In last month’s newsletter, we talked about the #GivingTuesday 2015 campaign for your nonprofit. So, you’ve downloaded the JB+A GivingTuesday_Toolkit_2015 and reviewed all the materials. “Now what?” you might ask.
Before joining JB+A, I had an amazing opportunity to work in NYC for what has become one of the world’s foremost e-commerce companies. Its incredible success was built through grassroots consumer-driven marketing, especially on social media platforms. By engaging with customers on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and in the blogosphere, the company grew its brand exclusively through peer-to-peer referral via likes, shares, tweets, retweets, video reviews, blogs and reblogs.
From the mouth of Mark Zuckerberg himself, however, “Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission—to make the world more open and connected.”
The #GivingTuesday campaign seeks to capitalize on this idea. As a participating organization, you will become part of the global conversation about philanthropic giving that was continued by more than 15,000 nonprofits and 20,000 partner organizations last year, and which translated into more than $100 million in total gifts. Tapping into this energy, you will be able to expand your audience by increasing awareness for your mission, you will improve conversation about your cause by connecting with your audience in a meaningful way, and hopefully, you will be able to inspire your community to action.
The best way to make new friends is through old friends.
Think of a blind date: would you be more likely to sit down to dinner with a stranger if along with flowers and a nice head of hair, he came with a gushing recommendation from your best friend? Probably. Similarly, an introduction or solicitation from your organization will be better received if it is made with the endorsement of a mutual friend.
Social media channels empower businesses and organizations to make these personal connections. Your organization can capitalize on the established social networks of Board members, staff, volunteers and avid supporters of your cause. This is totally free promotional space that has the additional benefit of personal endorsement.
Reach out to your supporters and ask them to like, share and tweet your message. As follow up, like, retweet and respond to all posts and comments from your organization’s page – you can even like your own posts from your personal accounts. On Facebook, these interactive touches have the additional benefit of generating ticker stories that will show updates in real-time not only to people in your immediate network, but to friends of friends as well.
Engage in a two-way conversation.
Cramming your organization’s mission statement, future goals, past achievements, current projects and a call to action into 140 characters is a daunting task. Actually, it’s an impossible one. Instead of a one-shot solicitation attempt, approach your #GivingTuesday campaign as beginning a conversation.
Speak with one voice. Decide on a tone and tenor to interact with your audience, and make sure that verbiage and formatting are consistent across platforms. Engage your audience by using a conversational tone – use appropriate jargon, but simplify your message so that it is accessible.
Provide speaking points, suggested captions and tweets. Arm your staff and volunteers with examples of appropriate and effective messages to share on #GivingTuesday.
“It’s #GivingTuesday, and I am donating to @ _____ because_________.”
“I’m gifting the money I saved during #BlackFriday to @______. I hope you’ll join me in supporting a worthy cause on #GivingTuesday.”
“The work we do @_________ is very near and dear to my <3. Show your support on #GivingTuesday and #savealife”
Increase your message’s visibility by using the #GivingTuesday hashtag across all platforms; this will link your post to Twitter’s Trending Topics feed, where it can be seen alongside posts from other participating organizations. Make your messages stand out by creating your own unique hashtag!
A picture is worth a thousand words.
Attention is most easily captivated by visual content. In fact, posts that include pictures or some graphic element see greater engagement than text-based posts – producing an up to 85% interaction rate on Facebook and an increase in retweets by 35%.
Create an image or info graphic that helps your audience quickly understand your organization’s mission and impact in the community – use charts and statistics to illustrate the issues at hand, how your organization is addressing them and the success you have had in a visually interesting way.
To make #GivingTuesday posts even more personal, encourage your supporters to post an #UNselfie – or “unselfish selfie”—to tell why they are donating to your cause. Even encourage staff to take behind-the-scenes pictures of your #GivingTuesday activities (make sure to tag everyone!) This is a fun, interactive way to extend the reach of your message to untapped networks with a personal touch.
So, when you carry out your organization’s #GivingTuesday campaign, remember the key takeaways:
- Use #GivingTuesday to open your audience’s eyes to the need for your organization.
- Show them the work that you do.
- Invite discussion.
- Explain why you need their help.
- Call them to rally to your cause.
- Imagine for them the change you can achieve together.
- Ask them to be an advocate.
- Say thank you.
- And say thank you again.