From “Liking” to “Loving”: Connecting your social media audience to your mission
DonorPerfect Community Conference 2022 with speaker Julia Campbell
From “Liking” to “Loving”: Connecting your social media audience to your mission TranscriptPrint Transcript
Sean McClellan: Good afternoon, and welcome to From Liking to Loving, Connecting: Your Social Media to Your Mission, presented by Julia Campbell. Adam, go ahead and take it away.
Adam Wilbur: Thank you very much. My name is Adam Wilbur. I’m one of the co-founders of Read More
Sean McClellan: Good afternoon, and welcome to From Liking to Loving, Connecting: Your Social Media to Your Mission, presented by Julia Campbell. Adam, go ahead and take it away.
Adam Wilbur: Thank you very much. My name is Adam Wilbur. I’m one of the co-founders of CauseVid. I’m excited to be able to have this opportunity to introduce our friend, Julia Campbell. Before I do that, a quick plug for Cosby and DonorPerfect video. For all of you who are here today, if you haven’t done it already, click the button, click send video, give it a try. Thank some of your donors with a video right from the constituent screen in DonorPerfect. With that, I want to introduce Julia Campbell. Julia Campbell is a author, podcaster, consultant, and social media, digital marketing expert.
She works with hundreds of nonprofits and gives talks all over the country. I recently was with her, I think, about 24 hours ago in Florida at Planet Philanthropy, as well as having had the opportunity to see her speak at AFPI Con in Las Vegas this past May. I wanted to tell you all that you have a great opportunity here to hear from Julia as she shares her wisdom with you. Thank you, and take away, Julia.
Julia Campbell: Thanks, Adam. Thanks for having me. CosVid’s the best, definitely check them out, especially in your platform, video is super powerful. We’re going to talk a little bit about video today. I’m really thrilled to be here, thanks all of you for joining in and taking time out of your day to refresh your professional development. Our topic, the topic is, From Liking to Loving” Connecting Your Social Media to Your Mission. If you want to tweet along or use Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, make sure you use the #dpcommunity22, and I will retweet and share where I can.
Adam told you a little bit about me, some more, just to give you a little more color into my background, I am a mom of two. I’m a school board member. Adam, of course, is also a school board member. We’re not on the same school board, but we’re both avid volunteers. I’m very into civic engagement and I had spent some time in West Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer right out of college. I’ve written two books for nonprofits, one on storytelling, one on social media, and I have a new book coming in 2023, so details on that. Then my passion project, something that I really love to do is host the Nonprofit Nation podcast and talk to leaders in the sector and elevate voices that haven’t been heard.
Probably the most important fact that you need to know about me if you remember nothing else is that I’ve been in your shoes. If you’re on this webinar, I’m sure you are either a fundraiser, or a marketer, or maybe you are one of those fundraising and marketing directors, social media director, volunteer coordinator, kitchen sink, you clean the coffee maker, you bring the balloons to the events and you lick all the envelopes for the annual appeal, I’ve been there. I come from the sector, and I’m super passionate about small nonprofits. That’s something important to know about me.
Also, what we’re going to cover today, brief overview of the social media landscape, how to use social media to build and deepen relationships with current donors and prospects, some real-world examples, small and mid-sized nonprofits, and then battle-tested tools to rock your social media that you’re using. The key trend that I want to impart to you today, it’s really best summed up by my favorite marketing expert, Seth Godin. “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but it’s really about the stories that you tell.” We’ll talk a lot about how you can incorporate some of your best storytelling into your social media plan.
Social media does matter for nonprofits. A fantastic report that everyone should check out, especially if you’re looking for benchmarking data is the global NGO technology report. Some of the key highlights that I found from that report, 94% of NGOs worldwide, yes, agree social media is effective for creating brand awareness. A lot of website traffic comes from social media, but more importantly, I really feel that it’s important to study what the users are doing. The users say they’ve used social media sites like Facebook and Twitter in the past month to show support for a cause, which I think is pretty startling.
Another important report, the Global Trends in Giving Report. This was the first year, 2021 was the first year that social media overtook email as the communication tool that most inspired people to give, or online donors to give, I should say. Email’s usually always number one, but now it’s number two. We’ll see, they’re going to fight it out next year, but social media is not to be ignored in terms of something that’s inspiring people to give.
I’ve met real-life examples of donors and actually at the Planet Philanthropy conference that Adam just mentioned where I was speaking, just yesterday, it’s hard to believe. I met a gentleman who came up to me after my presentation and said, “What you’re saying is true,” and he said that he found out about this organization that rescues birds in New York City that fly into buildings, and that’s their sole purpose is rescuing these birds and rehabilitating them and then sending them out into the wild.
He said that he only heard about them on Facebook and their posts and the community that they built and the stories that they shared inspired him and his wife to then put them in their will. We can’t underestimate the power. Then of course, a lot of money has been raised, not by Facebook, this is not money raised by Facebook, this is money raised by people, by individuals through birthday fundraisers, through donating their time through asking people for money for causes they care about for raising money on giving Tuesday.
