How to Find and Engage Your Biggest Online Supporters – Part 2 of 3

How to Find and Engage Your Biggest Online Supporters – Part 2 of 3

Julia Claire Campbell Nonprofits, Online Fundraising Leave a Comment

How to Find and Engage Your Biggest Online Supporters – Part 2 of 3Did you miss Part 1? Click here to read it!

Last week I discussed ways that you and your organization can find your biggest online supporters, also called Brand Ambassadors.

So now, hopefully, you’ve found some online supporters that are ready and willing to spread the word about your cause, your event and/or your fundraising campaign.

What do you do with them?

1) Listen. Too often organizations want to just jump in and start promoting their particular agenda. Shouting and pushing will get you ignored in the social media space. Listen first – Follow your online supporters on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest.

What are they sharing? What motivates them? What moves them to comment on a blog, to like a Facebook post, to retweet a link, to share a photo?

Listen to their conversations, figure out what moves them and tailor make a strategy using this information.

2) Create content that people want to share. Much easier said than done.

Spend some time and dedicate some resources to creating content that is well-written, original, compelling, timely, relevant and interesting.

Tall order, but that’s what it takes to stand-out in the noise of social media.

3) Make your content very easy to share. Encourage commenting and other interaction by disabling strict privacy settings on your social media sites. (I never understood why an organization would have a Facebook page if they didn’t want comments on it!)

Add social share buttons to all blog posts and email newsletters. Add like buttons to your website. More ways to enable sharing can be found here.

4) Write updates for them. Send out emails, Facebook posts, Tweets, etc. with suggested updates that the online supporter can simply cut, paste and share.

Write them in several social media formats to let the online supporter choose where they want to share. For example, write “Tweet this! The @waterforlife campaign for fresh water is well underway – can you donate $1 to help a child now? #waterforall” rather than “Tweet about our fresh water campaign today!”

5) Don’t make it about you. Don’t say “Help our organization raise money!” That isn’t very interesting.

Make it about the impact that they will have if they support you – how many kids do you help every day? How many animals are you saving?

What would happen if your organization disappeared? What difference are you making?

6) Target online supporters based on their sphere of influence. Craft a personal solicitation to online supporters that wield a lot of clout to support you where they are most influential. them to share on Twitter (if they have lots of followers), post to Facebook (lots of friends/fans) or pin on Pinterest (many followers).

Don’t ignore influencers and supporters on LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube. (MySpace is coming back too!)

7) Give updates on your progress. If you are looking to get a specific number of signatures on a petition, update your online supporters on your progress!

Celebrate milestones in fundraising – “We’ve raised $5,000 – only $5,000 more to go!” People love to be part of success.

Make these updates upbeat, short, and easy for people to share with their networks and a snowball effect will ensue!

8) Use hashtags to build community and monitor the conversation. Hashtags can be used on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

The best hashtags are original, memorable, easy to spell and short. Think #fail, #firstworldproblems, #womeninbinders, etc.

9) Celebrate your success at the end. Show your online supporters how they helped get you there!

“We had 348 retweets and an increase in Facebook Reach of 567%!” You will need to monitor your insights to get this information.

For more about measurement, read Beth Kanter’s insightful blog.

Remember, your online supporters are always looking for content to share with their networks.

They support your cause already, and they are most likely looking for easy ways to get more involved. Give them easy instructions and compelling content and you will see your online reach explode!

Stay tuned for part 3 of my special series How to find and engage your biggest online supporters – How to acknowledge them and cultivate their future support?

Do you need a step-by-step guide to creating digital storytelling campaigns?

You are in luck!

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When you sign up, you will also receive my free weekly bulletin with tips, tricks, and advice for savvy nonprofits on how to kick butt at online marketing and fundraising.

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