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guest blog by Tim Sarrantonio, Neon One
Tim Sarrantonio is a team member at Neon One and has more than 10 years of experience working for and volunteering with nonprofits. Tim has raised over $3 million for various causes, engaged and enhanced databases of all sizes, procured multiple successful grants, and formulated engaging communications and fundraising campaigns for several nonprofits. He has presented at international conferences and is a TEDx speaker on technology and philanthropy and was named NonprofitPRO’s 2020 Technology Professional of the Year. He volunteers heavily in his home of Niskayuna, NY.
Tim came on my Facebook Live stream to share specific tips and steps to use your nonprofit CRM to create a social media ambassador program.
You can watch the replay of our conversation and his blog post diving into the topic more deeply, below.
How To Use Your Nonprofit CRM To Create A Social Media Ambassador Program
One of the most important things to remember about donor engagement is that your ultimate goal is to build affinity and appreciation for the work that you are doing.
This will help strengthen the trust that people have in your mission and also help build a deeper base of support to help spread the good news that you are doing day in and day out.
With concerning job news continuing to come out, our organizations are going to be facing a reality that there is more work to be done with less people there to do it. That is why building out your organization’s support network to tap into the passion that donors have for your cause is a critical investment strategy to consider.
In a post-pandemic world, there is going to be more opportunities around social media engagement than ever before. Donors are getting more comfortable with digital technology and communications, even if they ultimately give through more traditional channels.
Establishing a connection of trust between your organization and donors can be quickly accomplished through a social media ambassador program.
What is a social media ambassador program?
Recommendations and referrals from trusted networks are eminently more powerful than the most exquisitely-designed and well-funded social media advertising campaign.
The public’s lack of trust in institutions and skepticism of advertising messages, combined with the sheer amount of information competing for our attention, mean that it’s time to consider creating a social media ambassador program at your nonprofit.
This program is designed to encourage dedicated volunteers to help contribute to the marketing and promotion of your organization’s appeals, programs, and other targeted campaigns that may be appropriate for social media distribution.
Where to find social media ambassadors
One of the best ways to find social media ambassadors is of course through your existing social media channels.
Paying attention to who is interacting with your content is a great way to start identifying the best candidates for your program.
Yet there are much deeper and potentially more impactful ways to create prospect lists for your social media ambassador program.
Utilizing existing data to identify and prospect your future ambassadors is a great way to streamline your outreach efforts.
A key source of data should be your nonprofit CRM, which houses all the primary data about your organization’s supporters. It should include their contact information, social media profiles, giving history, and indicators of affinity and capacity.
Here are some key types of supporters to focus on when building your ideal ambassador profile:
- Monthly or recurring donors
- Donors who have attended any virtual events in 2020 and also gave again
- GivingTuesday donors
- Facebook Fundraisers
- Peer to peer fundraising captains or fundraisers
Figure 1: Creating a cycle of success for your social media ambassador + CRM strategy
Merging social media and CRM engagement strategies
Once you have created a dedicated list of prospects to reach out and recruit for your program, don’t stop utilizing the CRM itself.
Besides utilizing your outreach to enrich the data you may have on these socially inclined donors, there are various other ways to bridge your usage of social media and your CRM:
- Create distribution email lists just for ambassadors to deliver targeted email content
- Establish campaign attribution procedures for any gifts that come in through the ambassador program
- Leverage event and community management tools to create experiences for your ambassadors, such as tracking RSVPs to a virtual launch party for your campaign
- Outline success metrics for your ambassadors so they know they are making an impact in your operational success through their work
Being able to track and report on your success is critical, which is why one of the best investments your organization can make is into a tool that will allow for omni-channel analysis of impact.
Seeing that a social media ambassador campaign then led to impactful revenue is one of the best ways to further justify a deeper investment into your social media strategy overall.
Activating supporters is something all nonprofits struggle with, so starting with some of the most passionate ones will ensure that you are creating a cycle of success for years to come.
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