Developing a Strategy for Social Sharing
For many years, the best way for nonprofits to build new audience members was to cast a wide net – reach out to as many people as possible and encourage them to participate in an event or donate to a specific program. This was often referred to as the fundraising funnel, as the wide audience would eventually filter down to your core supporters. This is a time tested, classic fundraising technique that nonprofits have used for decades to procure long term, engaged donors and volunteers.
In recent years, some nonprofits have begun using the phrase, “flipping the funnel” to describe the potential impact that social sharing can have on a nonprofit organization’s mission and outreach. Social sharing is the act of a volunteer or supporter sharing their philanthropic action on their social media networks. This is a way in which digital technology tools have relieved some burden for nonprofits. Ideally, they don’t have to spend as much time and resources on reaching out to cold contacts and can focus energy on retention. Current supporters will mobilize their own networks. As the funnel is now flipped – a core group of volunteers or supporters will share the organization’s message with their network and organically grow support.
This model of growth brings a number of questions. How are you encouraging people to share? How easy is it for your supporter to do so? Which audience members are actually sharing content? These questions and answers must fit into your ongoing communication strategy. Based on your existing audience of volunteers, if you think social sharing can be an opportunity for organizational growth, you need to dedicate time to considering these issues.
If a supporter shares information on their social media platforms about your organization – what do you want that content to be? Do you want to focus on mission-related information or increasing donations? The sample content or call-to-action that you provide your supporters must connect with your ongoing strategy and objectives. The content needs to also match their interests. Many supporters will want to share content because your mission is important to them and they want their friends and family to be educated. Some supporters may want to inspire their peers with their philanthropic actions. It’s important to provide options that appeal to multiple audience types.
The final question to consider when developing your social sharing strategy is – how are you going to track sharing and the impact it has on your organization’s objectives? Creating the ability and incentive for constituents to share your content is the first step, but it’s equally important to ensure that you can evaluate the impact it has on your day-to-day work.
If you organization would like to “flip the funnel”, spending time discussing these questions will help ensure that you’re doing so effectively and thoughtfully.
We’ve provided a few interesting links from the previous week. As always, check out our Tumblr for additional internet fun.
- Social Media Today describes the importance of responding to feedback on social media platforms.
- NPQ reports on an interesting plan that UC Berkeley is initiating to fund their campus library system.
- Twitter has been testing a redesign of their profile. Mashable provides the details.
- Marketing Profs explains how millennials interact with brands on social media.
- Wyatt Jenkins from Shutterstock shares an informative description of how he does A/B testing and the benefit of it.
- Speaking of A/B testing, Blue State Digital provides a couple of great Valentines.
We wish you a happy weekend, Valentines Day, and Presidents’ Day.