This past weekend we had the pleasure of working on a non profit social media strategy for Vet Tix, a non profit that gives FREE tickets to all veterans and members of their families.
If you’ve heard of Startup Weekend, then you’ll love the concept that Sean Tierney created: Pick a non profit who is doing well but needs some online help. Spend a weekend working on the website, design, a non profit social media strategy – or whatever they need help with to get them to the next level.
The non profit that Sean chose was Vet Tix, a non profit who has three veterans devoted to giving away free tickets to other veterans. These three guys all have full time jobs and work on Vet Tix part time. Despite not being able to focus on Vet Tix full time, they’ve given away 555,000 tickets since 2008 with a face value of over $20,500,000. They’re on track to give away 500,000 tickets in 2013. We wanted to help get them there.
We spent the weekend creating a non profit social media strategy, and thought it’d be worthwhile to share some of our findings for your non profit. Here were our goals for the weekend.
- Create a non profit social media strategy that Vet Tix could use as a playbook after the weekend.
- Edit user generated stories and reformat them for social media sharing.
- Identify their most popular content and make content recommendations based on their popularity
- Create ticket campaigns
- Produce action items for the social media build.
From our initial social media audit, we were able to identify a variety of things that would make social media more useful. We’ve listed these items below, and hope that you can ask these questions to your marketing team as well.
What are we really selling?
We ask this question to help identify the communication strategy. What’s the tone and voice? Who are we talking to? Where are we talking to them? How often? With Vet Tix, a lot of their social media communication was going towards veterans in need of tickets. But, the content we determined Vet Tix was really selling to the general public is “Veteran Stories.” Don’t believe us? Check out Vet Tix’s “Hero’s Wish.” We determined that these were the stories to share on social media, while ticket communications should go through their backend email system.
Social Media Content Rewrite
Stories have so many elements that can be communicated through social media. With Vet Tix, their stories are moving. There’s not a whole lot of things more touching than hearing about a story of a military family reuniting and being able to go to their first football game together. So, we suggested the following when posting to Facebook:
- On Facebook, upload a photo FIRST. Then, take your revised story and paste. Tag any physical locations mentioned in the story.
- In the last paragraph of the story, ask for a donation to make the wish come true. Or, ask them to share. They will.
- Post as a status update. Then, to expand the amount of text and increase the photo visibility, “HIGHLIGHT” the update.
Here’s the before and after photo of the same story, marketed differently:
Auditing Your Top Content
Between Facebook Insights and Google Analytics, you should be able to find your most popular social media content. When we audited the Vet Tix Facebook page, we found the following:
- 15 of the top 15 posts from the previous year were photos.
- 22 of the top 25 posts from the previous year were photos.
- Conclusion: Post more photos that tell the stories of Vet Tix Members.
Non Profit Social Media Strategy Campaign Ideas
Here we examined what the major problems were, and came up with a few campaign ideas to address those problems.
- Problem: Need more up to date member information. Solution: Veterans sign up or update their information to receive free tickets for their favorite team. Members who refer three veterans are entered into a sweepstakes to win a top secret prize (aka a trip to the Super Bowl)
- Problem: Creating a positive first impression. Solution: Run a campaign for first time users. New veterans who sign up and are verified get tickets to the game in their area. No competition. Tickets are guaranteed.
- Problem: How to make Vet Tix relevant on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Veteran’s Day, and 9/11. Solution: Leverage celebrity relationships to engage social media savvy veterans with entertaining and unique video content.
Social Media Account Redesign
Here, we identified the weak spots and analyzed how to make them stronger.
- Change social media icon to be something you recognize across all social media platforms.
- iFrame in important pages on the website, like Contribution and Event pages.
- Changing copy around to better communicate what Vet Tix is all about.
Those were some of the general areas we covered with our non profit social media strategy over the weekend. And, it’s great to see Vet Tix already implementing them online. Check them out on Facebook, Twitter and on their website. If you’d like a copy of the non profit social media strategy that we created, contact us. We’ll hook you up with a copy.
Markitors is an analytical digital marketing agency in Phoenix that helps B2C brands grow their online and social media presence.