One of the most important parts of raising money for your cause is connecting with people on a personal level. The rise of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are revolutionizing the way nonprofits can connect their cause with volunteers, donors and prospective contributors, which is perfect for a charitable group in need . Here are three essentials to keep in mind for social media integration.
At the heart of social media is the sharing of information. Whether personal, humorous or compelling, the media that people transmit to one another can take on a life of its own and reach quite a few people. Requesting people to draft their own status updates and tweets about your charitable cause is a lot to ask, but simply embedding a “like” or “share” button on your website, blog or specific pages is an easy way to engage. For example: be sure to embed a Like button on your annual gala’s webpage, email invitation and any other digital follow up communications. It’s relatively easy to do and makes it easy to spread your organization’s message.
Lots of Links
Google and other search engines are constantly tweaking their algorithms that govern how certain terms appear on result pages. One of the burgeoning heavyweights in these equations is social media. The more that something is linked to on blogs, Facebook, Google+ and other services, the more likely that search engines are going to deem it worthwhile and deserving of attention. You want to make sure your organization can be found on all the major social networks in particular Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Google +, LinkedIn, Foursquare or similar. At a minimum claim your organization’s profile or page and include a link back to your website. With each tweet or status update, you are building new links to your cause. Once you have established your presence, begin connecting with related causes, entities like Charity Navigator, online directories like Yahoo, DMOZ etc. I call it weaving a web of connections – make it easy for people to find you online.
Turn Links and Likes Into Donations
The new media that the internet represents is so successful in part, because it allows for feedback from your constituents, donors and supporters. When it comes to donors, the feeling that they are doing something tangible to help a cause is extremely important. Consequently, any platforms that allow them to add their own personal thoughts or feelings about a topic will keep them engaged and increase the likelihood that they will be supporters and donors for a long time.
Of course, social media is not the end-all to be all of fundraising, but using technology to build support does give you an advantage. With the abundance of information, not to mention the accessibility, many people turn to the web to look for causes to join. Don’t let technology leave you behind; use it to gain an even greater following and, ultimately, more donor support.