Charities have always depended on successful outreach to maintain their donor levels and grow their organization.
In the past, most charitable organizations have relied on snail mail, flyers, and street-level fundraisers.
Those can still be powerful tools, but they’re all outmatched by the advertising possible on social media. The forward-thinking charities embracing modern digital marketing have seen their fundraising soar as they enlarge their online footprint.
For many organizations, including Save the Children, Planned Parenthood, or World Wildlife Fund, there’s no replacing traditional methods like in-the-street salespeople.
But it can’t be the only strategy moving forward, especially in a time of masks and social distancing. Without expanded visibility online, charities risk losing visibility, relevance, and money.
So, where do you begin? It’s not always easy to develop a marketing strategy that makes sense for the needs of your particular organization. But with the right plan, social networking can enlarge your fan base, help retain your current donors, and make your group a more integral part of the global marketplace.
Find your audience
You need to know what kind of audience you’re trying to reach. Who is interested in your organization? Who is most likely to want to donate time or money to your cause?
Once you know that, you can tailor a campaign to that demographic. You can’t target everyone at once. Using messaging that targets specific generations or demographics improves your chances of reeling in potential donors or lifelong supporters.
Do you have any leaders within your organization with great personalities that can be good performers for videos and other content for your social media channels? If so, you’ll want to make those people the face of your campaign.
For example, part of the success of Canadian-based WE Charity has been its savvy use of social media, from Facebook to Instagram to LinkedIn. WE Charity’s founders, brothers Marc Kielburger and Craig Kielburger, are constantly visible, writing books, doing interviews, and starring in videos featured on the charity’s many websites and social media outreach campaigns.
Develop a Plan
Advertising on social media isn’t as expensive as you might think. It certainly costs less than a Super Bowl commercial while still offering the opportunity to reach just as many eyeballs.
Many social media channels can help your brand — but don’t overextend yourself. You don’t need to do all of them, at least not in the beginning.
It’s better to focus on just two or three and spend time cultivating your audience and following those platforms, as suggested by Forbes.
What social media marketing gives you is a two-fold benefit: engagement with your local community and anyone anywhere in the world that is somehow connected to your network or see your advertisements.
And get everyone at your charity involved! The more extensive the network, the wider the reach. If you can enlist all your employees, volunteers, and all their friends, to participate in your marketing campaign, you’re starting with a big pool to help you hit the ground running.
Engage, engage, engage
Publishing great content isn’t enough. Publishing every day isn’t enough, though these are both great starts.
Once you’ve begun your marketing campaign, you need to make sure that someone, or several people, are continuing to engage with your audience. If someone leaves a comment, positive or negative, try to engage with that person.
If they say something nice, say thank you and point out a way they can get more involved. If someone says something negative, ask them to elaborate or ask if there’s a way you can help them. Successful companies and influencers on social media have learned this lesson: the more you engage with followers or potential followers, the more likely you are to see immediate and direct results from your marketing efforts.