Perfecting Product Fundraising: 5 Social Media Best Practices
You understand the best ways to communicate with your supporters. After working hard over the years to build personal relationships with your donors, alumni, or members, you know the messages and tones that will best catch their interest and keep them engaged on social media.
If you’re promoting a fundraising product on your social media pages, there are a few essential best practices that go beyond the content or tone of your messages.
While we won’t dictate exactly what promotional content you should create, these best practices ensure that you’ll engage followers with your product, maximize overall user experience, and boost your online giving.
The key to effectively marketing your fundraising products on social media is to unify your entire online message and engagement strategy.
Use these best practices to boost the impact of your social media promotions:
- Put your best foot forward on every content outlet
- Generate some cross-campaign traffic
- Target your email strategies to boost social media awareness
- Streamline your online forms for social media users
- Optimize your entire site for mobile viewing.
While perfect for increasing the effectiveness of your online fundraising ideas, these best practices for your social media will more specifically support your fundraising product campaigns!
1. Put your best foot forward on every content outlet
Remember, you don't need a half-hearted presence on every social media platform out there! Focus your efforts on the platforms you already have, with emphasis on the #1 and #2 platforms for your specific community.
If you conduct product fundraising often, focus on Instagram. As a purely visual platform, Instagram is ideal for promoting brands and products in appealing ways without necessarily advertising them.
For example, check out our Bonfire account on Instagram. As a t-shirt fundraising platform that lets users design and sell products in crowdfunding-style campaigns, we use our Instagram content to share successful fundraising campaigns that we’ve hosted. We also highlight some cool designs that users create.
In social media product promotions, visuals are crucial for raising awareness not just of your products but also of your brand. This is true for every digital content outlet that you use to engage your followers and donor base.
To foster strong online donor engagement and brand awareness, incorporate elements of strong design anywhere you can. Let’s say you designed a beautiful branded t-shirt and have begun promoting it to your followers. Use that design (or elements of it) elsewhere, like:
- In your emails - Headers, signatures, and newsletter elements could be ideal spots for new design accents
- On other website elements - incorporate your design into page headers and on your donation form
- In your photos - these might be promotional photos to model the shirts themselves or they might be of staff and volunteers wearing the shirt while working
Of course, you’re not trying to sell your product on every piece of digital content you produce, but you can promote its image, align its design elements with your brand, and strengthen the association between them for your followers.
2. Generate some cross-campaign traffic
Creating cross-campaign traffic involves linking all of your online fundraising and marketing in ways that feel natural for donors and visitors. Encouraging them to explore your work will boost both web traffic and completed product orders.
Streamline the link structure between all of your online campaigns. To do this, you’ll need to create and maintain a single, dedicated location for each campaign or marketing outlet:
- Your online fundraising campaigns. Crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns are reliable choices for nonprofits, schools, and advocacy groups of any size. Some social media platforms offer their own fundraising tools, but these can be limiting in scope. Check out some GoFundMe alternatives designed especially for nonprofits, and link to your campaign page directly in your social media posts.
- Your product fundraising pages. Your website might already have its own e-commerce capabilities, but if not, use a product fundraising platform like Bonfire to host the products you design and provide a single, organized outlet for donors to purchase them. Most product fundraising platforms include social media tools to simplify promoting your products and directing followers to order forms.
- Your other online marketing or communications channels. These might include email campaigns, more general social media posts, or digital ads. Focus the purpose of each specific message to boost user experience and create clear traffic flows. This strategy will vastly improve your ability to track key analytics for each campaign, too.
For instance, don’t link to all of your online campaigns in one email push; rather, use a single email to promote your fundraising product or crowdfunding project.
Likewise, provide a single link on your product page to your homepage or donation form, and link your crowdfunding campaign to both your product page and homepage.
This focuses the purpose of each page while making it easy to track the effectiveness of your messages and streamline user experience across all of your online campaigns.
3. Target your email strategies to boost social media awareness
When promoting your fundraising products on social media, refining your email strategy might not immediately come to mind. However, email is a great way to boost social media engagement since it lets you reach your followers without the hindrance of newsfeed algorithms.
