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Get your copy of the Online Fundraising Campaign Planning Workbook!
Once your nonprofit has spent significant time building up a community, you can launch a dedicated social media marketing campaign.
A social media marketing campaign is complementary to but more laser-focused than your regular, daily social media posting and community-building work.
A campaign refers to a concentrated burst of activity, during a set period of time, focused around one call-to-action on social media.
There are four main phases of a nonprofit social media marketing campaign: Planning, Launch, Execution, Follow-Up.
I recommend allotting at least one month for the Planning phase; two weeks for the Launch and Execution portion of the campaign; and two weeks for Follow-Up.
Here is a quick guide of the steps required to carry out your two-week social media marketing campaign:
1) Choose a SMART goal.
Your SMART goal will provide the framework of the campaign and will help you determine if it was successful or could be improved in certain areas.
You may hit some of the goals and not all of them, and that will give you valuable information on what’s attainable going forward.
SMART goals are:
For Media Literacy Week, I worked with the campaign to promote their free curriculum and classroom materials.
We launched a two-week awareness campaign targeted at teachers and parents of elementary school students interested in digital literacy and providing expanded opportunities in the classroom.
The overarching goal was to raise awareness of the research and offerings of Digital Age Kids, and we broke that down into several SMART goals we could measure during and after the campaign:
- 350 combined downloads of the research paper and the free elementary school curriculum during Media Literacy Week in October.
- 100 website visitors per day during Media Literacy Week.
- Increase in Twitter followers by 25%.
- Increase in retweets on Twitter by 25%.
- Five media inquiries during Media Literacy Week.
Having and sticking to SMART goals will allow you to see if your campaign worked and if it’s on track to succeed.
If you have never run a social media marketing campaign before, look at overall website traffic and social media numbers, and make an educated guess as to the numbers if there was a dedicated push to increase them.
If it’s your very first time, work on building up an engaged community on social media first, and then look at their overall participation, involvement, and engagement when creating your campaign SMART goals.
2) Create a compelling campaign theme.
Every campaign has a theme that will resonate with a particular audience.
Conduct research on successful social media marketing campaigns that you’ve seen and write down what they have in common.
What can you adapt and emulate?
What seems to be working?
What is unique and interesting?
Then take some time and choose a unique campaign theme.
The theme goes beyond a simple hashtag, but that should be considered if planning a mass outreach and engagement campaign.
Think about the topics that resonate most with your audience specifically.
To get even more ideas, consider forming a small but mighty Campaign Committee to give you feedback, help with the work, and follow-up at the end of the campaign.
After the theme is settled upon, write up a short and pithy campaign pitch.
This is a very brief version of a traditional case statement.
In two sentences, you should be able to tell me what you are trying to accomplish, why you are trying to accomplish this, and how I can help.
If your goal is fundraising, clearly explain why potential donors should give during the campaign.
If your goal is engagement, explain why people need to participate, what will it get them, and what the beneﬁt will be to advance the cause in general.
3) Start creating the necessary assets for the campaign.
These may include:
- Landing page with your campaign pitch
- Social media cover art
- Social media graphics
- Campaign video
- Blog posts
- Email copy
Get your copy of the Online Fundraising Campaign Planning Workbook!
One Week Out
One week before the campaign launches, tease the campaign on social media and email, announcing that something exciting is coming.
Be sure to work with your influencers and Social Media Ambassadors (see previous chapters) to get them to spread the word when you launch.
Finalize all of the written copy and visual assets, and test the website landing page to make sure everything is working and loading fast on mobile devices and desktop.
The first day of the campaign will have the most buzz and momentum because people love something new.
Check in with Committee members, influencers, and to ensure they are clear about their assignments.
Make sure that they can access the if they need graphics, photos, and resources. Send your launch email – this email is the most crucial.
For extra credit, and get people excited about the campaign launch.
Shoot a quick Instagram Story with a behind-the-scenes view of the launch.
If you use Twitter, tag speciﬁc people to make sure they see your tweets.
Keep up campaign momentum by regularly sharing video and text updates of your progress towards your goal.
Let people know what has been accomplished so far, how many people have participated, and what still needs to be done to achieve your goal.
Continue to send targeted, short emails about the campaign.
Share your progress and an inspiring story, asking people to participate and/or share with their networks.
Check in with the Campaign Committee and Social Media Ambassadors.
Answer questions and comments via email and social media.
At the end of the first week of the campaign, update on all social media channels, including a graphic, photo, or short video.
Take a quick video for Facebook thanking everyone who participated and asking all procrastinators to get on board before the deadline.
During the second week, in the last few days of the campaign, be sure to thank participants on social media via a short video, and let people know that there is still time left to take action before the campaign ends.
Send one last email sharing a story and encouraging people to help.
Tell your supporters you are humbled and inspired by their participation in the campaign.
Follow Up Phase
When the campaign is over, the excitement doesn’t stop there!
Have a plan to cultivate the participants in the campaign, whether they signed an email, made a small donation, or just clicked on a link.
Hold a virtual meeting with the Campaign Committee for a quick evaluation, and schedule a longer meeting in the coming weeks to review the entire campaign.
Thank the Social Media Ambassadors, the influencers, and the Campaign Committee and ask for their honest and candid feedback, to help you prepare for future campaigns.
Let everyone who participated know how it went and THANK them profusely.
You will know success if everyone is asking – “That was awesome, what’s next?”
Examples of nonprofit Social Media Marketing Campaigns can be found at my Pinterest account:
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