03 Jul Online mistakes to avoid this summer
What do you think about when you hear the word summer? Beaches, sunshine, backyard grill-outs or perhaps just staggering temperatures? Summer can mean many things to many different people. Regardless of what the idea of summer brings to mind, one truth about summer always persists: opportunity!
The importance of year-end giving is well understood. Nonprofitsource.com reveals that 30% of all annual giving occurs in December. However, this leaves 70% of annual giving for the other 11 months of the year. Too often we hear of development officers taking time off, waiting until autumn, and putting the development office on cruise control through the summer. The summer months present unique opportunity to capture some of that remaining 70% of annual giving but we must avoid these critical mistakes: ’
Taking a digital ‘break’
Look, we get it. The kids are out of school, vacation time rolls around and many are on the go in the summer months. In general, daily rhythms are just different for most people. But this doesn’t have to slow down your digital presence. With the help of scheduling tools like Hootsuite, Buffer or even IFTTT it is easier than ever to schedule posts, blogs and digital communications throughout the summer. Actually, most people on average, spend more time online in the summer months which can help your organization.
The key here is to plan. Take a day or two, identify current needs, initiatives and campaigns within your organization, create 1-2 posts a week and schedule them. The alternative is simply too devastating. What business model stops advertising or marketing for 3 months each year? Your organization cannot afford a three-month social media sabbatical. Whether you post stories, links to give, opportunities to serve or just keep people informed, get a plan and keep posting.
There are simply too many scheduling tools that allow digital strategies to continue throughout the summer to simply take a break from sharing your organization’s dreams and goals. .
Keeping things the same
The opposite pitfall from never posting in the summer months is just continuing on as if the season hasn’t changed. Americans love summer! Travel is up, spending increases and leisure activities take priority. Maintaining a strategy that completely omits America’s favorite season is silly.
Identify 2-3 summer ideas that fit your organization and leverage these ideas on social media platforms. For example, if your organization is a college or university, why not create an initiative: See what your professors are doing this summer? Or for a rescue mission type of organization, perhaps an initiative: How many people can you bring in from the heat this summer?
The thing to remember here is make it seasonal. Each idea or initiative will have a beginning middle and end – just like summer. And if all else fails, and you simply cannot find some summer idea to rally around, then create a summer template with which to create your posts. Perhaps your content may not not sound like summer but you can certainly make it look that way!
Not planning for fall
Hopefully by now we are in agreement that summer provides a unique opportunity to leverage giving in fun ways. However, as we all remember from our school days, summer ends. And as unfortunate as this may be, there is no downtime between summer and Fall. Best case scenario, summer advancement strategies set up the Fall season the same way a pre-season in basketball sets up the regular season. However, this only works if there is a plan in place. The good news is, it’s not too late to lay out your plan. Use the summer to get ready for fall. From posts to meetings and scheduling, use summer to jumpstart the fall. Year-end will be here soon. How is the summer moving you closer to your year-end goals?
Here at The Timothy Group, we know how much having the right plan matters. Create the plan, share the plan, work the plan. And there may not be a better time to evaluate your plan than the summer! So enjoy those backyard barbecues but we know those parties will be more fun when you know your plan is working while you’re there!