A primer on the nature of different social media platforms.
You probably understand the importance that social media has in fundraising as well as the potential impact it can make on your fundraising efforts. In this article, we'll cover social media in relation to fundraising, from the basics to more advanced tips and suggestions.
First, let's start with a quick overview of the most popular social media platforms.
Big Blue. Facebook has a broad reach to say the very least -- it's the most widely used social media platform and is popular across all demographics.
Your organization can use your Facebook page to post content, share photos, and engage in conversations with your Facebook friends. A lot of users are quick to share interesting blog posts or videos on Facebook, so compelling content can be really effective. Posting 1-2 times per day seems to be the sweet spot for Facebook post count.
Peer-to-peer marketing is also common on Facebook. When you're launching a campaign, post content that is shareable and ask your friends to tell their networks about the opportunity to give.
Twitter allows you to post short (140 characters or less) content--it's a place to share a quick announcement, post a compelling photo, or link to a blog post.
Twitter is fast moving. Posts are nearly immediately overtaken by new ones. With that in mind, we'd recommend tweeting 3-4 times per day at the minimum. Tweets have a short lifespan, so you may want to monitor your tweet engagement and schedule tweets when your followers are most engaged.
LinkedIn is typically used for managing professional connections. Nonprofits can create a page where LinkedIn users follow them.
LinkedIn is a great place to look for employees or board members, but it can also be used to nurture relationships with potential donors, too. Since LinkedIn primarily caters to professionals, a lot of affluent potential donors are present on LinkedIn.
We'd recommend posting content on LinkedIn less frequently than other channels-- posting a few times a week (once a workday, at most) is a good benchmark.
Instagram is a way to share photos and short videos. Instagram content can't be scheduled in advance-- it's designed as a way to show what's happening in the moment.
A lot of younger donors may be on instagram, so it's a good way to reinforce your organization's image and connect with your younger crowd. Try not to be cringe, cheugy, or sus!
TikTok, the successor to Vine, is a video-based platform, where users post videos they feel are entertaining, e.g. The Ice Bucket Challenge, Duets, dances, et al.
This platform is very popular with the youth demographic (as of 2022), and its distinct advantage over other platforms is that the viewer of the content does not need to be able to read in order to engage with the content.
There is no shortage of social media platforms to choose from. Choosing which ones to leverage should meet the criteria of answering the question "who does my organization need to reach" or "what is my organization's audience".
We recommend you start with the most popular platforms, then branch out from there.