The holiday season is prime gift-giving and donation-giving season. We encourage each other to think of others and to help out those less fortunate than ourselves. We also reach out to family and friends to share our holiday memories and traditions.
Some companies use the holiday season to develop seasonal-specific themes for their social networks, and Maya Grinsberg at SocialMediaToday.com compiled a of some of those strategies as generated for Facebook. With just a bit of tweaking, nonprofits and charities could easily build on these ideas to engage their supporters in a fun and seasonal campaign of awareness and engagement. May we suggest a few?
Top of her list and a sure-fire way to keep people interacting with your nonprofit’s Facebook page is with a play on the idea of the Advent Calendar as presented by Wildfire Interactive. A nonprofit could take a similar approach with building engagement over the month by developing a serialized story that the visitor can follow and can see the results of getting involved with your organization. Larger charities could encourage daily micro-donations to their various projects, each tied to a personal story. Or each day could be a puzzle or game that encourages your Friends to share your nonprofit’s message with other Friends (be sure to provide updates so they can see the success of their involvement through the season).
Another idea she suggests is to share some of your organization’s own holiday festivities with your Facebook Friends. A couple of (appropriate!) photos of your staff decorating, celebrating, or working to improve the holidays for someone else can personalize your organization. Such images can also suggest to the visitor the happy opportunities she or he can have to get engaged in the charity so as to participate in future such events.
And we would also remind you of the need to engage your audience, especially in this time of year when their attentions can be especially divided. Can you bring in comments or reminiscences from those who have benefited from your nonprofit’s work? Have you asked your followers how they would want to help during the holiday season? Do you have a previous success story (ideally, holiday related) that you can remind them of?
Projects like a daily calendar require a good deal of preparation and might need to wait until next year (so mark your 2012 planner now!). But many other of the ideas Maya presents and we have re-imagined for the nonprofit world can be started with your organization’s next visit to its Facebook page. Especially now, people want to be drawn to the good work your nonprofit or charity does. Giving your outreach a seasonal and personal lilt will only bring them in more closely and probably keep them drawn in for well into the new year as well.