You made it! The first week of 2016 is halfway over and you're finally getting back into the swing of things, but it's hardly business as usual.
Hopefully, you've taken all of the insightful nonprofit knowledge from 2015 and started applying it to your work in the new year... right?
Even though you may find yourself a little behind this week, rejuvenating your organization's social strategy should be on the top of your to-do list.
During last month's webinar on 2016 nonprofit trends, Aharon Wasserman, head of Community at EveryAction, shared his thoughts on how nonprofits can amplify their social impact in the coming year with a few simple adjustments.
Check out a clip of our conversation below. (You can watch the entire webinar video here - it's free because we like you.)
Rethink the engagement ladder
Last year, we saw more nonprofits leveraging automation technology to reach engagement goals, especially in the form of email series/drip campaigns. (Check out this list of mandatory email marketing campaigns you need now.)
Rather than relying on the old "engagement ladder" model, nonprofits should take a cue from for-profit and retail businesses in 2016 and introduce more targeted automation strategies.
Aharon points to the significant gains many retailers have seen with so-called triggered email campaigns, e.g. those "Hey, we saw you left some items in your cart!" messages that oh-so-conveniently land in your inbox just after you've navigated away from a website.
You may be thinking, "Those pesky emails! Won't donors feel weirded out?" The short answer is no: consumers are accustomed to (and have even learned to expect) automated emails like these when they visit retailer websites.
Donors will likely recognize the tactic, and may even appreciate the reminder ("Hey, you were this close to donating/upgrading to a sustainer/signing this petition!") Aharon believes next-level automated engagement will help nonprofits turn the "ladder" into an "escalator" that shepherds donors along a swifter, more personalized path to support.
Expand your concept of community
You don't need us to tell you that the number and variety of social networks flourished in 2015, and there's no sign this will stop in the year ahead.
Moving forward, nonprofits must broaden their ideas about social media channels - they're more than just places to share content! In 2016, treat your social media platforms as entry points for potential donors.
The key to this is, of course, finding and excelling at the right social medium for your nonprofit. (Aharon cites WWF's #LastSelfie campaign on Snapchat as a good example of this)
Social listening tools can help you find your supporters online and better understand the conversation they're having about your issue area. By creating a branded place for your followers to learn and grow, you can transform your online community into a thriving network of donors.
Beyond getting the word out, expanding your online community to new networks could be your ticket to reaching integral demographic groups (young donors, for example) that have otherwise eluded your engagement efforts. (Bonus read: EveryAction guest blogger and Social Media for Nonprofits CEO Ritu Sharma shares some great advice on building community)