Five years ago, if I asked the benefit auction chairmen I worked with; “What are the three scariest words they know?” – They would have probably said: Facebook. Linkedin. YouTube. In other words, any social network site.
Since then, things have changed. But, we still have a long way to go especially as it relates to benefit auctions and fundraising events.
Every business, including charities, need to think of the social network as a valuable friend. These sites have become important marketing tools – and if utilized correctly – can add a great deal to the bottom line of any fundraiser.
Let’s begin with Facebook. If your charity doesn’t have a Facebook page I recommend you start one today. Once that is set up, send out emails to everyone on your email list and alert them to the addition. Get them to sign up as Friends. Then don’t forget to continually update your Facebook page with the latest information regarding the fundraiser. Constant contact is good.
Also link up with Linkedin. This is a business to business social site. How effective is it? Well, a friend of mine related the following story. He produces real estate videos for a company and downloads the videos on YouTube. Usually 20 people see the videos every day. A new employee to the company suggested they place the link for the video on Linkedin. That was done and within a week more than 600 people had viewed the video. That’s the power of not only your Linkedin business connections, but your connection’s connections, and their connections. This is another great way to get your announcement distributed to thousands – and for free.
And then there is YouTube. You can produce in-house a short video about your upcoming benefit, why it’s important and even show the items to be auctioned off. Once produced, download that video on YouTube.
This is also a great place to show videos that reflect your success stories – a video testimonial if you will. Interview families and individuals that have benefitted from past events. Videos that show donors how their money was spent can be very emotional.
Of course, there are so many other social networking sites. I don’t have time in one blog to mention them all, but feel free to contact me for more suggestions.
Social networking sites can be your friend. In fact, I’d go as far to say, “In today’s Internet-obsessed world – they have become crucial players.”