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What is social media archiving for government agencies?

Social media archiving for government agencies is a component of open records laws. Social media is a public forum, and must be archived as such.

How is social media archiving regulated in the government sector?

Social media archiving regulations vary by country, and even by state. The common component is that social media is generally considered a public record.

The requirements for archiving are quite specific and can include:

Collecting social media metadata

Maintaining a record of content in its original format

Keeping social media records for s specific period of time

Maintaining data in a specific geographic location

Each jurisdiction also has its own privacy regulations. These impact what government agencies can post on social media. For example, the Government of British Columbia has Guidelines for Government Use of Social Media. These specify that the following topics are off-limits:

Anything currently going through the court system

Information about identifiable third parties without statutory authorization

Citizen engagement can encourage people to share personal information on social media. This is especially true when people share photos. This is a particularly important area to consider when thinking about data collection and archiving.

How to archive records on social media and stay compliant

Social media compliance is an ongoing challenge for all government agencies. Especially for those involved in active citizen engagement.

You need a comprehensive strategy for social media archiving. This ensures you have all the records you need to:

comply with legislation

respond to FOI requests,

address First Amendment challenges, and

improve transparency in government.

Set up archiving policies and procedures

Like any good compliance strategy, your archiving system must be built on a solid foundation. Your archiving policies and procedures are the supports upon which all of your recordkeeping is built.

As you build your policies, do a thorough review of the legislation applicable in your jurisdiction to make sure you comply with every detail.

For example, Australia’s privacy and public data policies require social content to be archived in Australian data centers. That means Australian government agencies can only work with archiving solutions that have data storage options within Australia – like Brolly, which is built into Hootsuite.

Build your archiving policies and procedures into your overall social media guidelines. That way, all staff who deal with social media have easy access to your most current policies at all times.

Bonus: Get a free, customizable social media guidelines template to quickly and easily create recommendations for your company and employees.

Be sure to include a clear process for approving new social media accounts. The more accounts your agency uses, the more you need to archive. Does every department need its own social channels? Perhaps they do, but there should be a strategic purpose for each new account. Before any new account goes live, make sure to add it to your archiving process.

Capture and preserve all social media content

Like we said above, social media content is considered part of the public record. That includes ALL social media communication on or with your social channels.

You might wonder why you need a special archive of your social media content. After all, it’s publically available on your social accounts. But social media platforms themselves are private-sector companies. They are not subject to open records laws. That means there’s no guarantee the social platforms will preserve your content forever.

Plus, if you ever delete or edit content, you need to keep a record of those changes. Open records laws require you to archive every version or every post presented to the public.

identifying information,

threats of violence,


and so on.

You should even keep a record of all content in which you are tagged or mentioned, since this can count as communication. Monitoring content in which you’re tagged or mentioned is a best practice for all social media users. It’s an important way to understand the conversation about you online. For government agencies, it’s critical.

In other words, you need purpose-built social media archiving tools for government. This is the only way to fully archive the conversation with constituents and comply with the law.

As a side note, social’s designation as a public record means you cannot block people from following your government agency social accounts. Archiving is one part of compliance with public records laws, but it’s by no means the whole picture. Check out our detailed blog post for everything you need to know about compliance for government agencies using social media.

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Include metadata and contextual information

Why? Because a screenshot is just an image, and images can be edited. That’s why social media archiving for government must include metadata and contextual information.

What device they used

An archive with complete metadata and contextual information allows you to reconstruct an entire social media conversation. You’ll have details and content that would otherwise be lost.

Make archived content accessible and searchable

The whole point of archiving open records information is that you can access it and provide it to citizens or journalists that submit a freedom of information request. For that to work, your archive needs to be secure but easily accessible by the appropriate members of your team.

Failure to comply with a freedom of information request or legal challenge can have serious legal and financial consequences. A complete and easy-to-use archive helps protect your agency from lawsuits and other punitive action.

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Audit your process on a regular basis

Social media changes fast. Social media legislation doesn’t move quite as quickly, but you can’t assume it will stay the same forever. And the tools available to archive social media content and improve compliance continue to evolve.

That means you need to review your archiving process regularly. You can choose what “regularly” means to your organization, but plan for a thorough social media audit at least quarterly.

For government agencies, that social media audit should include an audit of your archiving process and procedures.

Make sure any new social media accounts have been added to your archiving system. Review the archiving policies and procedures with staff both old and new. Assign someone on your team to monitor any changes in legislation. Be sure to voice these at the regular reviews if they have not yet been addressed.

Social media archiving with Hootsuite

When choosing your social media archiving tools for government compliance, it’s important to work with a trusted and secure vendor. To ensure the security of government and citizen data, the U.S. government requires all cloud services used by federal agencies to pass the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, aka FedRAMP.

Hootsuite is FedRAMP authorized. This identifies Hootsuite as a viable automated government social media archiving solution. Hootsuite also meets the requirements of FCA, IIROC, SEC, PCI, AMF, and MiFID II. This is why more than 2,000 government and public sector agencies use Hootsuite to manage their social media.

