Attract Donors to Your Nonprofit: Use a Social Media Lean Marketing Strategy

by Danielle Bloom

3 min read

Social media provides one of the most effective ways to connect your nonprofit with donors interested in contributing. For example, if your nonprofit is a charity to provide clean drinking water to impoverished countries in the Third World, social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter offer a host of features that enable you to identify users who champion the same cause and have money to spend. You can utilize both free and paid marketing methods to reach out to these people and solicit donations. By integrating lean marketing with social media marketing, you can start getting results quickly without spending weeks or months putting together an ad campaign.

What Is Lean Marketing?

A huge benefit to marketing on social media is that you can practice lean marketing techniques that allow you to get your message out quickly and gauge results almost instantaneously. Lean marketing involves building campaigns that you can take to market quickly, measure results immediately, and make tweaks and adjustments on the fly to increase return on investment.

Social media is perfect for lean marketing because you can set up an ad campaign and have it go live within hours or less. Even better, most of the big social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, offer extensive tracking data to advertisers. This lets you know right away which aspects of your campaign are working and which might need some adjustments.

Find Likely Donors

Start your social media lean marketing campaign off the right way by getting it in front of the right people. The strength of your message doesn’t matter if it falls on deaf ears. Target your campaign to social media users identified as likely people to donate to nonprofit organizations.

Research indicates that more than half of people who engage with causes on social media also donate to nonprofits. Fortunately for you, platforms such as Facebook and Twitter make it easy to find the people who are most engaged with causes that align with your nonprofit. Returning to the water example, you can search Facebook for groups dedicated to clean water and cull names from their membership list. Then, you can reach out to these people and let them know your nonprofit offers a way to get involved with the cause.

Becoming an expert with hashtags offers another way to find prospects. Hashtags allow social media users to quickly locate others who are posting about a given topic. If your nonprofit is involved with a larger effort, such as a national blood drive, hashtag the name of the event to see who is posting about it, and then reach out to those people.

Educate Your Audience

The more that potential donors know about your organization and its goals, the more likely they are to personally invest in those goals by donating. Once you identify a target market on social media, create content that educates your audience about how it can help with a certain cause.

This stage of the game is where lean marketing becomes very beneficial. Since lean marketing allows you to track results immediately and make adjustments in real time as needed, you can test multiple types of content at once and see where you get the best response. For example, you could create a post that serves as an educational piece about how many people in various countries lack access to clean water, and another post that features more of an aggressive call-to-action to donate to your organization, and then see which post elicits a stronger response over a period of several days to a week.

Because you face an abundance of competition for viewers’ eyes on social media, it is important to post regularly. Your message is unlikely to sink in on the very first post. Try to post at least once daily, and time posts for when users are most likely to be engaged with social media, such as after work and on weekends.

Use Images and Videos

Social media users tend to have short attention spans, which is why you should mix in eye-catching content that doesn’t require a lot of thought, such as images and videos, to your educational posts. There is a reason why meme photos are some of the most shared items on social media; they’re catchy, many of them are clever, and they only take a few seconds to digest.

Research into social media trends indicates that viral content tends to fall into three categories: funny, amazing, and heartwarming. Search for pictures and videos that fit this description and incorporate them into your social media marketing. The exposure to your nonprofit from having a post go viral can be huge.

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