Four things to consider when using Facebook as a supporter service tool

Facebook is a free social networking platform helping charities spread their message, increase brand awareness and boost fundraising outcomes. If you’re using Facebook as a donor service tool, here are four things to consider.

Facebook is a free social networking platform helping charities spread their message, increase brand awareness and boost fundraising outcomes.

In today’s 24/7 digital society, it’s a non-negotiable that every charity should have an active Facebook presence.

Facebook gives followers instant access to key messaging and, when managed effectively, can help a charity connect with donors to help them reach their giving potential.

Facebook’s Messenger function means a follower can see when their message has been received and that it’s been read. Unfortunately, people are inherently impatient. When someone wants an answer, many have become accustomed to wanting it right now. If you give supporters access to the messenger function, it’s important that you manage it correctly. If someone is at the point of donating, the last thing you want to do is make them wait and lose their interest at that critical point.

While it’s not always practical to respond immediately (we know what it’s like working in a busy fundraising office!), make good use of the auto-reply function. Reply with a reasonable time frame that someone can expect a response and always give the option of a direct phone number for those who want to speak to someone immediately.

While all communication is better managed through a dedicated email system or CRM such as SupporterHub, make sure Messenger functions on social media are either switched off or they point supporters to your internal systems for an immediate resolution.

2) It’s easy to leave reviews – good and bad!

Facebook allows donors and supporters to leave reviews based on their experience with your charity whether they’re a donor, volunteer or charity partner. Anyone the charity has supported can also share their testimonials allowing potential and existing donors to see the value in their much-needed support.

While we hope all supporters have a positive experience with your charity, sometimes this may not be the case. A supporter may experience a problem with their payment method, or some other element entirely and Facebook also gives people the chance to openly criticise their experience.

On the positive side, a public complaint also gives a charity the chance to respond publicly too. We can’t live in a perfect world but making sure you reply to every comment will help your integrity shine through so that others can see how much you value the experience of your donors.

Building a brand and raising awareness is just as critical a part of fundraising as asking for money. Interacting with supporters publicly allows a charity to put personality into the brand which encourages connection and builds donor loyalty.

3) It’s crucial for donor retention

Not all donors can give every time you ask. Actively using Facebook as a donor service tool allows you to keep building the relationship with individuals so that the next time someone can donate, their decision has already been made.

4) A charity doesn’t own donor data – Facebook does!

If you’re using Facebook to its full capacity and have streamlined systems in place, the platform can be very effective as a donor service tool. It’s important to remember that while people can make donations directly, Facebook owns this data.

Yes, you’ll receive the gift, but you won’t get the data you need to build your database and build relationships with donors. Make sure you always link directly to your website in every post to help you build relationships and help donors reach their giving potential.

It’s also important to note that while you will eventually receive the gift, it can take up to 90 days for Facebook to provide the funds so including a direct link to your own fundraising page or website is highly recommended.

While Facebook is a useful tool to build engagement and disseminate information, it’s no substitute for capturing donations and data through a purpose-designed SaaS system like SupporterHub. To find out about our FREE trial (no credit card required) and learn how SupporterHub can help take your charity to the next level, book a demo

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