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4 myths about social media for charities

I've worked with lots of charities wanting to kick start their stalled social media platforms. Most of the time it's an easy fix. Even though the charity sector is understanding more and more how important social media, there are still lots of misconceptions and myths. I'm about to bust a few for you.

Myth #1 - You can’t generate fundraising dollars via social media

It’s true, you may not be gathering donations directly on your Facebook page but did you know Facebook can still be directly linked to your fundraising outcomes?

According to the 2014 Pareto ‘State of the DoNation’ report 20% of your charity website traffic to donation or fundraising pages comes from Facebook.

Add to that the brand awareness and credibility factor. Credibility and visibility is a huge part of the donor process, and more and more donors are looking to social media, Facebook is particular, for brand credibility.

That is, “Is the charity I’m looking to donate to on Facebook? Do they have a website?” Yes, you can be seen as legitimate and trusted via your Facebook page.

Myth #1 busted: Start reaching more people on social media, turn it into more traffic to your website = more online donations.

Myth #2 - We can’t afford successful social media, we have no budget

I get it. I’ve been there. Most charities operate on a shoestring (or completely non-existent) budget but you can’t ignore your social media accounts when it comes to allocating resources. Social media is vital for growing your brand awareness and fundraising (see Myth #1).

Most of the charities I’ve dealt with say lack of budget as the biggest reason why they don’t or can’t put more into their social media, or aren’t successful at it. And I can see how people arrive at that conclusion. BUT I’m here to tell you it is doable on a shoestring budget.

You’ve probably worked out that social media is not free, but did you know it’s completely doable on a tiny budget? When you learn a few tips and tricks about how to develop great content, you can get great engagement without paying for Facebook advertising. Then when you’re ready to dive into Facebook Ads, you can employ a few simple strategies and learn how to target the right audience for maximum ad engagement and a low cost per click. This gets you amazing bang for you buck, which means you can spend just a few dollars a day and see the results for yourself.

Myth #2 busted: Social media isn’t free, but it’s totally doable on a tiny budget!

Myth #3 – We don’t have any time to make social media successful

Most people (if not everyone) working for a charity are very time-poor. Resources are often stretched to the max already, and you probably wear more than one hat in terms of your role.

This can make having time to put into developing social media content and planning impossible.

I am here to tell you, you don’t need to be posting every day of the week to be successful, and this is particularly true for Facebook. In fact, if you’re posting rushed or irrelevant content, posting too much can actually be a waste of your precious time.

You can also employ a few simple tricks to maximise your time spent on social media; reposting older content in a fresh way, having a simple post planning schedule and posting at the right time of day, and do a really great job of engaging and growing your social media audience.

Myth #3 busted: Social media isn’t free, but it’s totally doable on a tiny budget!

Myth #4 – You have to be an ‘expert’ to be successful at social media

This is probably one of the biggest barriers for charities that I’ve heard. People seek my business out because they ‘need’ a social media expert. While I’ve never used the word expert to refer to myself, I am a specialist. Nad I may be putting myself out of a job here, but if you work for a charity you need to hear this; You don’t need to be a ‘social media expert’ to have a successful social media presence.

So, if you don’t need to be an expert, what do you need to know?

Firstly, as a employee or founder of your non-profit, you are the key to your social media success. You are the subject matter expert in your field, whether it’s nature preservation, supporting women affected by domestic violence or raising money for a rescue helicopter service, you know your audience, your donor profile and what you’re trying to achieve. You know what you want or need to say to your audience to inspire them to donate, support your organisation or spread the word about an event or campaign.

So you’re three-quarters of the way there. All you need is some guidance on how to best tackle the long yet satisfying trek that is long-term social media success.

There are tons of paid and free webinars out there, including with yours truly at K Franc Social, to broaden your knowledge of social media strategy and content development.

If you’d like more inspiration on this, you can sign up to my newsletter

Myth #4 busted: You don’t need to be an expert to be great at social media, you can learn all the tricks quickly and easily!

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