Social media is a great tool that non-profits can use to gain funding and raise awareness on noble causes, but it’s not always easy to stand out on platforms with millions of users, where trending topics and hashtags change every day. It’s also not easy to ask for donations without looking like you’re right hooking.

Gary Vaynerchuk, entrepreneur, Internet personality and board member of Pencils of Promise, explains how to engage with followers on Twitter and market your non-profit to raise money.

According to Gary Vaynerchuk, people who follow your organization on Twitter already have a charity component in them – they have the right mindset to get involved and collaborate, and you have to create content that resonates with that.

For example, an activist for Pencils of Promise explains how he biked across Canada for this cause and vlogged his entire adventure to raise awareness. This is a great way to put a noble cause in the spotlight, makes it look more real and creates growth opportunities for the future.

However, taking a step back, one thing that is missing from a lot of people who are in this world of non-profits is listening. Listening to Twitter searches and listening to what users are saying about your organization.

Listening only to the people you are following can create a sort of bubble that can disconnect you from your activists. What you have to do is be part of the discussion, search for your organization, listen to what people are tweeting about it and then jump into their conversation.

But not just any reply will do, Gary explains. Simply congratulating them for saying thanks for the money they raised and then turning the conversation back to yourself feels like right hooking. What you should do is jab into the listening and contribute in a genuinely valuable way. The simple fact that you took the time to do this will make them look at your profile, look at your past tweets and see what you are doing too.

In fact, according to recent Twitter data, Gary Vaynerchuk ranks #1 as the person who talked to the most people – 23,498 to be more precise.

In addition to actively listening and talking to people, creating networking opportunities for your charity is also a great way to expand its reach. Pencils of Promise, the non-profit where Gary is a board member, received more than $48,000 by partnering with Giving Assistant, a Certified B Corp and shopping rewards platform. In their testimonial for Giving Assistant, Pencils of Promise explains how simple and fun this was and how much it helped them create a connection with their users.

The lesson activists can learn from here is that Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and all the other social media platforms aren’t just tools for pushing content or hooking for donations; they’re also a way to interact and create meaningful connections with your followers. Listen to what people are saying, hump into the conversation and be part of the debate – this way, each and every contribution will feel all the more valuable.

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