Automation workflows can help you be a more responsive nonprofit.

Responsive Marketing Automation Plays Nonprofits Can Use on Social Media

Mckenna Bailey

The success of marketing automation and responsive fundraising relies on the constant collection of donor data. It’s important to pull from website behavior and email engagements. However, to get a full picture of your donor, you need to pull from social media, too. 

We put together a list of a few use cases for marketing automation on social media. Importantly, your organization can implement these strategies right now. These will help kickstart your workflows and hopefully inspire new ways to use automation to be a more responsive nonprofit. 

Activate Peer-to-Peer Campaigns

In the past, donors who ran successful peer-to-peer campaigns needed to be highly connected members of the community. Then, there was an era where powerful users were only those considered social media influencers. Now, the opportunity is democratized for all social media users. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube provide donation functions, making P2P fundraising campaigns easier than ever. 

If you’re looking to add a P2P fundraising component to your annual strategy, start by scraping your social media channels. Identify engaged donors who follow you. Use the list generated by your nonprofit CRM, and enroll each of them in an automated workflow with the objective of converting them to P2P fundraisers. 

Here are a few ideas for workflows that would cater to each donor’s motivations and interests. 

Automation Workflows for the Uninterested

After you send an initial email to the list of donors who are engaged social media followers, you will inevitably get a group of donors who are uninterested. They may open your initial email and read through your information, but that’s where it stops. 

Don’t worry. They can still add to your P2P fundraising strategy. They’re obviously engaged with your content, they want to see your cause to succeed. They just might not have the time or space necessary to run an entire campaign. 

It’s important not to give up and ignore these donors. They have something to give, you just have to be open to listening to their signals. Try this workflow to keep them engaged so that they might start a P2P campaign in the future. 

  1. Call your donor to thank them for their engagement and most recent gift. Ask questions about what they’re interested in and what they care about most. Ask for permission to highlight their passions on your social media. 
  2. Post their donor story on your social media feed, tagging their name where appropriate. 
  3. Follow up with an email providing those donors with content pieces that they can share on their social media based on their interests. 
  4. Pull a list of new followers, email subscribers and donors who are connected to your existing donors. Send a thank-you email with names of people who have joined your cause in the last 60 days because of those individuals. 
  5. Send a DM on the donors most active platform providing a link to your P2P fundraising information page, telling them to check it out if they’re interested. 

Automation Workflows for the Unfamiliar

Most likely, you will have a group of donors who are highly engaged on your social media profiles who aren’t familiar with peer-to-peer fundraising. For these people, you can’t simply send them to your information page to sign up. You have to spend time educating them about the process, building trust that you will help them succeed. 

Here is an automation workflow you could use to recruit P2P fundraisers who are unfamiliar with the process. 

  1. Send an email to introduce the concept of P2P fundraising, including a video testimonial featuring a few donors who have successfully funded their own campaign. Encourage those who want to learn more to fill out an interest form on your site.
  2. Call those who filled out the interest form to understand their goals, interests and availability. Connect them with other donors in their area who have successfully completed a P2P fundraising campaign. 
  3. Send a follow-up email to those who did not fill out the form with a survey to figure out what they are more interested in. Use those answers to suggest programs that align more closely with their goals and values. 

Automation Workflows for Fundraising Veterans

The next group you’ll find is people who’ve completed one (or many) P2P fundraising campaigns. They may have done it through your program or on their own through the fundraising features on their favorite social media platform. To build a deeper relationship with this group, it may be time to suggest a new way to engage with P2P fundraising campaigns. Here’s an automation workflow you can create to build to engage them in a new way. 

  1. Send an email thanking them for their continued support of your organization. Give them ways to share their accomplishments on social media. 
  2. Send a direct mail piece that celebrates their success as well as provides specific information about their impact. 
  3. Schedule social media posts that celebrate their impact via your organization’s social media profiles. Ensure that their impact is specific and aligned with the programs they care most about.
  4. Call the donor to ask about their goals, what they’d like to do in the future and ask if they’d be interested in connecting with new P2P fundraisers who live in their community. 
  5. Follow up with an email based on the conversation, giving a specific, personalized suggestion for their next steps.

Plan Community Events

One of the reasons social media is so compelling to all of us is that it provides a sense of community that each of us needs. As a nonprofit, your donors are automatically part of a community of like-minded people with similar values and passions in life. Part of your fundraising strategy should include leveraging social media to build a community of committed donors. 

Here are a few ways marketing automation can help you reach your goals. 

Connect Like-Minded Advocates

Often, the best connection your donors can make is outside of you. Using social media scraping data to find like-minded donors in different communities and connecting them is a way to put their experience at the center of your fundraising efforts. They can host events on your behalf or advocate for you to bring in new donors. All without you putting in extra hours. Here’s a good automation workflow to get you started. 

  1. Use social media scraping to identify donors in the same communities. 
  2. Segment the donors by interests, interest level, priority programs, preferred method of giving or communication preferences. 
  3. Create an email engagement campaign to introduce the group to each other, suggesting interests they have in common and provide a schedule for upcoming events they could advocate for in their communities.
  4. Host a video conference to connect the donors in each segment to brainstorm event ideas and provide relevant information about your nonprofit’s work.
  5. Follow up on social media to engage with the independent events hosted by the individuals in their communities. 

Automate Donor Invitations

The best way to build trust with people who are aware of your nonprofit, but haven’t yet given, is to provide them with social proof. Show examples of people who commit to your cause. Highlight the important ways your existing donors help you do more good in the world. With proof, prospective donors quickly turn into new donors. Here’s how you can automate the process to create new leads faster. 

