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Moving beyond the basics: Connecting with donors over social media

By August 30, 2016Donor Outreach
Are you using social media to your advantage at your nonprofit?

We likely do not need to tell you how important social media is to your nonprofit. Not only does it represent a low-cost way to advertise your organization, but many platforms are perfect for engaging with existing and prospective donors in new and meaningful ways. While the vast majority of nonprofits use Facebook because it is easy and highly accessible, we would encourage you to move beyond the basics of social media to see real growth and build lasting donor connections.

Move beyond posting organization-centered event and information 
While you should obviously use social media to promote any events or organization specific information you need to get out, don’t let this be your only approach. Instead of just announcing when and where your next fundraiser will be, begin engaging with issue-centric topics by posting thought leadership articles, videos and more, Nonprofit Quarterly wrote.

For example, if your nonprofit supports female entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa, begin writing on topics of female equality or specific problems facing these communities today. Essentially, use social media to bring light to the issues you fight or support – not just your organization’s work. This way, your donors will become more knowledgeable about the entire issue and might be more likely to become long-term passionate supporters.

Don’t be afraid to use popular hashtags to bring light to your issues and work!

Use Instagram to post meaningful, candid interactions between your aid worker and the children they serve. Use Twitter or Facebook to share infographics outlining key statistics about poverty or hunger in the areas you operate. Then, tie it all together with short videos on Vine or longer ones on Vimeo or YouTube to showcase the your work in action. Perhaps you can even take advantage of the new Facebook Live feature to show your donors the good work you are doing in real-time!Get more visual
People are saturated with images and videos in today’s technological society. Therefore, if you’re not strategically using photos, videos and infographics in your social media donor outreach campaigns, you are doing yourself a disservice. Adding a photo or digestible infographic to a tweet or Facebook post is a guaranteed way to see more engagement. For example, if your organization focuses on feeding malnourished children in parts of the world, don’t just post about the people you help – show them!

Don’t be afraid of trending hashtags
For anyone who is a fan of Twitter or popular culture, you have likely encountered people tweeting “#FirstWorldProblems” about mundane, silly issues such as hating the unreliability of Wi-Fi access or when their lattes are too hot. In 2012, the nonprofit WATERisLIFE, dedicated to proving “clean water, sanitation and hygiene programs” around the world, capitalized on this iconic hashtag in a now viral video called “First World Problems Anthem,” according to CNN.

“Use hashtags to promote awareness to your mission.”

The video features impoverished residents in Haiti repeating these ironic tweets, such as a young girl reciting a tweet about the #FirstWorldProblems associated with leaving her “clothes in the washer so long they start to smell” as she stands near a stream where women are washing their clothes.

“People are becoming desensitized to suffering and we needed to enter the social space with a provocative approach to get those who are lucky enough to have simple things such as water, food, and shelter to reflect on their 140 characters and support causes like WATERisLIFE,” Kristine Bender, the executive director of the nonprofit, told the news outlet.

To get existing and prospective donors talking about your nonprofit’s issues, you shouldn’t be afraid to engage with trending hashtags or issues. Use hashtags to promote awareness to your mission in an engaging and easily accessible way. Create your own hashtags as well to promote brand solidarity among your followers.

Don’t forget to look at the numbers
What good is a social media strategy if you don’t bother to see how it is performing? You must use analytics and metrics to track your progress and what posts work best for your audience – and which don’t. While there are many experts getting advice about nonprofit social media best practices, you know your work and donors better than anyone, which is why you need to pay attention to what they want.

Perhaps your donors prefer photos to videos, or would rather see posts only once a week rather than every day. Whatever is the case, make decisions on your numbers and donor preferences, not just on what the rest of the industry thinks you should be doing.

Your organization needs to make the most of social media and other digital tools in order to engage your community and foster important donor relationships. Fundraising and donor management software can make this easier and more effective. To learn more about how donation software can help, visit Eleo Online and sign up for your free trial!