Whether your nonprofit is on facebook, twitter, or myspace, you may be asking yourself,
How can I get more facebook group members? How can I get more twitter followers? How can I get more myspace members? And then, how can I make these people want to donate to my cause? How can I, in short, mobilize the community around my cause?
1. Start by thanking the current members for joining you. This is important.
Yes, do it right now. I’ll wait.
2. Go onto Myspace. Find your cause page or group page. Now do a search for your cause on facebook. Whether it’s domestic violence, the environment, teen empowerment, animal rights, or homelessness and hunger, you’re going to find LOTS of nonprofits already on Myspace doing what you’re doing. Friend these nonprofits. Right now.
3. Look at their most active members. Friend these people, as well. This is a time investment, but it’s worth it. Every time your program staff looks overwhelmed and weary, direct them to your cause page, and say, “Look how many other people in the world are working on this issue! We are not alone!” The very act of doing this can often make them feel better.
4. Do the same for Facebook and Twitter. Find the groups that have the most members, that have a cause similar to yours. Look at who is retweeting them. Find the activists, the activators, and follow them. Now that you’ve done that, look at how much buzz there is online about your nonprofit now.
5. Start putting up event invitations on your social media sites, and blogging about them, personally inviting twitterers, bloggers, and others to come.
6. Go out into the real world and plug your social media sites at events where your supporters are congregating. Put your blog, twitter, and facebook links on your business cards, posters, and other takeaways.
7. Take a stand on a controversial issue. Invite comments from others. Make sure your social media policy shows that the opinions expressed are yours, and not the opinions of your organization.
8. Ask people to follow you at the end of every blog post for your nonprofit.
9. Launch a twitter campaign, and ask your followers to send $5 to your cause, to help one particular family, one particular piece of your cause’s mission. Create urgency around what you do. Beth Kanter does this very well.
Conversely, you could also just post to Twitter every time someone gives a donation to your cause. Then call them up, ask them why they gave, and post their reason. @DCShoutouts is doing this right now.
10. Thank people over and over again. Notice what worked, and replicate this for the next time. Create a process that you are constantly improving, around your social media efforts.
Bonus: Where are your fans going? What else do they like? Take some time to get to know your current group members. If only there was a place to find where they are and what they like! Oh wait, there is! Fan Page Analytics.
Craig Lefebvre has recently written about the issue of turning group members into donors as well.
Taking my own advice, follow Wild Woman Fundraising on Twitter!
Follow Wild Woman Fundraising’s Feed! It’s free!