Social media is one of the most valuable promotion tools school fundraising groups have at their disposal.
Billions of people use social media every day, enabling PTAs and PTOs to reach vast amounts of people quickly. Plus, social media is free to use, making it a no-brainer for schools already strapped for cash. Finally, virtually all social media platforms have built-in marketing features such as analytics and automation options that streamline the work of creating and publishing content while providing insights to help organizers make adjustments in real-time.
The wide reach, affordability, and efficiency of social media make it indispensable for any school fundraising campaign. But how do you actually use social media to promote your school fundraiser? Though it’s one of the easiest ways for fundraising groups to get the word out about their events, there are some strategies to keep in mind to do it well.
Keep reading to learn how to effectively promote your school fundraiser on social media, plus some mistakes to avoid.
Tips for Promoting Your School Fundraiser on Social Media
Before the Campaign
The first thing to know about using social media to promote your school fundraiser is that it should be a part of your planning process from day one. In other words, it’s important to create an overall strategy for when and how you will share information about your fundraiser. Follow the tips below to set your social media promotion up for success.
1. Create a plan.
A poorly planned fundraiser is doomed to fail. The same goes for your social media promotion strategy. While you might get some attention from posting on the fly, your social media promotion will be much more effective if you plan how, what, and when you will share content about your fundraiser well in advance.
Put together a promotion committee and brainstorm what kinds of content you’ll want to share, what resources you’ll need to create it, and who will be responsible for creating and sharing content.
2 Choose your social media platforms.
According to the Forbes article linked above, Facebook is still the most popular social media channel and it’s an absolute must for promoting your fundraiser. Facebook groups let you widen your reach quickly, and the platform has highly mature analytics and automation functions that let you share content easily.
But don’t limit yourself to Facebook. To reach the widest possible number of potential donors, diversify your presence across several channels. Each social media platform caters to a slightly different audience – the more variety the better. Consider your fundraiser type and the kinds of content you’ll likely want to share, then look into any of the following social media platforms:
- Instagram (best for visual content)
- TikTok (best for young audiences and videos)
- Snapchat (best for young audiences and highly personal content)
You may even consider creating a YouTube channel.
3 Create a social media calendar.
Take a page from the social media marketing book and keep your promotion efforts organized with a social media calendar. Planning in advance the specific content you’ll need and when it will be shared gives you the chance to create better, more personalized and effective content, helps you avoid sharing too little or too often, and saves time once the promotional campaign is underway.
Include the following information in your calendar when possible:
- What will be shared, including relevant files or links (e.g., to your fundraiser page, images, videos, etc.)
- When it will be shared – time and date
- What platform the content will be shared on
- Captions tailored to each platform – remember that different platforms have different character limits
- Hashtags to be used in each post
Keeping this plan all in one place makes everyone’s lives easier when balancing social media promotion with actually running the fundraiser.
During the Campaign
It’s not enough to share one or two posts announcing your fundraiser and call it a day. To effectively promote your fundraiser on social media, you’ll need to consistently share content and engage with your network to keep your event top of mind. Here are the most important steps to follow once you’ve launched your fundraiser promotion campaign.
1. Utilize your network.
The primary benefit of social media is its capacity to connect huge numbers of people instantly. Capitalize on this by making the most of your network. Have volunteers and participants share your social posts on their personal pages, join Facebook groups that are relevant to your cause or community, and like and comment on others’ posts to build a following.
2. Use hashtags.
Hashtags are a must on social media, particularly Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. That’s because hashtags help get your posts in front of completely new audiences who can then become followers. Use existing hashtags to capture new audiences, and create a unique hashtag for your specific campaign.
3. Share unique graphics and visual content.
The more personalized and entertaining your content is, the better. That’s why photos and videos work especially well for promoting school fundraisers on social media. Show followers how much work your volunteers are putting in – and how much fun they’re having! This builds excitement around your event and shows committed and potential donors how their donations are making a difference.
4. Tailor your content to each social platform.
Each social media platform has its own strengths, niches, and audiences. While Facebook and LinkedIn are great for older users and professionals, TikTok and Snapchat can help get the word out to younger users. Twitter has a strict character count; Instagram works very well for visual content but not so well for sharing standalone articles or pages.
Take advantage of the unique features of each platform, including Stories and Reels, to get the most out of your efforts.
5. Use built-in analytics to optimize your posting.
Along the same lines, most social media platforms have built-in analytics tools to help you monitor your promotional campaign. These features help you do everything from keeping track of who’s liking and sharing your content to knowing what days and times of day are best to post. A dedicated promotion person or committee can keep an eye on these metrics and tweak your promotion efforts to make them even better.
6. Schedule posts in advance.
If your budget allows, consider using a social media scheduling platform like Hootsuite or Sprout Social to schedule posts in advance. Along with a well-planned social media calendar, scheduling posts helps you stay organized and saves time once the fundraiser kicks off.
7. Thank your donors and volunteers.
School fundraisers are nothing without the volunteers that organize them and the donors that foot the bill. One of the most important things to do while promoting your school fundraiser on social media is to continuously thank these volunteers and donors.
Showing appreciation for their hard work and donations helps build long-lasting relationships with the community that can benefit future fundraisers (and, thus, your students).
Your school fundraiser can’t succeed unless people know about it and are excited to donate. With the social media promotion tips above, the job of reaching your community and getting them engaged becomes a lot easier.