Social media can be an excellent tool for marketing fundraising events and increasing awareness of your Nonprofit. Using social media to improve event attendance, however, is more than just having a Facebook or Twitter account. To market your next fundraising event effectively, follow these social media tips.
Get everyone connected
It’s not enough to just have a social media account to represent your Nonprofit – you need people who will interact with your account.
Get everyone in your organization connected on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other popular social media sites. Then they can get the ball rolling by sharing your Nonprofit’s posts with their friends and family.
Utilize different social media platforms
While you don’t have to sign up for every social media service that currently exists, you’re definitely going to want to hit the two big ones. At very least, you should have a presence on Facebook and Twitter, but you should also think about utilizing some other options depending on your audience.
Following are some of the other social media platforms that you should consider experimenting with:
- LinkedIn: Use LinkedIn if your donors are still well connected in the business world. Creating a presence on LinkedIn can also add professional credibility to your organization's social media presence.
- Google+: Similar to Facebook, this is another great platform for sharing your content. Try creating an account for your organization and see what kind connections you make. If you get a following of more than 20-30 people, then it’s worth keeping.
- Pinterest: This widely popular social media platform is a great for posting pictures related to your event and organization’s cause. Pinterest enjoys a strong female following, so if your target audience is mostly women then this social medium is a must.
- Instagram: Another very popular photo-based platform. This app great for snapping daily photos with your smartphone of your cause in action, the event planning process, newly acquired auction items and the event itself.
Find out what your target audience uses most and pursue that social medium. If you have the time and resources, we recommend experimenting with as many different social media platforms as you can. Having more than one social media account can help you target different demographics and widen your reach.
Create “Events” to spread the word
Periodic posts about the event will only go so far. Another way to help your followers remember your fundraising auction is to create Facebook and LinkedIn Events where you can post more details and information about the event.
These events generally require users to respond “yes,” “no,” or “maybe,” which means they’re more likely to consider going before making a final decision. Make sure the event is “open” so that anyone can RSVP and encourage your followers to share the page, invite their friends and spread the word beyond your connections.
Start trending with a #Hashtag
Hashtags are nothing to be afraid of. Hashtags effectively allow your Nonprofit to start and join in on conversations revolving around your event. Think about hashtags as topics that people can follow. Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message shows you all other Tweets marked with that keyword.
First, create a hashtag for your event. Make sure it isn’t too broad (#fundraiser for example) and relates to your cause and event. It should be short and memorable so your followers can easily remember to use it. For example, if your event supports childcare services you can use #childcareinitiative to address your event, then find a way to fit it in to every one of your posts.
You can also use hashtags to join a broader conversation about your cause. Take some time looking at the trending topics on Twitter and see if any make sense for your organization or event. For instance, if you’re an environmental Nonprofit, you could use the hashtag #climatechange. Since it’s a broad hashtag discussing a very current issue, your tweets will reach a larger audience.
To keep followers interested in your event, update them throughout the planning process. You can share a fun photo of everyone from the wish list party, or give followers a sneak peak at some of the exciting items that will be at the auction!
Do not to inundate your audience with posts. Keep your posts limited to 3-6 per week and don’t forget the weekends. Saturday and Sundays often get the social media most traffic of the week. Posting frequency can very from platform to platform. You can post to Twitter multiple times per day, for example, while that might look spammy on Facebook. Pay attention to your own newsfeed to see how often other organizations make posts.
Tag members in photos and posts
Every time you post a photo or update a status, make sure to tag the people involved. When members of your Nonprofit are tagged, the photos will show up on their profile page for all of their friends to see. This is an easy way to reach a wider audience indirectly. People will want to know more about your Nonprofit’s event as a result of seeing it on their friend’s profile page.
What are your thoughts? Do you have any social media platforms that you recommend for getting the word out about fundraising events? Leave a comment below and share with us any social media successes you’ve had!