What this means, the latest data from Facebook is that 85 million organizers and donors who choose to support an organization through Facebook, and then 32% of those donors donated through these tools, but 89% said they’re likely to give again, so they had a fantastic experience when they gave. Now you might be saying, “My supporters are not online,” maybe they’re older, but we really can’t deny that we’re now dealing with five distinct generations of donors. Everywhere from the mature to the boomers, to Gen Z, to Gen X, Millennials, there are so many distinct generations that it’s just impossible to say, “Oh, all my donors are not online.”
Sure, maybe your donor that writes you that $50,000 check is not going to write it online, but that doesn’t mean they’re not using Facebook, and that doesn’t mean that they’re not following you on social media and seeing what you’re doing. Boomers are the fastest-growing demographic to be embracing these tools. Then while millennials do lead on some of these technologies, Boomers and Gen Xers are also heavy adopters, using social media, tablet computers, owning a smartphone, and being more active every day.
Some of the things I want you to remember before we talk about the nuts and bolts of using social media is that the internet is not an ATM. Social media is not a money faucet. You have to use these channels to build up trust first, and success requires a long-term commitment and a strategy. There really are no shortcuts or silver bullets here, and there’s really no one size fits all.
The analogy that I always use is that social media success is like exercise. Consistency over time is key, and it’s a marathon and not a sprint. Your nonprofit might be better suited to, one, form one channel, maybe reels, maybe TikTok, maybe blogging, maybe live video, and then the other nonprofit down the street might be better suited to something else. When you ask me, where should I be on social media, it’s so hard for me to tell you that answer, because I don’t know anything about your organization, your goals, your audience, who you’re trying to reach, what you’re trying to achieve.
Social media is like exercise, and there’s a lot of questions that go into formulating a plan that you can keep up with consistently. That’s just something I want to impart to you. Also, I really believe that being active and involved and showing up on digital platforms is part of our mission. We need to be sharing the news, the stories, the resources around what we do every single day. I think that we need to be constantly proving the case that we are worthy. Unfortunately, we need to constantly be doing that. Everyone needs to be doing that in marketing, the case that we are worthy of attention.
Unfortunately, nonprofits with trust in organizations just completely decimated trust in government, trust in nonprofit organizations, and trust in institutions in general, just decimated across the board. We constantly need to be using these channels to prove that we are worthy of attention and we are worthy of support. Reaching new people is, of course imperative. Preaching to the choir is fantastic. I love preaching to the choir. Get the choir singing. Get the choir to bring more people into the choir. I think that’s fantastic, but we do need to always have our eye on reaching new people and newer audiences.
Then what we share really talks about our core values and our ethics and exposes us to a wider variety of people. We do need to understand that a lot of people will understand us and want to get involved, and many will not, and that’s fine. I just actually saw a documentary about Christian Siriano, one of my favorite designers. He said something that I actually want to put up on my wall. He said, “We can’t be everything to everyone, but we can be something to someone.” I thought that was so powerful, and I thought that’s really the way that we need to be looking at our marketing. We can’t be everything to everyone, but we can be something to someone, and we can be something to a lot of someones.
We have to remember that, rather than selling perfume or designer bags, we’re selling a better world. We’re inspiring people, we’re making them feel good about the work that we’re doing. Where does social media fit into my overall strategic plan? I think what I would impart to you is that it does not replace things that are working. I would never suggest don’t send direct mail, don’t write grants. Anything that’s working, I wouldn’t say it replaces it. It works best when it’s augmenting and enhancing other pieces of your organization, so when it’s incorporated with your offline strategies, baked into your long strategic plans and priorities, that’s really, really important.
What is your favorite social media channel? Oh, I love that, Janet. “Never lick the envelopes, use a dauber.” I think Seinfeld told us that, never lick the envelopes. I’m just looking at the chat right now. Yay. Let’s type in your favorite channel, maybe it could be your favorite personal channel or your favorite channel that you use for work. Oh, thanks, Amanda, for the love The Nonprofit Nation podcast. Why don’t you let me know what you’re using. Rachel says, “Love all the data. That’s pretty amazing.” I love all the data too. I think that of course, Facebook is going to be a big, big, big piece of this, but I have seen other platforms coming up in nonprofit practitioners.
My favorite platform, just personally, I like Instagram a lot. I think there’s a lot of different features that you can use, whether you just want to post on your regular newsfeed or whether you want to get fancy and use reels, or you want to use stories or you want to go live. There are so many different features that nonprofits can use on Instagram. Of course, it’s a very, very personal, it’s definitely very personal, but I would love to know what you guys like to use.
Now we’re going to get serious a little bit and go into the psychology of donors because I think it’s really applicable to the work that we do in marketing. Why do donors stop giving? If we don’t understand this, we can’t understand how to use social media to keep them around. We need to understand why donors leave. Charity did not need them, no information on how the monies were used, no memory of supporting, never got thanked. Death, that’s probably the only one we can’t avoid here. Poor service or communication, others more deserving, could no longer afford.
