GivingTuesdayNow will take place on May 5, 2020, as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While this post was originally written for the annual Giving Tuesday event that takes place after Thanksgiving, the tips and strategies below can still help you achieve success during this new special day of giving.
As a global giving movement that started from a hashtag, it makes sense that Giving Tuesday garners a massive amount of its attention and activity on social media. Just how massive? In 2018, the hashtag #GivingTuesday saw 14.2 billion social media impressions around the world. Since social media is a key driver of traffic and donations to your Giving Tuesday campaigns, it’s crucial to understand the best way to engage current supporters and casual followers as well as acquire new donors.
Every nonprofit with a Giving Tuesday campaign wants to know how to reach as many people as possible and mobilize them to take action, so here are five simple tips that will help you succeed. Keep these best practices in mind as you prepare to create a social presence that boosts your visibility and moves supporters to donate and share your campaign.
1. Get Found With Hashtags
#GivingTuesday has earned billions of impressions as the result of years of smart marketing, but you can successfully leverage hashtags for your nonprofit too. According to Social Media Today, social media posts with hashtags attract more engagement than posts without them, but each platform has its own trends when it comes to hashtags. Read up on each platform’s best practices and then use a little bit of creativity and experimentation to find the hashtag strategy that works for your organization.
In addition to using the hashtag #GivingTuesday, you should create a hashtag specifically for your nonprofit and your Giving Tuesday campaign. This will make it easy to monitor, respond, and aggregate social posts about your campaign. If you do create your own hashtag, make it something easy for your community to remember.
Pro Tip: Don’t go overboard with the hashtags. Not only does it look spammy, but engagement drops off when you use too many. The number of hashtags you should use depends on which platform you’re using, but one or two is a good rule of thumb.
2. Include a Link to Your Giving Tuesday Campaign
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 bridge between a social post and a donation is a link.
Your posts should include a link to your campaign or donation page, but be strategic when deciding which to use. Some of your social media posts will send supporters to your campaign page, but if a post says “Donate here,” 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.
Use an app like bit.ly to shorten your links to make your post look clean and save some of those precious characters. On Twitter, don’t wait until the end of your post to display your link. An analysis of over 200,000 tweets found that click-through rates were highest when links were placed about 25 percent into the post.
3. Boost Engagement With Images
Social media posts with images receive more engagement through comments and shares. If you want to increase the odds that people will notice, share, or respond to your post, add an image. Of course, you shouldn’t just throw up any old stock photo.
The Giving Tuesday website has visual content nonprofits can use to promote the giving day, but it’s even better if you create compelling images specific to your organization. These can be vibrant images from the field, graphics showing your impact or fundraising progress, or even a stylized quote to inspire action.
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128 days until #GivingTuesday! GivingTuesday started as a day for anyone, anywhere to give, and it's grown into the biggest giving movement in the world. ⠀ ⠀ The movement is a community of millions, working in dozens of countries, representing all causes, issues, faiths, and political views, striving toward a generous and just world. ⠀ ⠀ How will you give back?
4. Create Content Ahead of Time
While social media posts are often thought of as spontaneous, spur-of-the-moment communications, they can also be prepared ahead of time. When you know an event or campaign is coming up, you can save yourself a lot of time and stress by writing and designing posts beforehand.
In the weeks leading up to Giving Tuesday, or GivingTuesdayNow, brainstorm the messages you want to share and then create a document with all the text, photos, and graphics you’ll 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 simply post and engage with donors rather than spend time creating a graphic.
5. Respond, Thank, and Engage Your Audience
The benefit of having a supply of prepared posts before the action starts on Giving Tuesday is that you’ll have time to monitor your social media channels for opportunities to communicate directly with supporters. Think of your feed as an ongoing conversation, where you can answer questions, celebrate success, and highlight your supporters.
It only takes a second to “like,” favorite, or retweet a donor’s message, but it can make their day. This also encourages onlookers to get involved by showing how much you appreciate the support. Calling out individual donors in posts is another great strategy. It shows your gratitude, but also keeps your campaign showing up in users’ feeds.
Whether you are thanking a donor, sharing a post, or responding to a question, remember to tag the people involved. This ensures that they see the post and makes them more likely to share it. Little details, like tagging people, can make a huge difference in expanding the reach and extending the life of your post.
Social media is a vital marketing tool for any online fundraising campaign, but it is especially important for Giving Tuesday. The giving day has grown by leaps and bounds, in part because of the massive audiences it reaches on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. These best practices will help you reach more people and inspire them to take action.