Want to use social media to make social impact with your small business?
In this post, I share with you how to choose a nonprofit to partner with and cause to promote, how to work with your nonprofit business partner to choose a social media marketing objective, how to map out a content calendar that sparks action, and how to track your KPI’s.
Does social media attract customers who care about the same causes I care about?
A solid social media marketing strategy coaxes your followers to move from the status of an unengaged scroller to a fully engaged, sales-ready lead. Your followers are like superfans – when you’re ready to share new content, new products, or new events, they eat it up like a chocolate-covered nougat bar.
The story you tell has to be good enough to spark digital engagement. After all, digital engagement is the lifeblood of any social media marketing campaign!
Here’s the thing about engagement, friend:
If you’re telling stories that your ideal customer resonates with, they’ll continue to come back to your page. They may even get a little curious and explore your customer reviews, recent posts and videos, freebies, and offers.
Your social media storytelling needs to be spot on.
Attracting forever customers to your business through social media requires the kind of suave marketing that:
- Speaks directly to your client avatar,
- Solves a problem,
- Uses language that they use, and most importantly,
- Aligns with and reflects their personal values + belief systems.
You may be hesitating right now at the thought of being so exposed. You may be thinking, “Wait, Jackie! I’m not sure I want to put ALL of my values out there. That sounds dangerous!“
Friend, I have a bit of advice…
In a sense, it IS dangerous. Standing in your truth is rarely a cake walk.
You know what else is dangerous?
- Living a life that is deemed “less worthy” because of social constructs or socioeconomic status.
- Or, publicly declaring your political stance.
- Even voicing your concerns for the health of people who live on the other side of the world, struggling every day for clean water, who you may never meet in this lifetime.
It’s dangerous to stand your ground and say the things that rest on your heart—which is why you MUST.
Think about this for a moment:
If your PERFECT client avatar—with their chocolate bar in one hand and credit card in the other—values the EXACT things you do, they will be MORE drawn to you, your business, and your causes!
As the Law of Attraction states, “Like attracts like.”
Before we get into how to create a social impact campaign on social media, I want you to take a moment to write about 2 things:
1. Think about this for a moment: What values and beliefs do you hold? What change do you want to see in the world? (Write at least 4 sentences.)
2. What values and beliefs does your client avatar hold? What change do they want to see in the world? (Write at least 4 sentences.)
I’m going to use ellipses now to create the illusion of time passing while you do this prompt…
… aaaaaand, we’re back!
I hope you can start to see some similarities between your world views and your perfect customer avatar!
Now that you have a better understanding of what’s most important to you and your customer, what do you say we review some ways you can better connect with your followers by raising awareness for a good cause?
DIY Social Media Campaign to Make a Social Impact
Creating a meaningful social media marketing campaign requires more than putting out your message and hoping for the best. Your mission is to stir action for your nonprofit partnership! Follow these 4 steps to get your social impact campaign started off right.
1. Choose A Cause That You Can Stand With, and a Nonprofit That Can Stand With You
There are a ton of nonprofits and social change initiatives that would LOVE to partner with your small business, but you need to think of this as a business partnership.
Shared ambition is great, but this partnership needs to be able to work with your business, or the relationship will not last. Here are 4 pillars* to consider when choosing the nonprofit you partner with:
Pillar 1: Organizational Fitness
Review the nonprofit on sites like BBB for Charities and Donors. Make sure to do your research to get to know board members, the reputation of the nonprofit, and find out about turnover. Get a feel for what matters most to the people who dedicate their time to the nonprofit so you can better understand the longevity of their mission.
Pillar 2: Financial Snapshot
Get a snapshot of their revenue. Get a good understanding of where most of their donation dollars come from, what their administrative cost is, and what their revenue has looked like for the past few years. Being a savvy business owner, looking at these numbers may help you come up with other questions about operations.
Pillar 3: Programs
Next, take a deep dive into the programs the nonprofit offers. Look for meaningful and measurable impact on the communities it serves.
Do they hold regular groups for an at-risk population?
Do they run clothes or food drives?
Are the programs easy to find for those who could benefit from it?
What outcomes has the nonprofit produced?
What outcomes are they working towards?
Make sure that the programs fully support their mission.
Pillar 4: Communication
Lastly, look into the nonprofit’s communications with their audiences to determine if their messaging is a fit for your social media marketing.
Follow their social media channels, assess their website, download their freebies, and look at any print material they send to their donors, members, volunteers, and the community they serve. Look for consistency in branding and messaging.
*For more on the 4 pillars, visit Engage For Good.
