batkid3Last Friday, #SFBatkid took over San Francisco, twitter, Instragram and our hearts.  It was an amazing social media moment and a great day for a 5 yr leukemia survivor.  If you missed it here’s the skinny: Miles wished to be Batkid and Make-A-Wish made it happen.  Batkid spent the day rescuing a damsel in distress and saving Gotham a.k.a San Francisco from The Riddler and The Penguin.

It started with a wish and turned into a social media explosion. I’ve got to give kudos to Make-A-Wish for not only planning an amazing day for Miles, but for also making this a true social media event. Mashable noted that by 4pm on Friday, 10,000 photos had been posted on Instagram with the #SFBatkid. The Wall Street Journal reported there were 78,000 tweets on Friday about Batkid, including one from President Obama. The San Francisco Giants and 49ers tweeted to thank Batkid for saving the city.  I could go on and on… it was truly amazing.

How can we have a Batkid moment at our events?  First, we need to use social tools as they’re meant to be used: to share fun thoughts, moments and images with friends, followers, fans, family members and random strangers.  All you need to get started is a hashtag, yes a hashtag.  Hashtags have taken over.  You know this is true when JT and Jimmy Fallon develop a SNL skit about it.  Ragan’s PRdaily created an Infographic which breaks down the history of hastags: from simple symbol to a staple in Marketing.

Social media tools have entered our lives to provide us with ways to socialize online.  How do you socialize your offline event online? I have one answer for you: Plan your moment!

Make-A-Wish clearly planned their moment.  Did they expect to 78,000 tweets, probably not.  But, they made it easy for people to be a part of the Batkid experience.  When I think about social media moments, Human Rights Campaign comes to mind. HRC planned their moment, they may not have known exactly when it would happen, but they were prepared thanks to their efforts to create an overarching media strategy.  Check out the complete article by Fundraising Success.

If we’re talking about Peer to Peer fundraising events, your moment is clearly your event.  As you’re preparing for event day and thinking about ordering tents, balloon, tables, etc… add social media to the mix.  We are now a culture of sharers.  From young to old we’re all taking pictures adding them to facebook, twitter and instragram.  Since we know our event attendees are going to share, let’s make sure we track it!

  1. Create a hashtag.  Keep it simple.
  2. Promote your hashtag at the event.  Create posters promoting the hashtag.  Add the hashtag to all your event day signage: sponsor banners, route makers, and directional signage.  The goal is to ingrain your hashtag into attendee’s brains.
  3. Create a photo or photo zones.  We like to take pictures of ourselves; create a special area, ask people to share their photo and include your #. Here’s a new idea, we’re selfie obsessed.  Create a selfie zone. Ask attendees to take a selfie and share it.
  4. stelMost events already have route makers.  In addition to traditional route makers, create a few social makers and ask attendees to tweet as they walk, run or ride.  Even marathoners will get into this.  Case in point, one of my best friends was running Nike Women’s Half Marathon and took a minute to stop along the course, snap this picture and share it.  As her friends we all liked and commented on it.  We all couldn’t be there to cheer to her on in person, but we were able to cheer for her on Instagram.
  5. Do what they’re doing, but be creative!  Look at how your family and friends are using social media. They’re probably changing profile pictures, checking in places, retweeting tweets that catch their fancy and sharing favorite stories.  Your attendees are social sharers, so give them fun content to share.

Speaking of online engagement, join us for Coffee Talk.  We’re talking about key findings in the Next Generation of American Giving Study and what they mean to your fundraising efforts.  Tomorrow, my buddy Scott Gilman is kicking us off with a fun session on Engaging Your Audience through Online Channels.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amy Braiterman, principal strategy consultant at Blackbaud, supports customers with their peer-to-peer fundraising events with a process she refers to as “data-driven strategy.” Amy’s data driven strategy analyzes how effective event participants are using online fundraising tools and takes those results to develop an event fundraising plan. Prior to joining Blackbaud, Amy earned her fundraising stripes managing events for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Alzheimer’s Association and Share Our Strength. She shares her fundraising know how here on npENGAGE, by hosting educational webinars and speaking at customer conferences

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