Social media can be a very valuable tool if you’re trying to fundraise or simply want to promote your charity to as many people as possible. Discover the benefits of having an online presence.
In this technological age, promoting your charity is easier than ever- especially if you make the most of all the various social media outlets out there. Some people might shy away from advertising events or crowdfunding on Facebook, Twitter and other sites, but they can be very beneficial.
Nowadays, it’s hard to come across someone who isn’t connected on social media. This is great news if you work for a charity or if you’re trying to promote an event as it allows you to reach potentially thousands of people.
If you feel a bit sceptical about the value of social media though, think about it like this: your online presence is simply your offline presence - but amplified. The trick to successful social media fundraising is finding a way to make it work for you, and often approaching people in person or advertising an event in a newsletter or through posters goes hand in hand with it.
Are you fundraising for a new AstroTurf for a sports club? It’s likely that your main supporters are the players themselves, and you can use this to help gain more traction. Start off by addressing them face to face at a sports event before connecting with them online through an advert posted on the club’s Facebook or Twitter page. The players will then be able to share the information on their own pages and expand the pool of possible sponsors to their own followers too. Instead of just having the players in the team donate, you’ll potentially have ten times the number of people!
If you think social media could work for your cause, we’ve put together some tips to help get you started:
Before beginning your social media fundraising ideas, do some research on your target audience. Who is your cause most likely to appeal to, which social media outlets do they use and when do they use them? You can then tailor your posts to those people, and make sure you post when they’re most likely to be online to see.
People don’t want to read an essay-length post on their Facebook feed so try to keep your posts short while still getting all the relevant info in. Twitter has a character limit for tweeting but Facebook doesn’t so you’ll want to be wary that you’re not waffling on.
Making sure your social media information is up to date and relevant is key. Ensure you add in all your contact details and include an introduction to your charity to make it more personal. Keep everything up to date at all times, including any cover images or profile pictures. Children’s charity, RECLAIM, are a great example of a charity with a good Facebook profile page.
Before posting anything on your social media pages, decide what kind of tone you’d like to go for. Are you writing to inform, entertain, enable or amplify your followers? Would you like your posts to be friendly, playful or inspiring? Is your tone personal, direct or scientific? Check out this blog if you want more advice on establishing a specific voice for your charity.
It’s important to keep a constant online presence to ensure you keep followers interested and gain new ones. The more often you post the better so try to use Facebook 8-15 times a week and Twitter 21-70 times. There are several tools, such as TweetDeck or Buffer, that you can use to automatically post content for you- all you’ll need to do is spend an hour or so at the beginning of the week creating posts in advance and adding them into the scheduling tool.
At the end of the day, people are more likely to stop and share visuals like a photo or a video than they are to read a whole paragraph of text. Make the most of this by uploading relevant pictures to your social media pages and creating informative posters that are nice to look at and easy to take in. You can easily make these on your phone or computer, and use template tools like Crello and Canva to create ones that are the right size and resolution for different sites.
If you’re a new charity or simply just new to social media, you’ll want to build up your authority in your specific field. This is because people will be more willing to donate if they think you know your stuff. Try posting statistics about your cause and reposting relevant news articles or posts from well-known figures who support your views.
There’s no point dedicating time and effort to social media if it’s not having the desired results. Keep track of how successful your posts are and who is liking and sharing them. If you notice that certain types of content do better than others, do more of it!
For more tips on tackling social media as a charity, take a look at consultancy company Social Misfits who help charities get up to speed with their digital presence. If you still need a push to get your charity online, take a look at the following social media success stories:
If you’ve found this information useful for your charity and would like to help others feel the benefits of having an online presence too, why not share it on your social media pages? You can also take a look at our practical guides on successful charity crowdfunding or our guide to online fundraising for more inspiration.