Three Time Saving Social Media Tools for Small Charities
Working for a small charity can be hugely rewarding but can also feel overwhelming. Not only are you in charge of the website, social media, and marketing but also PR. And if you work for a really small charity, you’re probably a fundraiser too. Obviously fundraising is hugely important to your charity but that doesn’t mean that you should neglect your social media channels. If anything, they should work harmoniously. We know that fundraising and social media go hand in hand – over $300 million and counting has been donated on JustGiving via Facebook.
So how can you make sure you’re integrating social media with all your other activity?
Here are three time saving tools to help you manage your social accounts
1. Plan your content: It’s important that social media is not an afterthought but is planned along with all your other activity. Download this free editorial calendar to help you plan your content. Twitter also has a free, handy calendar called Own the Moment, which tells you all the upcoming events that might be relevant to your charity – for eg: International day of families on 15 May. Think how you could plan your content around some of these key events in order to reach more people and, potentially, new supporters.
2. Design your content: Images or video get more engagement than text. Fact. Photos in Facebook posts received 87% engagement in 2014 as opposed to copy with just a link, which received only 4%. But how do you create great images? Canva.com is a free, easy to use tool which allows you to create images for all sorts of things. And best of all, they have all the social media templates in the right dimensions. You can upload your own photo or they have loads of free images, backgrounds, icons and photos to use. If you do need to pay for one, they are only $1 – so are very cost effective.
3. Schedule your content: Now thatyou’ve planned and designed your content, make sure you post it. Remember that social media is not Monday to Friday, 9 – 5. Your supporters are online seven days a week and at times that you’re not. Using a free scheduling tool such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, you can schedule content to go out in advance. Facebook actually allows you to do this on your page. Just go to post as usual and click the little dropdown in the Post button and select ‘schedule’. Don’t forget though to check your scheduled posts for any engagement as social media is a conversation, not a broadcast tool.
If you make time once a week to plan, design and schedule your content for the week ahead, you’ll find that your time is more effectively spent. Don’t forget though to check your social media channels several times throughout the day to see if anyone has engaged with your content. And while you’re there, see if you can start a conversation.
Kirsty Marrins, freelance communications consultant