Really, to me, there’s only two here that are beyond our control, obviously, death and can no longer afford, beyond our control, but Dr. Adrian Sargeant when he’s talking about managing donor defection, look at all of the ways that donors stop giving that we can actually counteract with our communication. Then let’s look at why donors keep giving. What are the seven key drivers that keep donors giving?
If they perceive an organization to be effective, if they know what to expect with each interaction. If you tell them, “I’m going to email you two times a month,” and then you never email them again, or if you say, “We’re going to share stories with you on our Facebook page,” and then they never hear from you again. Donor receives a timely thank you, opportunities to make views known. Feels like they’re part of an important cause, that’s probably the most important one. Feels their involvement is appreciated, receives information showing who is being helped.
If you look at why donors stop giving, and you look at why donors keep giving, and of course, your donors are going to be different. They’re going to have very specific reasons, but I really recommend looking at these donor studies and seeing, how can we tackle each of these obstacles, each of these challenges or objections with our social media posting? Social media posts really connect the dots for your donors. You’re never going to be able to share every wonderful thing that you do in your organization, your programs, your services, all of your departments, every accomplishment that you’ve made.
You’re never going to be able to share that in one story, but how can you share through social media, these little breadcrumbs, leading people along the path to understand more about your organization? How do you create this social media plan? What happens is we tend to go into this meeting, what’s the big idea, we’re getting on Facebook. What are we going to do? We’ll figure it out later. That is the exact opposite approach I want you to take. Don’t focus on tools first, focus on your goal. What does success look like? What do you hope to achieve here? What do you want people to actually do and think and feel?
All of these, you could have a different goal for each platform. You could have a different goal for your Instagram account, for your LinkedIn account, for your Pinterest account, there could be different goals here. Then think deeper than the platforms. I love this particular cartoon. Our cat adoption numbers tanked this quarter, but the important thing is our YouTube views are way up. What are you actually measuring? What is the measurement of success for you? Youtube views, that’s not a goal, it’s a tactic to get you to your goal. Make sure you’re thinking deeper when you’re choosing your social media goals. The second piece is to really identify your target audience.
Now, I already know what you’re saying, this is the hardest part of social media management and planning for nonprofits, which is identifying your target audience, but I know your nonprofit has 10 different audiences that you need to communicate with every single day. This is normal, but in order to get any kind of traction on social media, identifying a focal point, a target persona, it’s critical for you to really help you define where you spend your time, which are the platforms.
Obviously, if you’re talking to college students, you probably are not going to be on Facebook, or if you’re talking to young professionals, maybe you want to be on LinkedIn. It’s going to help you determine the message you’ll share because if you don’t know who you’re talking to, how will you know what to say, and how to say it? That’s really important.
Unless you’re starting 100% from scratch with no database, no email lists, no social media accounts, hopefully, you already have a group of people, even if it’s a small group, who raise their hands to say that they want to hear more from you. When revising, revamping, and creating your social media strategy, it is a lot easier to focus on the group of people who’ve opted in than trying to blindly grab the attention of complete strangers. I really want to encourage you to try to look through your database, look through your social media platforms, or email lists, who are these people? What do they really value? These are for your donors.
What do they want to know more about as related to our nonprofit and our work? What motivates them? What drives them to participate? What’s going to drive them to take an action? Then where are the knowledge gaps? What does your target audience already know about you? Then what do they want to learn more about, or what misconceptions may they have about the population you work with and the work that you do? I really think that using social media and digital, website, email to address knowledge gaps is very impactful and important.
To learn about the demographic makeup and other characteristics of your current digital and social media audience, you can ask them directly, send a survey, talk to people at events, call people on the phone, hold focus groups. Find them where they are, and talk to them. This is not something where you send out one email and you’re done. This is continuously asking for feedback and valuing and wanting and encouraging feedback.
When you donate to the Malala fund, they actually just to click, they ask you to click on this survey, and then question one is already there for you. What word best describes you? Then when you click on it, you go automatically to the survey and it’s really going to help. I love where, it says. “Malala fund is working on a strategy to ensure that more girls will realize their full potential this year. Where will you fit into the plan?” It’s about me. It’s not, “Okay, we want to advertise more effectively to you, and we want to do it for our own purposes.”
It’s, where will you fit in? How can we tailor our communications to you to best help you and what you want to get out of it? Sharing an impact survey, really getting people excited, making it about them, and giving them an incentive? People don’t want to take a survey if it’s just going to take 20 minutes and they don’t even think that the results are going to be looked at, they don’t even think that the data is going to be collected or reported out in an impactful way.
Some sample questions that you can ask in your survey, I don’t recommend asking all of these questions, but these are just a jumping-off point for you when you’re designing the survey focus group, phone call, whatever it might be. Are you active on social media? What social media sites do you like? How much time do you spend? What would motivate you to interact with us? What do you want to see here? Then what other brands and organizations do you like? What else do you engage with, so we can get some inspiration?
