Happy New Year, readers!!! I’m very happy to be starting off 2013 with a guest post from Richard McMunn of How2become. Social media continues to be a hot topic for all fields, and fundraising is no exception. Managing my personal Twitter and Facebook accounts is one thing, but using social media to help my fundraising efforts perplexes me! This post helps identify some important ways of using social media for fundraising. Enjoy!
Social media has altered the landscape of communication in our world. Digital social media technologies have made it possible to communicate in a way and at a scale near impossible until now. One of the areas that this has impacted very strongly is, of course, marketing and PR. Social media can be used in creative ways to generate more effective fundraising campaigns than ever before. Let’s take a look at five ways in which this can be achieved.
Use Social Media for PR
Social media can be a quick and effective way to stay in touch with your supporters. It can also be a useful way to share news, achievements and milestones with donors and other stakeholders. Keeping in touch with existing donors is useful in order to retain their support and generate new donors through existing contacts, and social media provides a good platform to achieve exactly this.
There’s so much emphasis on networking and public relations that it is easy to forget that in the end it is about forming real communities of supporters when it comes to sustainable fundraising endeavours. It is especially important for non-profit or social enterprises to build long-term relationships rather than one-off commercial ones. Social media can be a useful platform to build relationships and create a real community of people interested in supporting your cause. This can also serve as a platform for supporters to interact with each other.
Use Special Tools to Maximise Audience
Social media websites like Facebook or Twitter have the ability to reach a vast number of people in a very short space of time. Social media sites even offer additional marketing and strategy services to promote content with more gusto. For instance, Facebook offers a sponsored service to ‘promote’ your posts. You are able to select the ‘reach’ you want your post to have and it is this that determines the cost of the service.
There may be many ways in which you can use different social media tools to maximize your audience base and reach more people. Explore all these options fully; some of them may appeal to you and have a hugely positive impact on your campaign.
Understand the Platform
Different social media platforms have different ways of operating. For instance, Facebook is a multimedia platform for social interaction, where one can use videos, photos and text to communicate and interact with individuals, groups and entities. YouTube, on the other hand, is also a social media site, but its predominant feature is the use of audio visual media. This is the common ground upon which users can interact with each other.
The key to using social media effectively is to understand the medium and use it fully for your campaign. For instance, if you have videos to share and raise awareness about your campaign, you may benefit from having a YouTube channel and link it with your other media presence.
Innovate and Make Giving Easy
Social media presents the opportunity to innovate and revolutionize the way people give. Today, donating to a cause may not involve filling out various forms, but may simply be a matter of a single click. After you have called supporters to action, it is important to make the process of giving easy and hassle free, and social media allows you to do just that.
Written by Richard McMunn
How2become was established by Richard McMunn in 2005, who was working as a Fire Officer for Kent Fire & Rescue Service at the time. Since writing his first book, how to become a firefighter, Richard has gone on to author various titles spanning across multiple careers. The company has grown and developed into the UK’s leading careers information and development website. Connect with How2become on Facebook.