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Social Media and Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: 5 Predictions

How badly would you want a crystal ball to see into the future of fundraising trends?

It seems like there’s something new every day — and in the world of peer-to-peer fundraising, that “something new” is almost always social media-related.

It’s hard to know what’s coming next. But we can get an idea if we look backward at the trends from the past year and the big announcements that will change the landscape of social media.

We’ve got some predictions about the increasingly important role of social media in the new year’s peer-to-peer fundraising:

  1. Software will automate peer-to-peer marketing efforts.
  2. Analytics will allow for targeted peer-to-peer fundraising.
  3. More peer-to-peer fundraising platforms will become mainstream.
  4. Social influencers will influence peer-to-peer fundraising trends.
  5. Video will boost multimedia peer-to-peer fundraising pages.

As you look forward and plan your fundraising strategy, keep these predictions in mind. Who needs a crystal ball?

Let’s get started!

1. Software that schedules and publishes social media posts will automate peer-to-peer marketing efforts.

As technology advances every day, software is getting better and better at automating the tasks we used to do by hand.

We already have the ability to schedule posts on social media, either through the platform itself or through a third-party service such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck.

But the big change for the nonprofit space in the coming year is the increasing integration of social media scheduling with other fundraising software.

Take Salsa Engage by Salsa Labs. A peer-to-peer fundraising software, Salsa Engage provides users with mobile-friendly tools to reach out to their social networks via social media. Individual fundraisers, not just nonprofit staff, can publish and schedule posts on Salsa’s free mobile app.

Think how automated scheduling can impact peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns for the individuals participating:

  • Management: Though you might be used to keeping track of large social media campaigns, chances are your fundraisers aren’t. Being able to see the bigger picture on a dashboard will help your supporters manage their own campaign promotion.
  • Time: Individuals participating in peer-to-peer campaigns don’t fundraise for a living — they have jobs and families and other obligations to tend to. Automated posts allow fundraising to happen even while they’re busy with other matters.

Software with automated posting capabilities makes it easier for your individual fundraisers to operate as efficiently and professionally as possible even though they aren’t full-time employees of your nonprofit.

Before you run off to invest in any software solution, consult our fundraising software purchasing guide. You should take some time to find the right software solution for you and your supporters.

2. Increasingly robust analytics will open new opportunities for targeted peer-to-peer fundraising.

It used to take third-party software knowledge or an analytics expert to dig through your social media presence for insights worth having.

But now, you can be your own social media analyst. Major social media platforms and some CRMs offer reporting options, and any number of online resources can help you dissect the information in those reports.

What does your increased access to more involved analytics mean for your peer-to-peer fundraising efforts?

As always, the more you know about your donors, the better chance you have of launching fundraising campaigns that they would be inclined to participate in.

And when it comes to peer-to-peer fundraising, the more you know about your donors’ social media interactions, the better prepared you are to connect with them about fundraising:

  • You can identify your supporters who spend the most time on social media and send them specifically tailored information about the immense impact they could have by taking on a peer-to-peer fundraiser.
  • You can identify interests many of your supporters have in common by the common accounts they follow and then incorporate those interests into your peer-to-peer campaigns.
  • You can identify the times of day and days of the week that your supporters are most active on social media and then schedule your encouraging peer-to-peer coaching messages to go out at those times.

Running a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign means reaching out often to encourage and support your fundraisers. Analytics can guide you to the best ways to do that.

3. Viral content will push a more diverse array of peer-to-peer fundraising platforms into the mainstream.

Snapchat, Instagram stories, and Periscope all have two things in common: they’re incredibly popular, and they disappear after a short time.

It may seem strange that such short-lived content could be so popular, but there’s an appeal to it:

  • Exclusivity: If you don’t see it soon, you miss it! Everyone wants to be in the know, so no one wants to miss out on the content you’re posting
  • Authenticity: Internet-savvy users don’t trust those targeted ads that follow them across websites and social media platforms. Disappearing content is less likely to cause annoyance or suspicion.
  • Attention span: In a world of distractions, content that requires long, extended periods of focus is likely to lose users in the middle. If you want your entire message to come across, provide small snippets that don’t require much repetition to stick.