You want to make sure that you are using the survey data. You’re using the survey data because if you’re just sending out a survey and then nothing changes or you’re just doing it for busy work. I’m not sure why we would need more busy work. None of us will need more busy work, that’s for sure, but I have seen surveys, participated in surveys, and I don’t even know what happened with them. You want to make sure you’re reporting out. The most important thing is you’re going to learn to speak their language. You’re going to literally learn the terms that they use.
You’re going to write down the answers to their questions and their comments. You’re not going to be worried about putting words in their mouth when you’re creating content. When you design specific content for them, you’re going to know the terms, words, jargon, colloquialisms, that thing that they’re using, and that they’re talking about. I want you to list at least two methods that you’re planning to use to help you find out more about your current audience.
I know we have, and I just don’t know where it is in the platform, but there is a nonprofit, social media content planner that you’re going to receive with your registration that we designed together. I designed together with DonorPerfect, and it’s going to be, it’s really amazing. I want you to pick that up, but that’s going to help you walk through all of these questions in a more systematic way. You can print it out or put it on your computer, work on it with your team. It’s going to go through all of these questions and exercises.
There’s really two prongs to the audience question, there’s the choir, you’re preaching to the choir. You want to engage them, entice them, get them excited. Then you want to also bring new people in, so think about who you want to attract. Then also think about why is this target audience important? Specifically, how will they help you accomplish your goals? If you tell me, “I want to attract young people,” I’m going to say, “Okay, why and How? Why them and why now?”
What might they already know about you? What might drive them to take whatever action it is that you want? Then you can start drilling down into where they are. Where do they get their information? What else do they need to know? How are they creating a meaningful life, and how can your nonprofit fit into their goals, their goals, not your goals. How can you fit into the things that they want to accomplish that they want to do?
Questions, is your nonprofit creating an engagement strategy for young professionals? Find out where they spend time. Maybe it’s Instagram and Snapchat, it’s changing all the time. You want to make sure that you’re talking to these young professionals and asking them where they spend their time. Are you targeting people in their mid-forties to learn more about financial assistance? That’s specific. The more specific you can be, the better. YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn reign supreme with this age group.
Do you want to get more new mothers on board? Pinterest is popular with women, especially women with young children. Also, Facebook groups. The key here is that there’s really no one size fits all and you just have to be very specific and strategic in identifying where your, audiences are that you want to attract.
Then what do all your stakeholders have in common? At the end of the day, just to really distill it down, they care about the problem that you solve, which is the why. There’s your why, and they believe in the solution that you provide and the unique way that you provide this solution.
A lot of you probably provide a solution or do a program in a very unique way. That’s what attracts your audience to you and that’s what keeps your donors with you, so highlight that, focus on that. Even if they don’t know a lot about you yet, they will. As you can see, we are halfway through this webinar and we’re talking about choosing the platforms there’s so much to do before you focus on the platforms.
There are, my goodness. There’s goals, there’s the audience, there’s find your why. There are so many other things that you need to have in place, ducks in a row, before you can choose the platforms because the platforms are constantly changing. You can’t choose the platforms and then you be on them for 10 years and never change what you’re doing. The platforms are always changing. The good news is you don’t have to be everywhere. I don’t want you to be everywhere. I believe in quality, not quantity, and I don’t think you should be everywhere. I don’t think it’s feasible or possible. I just don’t think there’s a reason for your nonprofit to be on 20 social media platforms.
We’re going to now cover, what it actually takes to do social media management, and this is why I don’t think you need to be everywhere. There’s no way that you can cover these four pillars on more than maybe one or two platforms unless you have several hours a week. If you’re shoehorning in this responsibility with everything else that you’re doing, one platform, maybe two platforms, is probably the most that you can extend yourself.
The first pillar, research and listening, the second pillar, content creation and curation, the third is community management, and the fourth is measurement and analysis. What does this really mean? The work of social media. Learn the unique language and etiquette of each platform. Each platform is a different country with a different language, different strengths, weaknesses, best practices, different features, different character counts, and different hashtags that work. I don’t think it ever worked where we could just cut and paste across all the platforms, but it certainly doesn’t work now.
You can take a piece of content. I have a podcast episode every week and mold it to fit on each of the platforms, so make an Instagram post about it and a LinkedIn post and a Twitter post. You certainly can do that, but you can’t just have this one overarching press release, to rule them all. Learn the etiquette and language of each platform, research, and understand what your audience wants. That’s the research and listening pillar.
Consistently creates great content that works for each platform, and that’s the key here, works for each platform. If you want to be a standout on Instagram, you’re going to have to use the features of Instagram and understand what works on Instagram. If you want to be a TikTok influencer, then you have to understand what works on TikTok. It’s just the nature of the beast. Really distill it down into which platforms you can confidently use with the time that you have allotted.
Now, community management means responding to questions and comments and active participation, not just posting and running. This is where you’re going to follow people. You’re going to acknowledge people that comment on your posts, that retweet you. If you have questions in your DMs or questions on your post, you’re going to answer them. Then the fourth pillar is measurement analysis and improvement. That just really means measuring what you need to measure to understand that you’re achieving your goals and to improve what you’re doing to be a little bit better.
