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Engaging Impact Online

Using social media to increase your reach to develop brand ambassadors and passionate supporters of your organization.

Social media is a powerful tool. Posts can be visually engaging and are easily shared which makes ambassadors of your brand and prospective donors easily reachable online. You probably already use a number of social media platforms to engage with your audience and know the potential to leverage these tools even more.

As a leader for impact, you are a passionate problem solver who cares about your mission. You are naturally empathetic and love building organic relationships with supporters of your organization. Being generous with your time and energy is fulfilling, but can also leave you exhausted. You want to learn how to use social media as a tool to increase the reach of your engagement and develop deeper relationships without burning yourself out.

This guide will provide you with a four step process for creating a plan to turn social media engagement into ambassadors or donors to your cause.

1. Get Clear on Your Mission vs. Value

Like most things, let’s start with your mission. Grab a pen and paper and write down your mission. Your organization’s mission statement is the core that defines your. For example, the mission statement for Pittsburgh-based Young Adult Survivors United (YASU) reads:

YASU is the largest community in Western PA for young adult cancer survivors and their co-survivors, providing them the ability to cope and thrive from emotional, social, and financial support under professional guidance and with peers who understand and can relate.

Yours may be similar. Mission statements often define what an organization is and does, but it can be hard to put into words why we do what we do. The value of your organization will be different for each type of person that interacts with you. That is because your value defines the reason why someone would support your mission in exchange for some cost. Communicating the value of your organization on social media will make your messaging stick out to prospective brand ambassadors and donors to your organization.

When you think about the value your organization provides, put yourself in the shoes of people who use your service or visit your organization. Which brings us to step two.

2. Know Your Audience

There are so many people in your audience. List out every type of person that interacts with your organization. Which one do you think is your ideal ambassador?

You might be thinking “But I have many!” I know, you may have more than one ideal donor. Focus on one. Here’s why.

Imagine your favorite museum and the type of people who visit. History enthusiasts, young adults, parents, children, etc. Ask yourself what value each person gets out of spending a day at the museum. For parents, your value might be a day of family fun and an opportunity for your child to learn. Whereas, a history enthusiast might get value out of learning something new and delving deeper into the details of an exhibit.

The value for each is different and when cultivating donors, you want to talk directly to the reason why people care about your organization.

3. Have a Plan

This is where you can save the most time. With one ideal ambassador or donor identified, create a social media plan that will speak to them. Think of this as a conversation that spans at least a month. Initially you will want to catch their attention. Ask questions or post content that identifies the value they get from your organization. Then nurture that connection by going more deeply into what your mission means to them specifically.

Whether you post once per week or once per day, have a plan to show up consistently and identify calls to action for each stage of this process. Maybe direct your audience to like, share, or comment on posts, then sign up for emails so they can hear your message more. Through developing this relationship, you can then make your big ask. Social media management tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer will allow you to schedule your messaging in advance so that you can save time better spent focusing on advancing your programs and mission.

4. Give it Time

Getting a donor takes more touch points than you think. It can take up to 33 touch points before someone is ready to support your organization. Think of your supporters as your customers. You know the value of a product before you make a purchase. Your brand ambassadors and prospective donors need to recognize the value before they commit to supporting your organization. You might be wondering how long it can take for social media to start paying off. Converse Digital says most social media marketing strategies tend to take about 6 months to see any pay off and some organizations might not see an increase for longer. This doesn’t mean you will focus only on one ideal donor for 6 months, but it is a reminder to have patience when forming relationships online.

When you know the value you provide you form deeper relationships, gain support, and the world takes even more notice of your mission. Social media becomes a more powerful tool to reach further and attract like-hearted people who want to support your mission.

Want to see how well your brand, team, and impact work together? See which attributes of impact help your organization make a difference here!

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