We all know that the internet and social media make it easier than ever to share news and events. You probably also know that you could be leveraging these resources, but if you are like many group leaders, this whole concept sounds kind of intimidating. I mean, what ever happened to an old fashioned car wash and a flyer?
The good news is, there are some really simple ways to optimize social media for your benefit, and they can easily be paired with traditional fundraising efforts you are already doing. Resources like Facebook and Twitter are amazing ways to remind the community about upcoming events, AND reach donors. And the best part: they are 100% free, and hardly require any extra work at all.
However, like most news, only the most noteworthy get’s attention and clicks. Be sure to include a catchy title and banner image to entice your group member’s friends to check out the post. Keep in mind, the banner image, title, and first line of text will appear in the news story to Facebook viewers. The catchier you make them, the more clicks and awareness you will get.
On twitter, your group members will merely post a link, (using the links you provide) and have the option to include a tagline of 140 characters or less. Similarly, only the most noteworthy tweets get noticed, so supply your group member’s with a catchy and informative phrase to ensure the best results. For example: “Get excited for Pancakes with Pi Phi! This Friday 8pm!” + link
Take it to the next level: To really spread, opt for the wall photo method (which can be used in conjunction with the previous method).
One of the fastest ways news spreads through Facebook and twitter is through photos. On Facebook, “wall photos” are pictures that people post to their Facebook walls, and that can be “liked”, shared and re-posted. These pictures show up to anyone viewing the poster’s wall, and they show up in the newsfeeds of the poster’s friends. Create a catchy wall photo (your event flyer may double for this) and supply it to your group members through your email campaign. Kindly ask your recipients to post the picture to their Facebook walls or as their profile picture. If the photo is catchy, people will take the time to read it and learn about your cause. If it is really catchy (and broadly relatable) it will be shared and re-posted by your group member’s friends, and their friends, etc. If each of your group members has 500-1000 Facebook friends, you can reach thousands of people IMMEDIATELY with this strategy.
Here’s how to do it:
Create a banner image (or embedded image) in your newsletter that includes a catchy phrase and URL or other way to find you. Explicitly note in your email campaign that recipients should re-post the photo to their social media. The more compelling the image is, the more likely it will be shared.
One simple example:
Hi ladies! As we all know, Alpha Phi’s spring Philanthropy is coming up! Please post the following picture on your wall so your friends will all know about our event! Also, please post this Photo as your profile picture during the week leading up to March 5! Thanks for your cooperation!
This strategy works really well to stir up local awareness for an upcoming event. In order to create broader awareness, opt for more potent sharing power. Photos or campaigns that are broadly applicable to people outside of your immediate community are more likely shared. The image above is an example of a highly viral (successful, frequently shared) wall photos that made a big impact on Facebook.
Many individuals outside of this organization’s network felt personally compelled by the message and took the time to share it. As a result, thousands of people were exposed to the organization that created the campaign, and a percentage of them chose to act on it by applying to join. Be sure to include a URL somewhere on the campaign so curious viewers/potential donors can track back to you. This type of campaign is great for general awareness, as well as call-to-action campaigns.
The photo shown above is ideal because it both raised general awareness AND boosted attendance at a local event. The message “if you really want to lend a hand, lend an arm” is catchy and memorable, and probably resonated with people outside of the immediate Greek community. However, in addition to motivating people behind it’s cause, it also included information about a local event where people could participate. In this case, the call to action was to attend the event and “lend an arm”.
Utilize these strategies to increase local crowds at your events, as well as heighten the profile of your group or cause online! Not only will your groups reach skyrocket but you'll become a social media maven in the process. Look at you go!