Welcome to July—vacation season is officially in full swing, and during the next few months, offices will seem emptier, people will come and go and “business as usual” may seem a little more relaxed than normal.
But don’t forget: Your supporters are still there. Even if they go on vacation, they don’t disappear. Most of them will, in fact, stay connected. For example, analytics show that consumer engagement on social media doesn’t drop in the summer—it just changes a little. People use their mobile devices more to check email and social media, especially when on vacay, and they typically respond more slowly. But they’re still there and they’re still engaging.
Don’t let your marketing strategy take a vacation, too—you simply may have to adapt to the season. Here’s how to stay connected and in touch with your supporters during the lazy, hazy days of summer.
Look for stories to share on your blog and social networks. If you go on vacation yourself, you may find a great story that could make an interesting blog article or a clever Facebook post for your nonprofit. Whether it relates to your organization and mission, a branding or PR lesson or just a silly thing that happened at the airport, use your own vacation experiences as material to share with your audience.
Show the fun side of your nonprofit. Summertime typically has a relaxed vibe. People are more chill, life slows down a little, and in many offices, summer ushers in a more casual atmosphere. Now’s a great time to have some fun on social media. Run a contest on your Facebook page, post fun summertime pics on Instagram, experiment with Snapchat and post a story about your organization or an event. Your audience will likely engage with their social networks all summer as they post vacation pictures and keep up with friends and family who are traveling. Show up and stay on their radar.
Schedule in advance. If your social media strategist is taking time off and you want to maintain a consistent voice in your posts (which, by the way, is important), have him or her use a tool like Hootsuite to schedule status updates and tweets in advance. That way your followers will continue to hear from your organization regularly, even while your social media guru is out of the office.
Be relevant. If you have a blog, talk about summer events you’re hosting or how you’re involved in the community this month. If you have an event calendar on your website, make sure it is up-to-date. Tweet suggestions for books, blogs and other summer reading material for those heading out to enjoy a relaxing week at the lake or on the beach. Feature a family or individual your organization is helping this summer and tell their story on your donation page. Send a mid-year e-newsletter, highlighting how you’ve used your supporters’ gifts so far this year and what your plans are for the next six months. There are a million ways to channel “summer” through your posts, your website and your emails.
The important thing? Don’t let your marketing strategy take a break. Be consistent, give your posts and updates a summery feel to adapt to the season and don’t worry if you do notice a dip in engagement. That’s normal for the summer months. Just stay the course and keep your organization on your audience’s mind. Your consistency will pay off when the last quarter of the year rolls around and the big push for end-of-year giving hits. People will remember that your organization is one that engages with them all year-round.
Speaking of engaging, summer is also a great time to take a look at your website: Is it an effective engagement tool for your organization? Or are there some changes you can make in order to better serve your constituents and expand your reach and influence? Firespring offers stunning websites that help you raise funds, manage events and tell your story. Give us a try at firespring.org/trial or learn more by calling 877.447.8941.