Don’t take your donors for granted!
A lot of nonprofits get donations from their donors only to say thanks and then not think about them again until next year. That’s always been a mistake and it’s an even bigger mistake now.
Because there’s so much more at stake. In the old days, your donor’s did not have the megaphone of social media. They might mention your organization to a friend or two if they were really passionate about it. These days, however, supporters get on social media and are literally leveraging their passion and speaking out to thousands or tens of thousands. One person can now have the power to spread the word about your organization exponential times.
This is a terrific opportunity for you!
Your donors can become your best ambassadors and social media is one of the ways they can help you spread your message.
Think about it, if your donors have donated to your cause, they’re motivated. And, if they give to our cause, you may have sparked something within them that can be harnessed for even greater impact.
What you want to do is spend time every day understanding what’s happening and strategically creating, maintaining and expanding the conversations around your cause.
Use Google Alerts and Social Mentions
Two of the easiest things you can do to track what’s happening around your brand, cause or work won’t cost you a penny.
1) I set Google Alerts to track mentions around my brands. This is literally set it and forget it, and when there’s something that pops up on the Internet about my brand, I receive a Google Alert by way of email. Yes, there have been times I’ve seen something of interest from a Google Alert and I have responded on social media or by writing a blog post.
2) When I’m interested in knowing about my brands or topics around the work we do, I also check out Social Mention. Social Mention is a social media search engine. It’s a quick way for me to see what’s happening on a social media platform like Twitter without having to sign into one of our social media management platforms.
By staying ahead with these two easy tools, you gain a foundation for understanding what’s being said and how you can engage.
Become an Expert in Social Networking
I say it time and time again, social media is first and foremost social networking. It’s not a one-way conversation. It’s an exchange. You want to engage your followers and supporters, especially when they’re responding to whatever you’re are putting out there.
Remember, on social media, you’re not only looking to see what people are saying about you. You’re also looking to understand the broader conversations that are happening around philanthropy, charity or your particular mission and work.
In today’s world, there are tools you can use to manage your social networking and that make it much easier to follow trending topics, hashtags and posts that are important and related to you. One of the most important things you can do is to use a platform such as Hootsuite and see the discussions that are happening on social media. And, even more critical than that is to get engaged. That means getting into the conversations. Share your opinions, thoughts and knowledge. Spend time each day purposefully engaging on social media.
When you’re engaging with donors, be specific. One of the things a lot of nonprofits miss in connecting with people out there on social media is to direct the conversation. Think about it for a second. When you send a letter or email, you always try to personalize it as much as possible. You avoid generic terms such as “Dear Friend”. You look to personalize and segment to pick up aspects that are unique to the donor or supporter.
Why is social media different?
If you see someone saying something specific or interesting about your work, mission or your organization, speak directly to that person by using their social media handle. Don’t be shy. Get comfortable with using @Username.
This is the ultimate in engagement and it’s something that a lot of organizations forget to use. When someone helps you spread your message, thank them specifically and publicly. When you see something worth sharing, share it and credit someone.
Ultimately, when you’re an informed and engaged social media user, you only expand the potential of your voice. You help your supporters and donors spread the word, and their passion, for your organization and the work you do. You amplify your voice–and that of your donors.
Author of “Not Your Father’s Charity: Be Bold, Dominate and Succeed in Marketing For Today’s Digital World On A Limited Budget” (Free Digital Download)
© 2016 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved.