Social Media
3 Proven Social Media Strategies for Nonprofit Auctions

3 Proven Social Media Strategies for Nonprofit Auctions

June 13, 2023
4 min read

Social media is one of the best tools nonprofits have to promote events and get the word out about the fundraisers. By generating engaging content online, your organization can easily expand its reach, increase event registration numbers, and bring in more revenue for your cause. This is especially true when advertising auctions.

To make your upcoming auction a success, you need to keep attendees engaged before and during the event. Social media enables your organization to create multiple donor touchpoints, where you can provide sneak peeks of your big-ticket items, encourage donations, and drive wider engagement with your supporters.

With the right social media tactics, you can hit your fundraising goals in no time. Use these top social media strategies to take your auction to the next level:

  • Take a multichannel marketing approach
  • Add a social peer-to-peer element
  • Create social media contests

Whether you’re hosting a standalone auction or pairing your auction with another high-energy event like a fundraising gala, you need a strong social media marketing strategy to build excitement and fuel bids. Tap your staff or volunteers to plan out a social media content calendar that is guaranteed to attract more support for your auction. By leveraging social engagement to push your marketing efforts forward, you’ll be able to skyrocket your fundraising results. Let’s begin.

Take a multichannel marketing approach

To optimize your event marketing, use multiple social media channels in tandem. This way, you can connect with as many supporters as possible, create hype, and convert followers into event registrants.

Consider marketing your auction on the following platforms:

A strong multi-channel marketing strategy can help your nonprofit reach wider audiences to promote your auction. 

  • Instagram. Post photos from the last time your organization hosted an auction or share a picture of the beneficiaries who will benefit from this event. Level up your content strategy by creating short videos. Consider producing educational, organizational, fundraising, or testimonial-style videos to inform your audience of the purpose behind your event and create a strong emotional connection with supporters. Leverage Instagram-specific features like IGTV, Instagram Live, and Instagram Reels to share your content and reach more people.
  • Facebook. On your nonprofit’s Facebook page, update your cover page to promote your auction. Post a variety of content, such as a combination of photos, videos, and longer text content. Make sure to include a registration link for your auction in your posts so users can easily navigate to sign up. With Facebook’s unique linking features, you can upload an image to appear that has your registration link hyperlinked.
  • Twitter. Twitter is the ideal platform for posting quick updates and reminders for your followers. Create tweets leading up to your event to remind supporters of important dates, like the registration deadline and the date and time of your auction. Make your tweets more engaging by adding gifts, emojis, and images to grab your audience’s attention amidst their busy feeds.

Be sure to focus your marketing efforts where your target audience is most likely to see your content. As you begin posting about your event, actively track metrics so you can assess which platforms are getting the most engagement and therefore shift your focus away from the platforms that aren’t producing results.

Add a social peer-to-peer element

If your nonprofit wants to maximize revenue and build strong donor relationships, consider running a peer-to-peer fundraiser leading up to your auction. Peer-to-peer fundraising empowers your supporters to fundraise and share your fundraising campaign far and wide among their personal networks. One of the best ways your peer-to-peer fundraisers can bring attention to their campaigns is with social media.

To kickstart your social peer-to-peer campaign, use these tips:

  • Tap ambassadors to help. According to the OneCause guide to peer-to-peer fundraising, ambassadors are well-connected individuals who are passionate about your mission and can easily spread the word about your organization and its auction. Recruit ambassadors among your board members, volunteers, sponsor connections, and supporters with large social media followings.

Nonprofit ambassadors can help market your auction across a wider donor network. 

  • Train your peer-to-peer fundraisers. Once you’ve secured a line-up of ambassadors and supporters to champion your cause, provide your peer-to-peer fundraisers with everything they need to be successful. Give clear instructions on how to create their personal fundraising pages and consider hosting an orientation to answer any lingering questions.
  • Leverage social sharing tools. Many social media platforms have built-in giving tools which peer-to-peer fundraisers can use to their advantage. For example, Facebook offers a “Challenges” feature, which motivates donors to give to your cause while also completing a fun activity, such as running a certain number of miles or posting a video about why they support your organization.

Remember to express appreciation for your peer-to-peer fundraisers and let them know how they made an impact. Send them a thank-you note and shout out your top peer-to-peer fundraisers at your auction. This will help fundraisers feel valued by your organization and increase the likelihood that they’ll help out again.

Create social media contests

Social media contests are great for boosting engagement before and during your auction and inspiring friendly competition. Plus, if you’re hosting a virtual or hybrid fundraiser, these contests can keep your remote supporters immersed in your event and eager to give.

Contests can also be an opportunity to deepen supporters’ emotional connection to your organization, so create a challenge that encourages community building or is relevant to your event. For example, you might encourage people to share a picture on Instagram at your event with new friends they made or share a post on Facebook detailing why they’re supporting your organization. The supporter with the most likes or comments wins a special prize!

You should also consider creating an engaging hashtag and encouraging supporters to tag your social media account in the post. This way, individuals in their personal networks can learn more about your nonprofit, providing you with new followers (and future supporters).

By leveraging social media, your organization can effectively market its auction online, connect with existing and new supporters, and make fundraising a fun and social experience. Start posting about your auction in advance of your registration deadline so supporters have plenty of time to learn about your upcoming event and set aside the date in their schedules.

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Giana Reno

Giana is the Director of Content for Marketing Insider Group, a top-rated Content Marketing Agency. Connect with her on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on all things MIG.

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