By Marina Stedman, head of marketing, The Good Exchange

Christmas is traditionally regarded as a time of giving and for a lot of people, this means they are feeling increasingly charitable. There are several ways that charities can ensure they are at the forefront of people’s minds at this time of year and perfecting a Christmas social media campaign is one of the most effective tactics.

The UK Giving 2019 report, by Charities Aid Foundation, found that year-on-year, November and December are the peak months for giving to charities. Whilst 85% of adults in the UK agreed that it’s important to give to good causes, more than six million (40%) admitted to forgetting to donate the money they’d told others they had given and one third (33%) said they were more likely to make a donation when prompted. Established national fundraising campaigns such as Movember and Children in Need drive huge awareness and donations, but small charities with limited resources can really benefit from running a Christmas campaign.

So, how do you do this? An online campaign is the easiest (and cheapest) way to get your message out. Here are our top tips:

Messaging

According to Google, the UK’s general public make more ‘Christmas’ themed searches than anywhere else in the world. Charities can capitalise on this by using Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) techniques and keywords to elevate their Christmas campaigns. Doing this will ensure that your message has the best chance of being seen by people using search engines such as Google and social media (for example Twitter, Facebook and YouTube) to search for Christmas content and will raise awareness of what you do and drive additional funds. You don’t have to be an expert, just keep your messaging succinct, avoid long sentences and incorporate Christmas-themed wording on your website and in your social media activities – for example:

  • Christmas Charities
  • Help the homeless at Christmas
  • Charity Christmas presents/gifts
  • Charity donation Christmas gifts
  • Xmas charity
  • Local Christmas charities
  • Christmas charity donation ideas

On social media platforms, using Christmas themed hashtags will expand the reach of your campaign to wider audiences. Similarly, ‘mentioning’ campaigns (for example #UKCharityWeek and #GivingTuesday), charities and specific people (if you have influencers or well-known figures supporting your campaign) will help you to reach the right people.

Another recent trend to be aware of when choosing your messaging strategy is the move towards private messaging apps. Internet users in the US and UK are now more likely to be sharing information or content with their peers on private messaging apps, such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, compared to public social networks and even word-of-mouth. Does the fundraising platform you’re using allow your supporters to instantly share a link to your donation page via WhatsApp?

Decoration

Christmas is a very visual festive period, with images of snow, robins, holly, Christmas trees, reindeer and so on, having become synonymous with ‘Christmas’. A big part of the Christmas tradition is decorating – the tree, streets, offices – so why not decorate your social media profile too? Doing so will catch people’s eyes and help round out your overall campaign by choosing complementary images. If jolly Christmas scenes are not a good fit for what your charity does, you could use a ‘winter’ theme, to accompany messages about charities often needing more support over the tough winter months.

Photos, videos and GIFs are all effective ways of decorating your social media profile and Christmas campaign. Time is precious but using existing images and giving them a festive touch will make all the difference to fundraising in the Christmas period. There are several free tools and apps, such as Twitter, Facebook, Canva and HootSuite, that can help you quickly and easily build customised images, GIFs and videos.

The Good Exchange recently hosted a webinar where we explained how to use these tools as well as giving tips on how to use keywords, targeting, content and social media for Christmas Charity Fundraising. You can find the webinar here.

Whilst Christmas is a wonderful time of year for many, it also presents an opportunity to remind people to give and social media tools are a great leveller in terms of access to key target audiences. Positive feelings last the entire festive period and with 34% more shopping searches made on Christmas Day than on Black Friday, it’s important to capitalise on the opportunity to reach potential donors.