2. Work With Your New Business Partner to Choose Your Social Media Marketing Objectives
You and your new business partner need to be on the same page about what you want to achieve. There are a lot of ways you can use social media marketing to push your goals, but you need to be, well, strategic. When you agree on a strategy that benefits both sides, the fun can really begin!
To start, let’s look at some social media marketing objectives you can consider, and some real-world examples. But first, let me introduce you to the sales funnel.
The sales funnel is a marketing model that illustrates the customer journey. With this visualization, you can gain a better understanding of the messages you need to create for your customers based on where they are in their buying (or donating) journey. It looks a little something like this:
- Awareness (Top of funnel. Cold audience. Doesn’t know much about your business or your cause.)
- Consideration (Middle of the funnel. Warm audience. Knows of you and your mission, but hasn’t taken action yet!)
- Conversion (Bottom of funnel. Hot audience. Most qualified, sales-ready leads.
Now that you better understand the sales funnel, let’s break down the kind of campaigns you can create at each level of the customer journey!
Looking to raise awareness about a cause? When you create an awareness campaign for social impact, you’ll inevitably raise brand awareness for yourself.
At this stage, you really want to empower your readers to feel knowledgeable and confident that the content they are reading will guide them to a solution. Think of this as “untouched” prospects becoming “contact made” prospects.
Keep in mind that awareness is not the end goal in your marketing strategy. Don’t put a premium on awareness. If you choose an awareness campaign, make sure your social media marketing strategy moves your followers from awareness, to action.
Let’s look at an example of an oldie, but a goodie.
Smokey the Bear
Take Smokey the Bear and his famous words, “Only YOU can prevent forest fires.” Smokey has been sharing this message of caution since 1944.
The Forest Fire Prevention campaign has helped reduce the number of acres lost annually from 22 million to 8.4 million (in 2000). Responding to the massive outbreak of wildfires in 2000, the campaign changed its focus, and Smokey’s slogan became, “Only YOU can prevent wildfires.”
If you decide to run an awareness campaign, choose an objective that will increase sign-ups, subscribers, donations, or leads. This audience will want to learn more about you, your nonprofit partnership, and the social change you’re standing for.
So, what campaign tactic should you use for an awareness campaign?
One method of reaching a cold audience is to use disruptive marketing campaigns like Facebook ads and Instagram ads. (Keep in mind: this is only effective if your customer avatar is on these platforms.)
Remember that the middle of the funnel is for your followers who already know something about you and your cause. In this consideration stage, you’re going to use stronger marketing messages to move your followers from awareness to action.
One of my favorite campaign methods at this stage is to get your followers to participate in the campaign!
Here’s one of my top favorite campaign examples:
South Africa has the highest HIV infection rate in the world. Although NGO’s have been relentlessly fighting the epidemic, their messages fall on deaf ears with the youth. So, the big guns were called in to help them create a message that would resonate with the younger folk: MTV.
On World Aids Day, MTV launched a campaign to urge the youth to break the stigma by knowing their status. The MTV #FCKHIV campaign inspired the youth to “give HIV the middle finger” by simply changing the finger that would usually be tested.
(Pretty dope, right?!)
If you decide to run a consideration campaign, choose an objective that will encourage your followers to participate, learn, and move toward action. Host a live webinar, encourage a hashtag challenge, host a trivia week, send a link for petitions, or offer incentives for sharing your social impact message.
So, what campaign tactic should you use for a consideration campaign?
One method of reaching a warm audience is to do an email marketing campaign. Regular emails to your subscribers will help you build that know-like-trust factor with your readers, and keep them abreast of what’s going on with your business.
An email marketing campaign is different because you are driving your readers to take action on your objective. Watch click-through-rates so you can continue to perfect your offers.
Pay attention to what your audience wants to participate in so you can drive better results.
A conversion campaign is when you’re ready to turn followers into donors, subscribers into sales, and fans into volunteers.
This stage assumes that your audience is already knowledgeable about your business, your nonprofit, and your cause. They have been primed to take the action you want them to take.
Events are still extremely effective, even virtually. What’s interesting about this charity event in particular is in its success!
Charity: Water builds water projects all around the world. At a charity event, they took donors on a virtual trip to a small town in Ethiopia. Attendees were equipped with Samsung Gear VR headsets so they could watch a virtual reality presentation. The documentary followed a family for one week accessing clean water for the first time.
They raised $2.4 million at the event.
And their success didn’t end there.
Thousands have now seen the film using their VR headsets, and millions have watched it from home.
If you decide to run a conversion campaign, choose an objective that will get you donations, volunteers, partnerships, sponsors, or other needed aid.
So, what campaign tactic should you use for a conversion campaign?
One method of a conversion campaign is to build a sales/donations landing page for a specific action (such as doubling pledges, becoming a volunteer, or using the nonprofit’s services).
