Why social media is important for charities

Whether you want to promote your next charity event, create a buzz about a campaign you're running or simply want to show supporters the impact you're making - social media is an important tool no fundraiser should be without.  

Social media is really important to other forms of fundraising, such as crowdfunding, which is often reliant upon social media presence and engagement.

There are hundreds of different social media platforms on offer, all which require time, energy and investment if they are to deliver.

This makes it all the important for you to be strategic about which ones you use, taking into account which platforms your donors are most likely to use, and what you want to achieve through social media. 

social media users

Although Facebook is the most widely used social media platform in the world, there are differences in the way generations interact with different platforms.

Generally speaking the Twitter and Snapchat space is dominated by Millennials - who were born between early '80s - mid '90s. On the other hand, Generation X users (mid '60s - '80s) and Baby Boomers (mid '40s - early '60s) tend to use Facebook and LinkedIn a lot more.

Generation Z users (born between late '90s - mid 2000s) are more inclined to using camera based social platforms and sharing personalised content on Instagram and Snapchat.

Whether its for fundraising or just to raise awareness, charities must know which groups of people make up their supporter base, and identify who they would like to reach out to.

It’s only once you’ve been able to put together these audience profiles will you be able to decide which social media platforms are the right ones for you.

Read part 2 about knowing your donors

Top tips for social media content

Be interesting

Appeal to people’s emotions, provoke discussion, funny, emotive, celebrate success, discuss failure, share beneficiary stories.

Whatever you do, make sure it's interesting.

Be timely

Social media works to the schedule of people’s lives, such as on their commute to work, lunch breaks, while watching TV in the evening and at the weekend, and they expect real-time answers.

You need to be online when they are online.

Don't just ask; give

Many charities use their social media channels purely as a tool to ask people to donate or volunteer, but they rarely give anything back.

Make sure that about 80% of your posts are useful, interesting and entertaining, involve the sharing of other people’s content or conversations.

“Selling” should only comprise 20% of posts.

Boost your posts

The more people engage with your content (reading, commenting, clicking on the links and sharing it with others) the higher it will appear in your audience’s newsfeed.

The easiest way to achieve this is to pay for advertising or to boost a particular post. And it doesn't require huge budgets to achieve impact!

As little as £10 can put your post in front of thousands of your target audience.

Related content

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Webinar: Facebook tips for charities

During this on-demand webinar, social media manager, Hannah Iqbal, shares advice for small to medium sized charities on using Facebook.

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Using social media

Are you ready to step up your social media, or just need some ideas to freshen up your content. Here are three social media trends to boost your charity’s fundraising.

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