social media

#DontSufferinSilence

Time to Talk 2021

Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health. Talking about your feelings isn’t a sign of weakness. Talking about your feelings is part of taking charge of your well being and doing what you can to stay healthy.

At the moment we are all worried. Don’t suffer in silence – talk to someone:

Carers Support

Befriending and Loneliness

Mental Health

Domestic Abuse

If you are in crisis please call the Crisis Mental Health Helpline 0800 915 4644 – open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for mental health advice and support

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Social media – make it easy!

You want to inspire and motivate your audience to get involved with your charity by posting great social media with valuable content. You need engagement, retweets, likes, shares, followers, and all the other good things that comes with a successful social media profile. So the question is, what kind of social media content gets that kind of love and gives you the most value?

Who is your audience?

This is a group of people that you’ve identified that you want to appeal to and who are most likely to be interested in your charity. Your audience can be based on location, age, employment or behavior. Look at other similar charities to yours. What content are they publishing? What kind of voice are they using? Who are they appealing to? What’s their call to action?

What is your goal for the social media post/campaign?

Your social media posts should have a purpose – this is a call to action CTA. Do you need donations? Sign up to an email list?  Volunteers? Publicising an event? Your call to action should encourage readers to engage with you further. Be clear what you want your audience to do.

What should you write?

We write about our successes, our beneficiaries, our volunteers, our community and we share local and national social media from partners and charities. Cause awareness and giving days can also be powerful themes for fundraising and social media awareness campaigns. Get ideas from 2021 Cause Awareness Days Days of the Year  Wikipedia’s List of Commemorative Months and download the handy calendar template from Hootsuite for your office wall.

When should you post?

Different audiences on different platforms read posts and view videos at different times of the day. For example, commuters consume social media on their journey to work. Homeworkers may read posts in the middle of the day. Twitter audiences are consuming in the early morning and engagement drops off later in the day. Use the Sprout Socials guide to experiment with posting at different times on different platforms.

How do you make it visually attractive?

Including images is one of the fastest and easiest ways to increase engagement. Our brain can interpret images much quicker than text making your post much more effective. Top tip – make your images the correct size for the platform! We use a free version of an easy to use graphic design platform called Canva and Hootsuite have a guide to getting the sizes right. Remember to use images that belong to you or those from a royalty free site – we use pixabay or unsplash

Finally … make it easy

Posting diverse, interesting content at the right time on the right platform is made much easier by using a scheduling tool. We use Hootsuite. It allows us to plan our content in advance and schedule appropriately across 3 platforms for free. Read about Hootsuite and other scheduling options here.

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Digital Fundraising

Digital fundraising is simply fundraising online using digital technology. Alongside traditional fundraising, digital techniques should now be part of your fundraising strategy.

90% of adults in the UK are internet users and 80% have a smartphone which they use to browse the internet. We spend an average of 24 hours per week online, using a mobile for phone calls is only considered important by 75% of smartphone users, compared to 92% who consider web browsing to be more important. This is an audience of 48 million people to whom you can tell the story of your organisation and ask for support.

These statistics should convince even the most sceptical and techno-phobic trustees that your organisation need a digital fundraising option. There a number of online channels you can use to fundraise:

  • Website – your website is a window to your organisation and should set out your cause and impact. The site should have a clear donate button and allow donors to easily and securely make donations.
  • Giving Platforms – depending on your website traffic and finances you can choose from a number of different options – have a look the options
  • Social Media – use your social media platforms to promote your organisation, tell stories of your beneficiaries and ask for donations. Facebook and Instagram now allow donations to be made directly to UK charities without fees.
  • Donate As You Spend – There are a number of different schemes – Amazon Smile and Give As You Live are just 2 ways for your supporters to raise funds for your charity through everyday online shopping

On Monday 21st October, I’ll be running a free Digital Fundraising workshop in Camberley – open to voluntary organisations, covering the subject in greater detail and offering ideas and information on adding digital to your fundraising strategy.

