Why Social Media Matters


Author: Chase Wagner, ds-connex team member

In an increasingly digital world, it is more important than ever to understand the changing dynamics of communication and advertising. Talking to friends and family or hanging up posters might have been sufficient 10 years ago, but a changing time calls for changing measures. By harnessing the power of social media and choosing the proper social channels for your message, you can actively seek out and engage with prospective team members, fundraisers, and donors rather than waiting for them to come to you. After conducting research and analysis, the ds-connex team has developed some key insights surrounding trends in social media, specifically Facebook and Instagram, and how you can act on our findings to increase engagement and fundraising for your event.

Facebook

One of the best tools for event organizers and team captains to utilize is Facebook. 7 in 10 adults use the platform, and 75% of users are active daily. Facebook is a great way to broadcast your message to a group of close-knit friends or even a global community. Facebook users have nearly doubled in the past five years, creating more potential to connect a growing number of people to your event’s cause.

Why is Facebook important for Stride fundraisers? In 2019, Facebook accounted for 52% of all traffic to our Stride partners website pages. Facebook is a proven method to drive others to visit your event website, including specific team pages, which can translate to more event participants, team members, and larger fundraising totals.

Not only did Facebook account for the majority of site visits in 2019, but its impact has been growing and will likely continue to do so. Looking at data from our top fundraising events, we saw a 25% increase in Stride site visits from Facebook from 2018 to 2019. We believe this trend will continue, and your event or specific team has the ability to capitalize by simply creating or sharing posts about your cause on Facebook.

Check out Team Alex’s Facebook page, created and run by ds-connex team member Jen, for some awesome examples like this post encouraging people to register in time to receive a t-shirt: https://www.facebook.com/TeamAlexCbus/

Instagram

Instagram is the “up-and-comer” of the social media giants. It may not boast the gaudy user totals that Facebook does, but it provides a unique way to engage with others and is the only platform showing consistent growth over the past eight years. Over the past five years, Instagram users more than tripled. Utilizing Instagram could be the next big leap for your advocacy and fundraising efforts.

The opportunities are endless with Instagram. Have a cute or goofy photo of your loved one? Create a post inviting others to visit your team fundraising page in the caption to help you reach your fundraising goal. Have an awesome fundraiser or giving campaign planned? Create a fun flyer or even take pictures of the event to advertise your efforts and to thank donors afterward. You can even create a campaign like “$10 Tuesday” that Team Alex uses to encourage followers to consider making a donation to his team page, particularly when the team is close to a milestone. Check out some more great examples on the team’s instagram: https://www.instagram.com/teamalexcbus/

One of the most unique aspects of Instagram is its stories feature. There are over 500 million daily users of Instagram Stories. Stories allow users to share multiple photos or videos in a slideshow-type format. Stories are generally more casual than traditional instagram posts, and users tend to post stories with greater frequency. As such, they have the ability to drive tons of engagement because they provide a more steady stream of new content for followers to check out. Stories can be a great way to capture and share moments from a walk kick-off event or to share a cute photo of a loved one asking followers to check out your team fundraising page.

How has Instagram impacted ds-connex partners? In 2019, 50% of Stride partners had traffic to their Stride sites from Instagram, with an average of 231 visits per site. We see this as a great opportunity for growth for many of our partners. Whether it is an organization page or team captains using personal pages to promote the event, Instagram can attract new visitors to your fundraising pages, some of whom you may not reach on Facebook. Instagram may not be as impactful as Facebook yet, but investing time in promoting your event or team through Instagram is sure to pay dividends.

Key Takeaways: Facebook is a major player and will continue to be. However, Instagram is growing in popularity and could be a great opportunity for growth because of its underutilization. Using a combination of these tools is sure to increase engagement with your advocacy and fundraising efforts.


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