Written by Simon Scriver, Co-Founder of Fundraising Everywhere
The Burning Platforms
With both Facebook and Twitter finding themselves in precarious situations, we’ve all been reminded of the risk of relying on any social media platform to connect with your audience. It’s important that part of our ongoing communications strategy is to encourage followers to also connect and subscribe through other traditional channels such as email and telephone.
It’s not just about the risk of some tech bros destroying a platform you’ve grown to rely on. It’s also about controlling your own data and not leaving your brand’s visibility at the mercy of an algorithm you have no say in - social media notoriously has terrible response rates compared to other media.
We need to be attempting to connect with our audience elsewhere in an ongoing effort to diversify our marketing channels, add people to your database, and collect the data you need to build up a full view of your donors to steward them properly.
Here are 7 ways to do this:
1. Offer a Free Download (Lead Magnet)
Downloadable resources such as fact sheets and helpful guides are a great way to bring value to your social media followers while capturing their contact details and consent. Think beyond your annual reports and consider what resources you have at your fingertips that will appeal to your audience.
Aim to help and educate. Infographics, cheat sheets, and ‘5 ways to…’ assets all do really well here.
2. Host a virtual event
Livestreams and pre-recorded video events allow you to engage supporters and bring them in to your organisation in a way that hasn’t previously been possible. Bring them behind-the-scenes, let them hear from beneficiaries and connect directly to your staff. Plus, they offer lots of touchpoints (ie. registration; before, during and after the event) to prompt your attendees to stay in touch through email, telephone and post.
Talk to our friends at everywhereplus.com to find out how easy this can be and what support is available to you.
Surveys aren’t just for learning about your audience and letting them know they have a say. They’re also super for moving people off of social media - people love sharing their opinions and a mailing list ‘ask’ fits nicely at the end of your survey questions.
They can be as simple as one quick question - it’s about getting your followers to take that step and allowing you to gather more details.
Like surveys…who doesn’t love a contest?
That gift-in-lieu you haven’t been able to use could make a great contest prize. (Don’t forget to check the rules and regulations in your country around the running of online contests).
It might even just be bragging rights…challenge your followers to get every quiz question right…and while they’re there, encourage them to subscribe.
5. Drive to a blog post with data capture
You and your organisation are experts in your field.
If you’re not already, you should be sharing that expertise in regular blog posts. They show your worth and position you as a useful resource.
Blog posts sharing ‘how to’, explainers, FAQs and news/updates are all great ways to get social media followers to click a link and visit your website.
There’s then a great opportunity to suggest your email mailing list within your blog, at the end or through pop-ups.
6. Direct asks
Like all things in fundraising and marketing sometimes it’s as simple as just asking.
Share a direct link to a form to joining your mailing list regularly and give your followers a reason to join.
Make it sound appealing! Rather than joining a mailing list, share the benefits - such as early access, useful information, exclusive perks and a connection to community.
7. Hand raisers
Discover what people care about by running ‘hand raiser’ campaigns; ask them what they care about, what changes they want to see in the world, or run fun polls.
Not only will your list grow from this light-touch and fun interaction, the answers they give help you build a picture of their motivations for that all-important stewardship work.