Another question that you can ask when you’re choosing platforms is to say to yourself, which online platforms will help us reach our target audience, and get them to take the action that we desire? Those are really the platforms and channels that you focus on for right now. Don’t be afraid to break up with platforms that just aren’t working for you right now. There are so many different platforms. I can’t even put every single one and a slide, but what I’m trying to impart to you is that principle that they’re all incredibly different. It’s not enough to have a social media strategy. You need to have a mini strategy for each platform.
This is why I want to go back to what I said before, you don’t have to be everywhere. Less is more, quality over quantity, because when you are creating your marketing plan, your strategic online communications plan, you can’t just have an online communications plan. You need to have a plan for your website, a plan for maybe whatever videos you’re making, a plan for your email marketing, a plan for your digital fundraising. All of these are pieces of the pie, but none of them can be handled in exactly the same way.
When your board comes to you and says, “We should be on XYZ platform,” you will say, “Okay, well, how will this platform help us attract and engage donors? What types of content are we going to share? Do we have time to create this kind of content? Do we have time to create photos, videos, graphics? Are we going to have a serious voice, a casual voice? Does this match with our brand voice? Does this match with the voice that we currently have, and what will we measure so we know progress and success?”
That is the key piece here, is what I see happening is everyone has a social media strategy but then they don’t know how to use each platform differently. That’s the way to success on each of these individual platforms. What the IRS does is very interesting. Now, who would have thought in a social media webinar, I’d be referencing the IRS, but I actually listened to an interview with the two IRS digital leads, and they were really very interesting and had a very interesting strategy that they were pursuing.
They use each platform for different audiences. They use Facebook for tax preparers. They use Instagram to reach a younger audience and talk about myths and misconceptions about taxes. They use YouTube to do how-to videos, they use Twitter for news and alerts. They actually use each platform to reach a different segment, and they all have a very different purpose. I thought that was something interesting and potentially worth pursuing. The key is just not to do this. This is not your social media strategy.
“Like us, so we can tell you how awesome we are. Help our awesome video go viral.” I get that email all the time. “We have a brand new video, share it and make it go viral.” Why though? Why? Whenever you’re asking someone to do something, you need to really understand why they would do it. Once again, it just goes back to human psychology. Human psychology. Why do people share on social media? Why do people go on social media? This is why they go on there.
They do not go on there to promote your event. They don’t go on there to promote your fundraiser. Yes, they do go on there to talk about their ethics or their values, what they believe in, causes that they support, but they’re not going on there to expand your agenda. They’re going on there for their agenda. How can you fit into their agenda, and help them do the things that they want to be doing? We’ll do a quick overview of some of the main platforms and some examples of posts that I really like and some examples of storytelling and fundraising using the major platforms. We’re going to talk first about Facebook.
Boston Children’s Hospital, they’re often sharing these great visuals that look like they just fit seamlessly into my feed. This looks like it could be one of my friends, kids riding a bike, so it’s going to make me stop and pay attention, and then the story is going to grab, it’s going to hook me, and it’s going to entice me to read more, but making it look like it fits into the news feed. This is something that I actually really liked during Hunger Action month. Sharing these little anecdotes, these little snippets, these little mission moment stories, these just very, very short quotes, when I walked through the sliding doors at the service center, the overwhelming feeling of being welcomed just hit me.
If you can convey that emotion, it’s really going to help your audience when they’re on Facebook feel better, and just be inspired and say, “Oh, I really love the work of the Greater Boston Food Bank,” because we’re building communities here that are going to outlast us. We’re trying to build a community that’s going to be passionate, not passive. This is a fantastic example of how to raise money on Facebook, or actually on any social media site, the eye-catching visual, the story that’s going to grab my attention, and then the specific call to action, can you give just $5 to help Fiesta, because think about it. I’m on Facebook.
I might not have ever heard of Best Friends Animal Society, maybe a friend shared it with me. I’m probably not going to give too much more than $5 from Facebook, because you got to think about the context. I like that suggested donation amount. Then Abigail wrote, “It’s easy to make a gift today by clicking the donate button below,” so even making it even easier for me, just telling me exactly what to do in a very clear way. Using live video, Facebook loves Facebook Live, it’s like their little baby. They’re going to promote it to more of your supporters and followers and you can use it to build your email newsletter.
You can use it to raise money, but I really like using it to build your email newsletter, and to get people excited about your events and what you’re doing. Of course, Facebook ads are hugely impactful. The best way to go about a Facebook ad is to have a specific campaign and a very specific ask. It’s very hard to just say, “Donate now to this museum.” There has to be a why this, why now, and they work really best for timed campaigns and things that are timely and urgent.
Then, of course, Facebook fundraising is absolutely huge. I always recommend giving this option to your donors’ and you can turn it off, you can turn it on. I’m not sure I don’t know why we wouldn’t give this option to our donors to not only raise money, but to help spread the word about the great opportunities that we provide. I could share to my friends about the great work that you do, and all my Facebook friends would see it. Even if they don’t donate they learn more about it, and there’ll be exposed to it. I think it’s just an opportunity. It certainly is not where you’re going to put all your– You don’t want to put all your eggs in the basket.
