Turning a friend into a donor – the influential power of social media

As we continue to embrace marketing transformation this new year our digital strategy must remain front and center. It’s a complex landscape with multiple platforms and data outlets available. To be competitive and continue to increase donor bases, not-for-profit (NFP) organizations must be relevant with all content and focus on the channels of communication that are influential …. and be social.

Social channels are a means to making emotional connections and sharing passions with like-minded friends, family and followers. A social platform is a great opportunity for NFPs to share their story through the use of imagery, stories, and more. With Facebook’s recent change to the news feed algorithm, content from friends, family and groups is now prioritized over paid advertising. Great for friends and families, a challenge for marketers.

The challenge now is that not-for-profit marketers need to understand who their advocates are. In the evolving social age, our advocates, those who ‘like’ and repost our philanthropic efforts, are our best marketers. This organic content, in turn, helps to influence ‘friends’ to engage with not-for-profits. These influencers are a powerful resource and play an integral role in converting a ‘friend’ to a donor.

Let’s put it in action. February is heart month and the American Heart Association (AHA) is actively preparing their campaign efforts to create awareness about heart disease. In fact, they’ve designated February 2nd as National Wear Red Day®. As a follower of the AHA on Facebook, I see frequent updates of their “Go Red for Women” efforts that are underway. It’s inspiring to read and hear the stories of female survivors of cardiovascular conditions and amazing to see how connections are being made, women-to-women. Yes, women are encouraging others to donate and support the cause, but it extends beyond giving. It’s about helping to communicate the warning signs and symptoms of stroke to friends and family who might be at risk. Creating this awareness is essential in helping to save lives as heart disease is the leading cause of death in women. Social media provides an authentic and emotional way for the AHA to spread their message and engage potential donors.

So as your marketing efforts are underway for this year, don’t dismiss the importance of influencers and the effect they have on your bottom line. Aim to understand why they have engaged with your cause, why they might post or like or share your news. Encourage their participation and cultivate your relationships with them as they are your brand ambassadors in the age of social.