Social media can be a fun, inexpensive way to promote your next fundraising event. By following a few guidelines you can raise awareness and interest in your cause and grow support before, during and after an event.
Start With Your Website
An event should have a registration page on your website. The page should be designed similar to the website and should be a landing page for people registering for the event. If you don’t have a website or web page-making capabilities, you can create an event on Facebook. This is a good way to track RSVP’s for attendees. Attendee RSVPs will show up in their friends news feeds and they in turn can also post and share themselves.
Before the Big Day
Brainstorm a list of influential stakeholders and engage them on Facebook to promote your cause. Maybe there is a community leader or favorite coach involved that will get others excited about the event. If you have a budget for the event, you can also set up ads on Facebook and other sites to promote it to people based on demographic, geographic location, and interests.
For example, let’s say you have an animal club interested in the adoption of stray animals in Salt Lake City, Utah, and you’re having a family adoption event. Simply create your Facebook post and click to “boost” the post. Select to show the post to men and women between the ages of 21 and 40. Choose the location of Salt Lake City. Next, choose a few interests like dogs, cats, and adoption of pets. Choose your budget and boost away!
For an event with many elements, say a fashion show or gala, try creating a Pinterest Board and pin the flower, food, and music details.
Keeping your Facebook event page fresh is critical.
- Regular posts, say one a day leading up to the event
- Add pictures and videos, pictures of auction items are compelling and promote shopping!
- Encourage attendees to post
- Tag VIPs and others so their friends will see the post
During the Event
Some people like to live tweet coverage of an event. This is especially important if you have an online auction and bidders are not on-site. A live Twitter feed can be done by setting up a hashtag and a Twitter wall to display. Sites like tweetbarn, twitterfontana and eventjoy can get you started. However, outsourced auction companies can oftentimes set up display screens and live-feeds themselves.
Social media is an excellent venue to thank donors and volunteers. Facebook is a wonderful way to share success of a fundraising event and generate interest in your cause. Event photos and video posts are a good way to get started, and make sure to tag the people that you know. A special “Thank You” video put together for attendees will also be a welcome gesture and greatly appreciated.
With a little effort you can use social media to spread the word about your next fundraising event. Facebook is excellent at creating a buzz, promoting auction items and follow up. Engage attendees on a different level and see how successful your party can be!
photo: Brian Solis