When it comes to getting the message across, there are few ways in which charities can reach a huge number of people at a minimal cost. In that respect, social media is golden. Whilst there’s no denying social media can be a hugely powerful tool for charities, there are a number of things that can limit your impact if you don’t plan your campaign effectively. Here are some basic do’s and don’ts to ensure your charity campaign can garner the biggest reach – and hopefully raise huge funds at the same time.
Do let fundraisers campaign
Two of the biggest viral charity campaigns in the last few years are the #icebucketchallenge and #nomakeupselfie – both of which were started by supporters of the respective charities they were associated with. Use fundraisers campaigning for good – complement their efforts by sending out relevant informational messages about the charity, and even get involved in the campaign if you can. Utilise any hashtags started by fundraisers to stay on top of the buzz, and to keep the hashtag associated with your charity.
Do learn from other successful campaigns
Charity led campaigns can also prove hugely successful on social media, not least the annual Movember campaign, which raises awareness of male cancers. With literally millions of social media mentions each November and over £50 million a year raised for the month-long campaign, Movember utilises all relevant social media platforms to convey the visual aspect of the campaign, encourage giving and involvement and to showcase or praise the campaigns fundraisers and supporters. Of course different campaigns will use different platforms with varying tactics, but it’s always worth studying previous social media drives to see which have worked and which have not.
Do have a clear objective
For the most part, the likely goal is to raise as much funds or awareness as possible. However, the way to plan and engage in a successful charity social media campaign would be to have a set goal and an overall target to achieve. Set out a specific sum you hope to raise from the campaign, set number of petition signatures or number of regular donors to your charity. Whatever the goal make it clear then use this to motivate your social media campaign.
Don’t forget to plan ahead
Although social media by nature is very instantaneous, your campaign can’t take off on a spur of the moment idea. Careful planning has to go into selecting the right timing for your campaign, not least because there are now so many annual calendar dates and charitable awareness days that you don’t want to end up clashing with a more established campaign, fighting for support and donations. For example, just last month two campaigns suffered as a result of poor planning. The annual #WorldCancerDay took place on 4th February which was also the date that #timetotalk ran, a mental health campaign organised by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. Both hashtags trended on Twitter for most of the day, certainly creating a buzz and getting people involved in both messages. Some people may have become involved with both campaigns, but it’s more than likely people will have chosen the cause closest to their heart to support on the day, having a negative impact on the overall campaign.
Don’t forget to thank supporters
The main reason you judge your campaign a success is from the amount of support gained, whether monetary or otherwise. So, without those supporters your campaign would have been worthless. Don’t forget to be thankful to those taking part and helping you raise awareness. We’re not suggesting you send each one a handwritten note, but a simple retweet, reply, like or status update should do the trick.
For more information on how you can use social media to help with raising awareness for your charity, please get in touch by calling 0141 427 0727 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org