5 Keys to Discovering Social Media Fundraising Opportunities
When was the last time you purchased something you didn’t really need because it jumped in front of you?
Perhaps because you saw it on a sidewalk stand while walking down the street. Or at the check-out line. Or it popped up as an ad or sidebar on your computer.
When you make it easy for folks to find you, they’re more likely to buy. What’s more? They buy again. CEB Research says that “94 percent of customers who have a low-effort service experience will buy from that same company again.” Donating is no different.
One way to “jump” in front of folks in our digitally-connected, networked world is via social media. Before the digital revolution, it was challenging to find the folks who might be receptive to your cause. No more. For example, you can go to Twitter and type in a hashtag (e.g. #environmentaljustice, #domesticviolence, #literacy) and… voila! Lots of folks who care about what you do. You can go to LinkedIn and find discussion groups dedicated to similar topic areas. Today, potential supporters are not just easier to find, they’re easier to know.
1. Learn as much as you can
The more you know, the better you can target your messaging and fundraising calls to action. If you pay attention, you can actually learn quite a lot about what floats the boats of your target constituencies.
Where and how do you learn? Folks may as well be discussing their interests and values online—replying to tweets, posting comments on forums, asking questions of their peeps in LinkedIn groups and answering questions on Quora. Or they may simply be sending and sharing content they like or dislike. There is a ton of information to be gleaned.
2. Set yourself up for listening
Tools such as Tweetdeck and Google Alerts can offer insight into what your constituents are discussing online—in real time. Put them to good use, and you’ll be able to understand individual needs and broader market trends—stepping in to offer targeted, perfectly-timed solutions to people’s problems.
3. Use what you learn to grab THE DONOR’S attention
If you offer me something I need or want, and it’s convenient for me to take me up on your offer, I’ll likely do so. Relevancy is where it’s at. Grab some ideas for creating relevant nonprofit social media content here, keeping in mind that folks are most likely going to act on/share content that reflects their own perspective. Understand that one of the best “gifts” you can give to address folks’ needs is to offer ways they can enact their cherished values.
4. Make action easy
Tell a compelling story. Share an impactful video or photo. Craft an interesting, useful list of facts and action tips. Then include a direct link to your dedicated donation landing page to make it easy for folks to act on what you’ve shared. They don’t have to wait until they get home to write a check. They don’t even have to wait until they’re in front of their computer. They can do it on their phone, before their
ardor cools. Make sure your landing page relates specifically to what you’ve shared.
Generic landing pages do not convert as well as specifically tailored ones. If your social media post included a photo of Manny, your landing page should have the same photo and more of Manny’s story. Learn more about creating great nonprofit landing pages at here and at here.
5. Measure effectiveness
You’ll never know if what you’re doing is working unless you measure your results. Too many nonprofits continue the same strategies year after year, simply because that’s what they’ve always done. They don’t seek to learn whether there might be another way. One that might yield an even greater return. This is lazy, and it’s often ineffective, costing you precious resources that could better be deployed elsewhere.
So, pay attention. Use analytics. Today you can actually use landing pages to test conversion from different channels. It’s called conversion-centered design—a discipline targeted specifically at designing experiences that achieve a single business goal. In your case, it’s to guide your potential supporter toward completing the one specific action (e.g. donate, sign a petition, email, sign up) you directed them to take from Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or wherever, using persuasive design and psychological triggers as devices to increase conversions.
You can set up specific landing pages for visitors from different social media platforms you’re on so you can see which performs the best.
Social Media Tools Create Meaningful Relationships
In today’s zeitgeist, social is the way we become aware. Social is the way we learn more. Social is the language we speak. Social is the ties that bind. Social is the way we get our needs met. Buying and selling have always been social activities. Make no mistake: Nonprofits are “selling” the opportunity to make a positive impact, while philanthropists are “buying” this opportunity to be the heroes they long to be. There’s a potential value-for-value exchange at stake here. Your job is to facilitate it. And this is made easy, post digital revolution, through online social contact.
In a nutshell, online social fundraising is a lead-generation and relationship-building technique grounded in social media. Simply put, it’s using social tools and networks to create meaningful relationships between fundraisers and prospective donors. Read more from me on this topic at here.
If your goal is securing more philanthropy to fulfill your mission:
• Make a social roadmap to help you reach your goals.
• Integrate your fundraising and marketing strategies across all channels.
• Don’t think of social as “social media.” Rather, consider your development/marketing communications strategy holistically.
Online social fundraising means developing a better understanding of what your typical donor’s journey may be in connecting and engaging with you, and how content influences the different stages of this journey. Both nonprofit marketers and fundraisers must come together in understanding the power of online social content and customer experience at each step of the donor journey.
If you like craft fairs, baseball games, art openings, vocal and guitar, and political conversation, you’ll like to hang out with Claire Axelrad. Claire, J.D., CFRE, will inspire you through her philosophy of philanthropy, not fundraising. After a 30-year development career that earned her the AFP “Outstanding Fundraising Professional of the Year” award, Claire left the trenches to begin her coaching/teaching practice, Clairification. Claire is also a featured expert and chief fundraising coach for Bloomerang, She’ll be your guide, so you can be your donor’s guide on their philanthropic journey. A member of the California State Bar and graduate of Princeton University, Claire currently resides in San Francisco.