Strong email marketing strategies let you double down on your message and raise awareness of your product without needing to flood your social media page with promotional posts.
Your email recipients have already expressed interest in supporting your work, so reminding them to keep an eye out for your social media posts is a smart move.
A well-targeted and perfectly drafted email campaign can make a crucial difference in engaging existing supporters and building authority. Even if a user doesn’t read your entire email, your message (or even subject line!) will keep your work in mind when they come across your social media content later.
There are a number of email best practices that will not only increase your open rates but also boost the effectiveness of your fundraising product marketing:
- Use your organization’s or school’s name as the sender, not an individual’s. Recipients are more likely to ignore an email from an unknown name.
- Always be direct. Never mislead readers as to the purpose of your message, as this will erode the relationship that you’ve worked to build with them.
- Provide clear links. What is your email asking the reader to do? Provide that next step and make it easy with a direct link or actionable request.
- Focus heavily on your subject line. Tailor your introductory line to the tone and exact purpose of your full message as well as the relationship that recipients have with you.
Optimizing your email strategies can be incredibly effective for boosting your social media promotions, especially when it comes to mobile users. These readers are more likely to bounce between email, social media, and other digital activities, so it’s essential that you make a memorable and positive impression whenever possible!
4. Streamline your online forms for social media users
Online forms, including fundraising product order forms and more general donation forms, are a crucial element of any fundraising campaign.
Particularly for schools or other institutions that build lifelong relationships with their supporters, it’s important that all their fundraising ideas and strategies involve updating and promoting their donation forms.
This is especially true if you actively promote your fundraising projects on social media pages. A fully optimized donation and order form will create a single, unified destination into which you can funnel all of your converted social media traffic.
An ideal nonprofit donation page should have these key characteristics:
- Simplicity. Include no unnecessary elements or fields to complete. Ask for the bare minimum amount of information that you’ll need to process their payment.
- Tidy design. Don’t neglect thoughtful or appealing design on your form, but never overwhelm it with visual elements that aren’t immediately relevant.
- ‘Single clickability’. Create a form that lets your donor or customer complete a transaction with only one click across the entire input process.
- Provide relevant options that don’t clutter the form. Keep it simple. For example, intuitive product add-ons or recurring donation options are great features.
Creating a streamlined, user-friendly online form that can accept donations and product orders will go a long way to simplify your social media marketing strategies. With a single, unified destination, it’ll be easier to plan and structure your product promotions.
If your organization’s or school’s donation or order form needs a more comprehensive overhaul, check out Donately’s customized donation forms for some great models of the efficiency and design that you should emulate.
5. Optimize your content for mobile viewing
Our final best practice for maximizing the impact of your social media promotions focuses solely on improving the experience of your mobile viewers.
The previous steps have touched on this point, but it’s worth reiterating since your mobile viewers represent an increasingly large percentage of your total online engagement. Poor mobile user experience is now inexcusable.
Never link to un-optimized content on your social media posts! Since a huge proportion of social media views are from mobile browsers, linking to a clunky or slow-loading website (even if it’s an external site of a third party) will cause your bounce rates to spike.
Before linking, always look for these elements that indicate a page has been mobile-optimized:
- Vertical-oriented layout
- Quick load times
- Clean organization and menu
- Simple, bold design
- No immediate pop-ups
- No unnecessary interactive elements
A smart move for your organization, school, or group is to host your fundraising products through a platform designed for optimal product fundraising.
For instance, here at Bonfire, we design mobile-first to ensure the best experiences for anyone trying to purchase a t-shirt.
Additionally, a great product fundraising platform will provide you with intuitive design and campaign analytics tools that can ease the entire process of starting, managing, and promoting your product fundraising campaigns.
When promoting your fundraising products on social media platforms, it’s important to follow some best practices that will strengthen your entire online marketing strategy.
Keeping your digital content tightly organized, mobile optimized, and thoughtfully streamlined will make a crucial difference not only for your social media engagement and click-through rates but also for your user experience as a whole!