Many of the same principles apply to viral content, too, because it captures the viewer’s attention for a short period of time.

The effect? Users see much more content from many more different sources than they have in the past.

Those fundraising giants you hear so much about don’t have a monopoly on social media. The democratic nature of these platforms combined with the increase popularity of short-lived, bite-sized content makes the spotlight much easier to share.

That is, a peer-to-peer fundraising page can reach a great number of people no matter where it’s hosted! A number of peer-to-peer fundraising tools are growing in popularity as a result — peer-to-peer fundraisers can chose the sites that offer features they like, not just the sites that come up first in search results.

4. As social influencers become more influential, so will the causes they peer-to-peer fundraise for.

Consumers have always looked to industry leaders or spokespersons for guidance on their purchasing habits.

But in the new year, we’re going to continue to feel the leverage of social influencers.

A social influencer is a figure on social media who people who go to for expert opinions on specific industries or causes — for instance, an individual who reviews makeup and posts the videos on Instagram.

As young people especially look to social influencers for direction, the causes that those high-profile individuals support will see a boost on social media, where peer-to-peer fundraising finds its footing.

If you’re looking to harness the power of a social influencer for your cause, you can go about it in a few ways:

  • Existing interest: Is there a respected figure already associated with your cause? An outspoken advocate might be inclined to support your nonprofit specifically on their social media channels.
  • Existing followers: Do a significant portion of your supporters follow the same social influencer? There’s something about your cause and their persona that attract the same kind of supporter.

In the first case, you might reach out to the social influencer directly in your official capacity as a nonprofit, sending a sponsorship letter encouraging them to take up your cause. With their many followers, they could be an asset if they decided to become a peer-to-peer fundraiser with your organization.

In the second case, you don’t know how interested the social influencer might be in your organization until you get their attention. Mobilize your supporters in a campaign to ask for support from their favorite icon!

5. Video will continue to rank higher than text and photo, so more intricate peer-to-peer fundraising pages will earn more.

We’ve heard a lot about media companies investing more in video recently. That’s because social media platforms are lending more and more authority to posts that include video as opposed to just text and photo.

That trend isn’t going to slow down in the new year as algorithms continue to look for more and more ways to rank content and viral videos continue to fascinate social media users.

With the emphasis on multimedia content, not all peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns will appear equally in social media feeds and search results.

Start making it a habit to incorporate multimedia elements, especially video, in your peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns. A few ways you could do that:

  • First-person video: The fundraiser could make a simple video talking to the camera and explaining why their cause is an important one to support. This type of video doesn’t require any special equipment or editing software, just a smartphone.
  • Interviews or testimonials: The fundraiser could interview those who will benefit from the funds raised, such as the principal of a school fundraising for new playground equipment. These videos are simple to make and emotionally impactful.
  • Creative projects: If you have more time and access to some kind of access to editing software, you could get more creative. You could film a skit, quiz strangers on the street, or even stage a game show-style trivia video.

However peer-to-peer fundraising videos are formatted, the point is twofold. On one level, social media and search engine algorithms will prioritize web pages featuring videos more and more as we move through the year.

But also, pages with engaging videos are more likely to encourage participation in the campaign in the first place.

If you’re going to begin incorporating videos into your peer-to-peer fundraising web pages, make sure that they integrate well into your entire page. You could bring on a consultant from Double the Donation’s list of the best website design companies for nonprofits to help out if you’re not as comfortable with web design.

Sadly, we don’t have a crystal ball, so we aren’t going to be 100% sure about the future of peer-to-peer fundraising on social media until it actually happens.

But if you want to look back in a year and see that you made some well-educated steps to anticipate some of the biggest social media trends, then these predictions and the right technology are a place to start!

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