[GUEST POST] How Social Media Can Supercharge Your Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

How many Facebook friends do you have? And for how many of these friends do you have a current email address? It’s a safe bet your answer to the first question is a much higher number than your answer to the second question. This is a great illustration of why it’s so important to make social media part of any peer-to-peer campaign or event. After all, the point of peer-to-peer is to make it easy for participants to successfully engage their networks so you can reach well beyond yours. If you’re enabling your participants to use only email to do this, you’re missing a huge opportunity.

Here are some ways you can supercharge your next peer-to-peer fundraising campaign or event with social media:

As you design your campaign or event, consider the role social media can play. It’s so much more than social sharing buttons or letting participants sign in with a social account. You’ve likely invested time and effort to plan your campaign or event, come up with a great name, and maybe even create specific branding, so don’t stop there. Here are some ideas to consider

Include a unique hashtag. Search for the hashtag on Twitter and also by checking sites such as www.hashtagify.me to see if it has already been used extensively or recently. You will almost always want to use something unique, but there may be reasons you may want to design a campaign or event around a hashtag that has momentum already.

Write a good meta description. This is the description that shows up in search results and can influence whether or not a user will click through on your site. In your peer-to-peer platform, this description may also be displayed when participants share the main site or their participant or team pages. Keep it to 135-160 characters and treat it like an ad by making it simple, compelling, and relevant.

Include at least one shareable activity. Give participants at least one simple activity to show their support and give them a compelling reason to spread the word on social media. Photos, videos, trivia, quizzes, personal stories, and blog posts are just some examples. These user-generated social posts are likely to be more influential in getting others to join or donate than anything your organization posts.

“92% of consumers trust a social recommendation over anything a brand says.”
Source:  Tap Influence

Include social proof. Design your site to include social proof in order to provide credibility and show progress. People want to be a part of something that has momentum. This is also the type of content that you can use in many of the social media posts you make:

  • Live stream of social feeds and activities
  • Real-time social reach count
  • Real-time total number of participants and teams
  • Real-time current total raised

Peer-to-peer campaigns and events will provide you with a continuous stream of timely, authentic, supporter-focused content to share. Have fun with it!

Engage your influencers early. Recruit supporters with large social followings and influence to spread the word and help you build momentum. Assign staff members to personally invite these supporters via phone and email and ask them to each invite three to five others to join and/or donate to help seed your campaign or event with initial participants and content before you launch publicly.

Announce your launch.
Make posts on your organization’s social media channels with the link and hashtag to announce your campaign or event and why people should be a part of it. Have everyone on your staff make posts on their personal social media accounts. Share/favorite/retweet/like social posts of your initial influencer group.

Highlight featured fundraisers and stories.
Make social posts to share progress, highlight featured participants and teams, and share stories of the tangible impact being made by the funds being raised. You can share longer versions of these updates via blog posts and share those blog posts to your social channels as well.

Peer-to-peer fundraising is about empowering participants to invite others to join and/or donate. Making it easy for them to do those things directly through social media is a must because social media is where their connections are.

Give participants a better registration experience. Beyond just allowing them to register using a social account, choose a platform that integrates with social media so that you can suggest existing teams to join or list friends with whom they may want to form a team based on their social connections.

Prompt participants to share at key interactions. Give participants the option to make a social post in the moment interactions happen, such as when they join, when they post a photo or video or share a blog post, and when people they invite have joined or donated. This will greatly increase social sharing of timely, authentic content from participants – arguably the best advertisement for your campaign or event.

Make your participants better recruiters and fundraisers.
Using the participant’s social connections, make it easy for participants to directly invite others by tagging friends and family in social invites (in addition to email) to join or donate and then easily send reminders and thank yous.

Make it easy for participants to add photos or videos.
Your participants are already capturing photos and videos on their mobile phones as well as in their apps of choice, such as YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook, so make it easy for them to pull these into their participant pages and social posts. You can do this by making sure your site is mobile responsive and by choosing a platform that allows participants to link their social accounts to access their photos and videos

Give social shout outs to your participants and donors. Not only is this a fun way to recognize them, this is compelling social proof for you to share during and after your campaign or event. Here are some ideas of how you can recognize and thank:

  • Retweet and Favorite tweets, and be sure to add comments.
  • Like Instagram posts, Share and Like Facebook posts, and add comments.
  • Thank participants and donors via tweets and/or Facebook posts when they join and when they donate.
  • Post timely updates about featured participants and teams.

To see many of the ideas in this post put into practice, check out these two customer stories:

8 Tips for Growing Your Creative Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Event (How Well Aware’s Shower Strike Campaign Increased Participation over 33%)

4 Ways to Boost Your Run Walk Ride Fundraising (How Autism Society’s Annual Bike Ride Raised 21% More)

by Amy Van Wyngarden, Co-Founder, Great Feats®

Amy Van Wyngarden spent many years in corporate high tech before she began working in nonprofit technology in 2005 and got hooked on helping nonprofits use technology to engage supporters. She co-founded Great Feats to serve the nonprofit space with a social and mobile-first platform to support innovative types of engagement and fundraising campaigns as well as reimagine traditional peer-to-peer fundraising.

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