How to Find and Engage Your Biggest Online Supporters – Part 3 of 3

How to Find and Engage Your Biggest Online Supporters – Part 3 of 3  Did you miss the first 2 posts in this series? Click to read Part 1 and Part 2.

In the past two weeks, I’ve blogged about ways that you and your organization can find your biggest online supporters, as well as ways that you can engage them to spread the word about your cause.

Today I will discuss the last, but most important, step in building relationships with your online supporters.

Acknowledge them!

Many nonprofit professionals seem to forget this vital step in cultivating supporters (and that might be why they are driving away donors in droves).

Don’t forget to say thank you!

Social media happens to be a fantastic way to acknowledge and reward online supporters.

1) Acknowledge, thank, celebrate, rinse, repeat!

Identify and acknowledge the special people. You know, the ones who always comment on your blog (genuinely and with value) and share your Facebook posts.

They might only have 45 LinkedIn connections, but their passion and interest is authentic and real – and often contagious.

(I repeat, it’s not about the Klout, it’s about the passion.)

2) Say Thank You!

Organize a “Thank You” campaign!

Heather Mansfield of the blog Nonprofit Tech 2.0 lays out ideas for creating “Thank You” videos for your 2012 fundraising campaigns. (This can also work for nonprofits as a “Thank You” to their biggest online supporters.)

Participate in Diane Darling’s “The Thank You Project”, where you hand write at least four personalized thank you notes per week. Blog about your Thank You campaign, post on Facebook and Twitter, share your Thank You process on LinkedIn. Your supporters and customers will appreciate the special touch and the personalized attention.

3) Pick a Facebook Fan of the Week.

This is a simple, easy-to-use Facebook application to add to your business or nonprofit’s Page. It automatically highlights the person who interacts with your Page the most within a given week.

Make this honor extra special and offer to highlight that Fan’s business or favorite cause for one week on your page, create a gallery of Fans of the Week on your website or make a special phone call to the Fan of the Week (if you have their information) to thank them for their engagement.

You can also send them items such as a t-shirt, pen, coffee mug or other memento (with your logo on it of course)!

4) Give them something special.

“Something special” includes exclusive access to events, reports, celebrities, thought leaders, discounts and offers.

Nonprofits can team up with local businesses to offer exclusive discounts – for example, when the local business hits 500 fans on Facebook, they will donate X amount to the organization and offer a discount of 15% to all of the nonprofit’s Facebook fans.

This way, the nonprofit and business will mutually benefit through cooperative marketing, and the fans will benefit by being able to help give back in a fairly effortless way.

Another example: As a part of the Massachusetts Conference for Women Social Media Street Team, I am awarded a free ticket to the Conference and other enticing rewards.

It’s a great way to get the word out about your cause while rewarding those who are donating their time.

5) Show the impact.

This is the most important step. Your online supporters want to know that all their tweeting, Facebook posting and blogging has actually helped your organization.

Otherwise, why waste their time? Demonstrate to them how their activities are helping you accomplish your mission, raise more money, serve more people and making the world a better place.

Short videos are a great way to do this, but photos and testimonials are also very powerful.

Conclusion: Too many nonprofits online today seem to have a race-to-the-top mentality – who can get the most fans, the most followers, the most likes.

However, it’s said that just 1% of an organization’s online fan base drives 20% of the traffic to the website and 75% of the interaction on the social networking sites.

Focus your social media efforts on cultivating, engaging and celebrating your biggest online supporters and reap the rewards!

I hope that you enjoyed this three part series! Please leave your comments below or continue the conversation on the Facebook Page.

photo credit: Ant1_G via photopin cc

 

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