I recently had the opportunity to present about effective social media strategies for connecting with donors at the Association Foundation Group’s annual meeting. Most of the people in the room worked for foundations, as you would expect, and came at the donor relations game from different perspectives and responsibilities.
The aim of the presentation was to focus on effective social media strategies and what are the best practices for organizations with limited budgets to build a genuine and unique social media following. I am constantly reminded that the organizations trying to do the most good are often those with the smallest budgets.
Truthfully, and I expressed this to the audience in so many ways, there are no silver bullets for communicating or building a network of donors. There isn’t a special way that social media can be used that can guarantee the conversion of a follower to a donor. Like all social media, if certain basics are followed, you can increase the likelihood that you can move followers from one stage in their relationship with you to the next.
Here at the David James Group, we try to get our clients to post an appropriate amount of smart content, posted at the right time and on an ongoing basis. By smart, we mean that they have been following and reading their analytics and listening to what their audience is telling them. Not every post should be about “you.” Sharing stories about other organizations or highlights in the news that have something to do with your mission is one way to show your followers that you want to be a relevant source of information, not just asking for them to commit to something every time you post.
We also discussed using custom and look-a-like lists as part of our effective social media strategies, and how they can be a great low-cost advertising strategy on Facebook. Facebook has by far the most comprehensive advertising tools and with the best analytics. Despite the growing divide amongst the generations in terms of the platform’s use, FB still represents the social media engine that interacts with the room’s primary donor age demographic. Look-a-like and custom lists are a great tool because you can gain a lot of exposure with the right audience without spending a lot.
Using Custom Lists as Effective Social Media Strategies
The Facebook audience creation feature allows you to upload your contact or donor list and create a Facebook target list that you can advertise to. It’s best if you have a list that has at least 1,000 contacts in which Facebook will then match its database with your list and create a new Facebook audience. Note, not every email you upload will be tied to an account on Facebook, but what you are doing is creating a more targeted audience based on the profiles of people who have donated or supported your organization in some way. This is a step above the regular filters you might use which just allow you to make educated guesses as to what your audience looks like.
Using Facebook Look-a-like Audiences
Facebook now allows you to use your organization’s Facebook page to create a look-a-like audience. Facebook examines the data of your page followers and then creates a much larger list of targets based on those demographics, behaviors, and interests, hence the name “look-a-like.” Frequently, the list Facebook creates is several times larger than your own follower list.
In our experience with these lists, the cost-per-click can be very low and the link clicks and conversions are very good.
If you would like to know how to do your own look-a-like campaign let us know, the DJG team is happy to help. Connect with us using our live chat feature, in the lower right, or hire us via our Hire DJG page.