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Guest Post by Ryan Ozimek
A recent Pew Research survey revealed that roughly seven-in-ten Americans use some kind of social media platform. Snapchat, TikTok, and Instagram are most popular among adults under age 30.
Overall, the survey emphasized the centrality and influence of social media in all age demographics. It’s so critical to meet people where they are–and judging by the numbers, they’re gathering on social media to like, scroll, comment, and even donate!
That’s why social media should be part of your year-end fundraising strategy. In fact, about 30% of nonprofit website traffic comes from social media! Still, it’s essential to know the right way to leverage social media platforms effectively. That’s why we’ve gathered eight tips to help boost your year-end social media strategy to accomplish your year-end fundraising goals!
1. Consistency is critical with social media fundraising strategies
As with many things in life, consistency is vital when attracting and reaching your ideal audience on social media. Start by posting consistently year-round. Nothing is more suspect than a Facebook page that looks like a ghost town until November rolls around.
Track the types of social media posts that get the most response from your audience and the times of day people seem most active on your platforms. Be sure to post similar content during those times.
Industry experts offer varying opinions about how frequently to post on different platforms. A general rule of thumb is to post between three and seven times per week on Instagram, one to five times per day on Twitter and LinkedIn, and one or two times a day on Facebook.
Even if you haven’t been active on social media throughout the year, it’s not too late! Start as early as possible and develop a social media strategy to ensure you and your team continue posting valuable content long after the year-end giving season is over.
2. Stories are essential in social media content for year-end giving
Share stories about the impact your organization is making. Include photos and videos if possible. Current and potential donors want to hear specific ways you’re putting their money to work, and it’s helpful to connect faces and stories to your cause.
Videos and photos can also help your ranking on social media. Facebook’s notoriously mysterious algorithm loves videos. Nonprofits see a much higher reach with video compared to images or text-only posts. One key point here is to upload the videos directly to Facebook. Because YouTube is a competitor, you’ll likely have less reach when sharing a YouTube video to your Facebook account.
3. Use the Go Live feature to boost your year-end giving engagement on social media
There are so many unique ways to use the Go Live feature on Facebook for year-end fundraising. If you’re hosting a year-end event, take your audience behind the scenes; host a Q&A session for your donors; interview your staff or key supporters. The options and opportunities for creativity are endless, and these live videos really add a human element to your social media and your fundraising efforts.
An added benefit of a Facebook Live event is that Facebook notifies all your followers when you’re “live.” Then, the video and conversations stay on your page for people who couldn’t view the live broadcast.
4. Use Instagram stories and add links in your bio for year-end fundraising
Instagram doesn’t allow you to put links in posts on your page. One strategic workaround is to add key links to your bio! Remember to edit your bio to include a link to your year-end fundraising campaign. Then, direct your followers to the link in your bio. This is a common practice that most Instagram users are familiar with.
While you’re on Instagram, take advantage of the Instagram stories feature. There’s a pre-loaded Instagram tool for hosting an “ask me anything.” (Don’t worry, you can screen results and only answer the relevant questions.) Don’t be afraid to get creative here!
Or, if you’re accepting donations in-kind during your year-end giving campaign, do a clever spin on the ever-popular “unboxing” videos that influencers post. Instead of unboxing a package of goodies or freebies, “unbox” some in-kind donations! These kinds of Instagram stories are easy, fun, and engaging for your followers.
5. Create custom visuals for your year-end fundraising campaign on social media
Never underestimate the power of consistent branding and quality graphics. Invest just a little time and money to create some quality visuals for your year-end fundraising campaign. Use them as your profile and cover photos until the campaign is over. This keeps your branding consistent and helps your audience remain aware of the current focus.
If you have a hashtag for your fundraising campaign, add that to your graphics and images so your followers can tag and follow the campaign.
Don’t forget to add an image that shows your fundraising progress throughout the campaign! People want to know how close you are to reaching your goal, and it can motivate people to give (or increase the giving amount).
Design tools like Canva and affordable platforms like Fiverr and 99Designs make custom graphics far more accessible to nonprofits with small marketing budgets.
6. Create time-sensitive calls-to-action for your social media campaigns
Whether you have matching gift opportunities or just want to leverage the year-end tax-deduction deadline, call attention to these time-sensitive opportunities with custom calls to action. For example, you might create a social media post for the last week of December that says, “Only 7 more days to make a tax-deductible gift this year!”
Don’t forget to add a link to your donation page in these calls to action. Help people respond quickly and easily on the spot (if they can’t respond immediately, they may forget or change their minds).
7. Get specific about what a donation will accomplish for your mission
People want to know exactly what you’ll accomplish with their hard-earned money. Share tangible descriptions of what a donation will achieve. For example, Preemptive Love emphasizes that $15 feeds a family for a week.
Not only does this help people visualize the impact they’re making in the world, but it can also help boost the size (and number) of donations.
As you’re creating suggested giving tiers for your donation pages, attach specific actions to each amount. Whether it’s the number of lunches you can provide or the number of cats you can feed, people prefer to think in terms of the size of the impact they’re making. Be sure to emphasize these numbers in your social media posts throughout your campaign.
8. Build an effective year-round social media strategy for your nonprofit
We mentioned it before, but using social media effectively for fundraising requires a year-round strategy and concerted effort. That can feel overwhelming and frustrating as things constantly change, and you’ve already got enough on your plate!
Take advantage of the courses, Masterclasses, and other resources that Julia Campbell offers! They will help you build a thriving social media community and empower you to more effectively leverage social media for networking and fundraising success.
BONUS: Don’t overlook LinkedIn in your year-end fundraising strategy
You probably only think of LinkedIn as a place to go when you’re making a career change or wanting to network with business professionals. But with more than 700 million users in more than 200 countries, it’s actually a powerful networking and fundraising platform!
Many business people stay active on LinkedIn for business contact information, updates, and other relevant information throughout the week. This offers a unique platform for your nonprofit.
Check out LinkedIn for Nonprofits! It’s a free and frequently updated resource to help organizations leverage LinkedIn for networking and fundraising. Start by connecting with current donors. Draw in supporters and followers by engaging them on LinkedIn–another place they congregate. As you build your presence on LinkedIn, encourage supporters to help you connect with people in their networks.
A secondary benefit of keeping your nonprofit active on LinkedIn year-round is that it lends credibility and added professionalism to your organization. It can also support your ongoing public relations efforts.
Now that you’re on your way to successfully using social media for your year-end fundraising campaign, here are three more resources to help you take it to the next level.
Mapping Out Your Nonprofit Marketing Calendar: It’s never too early–or too late–to start planning for a successful year. If you’re like most other development professionals in the nonprofit sector, you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with everything on your to-do list and wondering how to fit social media and digital marketing in, too. This class will help you re-focus, re-prioritize, and get yourself back on track with your online communications and marketing! In this live training, Julia will help you create a marketing calendar for your organization.
3 Marketing Tips to Promote Your Virtual Fundraiser: Virtual fundraisers are excellent ways to drive your mission forward and engage current and potential donors. Virtual fundraisers have become very popular due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they’re likely here to stay. This blog offers three practical tips to help you advertise your next virtual fundraiser more effectively.
10 Giving Tuesday FAQs for Fundraising Success: Giving Tuesday is a crucial piece of year-end fundraising for many nonprofits. It can be tough to know how to leverage this day of giving for the greatest fundraising success, so this blog offers insights, tips, and best practices to help you take full advantage of the upcoming Giving Tuesday.