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5 Tips for Your Giving Tuesday Social Media Strategy

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By Hannah Durbin

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Reading Time: 7 minutes

Giving Tuesday is a global giving movement that started from a hashtag, so it makes sense that it garners massive attention on social media.

Just how massive? In 2019, the hashtag #GivingTuesday saw more than 20 billion social media impressions. In 2020, social media activity was present in every country and territory around the world.

Social media is a key driver of traffic (and donations) to your Giving Tuesday campaign. Understand the best ways to engage current supporters, attract new followers, and acquire new donors to fuel your mission.

Dive into these five strategies to make a lasting impression on anyone who encounters your organization.

1. Be Strategic With Hashtags

As the direct result of strategic marketing, #GivingTuesday has earned billions of impressions since its start in 2012. Be intentional with how you incorporate hashtags into your Giving Tuesday social media posts to drastically improve your reach, just like Gilda’s Club Chicago did for their 2020 campaign.

Gilda's Club Chicago Instagram post

A strong hashtag strategy can attract more engagement, but using hashtags incorrectly can create challenges. It might actually trigger particular algorithms to push your content down further on viewers’ feeds.

Become familiar with each platform’s best practices and then get creative to determine which approach to take this giving season to elevate your cause.

Hashtag Do’s and Don’ts for Giving Tuesday

Twitter Hashtags

Do’s

Dont’s

  • Do stick with one to two hashtags per tweet to keep your message concise
  • Don’t force anything that’s not relevant to your organization or mission
  • Do make them easy to remember (and spell) to increase discoverability
  • Don’t use all caps, unless it’s an acronym
  • Do use the explore tab to see what’s trending
  • Don’t forget to engage with supporters who use your hashtag to show appreciation
Instagram Hashtags

Do’s

Dont’s

  • Do stay within a range of three to five hashtags per post
  • Don’t create a brand new hashtag on Giving Tuesday without giving it time to build traction
  • Do include both well-known and niche hashtags to boost discoverability
  • Don’t include keywords that are oversaturated or overly generic
LinkedIn Hashtags

Do’s

Dont’s

  • Do use three hashtags per post, two of which should be more broad and one more niche
  • Don’t place your hashtags in a comment on your post
  • Do place your hashtags at the end of your content
  • Don’t use spaces, punctuation, special symbols, or emojis
Facebook Hashtags

Do’s

Dont’s

  • Do stay between one to three hashtags per post for highest engagement
  • Do keep them short, ideally six characters
  • Don’t forget to measure the performance of your hashtags to inform future strategy
  • Do use hashtags to start a conversation with supporters or encourage interaction between donors
  • Don’t oversaturate your content with too many hashtags

2. Boost Giving Tuesday Engagement With Video 

Video has become an integral part of social media across all channels. The COVID-19 pandemic drastically increased nonprofits’ reliance on virtual engagement strategies to keep donors active during uncertain times, but nonprofit video has only continued to climb in popularity.

Take a peak at how Haymakers for Hope leveraged video for their 2020 Giving Tuesday campaign:

Adopting video into your Giving Tuesday social media strategy has its fair share of advantages. Here are just a few:

  1. Boost exposure and engagement by capturing a viewer’s attention for longer
  2. Give content a longer shelf life by attracting more interactions, keeping it in the online ecosystem
  3. Appeal to Generation Z donors who are the most likely to hear about new causes through social media
  4. Communicate a powerful story through homegrown content with an authentic feel
  5. Make your message easier to remember by communicating through video rather than written text

The good news is that production value does not determine engagement levels. In fact, the majority of most engaging videos in 2020 were first-person, unscripted, single-take videos.

Focus on creativity and powerful storytelling to establish a connection with your audience and motivate action, just like the Helen Woodward Animal Center did for their 2020 Giving Tuesday campaign.

3. Stick to Your Social Strategy 

While implementing new tactics into your Giving Tuesday social media strategy is critical to sustainable growth, we don’t recommend waiting until day-of to try something for the first time.

Stick to the platforms you’ve used before and have seen success with in previous campaigns. Analyze your performance metrics across all of your platforms to determine which is most effective in communicating your message.

Ask yourself, is there a particular platform your audience seems to engage with the most?

A generational breakdown of social media channels catching donors’ attention:

  • Facebook: 66% millennials, 45% Gen Z, 59% Gen X, 37% Boomers+
  • YouTube: 59% millennials, 56% Gen Z, 42% Gen X, 18% Boomers+
  • Instagram: 53% Gen Z, 51% millennials, 35% GEn X, 11% Boomers+
  • TikTok: 47% Gen Z, 37% millennials, 17% Gen X, 3% Boomers+
  • Twitter: 36% Gen Z, 34% millennials, 23% Gen X, 8% Boomers+
  • Snapchat: 25% Gen Z, 34% millennials, 17% Gen X, 2% Boomers+

Take note of any content you see this Giving Tuesday that inspires you. The key to a strong marketing presence is identifying new key trends and brainstorming ways to incorporate them into your future campaigns. Stay curious so that you’re prepared with a list of ideas come Giving Tuesday 2022.

