After the crazy commercialism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is over, #GivingTuesday is a day to help us all refocus. So, what exactly is #GivingTuesday? Well, quite simply, it’s a day dedicated to fostering a spirit of selflessness and philanthropy.
Since its start in 2012, #GivingTuesday—which occurs on the first Tuesday after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday—has developed a solid reputation as the global day of giving. The campaign is undoubtedly effective. In 2017, charities raised $274 million on GivingTuesday, a 55% overall increase from the year before. With a hashtag right in the name, it comes as no surprise that #GivingTuesday gains a lot of its traction on social media. So, if you’re considering launching a #GivingTuesday fundraising campaign, having a strong presence on social is a no-brainer for success.
But, there’s no doubt that the social media landscape can be a little intimidating, and coordinating your efforts in order to get the most impact can be a challenge. Luckily, there are a few strategies you can put into play in order to be a social media master this #GivingTuesday. Check out these seven tips, and prepare for major engagement from both old and new supporters!
1. Brand Your Social Accounts
#GivingTuesday is largely a social movement, so they offer an awesome social media toolkit for participants and supporters to reference and use. So, in order to make it obvious that you’re a part of the campaign, consider branding your social media accounts using the available resources they provide.
How do you accomplish that? There are a few simple things you can try!
- Set your profile image to the #GivingTuesday logo
- Change out your cover photo to a branded #GivingTuesday one
- Post a few of the sample tweets to engage with the entire #GivingTuesday mission
Using #GivingTuesday materials illustrates your commitment to the overall campaign (rather than just your own personal fundraising goal), and also makes it obvious to everyone that you’re participating. Plus, if you need further convincing, people donate 38% more on branded pages compared to generic pages.
However, if you want to show your involvement while simultaneously promoting your own fundraising efforts, consider creating your own graphics using the tools that #GivingTuesday provides. Put together a promotional image for your campaign, and then include the #GivingTuesday logo somewhere in the graphic. This allows you to use that valuable social media real estate to promote your own mission, while also demonstrating your #GivingTuesday involvement. Two birds with one stone!
2. Study Analytics
Like it or not, success with social media often has more to do with timing and research than anything else. You can spend hours developing the perfect strategy, but. But, get the timing or audience wrong, and you’ll likely be disappointed in the results of your efforts.
So, long before #GivingTuesday ever rolls around, take some time to study your analytics and determine what times of day you see the most engagement with your social media accounts. Are you better off posting important messages early in the morning, over the lunch hour, or in the evening hours? This information will help you target your #GivingTuesday messages at the appropriate time of day.
Plus, once you know these times, you can schedule posts in advance to ensure that you’re always sending out reminders at the perfect time—regardless of what your personal schedule looks like.
Additionally, you should take a look at what types of content typically see more interaction from your audience. Does your audience respond really well to video clips? Do posts that include a photo see more engagement? This helpful information is sure to help you get the most impact out of your #GivingTuesday posts.
3. Create a Video
While every audience is different, and you know your community of supporters best, few can argue with the fact that video tends to perform remarkably well on social media. Video content on social continues to be a growing trend.
What does this mean for you? Well, a short and memorable video about your #GivingTuesday campaign, like this moving video from Project Renewal, could have a huge impact. Whether you want your video to make people laugh or to tug at their heartstrings, a short video is both powerful and shareable—meaning your message will get in front of a larger audience. Your video doesn’t need to be anything overly complicated, but any sort of video message will help to increase your influence.
Need some tips for putting together an effective video? Check these out, and find more tips right here:
- Ask yourself, “Why would people share this video?” before you ever even start filming.
- Whether your video is a tearjerker or one that makes people laugh out loud, it’s important to appeal to emotions.
- Keep it short. Between three and four minutes about as long as you want to go.
4. Start Early
There’s no rule stating that you can’t start promoting your #GivingTuesday campaign long before the day actually occurs. So, use time to your advantage and start planning and promoting your campaign early on.
First, get your campaign ducks in a row by determining your fundraising goal, identifying your story, and setting up your fundraising site. Then, engage your key supporters and arm them with the knowledge and tools they need to start promoting your campaign right now.
Think the effort involved in early promotion won’t pay off? Well, in 2014, Project Renewal began promoting their #GivingTuesday campaign ahead of time, rather than scrambling the day of. The result? They raised over $77,000 on #GivingTuesday! So, begin posting about your campaign on your social media accounts in early to mid November in order to generate some proactive buzz and donations!
Download your #GivingTuesday planning guide below:
5. Develop Your Own Campaign
Of course, you should be sure to interact and engage with the #GivingTuesday campaign itself. But, you can also create your own relevant campaigns and promotions to complement the movement and target your promotions. With everything from photo submissions to contests, the options for what you can do are really limitless!
For example, #GivingTuesday began the #UNSelfie campaign, for supporters to upload a selfie supporting the event. Steal some inspiration and create a similar campaign that encourages engagement and submissions from your supporters. Many organizations also opt to rebrand the #GivingTuesday hashtag to something that fits more with their particular mission, such as #GivingShoesDay or #GivingTwosDay. Find what works for you, and run with it!
Check out the #GivingTuesday “Ideas for Nonprofits” sheet for even more inspiration!
6. Create a Toolkit
If you want to get the most impact out of your network of supporters, you need to ensure that they’re adequately informed. How do you do this? Give them the best tools and resources to utilize in their own social media posts. So, similarly to how #GivingTuesday offers a social media toolkit for participants, consider creating one for your own audience to make use of.
Your toolkit can include everything from infographics, images, and logos to links, campaign hashtags, and suggested messaging. This makes it easier for your supporters to accurately spread the word about your mission, which makes them even more inclined to actually do so!
7. Be Actively Engaged
There’s one big thing that separates social media from all other forms of promotion and advertising: it’s social. This means it involves more than just shouting out your message and hoping someone hears it. It’s about conversation. It’s about connection. It’s about community. You simply can’t expect your supporters to be engaged with your campaign if you refuse to be engaged with them.
Don’t plan on blanketing the world with social media posts while refusing to do any of the other legwork. In order for your social presence to be effective, it’s imperative that you’re actively engaged with your supporters. Retweet and favorite their campaign-related posts, like Grey2K does above. Thoughtfully respond to their comments. Publicly thank them for their support. Always make time to continuously foster conversations and a sense of community. Trust me, it goes a long way!
There’s no doubt about it—#GivingTuesday is a day of giving that lives and breathes on social media. So, in order to set your own campaign up for success, you need to be active in that space. Put these tips to work in order to build a powerful social presence for your #GivingTuesday campaign that boosts your sense of community—and your amount of donations!
Feature photograph by Jason Howie.
This post was originally published in November 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.