02.19.13

Integrating Your Capital Campaign Online: Timing, Content, Delivery

Members of the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Baton Rouge were treated to a colorful and engaging presentation on the benefits social media can play when integrating capital campaigns online at the association's monthly meeting on Tuesday.

Speaker Stafford Kendall, cofounder of Covalent Logic, was introduced by Gerri Hobdy, Executive Director of Communications for Baton Rouge Community College, as the "go-to member of the community when we ask about anything 'viral'."

Kendall touched on many of the common concerns people face when considering social channels for their organizations, such as finding the time to manage them.

"You'll find yourself going down the rabbit hole, and before you know it, you're in Wonderland," Kendall joked about the confusion many experience when getting started.

In other words, it can be easy to spiral out of control when it comes to social media management, especially when dealing with Facebook, and pages can end up with too many posts or not enough.

Kendall advised the members to consider "editorial calendaring," a process in which posts are prepped and laid out ahead of time. This way, once posts are planned, the job for actually uploading the content can be smoothly handed off to another staff member or intern.

When scheduling, social managers should consider which channels will truly be effective to reach their audiences. Kendall said that channels such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube all have different audiences and optimal posting limitations.

On Twitter, for example, posting anywhere from two to 24 tweets a day is considered acceptable. The post limit for Facebook, however, is much shorter.

On Facebook, posting too frequently can actually damage a campaign's outreach capabilities, Kendall warned. Facebook's algorithms promote posts that have a multitude of likes, comments and shares. Therefore, posting once a day or more hurts the chances of a specific post receiving enough attention to be promoted beyond the original audience.

"There's a real art to making things percolate," she said.

When it comes to Facebook, Kendall advised to not spread yourself too thin. Post only one to three times a week but keep it interactive by commenting on previous posts in the meantime.

Another of Kendall's focal points was the ever-important discussion of content. She advised strong, bold statements that encourage engagement, not questions.

"You have to say things people will want to share," Kendall said, adding that posting photos is crucial and more eye-catching than simple text posts.

Kendall teased that Facebook, and perhaps social media in general, is like "Keeping Up With the Joneses 2013," where people often want to seem better, smarter and more popular, which is important to keep in mind when considering content for a site.

In her closing remarks, Kendall pointed out that although the technology may be new, the concept of social media is not. She stated that people have always been social creatures, but now they have new media through which they can share their thoughts.

Kendall then compared social media to humans. It's an ever-evolving being, and learning to keep up with it and utilize it properly can really push a capital campaign ahead.
 
Unable to attend this meeting? Download Stafford's presentation here. [PDF]
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