Guest blog by Abby Jarvis, Communications Coordinator for Qgiv.
Your nonprofit organization is likely interacting with your constituents and supporters in a number of different ways. Whether you’re posting regular updates on Facebook or asking for donations with emails, your organization should have a communication strategy in place for engaging with all types of donors, volunteers, and advocates.
But is your existing content optimized for social sharing?
Are your followers and other individuals spreading your nonprofit’s message on your behalf?
If not, it may be time to take a look at how your online presence can be enhanced for better social shareability.
Check out the top three ways your nonprofit’s online content should be prepared for social sharing.
1. Make the Donation Process Social.
If you’re receiving contributions with an online donation form (and you should be!), offer your donors a way to share their donation with their networks.
Obviously, you don’t want to share every single detail about your supporters’ donations; there have to be security and privacy standards in place, after all.
But allowing donors to brag on themselves a little after they make a donation can be a good way for your nonprofit to expand your social horizons.
Consider doing what this example nonprofit does. At the very top of their donation form, they have social sharing buttons for both Facebook and Twitter. When clicked, these buttons lead to a pop out window that generates a status or Tweet with a link to the donation page.
Users can add whatever message they want. They might say something like, “I just donated to this great nonprofit! You can help them accomplish their mission by donating here!”
However your supporters choose to spread the word about their donation experience is up to them (and based off the experience you provide them!). The important part is that you give them the option to do so.
Additionally, it’s crucial that your mobile donation form properly encourages social sharing. In the past year alone, mobile giving donations have increased by over 200%.
Don’t neglect your mobile donors — they’re an increasingly large demographic!
Many Facebook and Twitter users access their social media accounts on a smartphone. It does your organization no good to ignore the social aspect of mobile donations.
Try doing what this example nonprofit does with their mobile donation form. After outlining what their current campaign is, they include Facebook and Twitter buttons that encourage donors to share the link to the form on social media.
Whether you’re collecting donations on a laptop, desktop, tablet, or smartphone, you can make sure that your nonprofit’s online presence is ready to be shared socially. By placing Facebook and Twitter buttons on your donation page, you encourage your donors to share their experience with their networks, increasing the chances that others will find their way to your donation form.
2. Write High-Quality Content.
Part of what makes content so shareable is its quality. No one wants to sift through a blog post or a page whose length puts War and Peace to shame.
If you want your nonprofit’s online content to be prepped for social sharing, you have to make it worthy of sharing.
As simplified as this may be, think of web content as types of candy. If you have a really amazing piece of Swiss chocolate, everyone’s going to want a piece. On the other hand, if you bring out ten-year-old taffy, people might politely decline.
Web content is the same way. You want to write the Swiss chocolate of blog posts, not the old taffy kind of posts.
The better your content is, the more likely it is to be shared.
It’s also worth noting what else is getting shared across social networks outside the nonprofit world. Think about what types of articles go viral these days and try to mimic them.
Obviously, trends will come and go, and what’s popular today may be cliché and trite tomorrow. But it’s important to engage your supporters and meet them where they are.
3. Create Short Videos Featuring Your Supporters.
Have you ever watched people during a sporting event or during the live taping of a newscast? If they are anywhere near the camera’s line of sight, they’ll frantically wave their hands and mouth the words, “Hey Mom!”
It’s a trope for a reason — most people enjoy the idea of being on a big screen. It makes us feel larger than life, and it’s even more fun when the people we know and care about get to see us on the other side of a screen.
How does this fit into nonprofit social sharing, though?
Quite simply, really. If your organization regularly hosts fundraisers, volunteer days, or other kinds of events, bring your camera along to the next one.
You can catch general footage of the day, but you should also talk to and interview specific volunteers or donors. You won’t only gain a more personal insight into how the day went, but you’ll be able to feature the video of your supporters on your website.
Make sure that you have their permission to show and distribute the video on your website and via your social media sites. This goes double if your footage includes images of children!
Once the video has been compiled and looks professional, upload it to your website along with a text description. Post it to your social media sites and include the link in your email newsletters.
The people who are featured in the video will quickly share the link with their friends and family (this is the equivalent of waving and yelling, “Hey Mom!”).
When you include your supporters into your nonprofit videos, it shows everyone that watches them that your organization cares about your donors and volunteers. It makes them want to support an organization that takes pride in its advocates.
But it also makes the content more socially shareable. People like showing their friends and family videos of themselves doing good work for their communities.
Before you post a video, however, make sure that your nonprofit’s website is the best that it can be.
Ask yourself the following questions to determine where your organization’s website falls:
- Is your site optimized for mobile devices? Over half of all internet searches are done on tablets or smartphones. If your website doesn’t look great on these devices, you’re going to lose some visitors.
- Do you write great content? No one wants to read press releases all day, but too much fun and fluff can make your nonprofit seem unprofessional. Strike a good balance and write great content that your visitors will appreciate.
- Do you foreground your cause? Don’t forget: your website should communicate your nonprofit’s cause to visitors. If your mission isn’t readily apparent, visitors will be confused and won’t stay for long.
Making your nonprofit’s online presence easily shareable doesn’t have to be complicated! By making these three easy changes to your existing online content, you’ll be able to reach more of your supporters’ networks in no time!
Abby Jarvis is a blogger, marketer, and communications coordinator for Qgiv, an online fundraising service provider. Qgiv offers industry leading online giving and peer to peer fundraising tools for nonprofit, faithbased, and political organizations of all sizes. When she’s not working at Qgiv, Abby can usually be found writing for local magazines, catching up on her favorite blogs, or bingewatching scifi shows on Netflix.