  1. Identify followers from your social media platforms that have not given to your cause. 
  2. Create a social media advertising campaign to show these individuals (and “lookalike” audiences) videos of donor testimonials, suggesting they learn more on your website.
  3. Add a form to the landing page that asks prospective donors which programs or initiatives that they care most about at your nonprofit. 
  4. Enroll all individuals who filled out the form into an engagement sequence that provides information, introduces them to influential donors, beneficiaries and explains your most important goals for the next 6 months. 
  5. Segment the list of those who’ve engaged with your sequence, from those who received it but ignored your engagements. Suggest they get involved with your goals by connecting with other donors on social media, volunteering or making their first donation once they’ve gone through the entire series. Add those who ignored you into a new social media advertising audience to see new programs and goals.

Send Donor Surveys to Understand Priorities

Social media is an incredible place where you can find some of your best advocates. Unfortunately, it can also be a place where donors air their grievances to their networks. In order to be a responsive nonprofit, you need to take these complaints seriously. Often, if you engage quickly enough, you can turn a frustrated donor into an advocate. Here’s an automation workflow that can help you engage with donors at scale using social media. 

  1. Use social listening to identify those people who are posting about your nonprofit via their social media profiles. Segment each user by positive or negative feedback. Next, segment by the intensity with which they say those positive or negative comments. 
  2. For donors who fall into the high-intensity segment, call each donor to discuss what they’re feeling, whether positive or negative. Fill out their comments to keep a record in your nonprofit CRM.
  3. For donors who fall into the low-intensity segment, send an automated email campaign that invites them to fill out a survey to let you know what they think.
  4. Use the collected survey data to enroll donors in an information engagement sequence to provide the information they’re lacking, or the information they need to move even closer to your cause.
  5. Send content that the donors can share on their social media based on their interest and the donor signals you collected during the email sequence.
  6. Engage with each shared post when donors decide to post about your organization.

Find New Donors

Each social media platform hosts millions of users, each presenting an opportunity for your marketing and fundraising teams. Using your nonprofit CRM and native tools on each platform, you can not only identify potential new donors, but you can automate their recruitment without requiring more hours from your team. Here are a few ways automation can help you find new donors on social media. 

Identify Related Donors

While Virtuous automatically connects donors in the same household, social media scraping can help you go one step further. You can use it to identify other relational connections to people who have yet to give to your nonprofit. Use this workflow to constantly fill your CRM with new donors to engage with. 

  1. Use social media scraping to identify which users your existing donors engage with most frequently on social media. Pull information based on relational connections and influencers they seem to follow closely. 
  2. Generate a report that populates the names your donors are connected with. Consider that person’s social media footprint and any information on causes they might support. 
  3. Talk to your most active donors to understand their interest level in connecting you with people in their network who might be interested in the work you’re doing at your nonprofit.
  4. Send an automated email after your phone call to your existing donor including all the most important information they would want to share on their social media based on what you learn in the call.
  5. Use the website traffic generated from those shares to identify individuals connected to your existing donors on social media.
  6. Send an invitation to your existing donor with a specific request to bring the interested individuals to your next local event.
  7. Be sure to create a follow-up thank you email and welcome email to those who attend the event, for spreading the world and for joining your community.

Automate Welcome Emails from Social Media Ads

By now, you’ve seen the impact that social media fundraising can have on your annual goals. You’ve also probably seen how social media ads can drive more traffic and giving year-round. Automation can help you elevate that experience for your donors quickly and effectively. Here’s a workflow you can implement right away to improve your relationships with donors. 

  1. Use a tracking pixel to collect the names of people who submit a donation or sign up to volunteer at an event from a social media advertisement.
  2. Segment each name based on the way they gave to your organization.
  3. Automatically send a thank you email, expressing your gratitude for their generosity immediately after they convert.
  4. Enroll each new donor in a welcome series based on their donation or volunteer interests. Be sure to include relevant information and additional ways they can get involved in different ways.
  5. Create an automated task to shout out new donors on social media every week or month, based on the volume of your nonprofit. Encourage your community of followers to welcome them and share some of their favorite experiences as existing donors to create new connections. 

Automate Advocate Series from Social Media

Social media ads don’t simply have to be ways to recruit new donors into your network. In fact, much of your effort should go towards keeping your existing donors engaged. Here is a marketing automation workflow that can help you turn existing donors into advocates using social media advertising and donor signals. 

  1. Create a social media advertising campaign that targets existing donors who have given more than twice to your organization in the last 2 years. Mention the ways they can participate with exciting new projects, programs or goals. Push each ad to a landing page that provides instructions to participate in your organization’s next milestone.
  2. Use a tracking pixel to identify donors who visit your website from the ads and those who convert on the form. Enroll both in an engagement campaign.
  3. Call those donors who complete the form to learn more about participating in your next goal. Use the call to thank them for their interest, learn more about them and understand their goals as a donor.
  4. Enroll those who landed on the page but did not convert in a new email engagement campaign. Include information about your newest projects, plus how they can help you reach the next goal.
  5. After the call with converted donors, enroll them in a new information engagement series. Give them the next steps for becoming an advocate for your nonprofit. Send information about P2P fundraising campaigns, instructions for sharing your work on social media and local event opportunities to get involved. Use that information to enroll them in the most relevant engagement campaign for their next phase of giving. 

Learn More about Marketing Automation for Your Nonprofit

All of these tasks can be simplified and executed efficiently with the right tools. If you want to see how Virtuous can make all this happen for your organization, schedule a demo with our team. We’ll show you how our growing list of features can help your nonprofit reach your fundraising goals. 

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