friends as well as they share your organization on their profile.
Branded merchandise giveaways are not just useful online! When you customize logos for products, people share these projects in-person as the owner may wear your branded t-shirt to a party or share their new gifts with their friends.
4. Incorporate social media into your fundraising events
In-person fundraising events such as car washes, raffles, and walkathons are a fantastic way to raise money, and strong online presence on social media can skyrocket the number of supporters who attend your in-person events!
While supporters who participate in your on-site fundraising events offer a lot of potential to your organization, you should still offer engagement opportunities for those who stayed at home or who want to support your cause from their computer.
To maximize the impact of your in-person fundraising opportunities, you should have a strong online presence before, during, and after your fundraising events:
- Market your event online using social media advertising tools. Make an invitation page on Facebook, a promotional video on Youtube, or a creative image for Instagramto get the word out about your upcoming event.
- Keep up your online presence during the event and encourage support through comments and donations. Host a live stream or send tweets. Use your event fundraising software platform to show equal attention to both live and online audiences.
- Keep posting even after the event. Take enticing photos at the fundraising event you organized, then post them on social media later on.These photos are used for marketing and for advertising for the next event.
Thank everyone for attending the event whether in-person or online, and (if you have one planned) start advertising the next fundraising event right away! Because the last event is still fresh in your follower’s minds, they will be more likely to register for the next event as well.
When people see online the fantastic fundraising events you organize, they will be inspired to attend future events on your calendar!
5. Emphasize social media engagement during key giving times
Did you know that certain times of the year are more popular for giving donations than others?
By amping up your social media presence during the most popular giving seasons, you will gain new followers who may be feeling particularly generous.
Make sure you are maximizing the use of your nonprofit’s social media tools and time by emphasizing gifts toward the end of the year and at other times relevant to your cause.
Here are some general rules-of-thumb to keep in mind when planning your social media campaigns:
- #Giving Tuesday invites individuals and businesses to give back to the community in the spirit of Thanksgiving. Try creating a #GivingTuesday promotional video to post before the holiday to encourage gifts.
- The days leading up to New Years Eve are high traffic giving days. The week leading up to New Years Eve, post often to social media encouraging donors to continue giving in order to receive tax deductions.
- Keep an eye on the news for world events that may relate to your cause. If a popular story breaks relating to your cause, people will feel more motivated to contribute.
Although you can use your social networks to ask for donations at any time of the year, keep these key times in mind as an extra boost to your current fundraising strategy.
Keep an eye on the calendar to best boost the size and number of gifts. You can see sizeable increases in donations during these times of the year.
Align your social media pushes with the natural flow of the giving calendar and watch your fundraisers soar!
Social media is a powerful marketing tool, so don’t waste the opportunity to use it effectively. Use these 5 strategies to take charge of your social media presence and tell the world your story!
Adam Weinger is the President of Double the Donation, the leading provider of tools to nonprofits to help them raise more money from corporate matching gift and volunteer grant programs. Connect with Adam via email or on LinkedIn.