(Make sure your Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel are on the page.)
You’ll need to do this in two parts:
For people who sign up on the landing page: follow up with an email sequence. Talk about your business, the nonprofit, why you are partnering together, and drive the outcome you want from this subscriber
For people who click out of the landing page: retarget them with an ad a few days later.
3. Map Out a Content Calendar that Sparks Action
Now for the fun part! WOOP WOOP!
There are two things you need to figure out when developing your action-packed content calendar: what to say, and when (and where) to say it.
Figuring out what to say to your audience
To create a content calendar that evokes emotion, thought and action, you’ve got to be clear on the story you want your social media to tell.
What do you care about?
What do you want to share with your followers?
Why should they listen to you?
Why should they take you seriously?
What social outcome are you pushing for?
When do you need to have these outcomes by?
From there, figure out questions, statements, or other phrases that will spark conversation in your posts every day of the week for the next 3 months (you’ll evaluate your content later, make tweaks, and create the next 3 months).
Find (or make!) attractive images, graphics, infographics, memes, videos, etc. You want to get people talking about your cause (and business)!
Remember: digital engagement is the name of the game.
There’s a whole lot of psychology that goes into copywriting to get your audience to start healthy habits, drop unhealthy habits, or change attitudes and beliefs. (I’ll save that post on a later date!)
Figuring out when (and where) to say it to your audience
Look at your insights and other analytics to track the days and times your followers are the most engaged. Track what kind of content they respond to the most (be it text, video, or images).
Notice the language that draws them in and inspires them to take the action you want them to take. If one platform is not performing as well for you after a few weeks, don’t be shy to either change your strategy or reevaluate whether or not you need to be on it.
Each platform will need anywhere from 2-10 posts per day to reach your followers effectively. (If this sounds too overwhelming, don’t worry. Choose one or two platforms that you’re comfortable with and can be consistent with.)
Important: this is your time to stand in your truth and say what needs to be said. You may attract negative comments, and that’s okay.
Don’t slink away from your cause because someone wants to be a jerk. Know that by leaning into your message and vision, you’ll attract more of the RIGHT people to your cause!
4. Track your KPIs (donors LOVE this!)
To gauge the efficacy of your social impact social media strategy, you’ve got to focus on driving digital engagement. Identify your KPI’s early on so tracking your campaign’s efficacy.
KPI’s (key performance indicators) are metrics you track in your marketing campaigns, beyond vanity numbers. It’s not enough to look like an effective social media campaign, you’ve got to prove it’s an effective social media campaign. Here are 3 of the sexiest KPI focus areas you should track:
Engagement measures the amount of likes, shares, and comments that your social updates receive. Why is this important? Well, as long as your audience is engaged (no matter how small of an audience), it will grow organically and generate more leads for your cause.
Engagement metrics include: Clicks, Likes, Shares, Comments, Mentions, Profile Visits, and Active Followers
This literally means how far your message has reached; how many eyes potentially saw your message. Reach metrics include: Followers or Fans, Impressions, or Traffic Data
To ensure you’re getting the best ROI from your social impact campaign, you’ve got to track who, of your followers or fans, has actually converted? Are your followers donating? Are they volunteering? Are they sharing your cause?
If you aren’t gathering leads from your social media, then you may need to reevaluate your strategy, or your platform.
Don’t get discouraged if you see your numbers fluctuate here. There is always room for improvement, friend! The important thing is to have PROOF that your audience cares about your mission and are TAKING ACTION!
I know I just hit you with a lot of stuff. I did this intentionally.
I want you to feel confident when choosing the nonprofit you partner with and the cause you promote, because there are a LOT of people who need different kind of help. (But, if the business partnership isn’t a match, any initiative you launch will be a flop.)
I want you to understand out to choose the right objectives for your social impact campaign. Not only for the nonprofit, but for your small business. If your customers align with the mission you share, they will likely stay with your business forever.
I want you to think about your social media content calendar as a chance to share meaningful stories (and less Baby Yoda memes, no matter how cute he is)! You may not think you have any influence, but by being a small business owner in your community, you automatically draw people to you. Make sure you’re attracting the kind of audience that aligns with you, as well.
I want you to feel comfortable talking about KPI’s, because I think some digital marketers can be jerks when talking about metrics (I just don’t want to do that to you).
Here’s the thing…I wrote this for my own social impact initiative.
I want to help nonprofits and businesses come together to raise awareness about causes in their communities, and make our world better.
There’s good work to be done, and stories to be told on social media—but there’s a need for help!
If you enjoyed this post and want more content like this, I think you’d fit right into my free Facebook Group: Holistic Marketing Group: Purposeful Digital Marketing Tips.
Talk to you soon!