In terms of Twitter, jumping on things that are popular, that are trending. Things like Carers Week, things like GivingTuesday, things like any cause and awareness day that is popular in your industry around your cause. Retweeting people sharing videos works really, really well on Twitter, but even just sharing a mission moment, like a quick photo, that’s going to catch my eye because a lot of Twitter does not have photos. Whenever there’s a photo, it always catches my eye. Then this is just an impact statement and it’s very, very simple. It’s just kind of staying top of mind about what generosity.org does.
Sharing information that is very helpful, that is attuned to your mission, that your donors are going to want to spread far and wide. I love what Lambda Legal, they always share this around the holidays. They’re always talking about things that you want to print out, put on your wall or send to your friends and family. Save the Children. They’re always asking for engagement. Reply with the emoji that represents you. What’s your favorite way to help children every single day? I love what they’re doing there.
Then think about– First of all jumping on that. It’s world emoji day. World emoji day, you all want to be posting. There are three words, “I cannot stand.” That was a super popular Twitter trend a while ago it was 2018. A lot of nonprofits jumped on the three words, “I cannot stand,” because of course they were all like a cold latte or something. They were just like ridiculous first-world problems but Mental Health America. I love what they did. “Stop being crazy. The weather’s bipolar. Get over it.” Language matters. I love it. Look at trends on Twitter and see where you can jump in where appropriate.
Instagram is a visual storytelling platform. It’s for visual storytelling, so you can’t escape from having fantastic visuals or graphics on Instagram. Whether it’s a story that’s being told with a photo and a long caption, Branden Harvey is one of my favorite Instagram storytellers. He’s incredible. Or whether it’s just a graphic. If you can’t share names and faces, if you can’t share identifying details, if you can’t take pictures in your program, think about what you can share that is still going to convey what you do and convey that feeling Amyra or Amira rather is all about hope, hope, hope, hope, light from the darkness. They’re all about– That’s their theme. They share a lot of graphics around that they never share women’s names and faces.
What about some of the features on Instagram that are so fun? Instagram Stories, look at International Women’s Day. This is Rosie’s Place in Boston. They ask for donations, they just put up a quick sticker on their Instagram story and then movement, they like to do a lot of quizzes and get a lot of involvement that way. Of course, you can do just a helpful Instagram story listicle, eight tips for this, five ways to run a food drive, seven misconceptions about people experiencing homelessness.
There’s a lot of ways that we can convey our mission and all of this fantastic knowledge that we have in our brains and put it into these formats and reach even more people. Showcasing the events that you’re going to, any protest, any walk, any golf tournament. Then of course there’s fundraising available on Instagram as well. You can use Instagram donate button on your profile. You can actually start a fundraiser. You can use Instagram donation stickers in your stories and anyone else can do that for you as well.
What should I post? Well, let’s think about this. Let’s try to remember. Let’s definitely remember why donors keep giving those seven drivers and that’s mostly on the purple side. What the donor wants to hear from you. That should drive most of your content creation. I think this is a fantastic graphic from the Better Fundraising company where your programs and processes– It’s so important to understand that there is a time and place to talk about your programs and your processes. For sure people are interested in it, but 95% of your donors are interested in the outcomes that you create so a lot of your content should be focused on that.
80%, this is a little framework for you. 80% of the content that you’re creating and sharing on social media should be designed with interaction, education, inspiration, entertainment, and connection in mind, and 20% can be promotion. Of course, you can always repurpose and recycle. I don’t want you to think, “Okay, I’ve spent all this time on this great annual appeal letter, but I have to throw it out and put something different on social media.” No, you could repurpose that annual appeal letter. You can repurpose that great video that you made that you spent all this money on. You can absolutely repurpose it, but it has to be molded correctly for the right channel. Your new mantra is less, is more, and focus over frantic.
Now, before I take some questions, I want to show you your social media studio. It is your phone. I don’t care what it is. I have a Google Pixel. I’m not an Apple girl in any way. I love my Google Pixel. You can use your phone to create a lot of this. I think we get so stressed out about this content creation. It sounds so stressful and overwhelming. We think we have to create from scratch all of this fantastic photography and videography, but really we just need to document, and then we can also create great graphics using Canva, using Animoto.
I’ll show you some tools, but take and share videos on social media, using your smartphone. You can do this, live streaming Instagram stories. All of that is taken from your phone. The key here is to be short, sweet, poignant, and authentic. Provide in-the-moment insight, thanking supporters in real-time during a campaign, during an event document, document, document document. We need to start thinking of ourselves as journalists and documentarians, much more than these perfect artists who have to create this wonderful content.
