Planning an event can be stressful! There are so many details to consider for your guests, but what about the people that can’t attend? Developing a thoughtful social media strategy can help you expand your pool of donors and attract support from those unable to be there in-person.
We’ve all seen the Facebook Fundraisers, monthly asks online, and email campaigns for giving/sales. When you’re planning your event, don’t forget about the digital component that can bring in not only additional $$, but awareness as well. Here’s four digital tactics that can help you take any event to the next level.
Get your audience pumped early!
Build a strong foundation before the event takes place to get people excited! Here’s a few steps to take early in your planning. Plan posts to send at regular intervals that recognize speakers or that share event highlights to build initial interest in the event. Select a certain day (or days) of the week to post — and maintain that schedule.
- Stream a live video announcing the gala and any sponsorship opportunities.
- Set up a Facebook event page to share more details and sell tickets.
- Define a hashtag for the event and use it in every related post to generate recognition. It’s a good idea to use the same hashtag each year; this helps keep up awareness from one year to the next.
- Give your speakers tools they can use to help promote the gala and publicize their involvement. For example, create engaging graphics and sample posts for others to share.
Monetize your digital channels (yes, you can do this)!
Traditional sponsorship packages often include mentions on social media, but few offer a digital-only package. That’s right! MONETIZE those social media channels! Digital content reaches far beyond the walls of an event, so this can be an attractive option for companies interested in getting noticed for trying to make a difference. A digital sponsorship package could include multiple offerings. Here’s a few ideas to get you brainstorming!
- Produce a video that tells your organization’s story and integrates the sponsor. Give the sponsor “cross-posting” access on Facebook, which allows them to share your video on their company page instead of uploading it directly or sharing your post. (Note that cross-posting access will track the total number of views from both organizations’ pages, which helps increase engagement and viewership on your page.)
- Host a live video featuring a beneficiary of your work. Tag the sponsor in the post and enable cross-posting.
- Host a “Live With” video on Instagram and have the sponsor join you remotely for a split-screen conversation. This notifies both organizations’ followers, which helps to attract new supporters and expand your audience. For example, Unseen, a nonprofit that trains organizations fighting human trafficking, shared a live Facebook video in which it interviewed a group it works with about its impact. The partner nonprofit, Shai Fund, also shared the feed on its page to help boost views and engagement.
- Let a sponsor’s spokesperson take over your Instagram Story – a story shows photos, videos, and texts that expire in 24 hours – to showcase the company’s involvement with your cause.
“Go Live” providing a BTS perspective of your event.
We’ve heard it a million times - use Facebook Live in your marketing strategy. It’s truly an impactful tool that has the power to generate awareness and $$$ using the donate button. Do you remember when Ariana Grande posted a live video of her 2017 “One Love Manchester” benefit concert? She was able to help raise $280,000 in donations for the Entertainment Industry Foundation. We’re all not Ariana Grande, but by going live, Facebook sends out a notification to followers to watch. It’s an immediate call-to-action to drive engagement.
Extend the impact & reduce #FOMO.
The event is now over and you’re thinking about taking the next day off… The day after is the MOST important day to reiterate your mission and how special the event was. Since it’s still fresh in everyone’s mind, you want to make sure to keep the conversation and interest top of mind. Keep the momentum going by:
- Create a new Twitter “moment” that showcases highlights on Twitter related to the event. This is a visually appealing yet easy way to showcase the most impactful moments of the night. When you create a Twitter moment, you’re essentially creating a highlight reel of tweets from the night. The moment can include other users’ tweets, images, and videos as well as your own. (Tag @moments and @nonprofits - if applicable - to increase your chances of getting retweeted and amplifying your post.)
- Make an Instagram “highlight”, which is similar to a Twitter moment. You can select your favorite stories to add to a highlight that will stay on your profile as long as you like.
- Post a video on IGTV, Instagram’s video application, which allows users to publish 15 seconds to 10 minutes of video content. (If you’re a verified account, you can upload up to 60 minutes of content.) Videos must be vertical, so you should request a version in this format if you hire a professional videographer to film your event. A video that recaps the gala or advertises the date for next year’s gathering are both options that work well.
- Upload your best event photos to a new Facebook album. Doing this each year will help potential guests see what you’ve accomplished and how much fun it is to attend so they’ll consider joining in the future.