Managing your social media when you're struggling for time
by Ashley Elliott
When I first started in the charity sector, I was a lone worker. Not just a lone fundraiser, but the only member of staff for the whole charity. As a grant giving charity, heavily reliant on community fundraising, the role was quite demanding.

One of the things I always struggled with was planning my time effectively. So much of what I did was reactive or dependent on the timescales of others. Managing the social media channels was one thing which suffered.

When things were really manic I thought I didn’t have the capacity to ensure there was regular content. But that wasn’t true. There were things I could have implemented earlier and small tweaks I could have made to ensure that the accounts always had activity.

For any charities out there who have a small team and are struggling with managing their social media – here are some ideas to make your life a little easier and hopefully help you to generate more activity.

Decide which platforms you want to use, how you want to use them and focus your efforts on those. If you’re not achieving what you want on each of the platforms, why not pick one, focus your efforts on that and see what difference you can make with some dedicated resource?

Try not to just rely on real-time content direct from your charity. Follow other charities you admire or who are doing good work in the area and share their stuff too.

Set aside half an hour a week or a fortnight to plan your content. Use Hootsuite or a similar application and pre-programme what you want to say.

Stockpile a bank of images and generic information you can schedule throughout the year so there’s less time without sharing content across the platforms. Authentic images are always better, but if you are struggling to get enough then there are websites you can use to access free images, so long as you follow their rules. Pixabay and Unsplash are two great sites to start with.

Share stories linking back to the people you’re trying to help - people give to people, so sharing individual stories can have a greater impact.

Review key milestones and celebrate success annually – not just projects, but also key fundraising events.

Share stats or information relevant to your local area or cause to help demonstrate the need for support.

Schedule in snippets shared directly from your website for easy content: aims, objectives, vision, nice quotes from beneficiaries or team members/volunteers – this is a really easy one to schedule in advance because the content is already there and it won’t really change.

Schedule in a regular fundraising ask – this could either be sponsorship, one off appeal or a shout out for people to do something – link these back to your projects if you can.

Ask questions to engage in a conversation with your followers - projects are really good for asking people what they think, but there’s nothing to stop you asking for their thoughts on fundraising events, or anything else you have going on.

Have a look through awareness days and events and select some which are relevant to your cause. Schedule posts for these days with the relevant hashtags. There are social calendars already out there to give you an idea of where to start. Twitter created this handy guide to help you tie in with national events.

If you have any suggestions to add to this list please do let me know! It would be great to update this blog with tips from around the country. If you have something to add please drop me a line at Ashley.Elliott@kedaconsulting.co.uk.