How Social Media Drives Fundraising for Nonprofits
Social media has seen increasing adoption in our society and become a key component of fundraising for nonprofits. Fundraisers know the role social-media users play in raising money during crises and key events, but how social media provides these results has been a bit ambiguous. However, there are social scoring services to help nonprofits identify and categorize their social-media constituents.
Social-media users are very different in their online interactions. Identifying and understanding social-media constituents and influencers based on levels of interactions and the amount of influence they have in their networks has been difficult.
With social scoring, organizations now can discover which constituents use social media and engage them more effectively, integrate joint e-mail and social-media campaigns more effectively, and identify influencers and have them help "friendraise." This allows organizations to identify their most "socially connected" constituents and create opportunities to position themselves in mutually beneficial relationships.
4 social-media types
Using Blackbaud's Social Scoring, for instance, you can identify four categories of social-media users within your database: key influencers, engagers, multichannel consumers and standard consumers.
Key influencers: These are the people who make up about 1 percent of social-media users. They belong to all three major networks — Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn — and drive many conversations. They have the ability to influence people within their networks and those outside their networks, have high call-to-action ratios, and if they know about you and care about you, they will help you achieve your goals.
Engagers: These are the people who make up about 5 percent of social-media users. They belong to all three major networks; generate unique posts, shares and comments; drive 80 percent of all the content and conversations; and share information and contribute significantly to the viral spread of messages.
Multichannel consumers: These are the people who make up about 45 percent of social-media users. They have known, active presences on at least two major networks, and although they do not often influence others socially, they are still critical for advocacy and other calls to action because they have high potential to engage in specific campaigns that resonate with them.
Standard consumers: These are the people who make up about 49 percent of social-media users. They consume information from one known network, use social media to stay connected with friends/family and current events, and they read and watch updates rather than create new content or make comments. They are influenced by their friends, family and peers and will likely take action if asked.
How social-media constituents help deliver your mission
Each of the four social-media categories has unique characteristics, and members relate to each other and to your campaigns in different ways.
Key influencers champion your cause. With their commanding reach across social-media networks, your key influencers can help drive the success of your campaigns. They are typically not your largest financial contributors, but they have the energy and power to champion your cause to many others. Here is where a social-media strategy is critical, because traditionally, you may have overlooked these constituents, missing the opportunity to have them do what they do best — promote your cause. Think of your key influencers as citizen journalists, those who write for a mass market, and engage their friends and followers who in turn will become your donors.
Engagers drive your messages. Social-media engagers are dialed in to what is happening in the social-media space and create and deliver new content. They help your compelling stories go viral. They increase awareness of your organization and expand your constituency. They are valuable not only as individual donors, but also in the ability to recruit their friends to donate.
Multichannel and standard consumers. Multichannel and standard consumers also have key roles to play in your social-media strategy. These individuals consume information and calls to action from your influencers and engagers. What these two groups lack in influence, they make up for in quantity and potential in terms of financial and other forms of support.
Nonprofits are seeing real returns using social-media data to segment their supporters. In particular, National Wildlife Federation has incorporated social scores into a multitude of campaigns, ranging from online advocacy to peer-to-peer fundraising. Social data indicating a supporter's level of influence can be a very strong indicator of not only organizing ability, but also fundraising skills through networking.
For more information, download the free white paper Understanding the Value of Your Social Media Influencers: How to Identify and Empower Those Who Can Engage an Entire Community at www.blackbaud.com/social-influencer.