5 Key Strategies for Social-Media Success
Whether your organization utilizes social media today or not, this wildly popular new medium will be vital for fundraisers of all shapes and sizes in the very near future, if it isn't already. It is, after all, the channel of choice for the younger generations, and an ever-increasing number of baby boomers and mature donors are adopting social media as well.
But with this new technology comes new headaches. How much time should you spend on social media? How do you use it to engage donors and/or raise funds? Is it something your organization can keep up with? The list goes on and on.
In a webinar last month presented by FundRaising Success and sponsored by Avectra, “Leverage Online Communities & Social Media Strategies to Engage Donors and Other Supporters” (available for free on-demand), social-media fundraising experts James Ward, vice president of vertical market strategy at NFi Studios, and Christina Johns, online media manager at International Fellowship for Christians and Jews, shared some social-media best practices and examples of organizations that utilize the channel effectively.
Here are five key strategies for social-media success Ward shared during the webinar.
1. Work it backward
When embarking in social media, nonprofit organizations should know what they’re getting into. Don’t just create a profile and then figure out what to do from there. Work it backward. Before really launching your social-media initiatives, ask yourself:
- What is your business strategy for social media?
- What is the purpose of the community?
- What is the ideal size and makeup?
- What are the benefits to participation? Negatives?
- What is the expected contribution of the different participants? Why? How?
Once you have the answers to those questions and it’s ultimately decided that social media will benefit your organization and help it achieve the mission, you can move on.
2. Leverage multimedia
Don’t use social media in isolation. It should be integrated into the overall multichannel communications strategy of your organization.
Use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and whatever other social networks you use as casting platforms where community members are notified of value-added content, conversations, user groups, connections, incentives, etc., in your community. And don’t hesitate to drive them to your website or donation pages.
3. Make it a product for the people
Social media has taken off because of its ease of use. Therefore, your organization should make its social communities a “product for the people,” i.e., make it easy for them to use to encourage participation.
Make sure your social communications are easy to use via the mobile channel, as more and more donors and adopters are accessing their networks via mobile phones. And make sure you listen to and survey your supporters in the community. The allure of social media is that it’s a two-way conversation, so treat it as such. Find out what’s important to your donors, what type of communications they want to receive on the different social networks, etc. Survey them, listen to them and react to what they tell you.
4. Empower the enterprise
You want to be able to engage your internal employees to cultivate the community. You need to identify ways to engage your entire team. If your employees won’t engage in the community with your donors or members, it may be difficult to get people who aren’t on your payroll to use it as well.
So encourage staffers in sales, member services, marketing, events, donations, development, the board and the executive team to get involved and be active in social media.
5. Identify how to leverage the data
You may have heard about Facebook using the “Like” button that people have been using the past few years to ultimately put different ads that are more applicable to different users in front of those users. Social customer relationship management (CRM) is the same type of idea that can be leveraged for your donors or members.
Technology research company Gartner defines social CRM thusly: “Social CRM comprises applications with very different approaches for supporting communities of internal users, customers, partners and other stakeholders to assist with sales, marketing and customer-service processes for the mutual benefit of the enterprises and their customers.”
Essentially, you should use the data inside your communities to better engage with those communities. You want to measure the virtual interaction of your users by scoring the way they interact — membership, fundraising, social-media activities — and weight those activities in importance to your organization to predict the value of those members. That way, you can target key influencers for your organization and engage your community members appropriately.
To get further insights and view the entire free webinar, click here.