Written by Matt Gayer, Co-Executive Director of the Catalogue for Philanthropy
A lot of times, posting on social media for our organization can feel like we are spinning our wheels, or that we are just doing it because everyone else is. If we are going to take the time to do a social media campaign and dedicate resources to it, we need to make sure we’re ready to advantage of the campaign. Here’s six things to decide and plan for before you begin posting your campaign.
#1: What’s your goal?
Not all campaigns are created equally, and not all campaigns are about raising money (!). Campaigns can focus on getting folks to donate, take action (e.g., volunteer, recycle at home), advocate, or learn more. Decide what your goal is — what you want people to do. Then, decide when you need them to do that by this will help you to start thinking through the timing and urgency of the campaign.
#2: What else is going on?
Your campaign doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Keep in mind if your campaign is part of a broader movement (e.g., GivingTuesday), a busy time of year (e.g., End of Year), or a thematic time (e.g., Mother’s Day, Women’s History Month). Either include these broader trends in your campaign, or purposefully avoid those busier times.
#3: Who’s my audience?
It isn’t as simple as just counting your followers. You need to know something about who is following you on social media to be able to customize your campaign to them. Do some research and get a sense of who they are and what they might be interested in. You also can decide ahead of time to just target certain groups by their experience (e.g., past volunteers) or who they are (e.g., local donors).
#4: What content will I use?
Once a campaign gets going, things move fast. Especially for visual content, which you have to have to be engaging, we need to make it ahead of time. Think through what images, Gifs, or videos you’ll need during the campaign, and create as many as possible before it starts. You might have 1-2 “live shots” during the campaign, but most of it can be pre-planned.
#5: Who can help spread the message?
It isn’t enough to get attention to your campaign by pushing it out, you need others to share their influence as well. Make sure staff and board are engaged prior to sending as well. Try to get a group of 10-15 external supporters (volunteers, donors, etc) to agree to share a message about the campaign, all at the same time on the same day. It helps with visibility and makes it seem like a conversation is happening.
#6: What’s my plan?
Finally, work out at least a rough plan with timing for posts and an outline of post content. As mentioned above, campaigns move fast so we need to be ready prior.
If you think through these six things before you make that first post or Tweet, you’ll be a lot more likely to see some real progress from your campaign. It takes some time to be ready for that authentic-feeling campaign.