How to Use Social Media for Your Giving Event
- August 27, 2018
- Free Ways to Promote a Gives Day, Gives Day Social Media, Social Media for Nonprofits
As you map out how to use old school media to boost exposure for your gives day, make sure you create a plan for how you’ll utilize social media for your giving event in tandem. Nearly 70% of American adults use social media, per Pew Research, so leveraging social platforms to publicize your giving event is a no-brainer.
We recommend focusing on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to garner exposure for your gives day. (With 90% of LinkedIn users also on Facebook, you might want to save yourself some time and just post on Facebook.) YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the most popular social media platforms out there, and the ones users are likely to visit on a daily basis. Here’s how we advise utilizing social media to make the most out of your online giving event.
1) Use YouTube to publicize your giving event
It might surprise you to learn that YouTube is the most popular social platform available, grabbing the attention of 73% of American adults. Research backs up the growing popularity of video: In a 2015 study, consumers were 4 times more interested in watching a video about a product than reading about it.
You can use this trend to your advantage when developing your strategy on how to use social media for your giving event. We recommend creating promotional videos about your gives day and posting them to YouTube. Don’t worry if you don’t have the resources to make a professional-quality video; even a DIY video can have a huge impact for your event.
Colorado Gives Day created this engaging video for their 2017 event. Notice the length of just 43 seconds—this is ideal as nearly two-thirds of customers prefer watching a video under one minute.
After your giving event, utilize YouTube by creating a video thanking your donors or highlighting the success of your gives day. Capture moments of community engagement (check out our post on 7 Ways to Rally Your Community for Gives Day Success) during the event and interview people involved. The Humane Society of Boulder Valley created this eye-grabbing video showing the impact of past Colorado Gives Days and promoting the 2017 event.
2) Add your gives day to Facebook
Make the most out of your awesome video content by posting your videos on Facebook. In the U.S., 68% of adults are on this social platform, per Pew Research. To utilize Facebook in your social media strategy for your giving event, create an event and invite the nonprofits involved, public figures in your community, schools in the area, politicians, individual donors, employees, and anyone else you can think of. Provide all pertinent information about your day in the event description, including links and instructions for donating. Create a unique hashtag and encourage participants to use it on their posts across every social media platform.
As your giving day approaches, start a countdown. Post weekly on Facebook until you’re 4 weeks out, then post 2-3 times a week. A week before the event, start a daily countdown. Make sure to post photos and videos, as well as posts with text.
You can get even more specific by purchasing targeted ads tailored to exactly who you hope to get in front of. Keep in mind the demographics of people using Facebook in the U.S. (from the Pew Research Center):
- 81% of people ages 18-29
- 78% of people ages 30-49
- 65% of people ages 50-64
- 41% of people ages 65+
As for the content of your Facebook posts, the Giving Day Playbook advises:
“Your Facebook audience is likely comprised of people with whom you have some offline relationship. This means that Facebook posts tend to carry more weight [than posts on Twitter] and can be used to strengthen the core community and deepen community excitement.”
3) Tweet about your giving event
Twitter may not feel like a worthwhile way to use social media for your giving event, but don’t shrug it off completely. The Giving Day Playbook advises that your Twitter audience may not be people you know personally (unlike Facebook), but rather those who are interested in the content of your tweets. It recommends you use this platform to “grow your community, provide basic information and engage in the general community-wide discussion about the Giving Day and related topics.” Traditional media outlets have a heavy twitter presence, so you can also use your account to remind people about your press releases and media coverage of your event.
Utilize your videos here as well. Twitter reported that a video is six times more likely than a photo to get retweeted! Your frequency for posting on Twitter can be higher than for Facebook and Instagram: at least once a day if you have the capacity.
The Colorado Gives Day twitter account is populated with relevant articles, eye-catching infographics, and fun news updates about the Colorado community. Similarly, The Big Day of Giving tweeted a fun video of their staff furiously writing checks to nonprofits after a successful giving event. Bonus points for tweeting a video!
4) Create an Instagram profile for your giving day
In addition to posting on Facebook and Twitter, you can share your photo and video content on Instagram. Thirty-five percent of adults in the U.S. are on Instagram (Pew Research), so it’s an ideal way to recycle visual content when employing social media for your giving event. Videos on Instagram can be no more than one minute, so keep it concise.
Encourage your donors and nonprofits to share your content, reminding them to use your branded hashtag. For additional eyes on your content, you can pay to boost your posts and/or create ads.
The Arizona Gives Day Instagram account does a great job of posting compelling images, including this great graphic they shared during their day updating their audience that they hit the $2 million mark. Also check out the Blue Grass Community Foundation’s account for great original photos and compelling quotes.
5) Utilize your website and blog to publicize your gives day
Your website and blog may not be considered social media, but they’re an excellent place for longer-form copy that links to and from your social media accounts. Your website is where you can post all the nitty gritty details about your event, including rules for contests, details about the foundation and nonprofits involved, and detailed instructions for how to donate. For those perusing social media who want more detail, this is a perfect follow up to drive engagement.
You can utilize your blog to house press releases as well. We love how Arizona Gives keeps a library of their press releases available from the past couple years.
Author: Ali Weeks