For nonprofits to succeed on social media, they have to be good at social media and that requires a clear understanding of how, when, and why individuals engage with nonprofits on social media. With a primary focus on blogging, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, the webinar content below was presented by Heather Mansfield on November 8, 2016 to 2,150 nonprofit staff. It was the final presentation of the social media strategies webinar. To register for future free webinars, please see the Nonprofit Tech for Good Webinar Schedule.
1. Embrace social media fundraising.
- 59% of people of who engage with causes on social media donate money to nonprofits.
- 27% of donors worldwide cite social media as the communication tool that inspires them the most often to give.
- Online giving is set for exponential growth over the next decade (especially through social networks).
- Invest resources in social media fundraising now – or regret it later!
2. Be an early adopter of digital payments.
- Sign up for Facebook’s new donation tools. You must be a 501(c)(3) and have a verified page.
- Twitter has launched the ability to donate to political campaigns and is testing nonprofit donations. A good first step would be creating your $Cashtag.
- Sign up for Google for Nonprofits to accept donations through YouTube and possibly Google+.
- There’s also Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Snapcash.
3. Craft a content strategy.
- To inspire social media followers to donate, you must embrace content marketing.
- Begin by writing a social media strategy: 1) Conduct an online technology audit. 2) Name goals and action items. 3) Create and fund a budget.
- Next, craft a content strategy i.e., decide what types of content your nonprofit will create and how often and create an editorial calendar.
4. Write good stories.
- Best Friends Animal Society: Breaking free from a dog anxiety order (Twitter, Facebook)
- One Campaign: 10 things girls and women could be doing instead of collecting water (Twitter, Facebook)
- Ocean Conservancy: The Ocean’s Least Wanted: 4 Invasive Species to Know (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram)
5. Create visual content.
- On Facebook, visually appealing photos and compelling graphics receive up to 4X more engagement (shares and likes).
- Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks and 3X more engagement (retweets and likes).
- Create inspirational quotes, powerful stats, infographics, title images, event invites, and calls-to-action.
6. Know the science of social media.
- Facebook: Post 5-7 times weekly (at least once on the weekend) and then monitor your Insights. Post visually appealing photos and graphics and now that the new Reactions are live, test positive and negative content to see which inspires more engagement. Limit post text to 80* characters or less.
- Twitter: Tweet or retweet every one or two hours. Use Buffer to schedule tweets in the evenings and on the weekends. Visually compelling photos or graphics receive 3X the engagement as text tweets – especially if the images are properly sized for Twitter Mobile (800 x 420 pixels).
- Instagram: Post or regram once per day alternating between morning and late afternoon. Nonprofits that consistently use hashtags have up to 3X more followers.
7. Tap into the power of hashtag fundraising.
- #GivingTuesday 2015 was very successful and the trend will likely continue in 2016 – not only on #GivingTuesday, but also on cause awareness days. Begin promoting your hashtag fundraising campaign one month before in email and on social media: 1) Create a microsite or web page with the date, hashtag, and three clear calls-to-action. 2) Create a series of social media promotion graphics. 3) After the hashtag fundraising campaign is over, write a summary of success and tell donors and supporters to “Save the Date” for next year.
8. Broadcast your story live.
- Facebook Live: On desktop or on your mobile device, your nonprofit can go Live on Facebook.
- Instagram: When the impulse strikes, post photos and videos in real-time. Create photo and video essays.
- Periscope: Connected to Twitter, Periscope is a mobile app that allows you to broadcast live. Broadcasts can be recorded, saved to your Camera Roll, and then uploaded to YouTube, Facebook, etc.
9. Grow your followers.
- Build your email list and then use your email newsletter to grow your social media followers.
- Convert your donors into social media followers during the online donation process. Ensure that you have a call-to-follow on your “Thank You” landing page and in your “Thank You” email.
- Prominently feature your email newsletter opt-in and social media calls-to-follow on your website, blog, and in print materials.
10. Invest in social media staff.
- Your organization’s ability to embrace social media as a storytelling and fundraising tools depends upon the hours and salary that you are willing to invest.
- That said, for your social media staff to be effective on social media, they need an advanced skill set. If they don’t have the skills necessary, then provide the training and time necessary for them to learn – or hire new staff.
- Social media is a waste of time and resources if it is not done well.
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Mobile for Good: A How-To Fundraising Guide for Nonprofits
Based on more than 20 years of experience and 25,000+ hours spent utilizing mobile and social media, Mobile for Good: A How-To Fundraising Guide for Nonprofits is a comprehensive 256-page book packed with more than 500 best practices. Written on the premise that all communications and fundraising are now mobile and social, Mobile for Good is a step-by-step how-to guide for writing, implementing, and maintaining a mobile and social fundraising strategy for your nonprofit.