In recent years, the nonprofit industry globally has witnessed an increasing trend in online giving. According to the 2018 Global Trends in Giving report, 29% of people consider social media to be the communication tool that most inspires giving; Facebook was highlighted as the most popular channel (56%), followed by Instagram (20%), Twitter (13%), YouTube (6%) and LinkedIn (4%).
Irrespective of the type of fundraiser, these statistics prove that having a social media strategy and being equipped to analyze performance insights is key to the success of your next fundraising campaign.
In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the world of social media engagement. You’ll learn how increased social engagement can benefit your online raffle and how to measure your performance on social media with the help of metrics and industry benchmarks. Finally, to assist with online raffle promotions, we’ll outline some of the best practices to help you and your nonprofit achieve high engagement on all social channels.
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What is social media engagement?
Social media engagement refers to any interaction that a follower, viewer, or online community member has with your post, page, or content within the framework of a social media channel like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. It includes actions such as “Likes”, “Comments”, and “Shares”, “Saved items”, “Retweets”, and “click throughs”.
Social engagement helps understand your target audience’s interest and brand perception. However, note that to build trust and reputation with individuals, it is essential for organizations to provide superior community management and customer service by responding to user comments, answering queries, and staying engaged online.
The objective of social engagement is to build a long-term trustworthy relationship with your target group. It is aimed at motivating site/page visitors (in case of nonprofits, potential donors) to be brand evangelists and/or undertake a desired action such as purchasing an item or supporting a cause by donating. Lastly, remember that social media engagement is only an indicative and not a definitive metric to predict or forecast sales.
How can increased social engagement help a virtual raffle or fundraiser
The pandemic has caused most organizations across industries to go virtual; nonprofit organizations (NPOs) were no exception. NPOs had to adapt their fundraising initiatives and meet donors where they were spending most of their time i.e., online—thus making social engagement rate an important metric in analyzing campaign performance.
A well-planned social strategy that registers high engagement can help NPOs:
1. Expand reach and attract more donors
2. Promote the cause globally
3. Increase ticket sales with paid ads on social media
Social media engagement touchpoints for nonprofit fundraisers
Backed by timely email and supporting print and digital media campaigns, here are some touchpoints to help you maximize your return on investment (ROI) from social campaigns:
- Pre-event: Social posts and ads for the event nudging people to buy tickets, awareness posts for your cause, and online voting posts to recognize the work of community groups and individuals are great ways to build momentum for the main event.
- During the event: Online gaming-based charity events like 50/50 and Catch the Ace typically run over several weeks or months. Throughout this time, staying engaged with the community on social media by posting regular updates about the “pot”, replying to queries and cheering donors on their posts can be helpful in increasing the energy and excitement quotient and thus, attracting more donors.
- Post-event: Follow-up surveys/polls, shoutouts to raffle winners, and thanking all the donors are some of the ways nonprofits can strengthen relationships with community members.
How to measure engagement on social channels
Measuring engagement on social channels is easy! A metric called engagement rate can help you quantify social behavior on all your social platforms. If you use a social media tool like HubSpot, Buffer, Hootsuite, Sprinklr, Sprout Social, etc., you can get ready access to various metrics, including engagement rate, on a detailed dashboard that can enable you to analyze and assess your social performance.
Simplistically, to calculate the average engagement rate, divide the engagement per post by number of followers.
It is also a good idea to track which posts receive the most traction. You can do this by observing the number of Likes, Comments, Shares, etc. on all posts. Monitoring social engagement metrics can help you identify posts with maximum interactions which can then in turn be useful in informing and optimizing future social posts.
Industry benchmarks for engagement rate on social channels
Engagement rate is a derivative of post volume and audience size. Knowing the industry-specific benchmark for engagement rate can help you understand how your posts are performing in relation to your competition or the industry average.
The 2021 Social Media Industry Benchmark Report by Rival IQ has outlined the following engagement rate benchmarks for the nonprofit industry:
Engagement rate per post (by follower) = 0.13% [median across all industries = 0.08%]
Posts per week = 9.2 [median across all industries = 5.5]
Engagement rate per post (by follower) = 1.41% [median across all industries = 0.98%]
Posts per week = 4 [median across all industries = 4]
Engagement rate per tweet (by follower) = 0.055% [median across all industries = 0.045%]
Tweets per week = 11.1 [median across all industries = 4.4]
According to the 2019 Global NGO Technology Report, 95% of nonprofits in North America have a LinkedIn page. Social Insider published the 2021 average engagement rates (across industries) for LinkedIn by follower count. They are as follows:
— 0 to 5K followers: Posts with Articles = 0.33%; Images = 0.78%; Videos = 0.66%
— 5K to 10K followers: Posts with Articles = 0.20%; Images = 0.36%; Videos = 0.36%
— 10K to 50K followers: Posts with Articles = 0.15%; Images = 0.24%; Videos = 0.29%
— 50K to 100K followers: Posts with Articles = 0.09%; Images = 0.11%; Videos = 0.15%
— 100K+ followers: Posts with Articles = 0.02%; Images = 0.06%; Videos = 0.05%
In summary, for small (up to 10K) and large accounts (those with 100K+ followers) a higher LinkedIn engagement rate is generated by images, while for middle-sized accounts (between 10K to 100K followers) videos are the ones that perform best.
Best practices for nonprofits to ensure high social engagement for online raffles
1. Be consistent with posting
Frequency of posts is crucial to gaining visibility on people’s newsfeeds and promoting the nonprofit cause for potential donors. Avoid spamming users with multiple posts every few hours; as a guideline, one to three posts per day is a safe range. Based on your target audience and their online habits, determine the best times during the day to share posts so you can benefit from high engagement.
2. Include images and videos in posts
Images and videos are known to boost interaction rates across all social media. So, including them in your posts can be beneficial. According to the Rival IQ 2021 Social Media Industry Benchmark Report, in the nonprofit industry, Facebook posts with photos and video witnessed a higher engagement rate (between 0.08% to 1.16%) per post. Twitter mimicked a similar trend with photo and video tweets showing high engagement rate (between 0.06% to 0.08%) per tweet.
3. Be proactive with community management
Replying to comments, monitoring feedback, addressing queries, and engaging with users online are essential aspects of community management. It makes your organization appear responsive and engaged, promotes organic growth, and helps build long-term relationships with potential donors.
4. Humanize the social experience
Sharing inspiring and motivating stories of previous raffles or sweepstakes winners on your social media is a good way to attract new donors. You can also share cause-related personal stories from volunteers and team members.
5. Find relevant partnerships and collaborations
Partnerships and collaborations with other individuals or organizations that may be relevant to your nonprofit, charity or foundation is an excellent way to leverage their network and expand reach. You can feature their content/posts on your social media channels and in return have them promote your raffle posts on their channels.
There are many ways to build and maintain engagement with your target audience. A strong social strategy combined with the right mix of channels and an effective marketing and PR plan will help boost your reach, attract new donors, and set you up for success.