Canva, I’m sure we have a lot of people that are fans of Canva. Absolutely I adore Canva. They do a lot for nonprofits. Check them out. Animoto is one of my favorite for videos. It’s really video for dummies. You know that Gala where you have like 300 photos, I wouldn’t put 300 photos in a video, but you have that Gala or the golf tournament or the auction, whatever it is, and the walk. You can actually put all your photos into Animoto and it will create this great little montage with some creative comments, music. You’re not going to get in trouble and then you can put a little text overlay on it. You can upload video into it and splice it with photos. It’s very cool. WordSwag is one of my favorite mobile apps for on the go to create graphics just on the go. These are both WordSwag. You type in the quote or the statistic or the story, whatever you want and then you just swipe through and it auto formats it for you. It’s actually really pretty cool. That’s one of my favorite ones on the go.
In terms of social media tools, I really like Hootsuite, Buffer, and Later. Hootsuite and Buffer, you can do some scheduling. You can run reports. Later, I like more for Instagram and Pinterest. It’s more visual. You can look at what your Instagram feed is going to look like after you post it. It’s a little bit more visual. If you’re heavy on Instagram, that might really work for you. BuzzSumo is like content creation cheat sheet. You can look at what’s trending. You can look at what other nonprofits are posting. You can look at what are hashtags people are using. Nonprofits got a discount on BuzzSumo as well. Those are all tools to help you plan and schedule, format and create content and curate content, find content from around the internet that your audience is really going to respond to.
The one last thought I want to leave you with is my favorite quote from Maya Angelou, “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This is what we should be striving to achieve with anything that we’re sharing out in the world, any of our marketing materials, how are we making people feel inspired, happy, hopeful? Are we making them proud to be associated with our organization? Are we making them curious? How are we making them feel? I want to impart that to you today. I’m done with the formal presentation and I would love to get to some Q&A so thank you, Sean.
Sean: Of course. Give me just a second here. Let me see what the popular questions are. The first question, oh, actually I see Julie’s here, so I’m going to let her take over that. Can we just pass the [crosstalk]
Julie: Hi, everyone. Adam actually had to step out. I’m Julie and I am taking over his spot here. Let’s see our Q&A here. Let’s take a look. How long would you give it to see if a new platform works three months, six months longer? What would you say?
Julia: Ooh, that’s a really good question. You have to be really specific on your goals. I think three months if you’re very consistent is probably enough time to see a little bit of movement. I just go back to the exercise metaphor. If you work out once a week for three months and then give up, I don’t think it’s going to work, but if you’re pretty consistent and working towards your goals, and you’re fairly confident that the content you’re creating is good, I think probably you would start to see some traction in three months, but it just is dependent on what you’re trying to achieve. Always be every week, be iterating, be measuring, be looking at metrics, be trying to see if you’re growing or you’re building something. You should see some movement in three months if you’re very consistent.
Julie: Great. Thank you. I’m going to put the next one on stage now that I see how to do that. This person is looking to start an alumni group of mostly 22 to 40-year-olds. Any advice on finding a platform that might work for the majority of them?
Julia: I would ask them.
Julie: We don’t [laughs]
Julia: I’m not in that age group and [laughs] I would absolutely ask them because I couldn’t tell you. I think it’s also very hard to get participation from that age group. I’ve worked with a lot of college alumni associations, and I think that it needs to be spearheaded by them for them. Then it definitely needs to be a survey like, “What do you prefer?” LinkedIn could be a good place. It’s not as interactive as maybe a Facebook group, but then a lot of people might not be on Facebook and you might even have to look at something off of the traditional social media platforms depending on what they’re all using, maybe they just want to list serve, maybe they want to slack channel.
I would really throw it out to them and I do think LinkedIn and Facebook are good choices, but you’ve got to be very specific as to how many posts are they going to have to read, how involved are they going to have to be, what’s in it for them. Is this a job resource board? Is this something where they’re providing recommendations? I think as long as you make it all about the benefits that they’re going to get, and then they can really think through where they want to be, but I would pose that question to them.
Julie: Awesome. All right. Next, Tina is asking, what nonprofits do you follow just because you think they knock their social media posts out of the park across all platforms?
Julia: Well, of course, I love Charity Water, but who doesn’t? I really, oh, I just found out about one that someone recommended to me. That’s the one I was talking about that this gentleman came up to me at this conference and said he gave to them in his will. It’s called the Wild Bird Fund. Now I don’t want to say I don’t like birds, but they’re not my favorite, birds don’t make my heart– Birds they’re just not my passion animal. The social media for wild it’s Wild Bird Fund. It’s amazing. I would follow it 100%. They somehow make birds interesting and seem cute and cuddly. They’re very specific and very niche.
Other organizations, especially working on hard topics. I really love Rosie’s place in Boston. Full disclosure, they’re a client, but I absolutely adore them and have loved them forever and I’ve been a donor. I love the Trevor Project. I think they do such a phenomenal job across social media, especially on TikTok, on younger channels, reaching younger people. I’m trying to think of ones that aren’t just like animals. Best Friends Animal Society is amazing. I think they just do like incredible work with animals and also Best Buddies. I like Best Buddies. I follow them on a lot of channels. There’s smaller organizations, bigger organizations in there.