4. Create Quality Giving Tuesday Content 

It may seem obvious, but creating high-quality content is one of the most important (and often overlooked) elements in a strong Giving Tuesday social media plan.

Content that triggers emotion can help cement an idea in the minds of supporters. Consider sharing an infographic to highlight key proof points that support your call to action, or post a custom graphic with a powerful statistic that emphasizes the urgency of your ask. Quotes and testimonials are also effective in establishing an emotional connection with donors.

To ensure your content exceeds all donor expectations, be sure to:

  • Maintain brand consistency across all of your Giving Tuesday social media posts. This not only helps to develop a visual identity and language, but also inspires your messaging in a way that resonates with your community.
  • Stretch your content across multiple platforms. By repurposing the assets you created for a webinar, blog post, or paid advertisement, you can save both time and resources while generating more engagement opportunities for your audience.
  • Optimize your image and video specs to align with the most up-to-date requirements, like Camp Kesem did in their post highlighted below. Discover what video specs and image specs you need for Giving Tuesday 2021.
  • Dive into analytics to inform your strategy. Avoid wasting your resources on content that’s not resonating with your audience.

camp kesem instagram post

5. Engage With Your Audience in Authentic Ways

The foundational purpose of social media is to interact with people, form connections, and establish meaningful relationships. Think of your feed as an ongoing conversation where you can answer questions, celebrate success, and highlight your supporters.

Communicate directly with your donors leading up to Giving Tuesday and actively exchange likes, favorites, shares, direct messages, and comments day-of to show how much you appreciate their support.

Tag donors, board members, or sponsors to give them a personalized shoutout. Featuring them in your stories is another great way to make them feel valued.

Keep in mind that some donors may turn to social media if issues come up while donating or if they have a particular question. Provide attentive customer service to your community by monitoring your direct messages and staying on top of the comments on your posts. Big events, like Giving Tuesday, are a smart time to assign a team member or two to social media engagement if you don’t normally have someone dedicated to that role.

Don’t Forget These Giving Tuesday Social Media Best Practices

In addition to these simple tips, don’t overlook the importance of the following best practices.

1. Capture Donors’ Attention With Photos

Facebook posts with images have 2.3 times the engagement than those without.

Images offer a simple, cost-effective way to grab people’s attention and show them why your cause matters. They are particularly effective on social media because they can quickly draw a donor’s eye, successfully getting them to stop the scroll.

Here are a few basic storytelling principles to inspire your strategy:

  • Create context to tell an overarching narrative
  • Offer a fresh perspective or unique angle to tell a familiar story in a captivating way
  • Get personal by showing how your work impacts specific people
  • Present the conflict and how you are working to solve it
  • Be authentic by showing a behind-the-scenes look at your day-to-day
  • Remain consistent to make it easier for people to identify your messaging

2. Include Your Campaign Link in All Posts

While you do want your social media posts to be seen and shared, the ultimate goal is to move supporters to donate to your cause. The key to conversion is a link to your campaign or donation page.

Be strategic when deciding which page to link to. Some of your Giving Tuesday social media posts will send supporters to your campaign page, but if the direct call to action is to donate, the link should send users directly to your donation page. This makes it easy for supporters to follow through before they change their mind or get distracted.

See how Farm Aid seamlessly linked to their campaign page in this Instagram caption:

Farm Aid Instagram post
Pro Tip
Use an app like bit.ly to shorten your links for a cleaner look.

3. Create Content Ahead of Time for Giving Tuesday

Save yourself a lot of time (and stress) by writing and designing your posts before Giving Tuesday.

Brainstorm the messages you want to share and then create a document with all the text, photos, and graphics you plan to use. This will give you a holistic view of what you’re sharing and how it will come across to your supporters.

Your content should be a mix of delightful images and stories, progress updates, and appeals. You can even create graphics to post when you reach 50 percent, 75 percent, or 90 percent of your goal so that when it happens, you can focus on engaging with donors in real-time.

Last-Minute Giving Tuesday Social Media Tips to Boost Engagement

If you’re pressed for time or resources, check out this list of quick-win ways to make a splash on Giving Tuesday.

  • Create and share graphics that immediately communicate your mission, like infographics or testimonials
  • Live stream to connect with your donors in a more authentic way
  • Include a link to your campaign or donation page in all posts
  • Add a countdown to Giving Tuesday sticker on your Instagram story to keep the date top of mind
  • Increase posting cadence the week leading up to Giving Tuesday, aiming for at least one post per day
  • Dedicate time to engage with your followers during the days leading up to Giving Tuesday, and remain active day-of to ensure your supporters feel acknowledged and appreciated

Raise More With a Strong Online Presence

Social media is a vital marketing tool for any online fundraising campaign—especially Giving Tuesday. The global giving day has grown by leaps and bounds, in part because of the massive audiences it reaches on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Use these Giving Tuesday social media best practices to attract new donors, engage existing supporters, and inspire your larger community to take action this year.

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Your Nonprofit's Social Media Content Planner

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