Being an internet user now means being a social networker, with 98% of digital consumers having social media accounts. Those people spend an average of 2 hours and 15 minutes per day scrolling through news feeds and using messaging applications, so it's now more important than ever, that fundraisers are sharing the right content, at the right time. Having a solid strategy and using scheduling tools will help you make the most of your social media posts to increase support and donations! Here are some top tips to ensure your a success on social media:
Plan in advance
Whilst 71% of non-profits agree that social media is effective for online fundraising, only 32% have created a social media strategy. Posting whenever you get a free minute and finding random things to post about will keep your profile active, but will it help you reach your goals? If you're looking to increase the engagement on each of your posts, look at your channel's analytics and see which posts perform best, paying attention to what time those posts went out. Create a content calendar so you can plan in advance, and ensure that your posts are regular and consistent. Add in national days that will trend on Twitter, as well as widely celebrated holidays across the globe, so you can increase your reach. It’s such a simple thing to do, but will enable you to create clever, engaging and timely content.
Use a scheduling tool
Managing multiple channels and campaigns simultaneously is no mean feat, but gone are the days when you need to interrupt your weekend brunch to get that Tweet out. Hootsuite is a great social media scheduling tool, and the good news is you can use it for free each month, if you just have just 1 user logging in and 3 channels to use. You can post to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter, enabling you to cover a full range of social channels. Upload copy and images, and schedule posts to go out at a specific date and time, meaning you can post when you're likely to get the highest engagement, without having to be glued to your phone at all hours of the day.
Tweetdeck is a brilliant free tool to use if you manage multiple Twitter accounts, especially if you're having to post for different regions and subsequently, varied time zones! The interface allows you to post to an unlimited number of Twitter accounts, where you can easily see multiple channels on one screen and monitor engagement, new followers and interactions.
The key thing with social media is to ensure you’re posting consistently and regularly. Just 17% of non-profits share one post per day on social media and only 8% share 2 or more per day. Studies have shown that the more you post on social media, the more engagement and followers you will get, going against the general belief that posting too much will cause your followers to feel spammed and unfollow. Don’t go overboard through, limit yourself to 5 posts per day per channel and ensure these posts are spread out throughout the day at optimum posting times. Remember with Instagram it’s all about posting high quality, captivating imagery, so any images that aren’t up to scratch leave for your story instead. Create a social media planner so you can plan your posts in advance, ensure you're posting on each channel daily, and you'll end up being more strategic with storytelling through your profile.
Don't waste money on buying followers
A decent amount of followers can help build trust in your brand, and channels like Instagram require business pages to have at least 10,000 followers in order to be able to post clickable links in their Instagram Story, but don't waste too much time or money on follower campaigns. Just think about MySpace, which was once the largest social networking site in the world, it then lost it’s popularity once Facebook took off, and now is barely used. It would be devastating if you’d invested huge amounts of time and money building up a following, only for the social network to become redundant a few years later.
Check your analytics regularly
Look in the analytics of your social channels and find out which posts perform better than others; look at how many clicks, likes and comments they have got, as well as the reach or impressions (which is the number of people who have seen your post in their feed). Try to find similarities in the posts which perform well, and you’ll be able to focus on improving your posts further.
Share video content
Video content is a great way to convey large amounts of information in a short space of time. Yes they can be a lot of work, and producing videos can be pricey and time consuming, but you can create video content on a smaller scale to help increase your reach and donations.
Start implementing Facebook and Instagram live videos into your strategy, it’s a great way to give your followers a glimpse behind the scenes of the work your charity does. With the Oxfam scandal being brought to light in the media, it’s now more important than ever to gain the trust of your supporters and this is a great way to show off the fantastic work you do. Virtually all social networkers have watched a video clip online in the last month, which is not surprising at all as videos generate 1,200% more shares than plain text and images. Remember if you are posting a video on Facebook, upload it directly to the app. By doing this, the video will automatically play in your followers news feed, whereas if you post a link to a YouTube video your followers will actively need to hit 'play' and you're sure to get less views. YouTube and Facebook are social networking competitors, so it’s Facebook’s subtle way of increasing their own video uploads.
Social media is an easy way to increase your reach and attract new supporters, for free. If you're looking to reach an even bigger audience, advertising through social networks is a cost effective way to reach thousands of potential donors. If you'd like more tips on how to market your online fundraising campaign for free, check out this webinar: