Engagement Marketing for Nonprofits (and cats)

Engagement Marketing

Keeping the attention of your supporters is much like keeping the attention of your cat … you’d better have a snack, game or snack ready before they find someone else who does.

A recent Venturebeat article mentions that people see about 3,000 messages per day, but many of these messages are not delivered in a way that makes them want to click, learn more, sign up, or take action.

No matter how funny, cute, or urgent your message is, if the message doesn’t connect with people in a way that is important to them, there’s little hope in getting them to take the next step and support your cause.

Everyone wants to engage with supporters at their level – but it’s difficult to monitor every single conversation taking place online all the time. However, with the right tools, and a little know-how, engagement marketing can go a long way in helping people feel like an individual with interests that are relevant and important. With cats however, they know they’re important and that your life revolves around them, so this point doesn’t really apply.

Armed with important social data like identity mapping, real time listening for trending topics and hashtags, influencer identification, and personalized promotions, it’s actually quite easy to track what your supporters are saying right now, understand how their interests change over time, and find a relevant ask for your campaigns. It’s also worth noting that this type of data wasn’t available to nonprofits until very recently (i.e. affordable).

How do nonprofits ramp up engagement marketing?

There are a number of different tools that can detail with precision the most popular topics and hashtags – they’re also posted on Twitter’s worldwide trending topics. The problem is, just because the world is talking about these keywords, doesn’t mean your supporters are.

In the example below, you can see the most popular hashtags across existing supporters last week.

Our supporters love the Grammys!

trending hashtags

The ability to track popular keywords that are most important to you has huge implications for engagement marketing with your current list – if your organization’s primary issue is the hot topic of the week,  it’s a strong indicator that you should put out a call to action that acknowledges how important this issue is to them at the moment.

No longer are you hoping your issue is relevant in their lives, because you can see the trend yourself. Integrated with other related trending topics, there’s always an opportunity to craft a message that is timely and relatable.

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 8.47.49 AM

When trying to capture a new audience, there’s a good chance that what’s important to your existing supporters will also be important to future supporters. By using related keywords and hashtags that are popular among your existing list, your organization can promote a clear call to action with a measurable impact on Twitter or Facebook. The issue is already trending and top of mind for a wide audience, so inspire them at the right moment.

Sometimes trending keywords are not enough, and people like to be guided by “influencers,” or people that hold authority over certain topics.

These influencers can include celebrities, executives, bloggers, or just prolific tweeters! Some of these influencers will also be in your CRM and already support your work, which can be a huge advantage. Having access to affordable social data can help you identify your influencers and allow you to send them a personalized message that asks them to share your content.

Being relevant and on-topic with existing and future audiences is only one element of engagement marketing – your organization also needs to evolve its messaging as the audience evolves, and provide opportunities for action based on their own interests and demographics.

In the example blow, you can see how to move people into highly targeted email lists based on what they’re talking about on social so you can send the right content. Segmenting by social mentions can also help shape messaging for future campaigns.


In addition to segmentation by common keywords, it’s easy to build new lists based on a user’s Klout score, network membership, their relationship to your organization (maybe they’re not even following you on Twitter but open all of your emails!), their social media activity, and key demographics like age, gender, and location. The possibilities of segmentation and pinpoint targeting are endless.

Is your organization ready for engagement marketing and taking the guesswork out of what to say to capture people’s attention? Request a demo of Attentive.ly today!

Attentive.ly drives engagement with your campaigns by turning your existing audience into advocates.

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