Fundraising is hard, and hard work. But if you plan well and use social media to your advantage, you’re a step closer to success. Here are 10 tips to help you make the most of social.
1. Fundraising starts before your campaign launches.
Don’t leave it to the last minute to decide whether to use social, or which platforms to use. Your social media strategy should form a key part of your overall fundraising strategy.
It pays to at least be on Twitter and/or Facebook to have a decent shot at fundraising, and ideally you’re using them for a while before launch so you have a solid social media presence.
2. Your friends are awesome, but don’t rely solely on them.
Facebook is a great way to get started with your social media strategy, but you have to think bigger than your personal page for fundraising success. If you post about your campaign only to your personal account, only your friends and family will see it.
Think about setting up a Facebook page for your project, for yourself as an artist, or for a larger entity under which your project falls. For example, if you’re a filmmaker, set up a page for your production company so that fans of your past work can find out about new projects.
3. No one is looking for you.
Real talk: no matter how fantastic your project is, it’s unlikely that people are sitting around, browsing the internet, looking for projects like yours to back. The ACF provides a hub for your campaign, and we can help by providing advice and guidance along the way, but your ACF page alone won’t drive traffic to your page – that’s your job! And that’s where social media comes in.
4. Choose your platforms wisely.
Don’t be on all social media platforms, and don’t be on any platform just for the sake of it. Instead, pick the right platforms according to where your audience is, what will work best for your project and what you can reasonably handle.
If you are a filmmaker, YouTube or Vimeo might be for you. If you have a fashion-themed or visual art project, Instagram’s a good bet. Raising money for a theatre production? Facebook is great for updates and behind the scenes or sneak peek videos.
5. Social Media is fast, so be pithy.
Your project is important and the why, how and what of it deserves to be discussed, but the key to using social media effectively is getting people interested super quickly.
Tweets need to be short, sharp punches that people want to click on and retweet. Facebook posts can be longer but not too long. Use tools like Tweetdeck, Buffer and Hootsuite, which can help you manage your social media accounts and schedule posts ahead of time so you always have posts on the go, and at the right time.
Keep your deep dive copy for your campaign page.
6. Never underestimate the power of video and great imagery.
They work, so spend some time creating them and use them wherever you can.
7. Give your audience what it wants.
Understand who your audiences are and what they want, then give it to them.
Remember – your audience is not one, big, same-same group that will response to a one-size-fits-all approach. Group them into segments according to location, interests, age group, and where they hang out on social (ie which platforms they use), then create a plan for each.
8. You won’t go viral, so focus on being interesting.
Ignore any advice on how to make a “viral” video or “viral” fundraising campaign.
There is no guaranteed way to get millions of people to see your pitch, so focus on what you can control: giving your crowd relevant, consistent and consistently compelling messages that remind them you’re working hard on something meaningful and interesting, and that they can be part of the team that helps you achieve it.
9. Don’t just ask for money.
This speaks for itself. Don’t just post about the funds you need – post project updates, post fun facts, post behind the scenes pics or footage.
10. Say thank you.
During and after your campaign, don’t forget to show respect and gratitude to those helped fund your project. These people are part of your team now, so keep them up to date.
Share milestones, invite them to your premiere or opening night. Let them know when your project gets a great review. The other side of this is also letting your backers know when things don’t go as planned. Be honest; they’ll appreciate it.