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Fundraise with Instagram

Last week Instagram announced that eligible UK charities and supporters can now raise money for their charity on Instagram using donation stickers. The great news is that like Facebook, 100% of the money raised using the Instagram donation sticker goes to your organisation.

To be eligible to receive donations through donation stickers your UK registered charity must:

  1. Register with Facebook to use its charitable giving tools (to use donation stickers your charity must be approved to accept Facebook payments)
  2. Link your Instagram profile to your organisations Facebook page
  3. Convert your Instagram profile to a business profile

Once you’ve completed these steps, your organisation’s Instagram account is eligible to be fundraised for on Instagram Stories.

Now you can create your own Instagram photos/stories about your cause and add a donate sticker for your charity. You can also ask your supporters to do the same on their Instagram stories and photos to raise money for you.

It’s a straightforward process:

  1. Take a photo or video using your Instagram account
  2. Tap the sticker icon in the top of phone screen

  1. Selection the DONATION sticker from the options

  1. Select your charity from the list displayed
  2. Tap Send to and then Share with your friends

Facebook has made suggestions on best practices for using Instagram donate stickers:

Kick start your donation story with photos and video of what your cause is and why it matters and what the donations will help to accomplish. Use the creative tools to make it visual and post donate sticker in lots of stories for exposure. Keep people up to date with your campaign with milestones and achievements. Finally, use the highlight feature to pin your story to your profile so that your supporters have access to your donation story for more than 24 hours.

For those of you new to Instagram here’s a couple of links to help you get started:

How to get started on Instagram

Creating an Instagram story

 

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Is Twitter a Good Tool for Nonprofits?

Twitter has around 330 million monthly active users – that’s a huge audience for your charity so how can you make it work for you?

We are always looking for new ways to use social media to extend our reach and tell our stories. Twitter is a great platform for attracting an audience quickly, allowing you to publicise volunteer roles and direct donors and supporters to your website. It’s also great for starting conversations and establishing your expertise.

To be successful on Twitter your charity needs to be doing several things in the right way.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Content – Don’t just tweet for the sake of it. To stand out from the Twitter crowd make your posts unique to your organisation and what your audience is interested in. Ask questions to promote engagement and use images/videos that are relevant and will appeal. Make your tweets human by telling your story and the stories of your beneficiaries and volunteers.
  • Who to follow – Follow influencers in your own area such as local government, councillors and other charities (local and national) Note who they follow and the hashtags they use in their tweets.
  • Use Hashtags # to reach a targeted audience. The biggest benefit of using twitter is the ability to put hashtags # in your posts allowing you to broadcast to people interested in specific topics. If you’re not sure which hashtags to include, look at the tags in tweets of other charities or use a tool like ingramer which gives a list of relevant hashtags for keywords/images. Twitter also shows trending hashtags for particular events or awareness days. Be careful to search a hashtag in the twitter search box before using it to avoid embarrassment.
  • Get attention with Mentions @ – When you mention another Twitter account in one of your tweets they’ll get a notification and if your tweet is interesting or beneficial to them they may retweet your post or mention you back.
  • Focus on getting retweeted – 78% of engagement with your tweets will be through retweets so make your tweets ‘retweetable’ by inserting links to posts and articles on your website and to interesting content from other sources. Retweet content from partnership organisations that you respect and value to encourage them to retweet yours.
  • Use Visuals – Images are more impactful than words and also not included in the Twitter word count! Make your Twitter image the correct size 506×253 pixels and use a tool like canva to create a single image with your message. Canva allows you to export your created image in the right size to each of your social media platforms.
  • Use tools to simplify media management – We use Hootsuite to manage our social media outputs but there are others like TweetDeck or Buffer
  • Analyse your twitter performance – Twitter have a great analytics tool that shows your performance over the last 28 days. It gives top tweets, mentions, retweets, new followers and many many more statistics and graphs, but even using the most basic stats will inform your future content and improve your tweeting.

Remember that Twitter is a place to connect and have meaningful conversations. Think about what your audience wants to know, not what you want them to know. Use visuals and humour, even if your cause is serious. If you’d like help with anything social media related please contact us info@voluntarysupport.org.uk and follow us on @volsupportns

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