Social Fundraising: Content Marketing After Facebook

Just about every charity has a Facebook page, and rightly so. After all, there are nearly 1.5 billion Facebook users around the world today – roughly one fifth of people on the planet. Facebook provides an unparalleled platform for social marketing and social fundraising.

At the same time, Facebook continues to change the algorithm used for delivering your posts to your biggest advocates. Though advocates are by definition those who have opted in to your cause by liking your page, they are unlikely to see everything – or even most of what – you share. This is part of Facebook’s efforts to cut down on the amount of “promotional” content users see, recognizing that “a lot of the content people see as too promotional is posts from pages they like, rather than ads.”

Whatever we make of Facebook’s changes, the fact of the matter is that the new algorithm makes it harder for you to reach the advocates who are passionate about your cause. You will need to get creative, sharing content on Facebook that isn’t merely promotional. Facebook outlines the kinds of promotional content to avoid, and Hootsuite has shared some tips on marketing on Facebook effectively.

Given the increased difficulty in connecting with givers and inspiring advocacy on Facebook, however, you’ll need to think about how to reach your givers and advocates by different means. One potential slam dunk can be found on Twitter, which continues its pattern of growth; since 2010, the number of active users has grown from 30 million to 300 million, a remarkable tenfold increase over five years. Though it may not last forever, Twitter still lets you reach those who follow you without filtering out tweets it deems dispensable.

While you’re at it, don’t overlook good old fashioned email lists. Here personalization is the name of the game, and it’s impossible to overstate how important segmentation and testing are to your campaign’s success. Virtuous can help you on this front, specifically with reporting, tailoring your asks, and through social integration with user accounts.

It should be clear by now that when it comes to Facebook, Twitter, and email marketing, there’s no 1-2-3 way of ensuring a certain response from your audience. Those who tell you otherwise are ill-informed at best. To reach your audience and inspire them to action, you’ll need to meet them where they are, and no two givers are exactly alike. To know where your givers are, and how they prefer to interact, you’ll need to track how people are responding to your ongoing experiments.

Passionate givers and advocates are out there, but if you’re not intentional in your efforts, you’ll miss them.

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