Julie: Awesome. Let’s see, any tips for driving people to your website on Instagram when you don’t have the follower account to post links?
Julia: You can post links in your stories and you can post a link in your profile but the key here is why would I go to your website when I follow you on Instagram? I follow you on Instagram, I’m loving your Instagram stuff. What is the incentive for me to go over to your website? That’s the missing piece that nonprofits are facing. The other missing piece is that Meta, Facebook, Instagram, all of them, they don’t like when you send your followers off of their platform.
They’re not going to show that post to as many people because they’re big businesses and they want you to stay on their platform. That’s something to be mindful of. I would put it in your profile. I would put it in your stories once in a while. For Instagram, if you’re raising money, I would really look at Text to Give, and I would look at the Instagram donate button just because people want to stay on the platform.
If you do need to post a link you can do it in the bio and there’s all sorts of link tree, link in bio, there’s all sorts of software tools that you can use to put multiple links on there. The key is, why would I go to your website? Is it to read more on a blog post? That’s definitely a good incentive if you’re like giving me a little teaser on Instagram, but if it’s just like go to our website, there has to be a reason.
Julie: Awesome and then Beth had a great question. It relates to certain content, but I think that it might apply to other people with various types of content, but she says we are in a shelter and cannot show our kids faces. How can we still capture our audience attention? We run into visual challenges at times.
Julia: Oh, definitely. I’ve worked in domestic violence and I worked with clients that deal with survivors of sexual exploitation and I’ve worked with a foster care agency. I recommend following it’s called the Night Ministry, the Night Ministry in Chicago. They work with LGBTQIA youth that are experiencing homelessness and they still do fantastic storytelling, never sharing faces. I also recommend following Plummer Youth Promise. It’s P-L-U-M-M-E-R and I’m happy to email these links to you. Plummer Youth Promise, they’re in Salem Mass, they’re a foster care agency and they do fantastic storytelling and they deal with minors and minors in foster care. They sometimes will share if they’re an adult and they’re getting out of foster care, but they will never share photos and identities of minors.
But there are a lot of examples out there of organizations like there’s To Write Love on Her Arms, which is a suicide prevention organization. There’s the National Association for Domestic Violence Prevention that all, they just do a great job storytelling, but they don’t share faces. They have graphics. They have very creative photography that maybe like a picture of a bird or a tree or a sunrise or something like that. I would just check out what some other places are doing to get some inspiration.
Julie: Awesome. I think this might be our last one, or we may be able to squeeze in one more. This one kind of touches on inter-departmental, how to work together with different departments. I work for a professional ballet company and our marketing department handles all of our social media posts. How do I work with that department to incorporate development needs or do you suggest development work more on LinkedIn and the ballet company and production side work more on Facebook and Instagram?
Julia: That’s a great question. I don’t know. I think working with them when there’s a campaign, so if you do a membership drive, that’d be a great time to work with marketing and say, we’re sending out a membership appeal. Can we have a couple of social media posts to tie in with the membership appeal or we’re doing a giving Tuesday campaign can we have a couple of posts? If you work with them on specific campaigns and you say, I would love to incorporate a fundraising message into some of your posts this month, rather than kind of having it throughout the year because what I think is so great about a ballet company on these platforms is it’s really going to entice people to hopefully come see a show or sign up for your email list and then that’s when like fundraisers can really shine because then they’ll be cultivating that potential donor, that potential member. I think that would be my best advice.
Julie: Awesome. I think we do have time for one more and this one is interesting. Our Instagram covers both Canadian and US audiences. Any suggestions on how to deal with donations since they don’t both go to the same place?
Julia: I don’t know. I have no idea [laughs] I think you’ve got to pick. Facebook probably makes you pick one DIN. That’s a very interesting question. There’s international organizations on Facebook like there’s Save The Children that works all over the world and in the US there’s UNICEF. I would kind of see what they do and their donate button probably goes to the main headquarters. I would pick wherever your headquarters is located and use that to set up donations. I think there are a lot of organizations that deal internationally. I think it’s probably easiest to have it be set to wherever your headquarter is in the United States, just because of exchange rates and things like that. That’s a really good question.
Julie: All right. Well, I think that is it. That will be our last one was a tricky one, but–
Julia: I don’t know. The back end of Facebook, Instagram changes all the time. I think it’s probably constantly changing even since we’ve been on this webinar. I’ll just look at the help section and see what they say about which country is it easier to accept donations in? I certainly wouldn’t lie and say you’re in the Cayman Islands or something. Your offshore tax accounts. Wherever you are headquartered, that’s what I would say.
Julie: Excellent. Great. Well, that’s the end of the session. I know that there are recordings available afterwards that everyone can access and then Julia of course has listed all the different ways to get in touch with her here.
Julia: Yes. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. Good to see you, Julie.
Julie: Good to see you too. I’m glad Adam had to run out. I had to jump–
Julia: Yes. All right, everybody have a great rest of your conference.
Julie: Excellent. Bye, everyone. Thank you.
Julia: Bye.Read Less
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