Social Media InfluencersEvery fundraiser knows the role that social media users played in delivering dollars to the American Red Cross for disaster relief in Haiti and to Planned Parenthood for mammogram screenings in the wake of the Komen Foundation’s withdrawal of funding, but actually how social media delivers such results has been a bit of mystery.

Since we opened our first Facebook pages, we’ve known that social media users are very different in their interactions, but trying, as an organization, to identify and understand our social media constituents as well as social media influencers based on their levels of interactions and the amount of influence they have in their networks has been difficult.

To date, much of our conversation has been based on guesswork.

Fortunately, research is weighing in with some great information that gives us insight into our social donors and potentials.  With a new concept called Social Scoring, we now have a way to indentify and categorize the social media constituents in our databases by their reach or influence across their networks.

You can now identify your most “social” constituents, and when you know that you are in position to develop mutually beneficial relationships with them that are productive and respect their advocacy of your cause.

Four Social Media Types

Using Social Scoring, you can identify four categories of social media users within your database: Key Influencers, Engagers, Multi-channel Consumers and Standard Consumers.

Key Influencers are one of those “super social” people who you want to know.  Statistically, there are only a few of them—about one percent of all social media users—but they drive many a conversation. Their posts are widely read and broadly shared. They are capable of influencing not only the people they know, but also people they don’t know. They belong to the major social networks—Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn—and are the few that deliver messages to the many. If they know you and care about you, they will help you achieve your goals. And they will do it through their social networks, all of which are the key to your fundraising efforts.

Engagers: Engagers belong to all the major social networks, and although only about five percent of social media users fall into this category, they are your broadcasters. They generate posts, share information, virally spread messages, and collaborate with others.

Multi-channel Consumers: Active on at least two social network sites, these people make up about 39 percent of all social media users. They enjoy keeping up with social media content and occasionally participate by sharing information.

Standard Consumers: Standard Consumers belong to one social network, usually Facebook, because they want to keep up with friends, family, and current events. While they read and watch updates rather than create new content or make comments, they are influenced by their more socially active friends and family.  As a group, they account for 55 percent of social media users.

How Social Media Constituents Help Deliver Your Mission

Each of the four social media categories has unique characteristics and its members relate to each other and to your campaigns in different ways.

Key Influencers champion your cause

With their commanding reach across social media networks, your Key Influencers can help drive the success of your campaigns.  They are typically not your largest financial contributors, but they have the energy and power to champion your cause to many others. Here is where a social media strategy is critical, because traditionally, you may have overlooked these constituents, missing the opportunity to have them do what they do best—promote your cause. Think of your Key Influencers as citizen journalists, those who write for a mass market, and engage their friends and followers who in turn will become your donors.

Engagers drive your messages

Social media Engagers are dialed into what is happening in the social media space and create and deliver new content. They will help your compelling stories go viral. They will increase awareness of your organization and expand your constituency. They are valuable not only as individual donors but also in the ability to recruit their friends to donate..

Multi-channel and Standard Consumers

Multi-channel and Standard Consumers also have key roles to play in your social media strategy.

To understand how all four groups contribute to your fundraising campaigns and to learn how to engage with them to advance your mission, watch the upcoming NTC2012 session with Casey Golden from Small Act, and Mark Davis from Blackbaud on Wednesday April 5 at 3:30 PM. You can watch in person at Cyril Magnin II (Parc 55) or watch online at http://www.Blackbaud.tv

 

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