Pixels, impressions, interactions, CPC, SEOh my!
In the whirlwind of information and connection that results from living in the age of the internet, your donors are not JUST in Kansas anymore (even if they are, indeed, in Kansas). The web and social media platforms have made it easier to reach donors, but have also necessitated a shift in nonprofit communication strategies.
The terms that we used to open up this post should be common language at your organization, despite the fact that ten years ago many of them didn’t exist. Change comes quickly in the social media world, and organizations need to prioritize digital market research to stay on top of trends and discover how best to appeal to your audience “screen to face”. Even if you are an organization that relies on donors who give regularly upon receiving their annual newsletter or appeal, hard mailings aren’t going to cut it for the future generations. Appeals need to be bolstered by high quality digital content targeted towards your specific donors.
Consider how much information you take in a day. It is possible (and can sometimes be easy) to do too much in the way of social media campaigns. The key is to make very engaging, memorable content that people actually want to see, not necessarily because they love your organization but because it is funny, trendy, or intriguing. If you can consistently draw in donors in this manner, you build the relationship.
Bridging the Generational Divide
Okay, so maybe you understand the value of social media in your role within the organization. But what about the executive director, who may happen to be a bit older?
First off, you’re not alone. One of our clients kicked off construction of a new building, so naturally a Hammer-time-themed meme made its way onto our content calendar. Upon reviewing posts for the week, the client asked us to “take that Hammer guy off.”
A “stop, hammer time” pun isn’t for everyone and maybe it won’t resonate with the 60+ crowd. But this misses the larger point: trendy, topical and fun content may not resonate with you personally, but it is an effective means of engaging with a future generation who may eventually become your major donors.
It is critical to advocate for the effective use of social media, and we have found the best way to do this is by demonstrating what content engages the largest number of people (get on those facebook/twitter results & google analytics, people!) If you can show your manager/ED/etc. the proven success of fun content, they stand a better chance of understanding that a social media feed shouldn’t be a listing of organization events or donation requests and definitely should not be longer than two sentences.
As anyone curating their content post by post on Instagram to develop a following will tell you, social media is an investment. The payoff is not an immediate influx of dollars, but it is building of brand on a platform on which to make customers (or donors, in this case) feel important. This sense of connection to the organization is what eventually allows you to gain traction and retain donors.
Questions? Anecdotes? Need to vent about the under-appreciation of social media? Email us!