This post was originally published on the AmFund blog.

With so much of our world going virtual in 2020, it is vital that organizations have their social media pages in tip-top shape. What does that mean? Well, we are here to help you through what is called a social media health check. By performing this health check, you will be able to get a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses related to your social media efforts.

Breaking through the noise

Before we get to the social media health check items, it is important to discuss the concept of breaking through the noise. In other words, think about the ways that your organization can stand out in a crowded social media space. Organizations everywhere are competing for the attention of your audience! Therefore, you need a well-thought-out social media strategy that will win the attention of your targeted audience.

If your audience is not accustomed to hearing from you on social media, it makes it that much harder to advertise your virtual events. Once you finish reading this blog, you will be ready to improve your social media presence in ways that will engage your target audience and help promote your virtual events moving forward.

A health checklist

Social media health check

The first step in this health check is to answer these six questions. Your answers will give you an idea of where your organization’s social media health stands today (in the next section, we will provide you with an action plan).

#1: Are your number of followers growing the way that you would like? If you have a goal in mind that you have not hit by now, it is time to ramp up your efforts.

#2: Are your followers engaging with your posts regularly? If you notice very little engagement with your audience, this is an area that we can help you with (more on that in the next section).

#3: Are you using Google Analytics? If not, you should be. This software will help you get a better picture of what your social media metrics look like.

#4: Are you getting high traffic numbers from social media? Again, Google Analytics will provide you with this information.

#5: Are you posting visual content for at least half of your posts? Visuals are key to audience engagement. If you aren’t utilizing visuals, it’s time to start.

#6: Do you schedule your social media posts? Stay on track by scheduling your posts. Platforms such as Buffer or Hootsuite allow you to easily pre-schedule your posts ahead of time across your various social media platforms. Using these tools will also help increase the frequency of your posts.

Solutions to improve your social media presence

By answering the questions in the above-mentioned section, you probably have a pretty good idea where your organization stands with its social media approach. To help get your organization moving forward in the right direction, check out the following pre-planning ideas to fine-tune your social media approach as you get ready to market your virtual events.

Know your demographics and their browsing patterns. Figure out your targeted age range, industry, and occupations for starters. Pay close attention to when your audience tunes in, what devices are used, and from what sources. Add on any other key demographics that are relevant to your organization’s mission.

Address the challenges and pain points of your audience. Think of pain points as simple problems. The four main types of pain points are financial, productivity, process, or support. Perhaps your audience is comprised of wealthy and money savvy donors who are looking for year-end tax write offs, this would be considered a financial pain point, for which you can offer a solution. Wealthy donors will often look for worthy recipients of their year-end donations. Your organization can address this challenge by offering an incredible high-end vacation in your upcoming virtual fundraising event and a solution to their year-end giving to offer them a solution which both supports your cause and helps them financially.

Understanding the challenges that your audience faces will help you shape your content. The idea is to connect with them on these issues so that your organization can provide them with a solution. Once you figure out what your audiences’ challenges are, you can then create content which your audience finds useful, which will encourage them to engage with your page.

Focus on key metrics (shares, likes, comments, etc.). To improve these metrics, you need quality posts that are relevant to your audience. And of course, you need to post frequently! Beware, the recommended post frequency differs from platform to platform. Not only does it differ between platforms, but it also differs depending on the size of your audience and what you are trying to achieve. For example, for audiences larger than 10,000 on Facebook, posting the prescribed twice a day will more than likely result in maximized clicks and engagement. Conversely, if your page has fewer than 10,000 followers, posting twice a day will dilute your engagement and result in about 50% fewer clicks per post, according to a study from Hubspot.com. Ultimately, with an audience of fewer than 10,000 followers, you can have clicks, or you can have engagement, but it is very difficult to have both.

Utilize multiple social media channels. If you only stick to Facebook for your social media posts, you are missing out on reaching a larger audience. Take a look at the other social media platforms that are out there, such as LinkedIn and Instagram. Consider which platforms are best to reach your targeted audience.

Set goals. Set goals such as post a certain number of times a week, read a certain number of articles about your industry per week, follow a certain number of new people/organizations per week, post a certain number of images per week, etc. These tasks will help increase your key metrics that we mentioned earlier.

Just like any health checkup, a social media checkup can result in less anxiety and a better understanding of what you need to do to have a “healthy” outcome. As you know by now, a lot of hard work goes into the planning and executing of virtual events and that is why it is so important to utilize your social media efforts to increase your attendance for your virtual event. Like so many organizations this year, AmFund found the need to pivot. We normally attend our nonprofit partners’ in-person events and provide incredible trips of a lifetime for their live and silent auctions through our Fundraising Travel Program. Organizations found themselves having to cancel and reschedule events resulting in a need to find other mechanisms for fundraising. Borne out of that need, we created the AmFund VIP Virtual Program. We expanded this program to include an exciting new opportunity for our approved nonprofit partners, with our own electronic bidding platform. The result, a secure and aesthetically pleasing platform allowing organizations to conduct their auctions, provide a place for organizations’ to appeal to their patrons with an open ask, as well as view a live stream of their virtual event, all in one place. For more information to find out if you qualify for our AmFund VIP Program contact us today.

This article was written by the fundraising experts at the American Fundraising Foundation (AmFund). Each year, AmFund carefully chooses organizations to support through sponsorship of events, year-end grant distribution of financial support, virtual silent auctions, and other programs to raise much-needed unrestricted funds for the important mission of those organizations. AmFund is recognized with the GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency and since 1999 has donated more than $36 million for worthy causes.

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