Hootsuite integrates with compliance solutions like ProofPoint and Brolly to keep your government social media presence secure. Brolly specifically creates a secure archive with social content, including context, metadata, links, images, and videos.

Inform and engage constituents, and manage archiving on social media with Hootsuite. From a single dashboard, you can schedule and publish content to every network, monitor relevant conversations, and measure public sentiment around programs and policies with real-time social listening and analytics. See it in action.

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See why Hootsuite is the #1 social media tool for government. Engage citizens, manage crises, and reduce risk online.

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How To Track Social Media Campaigns Using Google Analytics

Understanding how GA ‘UTM’ values can give you more insight into your social media marketing

This form of media has now become an integral part of our lives and continues to evolve. A few years ago the emphasis was on B2B companies being active and creating pages on sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter… now the conversation has swung and is moving towards the idea that every marketing campaign must be social.

With every month that passes, there seems to be an endless stream of new channels, terminologies, and the dialogue can be fascinating. But it can be very easy to get caught up with the new innovations and forget about what you’re currently doing. It seems that before you have got to grips with one channel there is another one to topple that, and it requires your undivided attention.

The evolving digital landscape

The latest research on the use of different social networks shows that there is a huge choice of existing social media channels and a stream of new channels. We need to keep an eye on the new options, but this can sometimes get in the way of making social media marketing measurable in a meaningful way. We are too busy ‘doing’ social and trying to figure the best way of using them so measurement can be neglected.

As the digital world keeps expanding (let’s not forget you are dealing with email, website, PPC, SEO, remarketing, and content to name a few) it is very easy to get overloaded and overlook the key reason you attempted social in the first place.

Interestingly the ‘social’ nature of these channels are really useful for engaging prospects and customers (here’s a really interesting infographic summing up the 6 major social channels). Rather than the dodgy reputation that haunts sales departments (‘why are they not listening to me? Maybe it’s end of the month and they need to hit their commission’), social media allows you to build a relationship in an informal, personable, low-pressured way. Sounds like a good thing to do right….?

Measuring social engagement

So you need a way to measure engagement and how this translates to business results on your site.

When we talk to customers we find that most B2B marketers are naturally cynical and fall into one of two camps when it comes to social media marketing:

1. Those not doing it and thinking it is a waste of time and

2. Those doing it and wondering if it is a waste of time.

There’s that niggling feeling that there must be a way to make social media work that just won’t go away. In our experience that uncertainty is born out of a total lack of meaningful measurement.

Social media has a whole range of self-fulfilling metrics that enable those charging for their social media services to justify their own existence. The value of a retweet to the bottom line of your business is quite intangible.

Like any marketing activity, we must be able to track and measure its ROI. What is it delivering to the business in terms of opportunities? You cannot improve what you cannot measure after all.

Introducing how to use Google Analytics UTMs for measuring social media marketing

Do you know what UTMs are and do you use them? If you answer ‘no’ I would suggest you’re missing out since tracking campaigns with them is one of the most underused and undervalued things in digital marketing.

At a practical level UTM parameters are bits of text added to the end of your URL, technically called a query string since they’re separated by a question mark from the web address.

For example, a URL with UTM values from this post taking you to CommuniGator’s GatorSocial page could be tagged as:

It helps you track where your links are coming from but more importantly the actual source and content. Once you have goals setup in Google Analytics you can use them to track all of your links and measure the success of marketing activities, like social media and guest blog posting.

To explain the full details of measuring social media, download our social media measurement whitepaper which will help you get the most out of you social media and make sure you are able to ascertain what value it is providing to your business.

The paper covers the five key areas below – I hope you enjoyed the read and find it useful.

1. Social Profiles: First Impressions Count

2. Audiences: Follow You, Follow Me

3. Content: A Kingsize Challenge

3. Analytics: Meaningful Measurement

4.Conclusion: Managing the Marketing Mix

Image Credit / Copyright: Marcel De Grijs/ 123RF Stock Photo.

Thanks to Simon Moss for sharing his opinions and thoughts in this blog post. Simon Moss is a Chartered Marketer with over eight years’ marketing experience gained primarily in the B2B marketplace. He currently looks after the marketing for CommuniGator and WOW Analytics, a leading digital marketing agency providing email marketing solutions and cutting edge technology that enables you to maximise the value of every visit to your website – identifying and naming prospects visiting corporate websites. You can follow him on LinkedIn or connect on Twitter. For more information on lead scoring and to receive a demonstration and trial, visit the WOW Analytics website or call us on 0844 880 2899.

How To Align Your Content & Social Media Efforts For Link Building Success

Link building. What is it good for? Absolutely everything.

But, seriously. Generating high-quality links to your website is not only valuable to build authority, it also helps:

Drive referral traffic.

Increase brand visibility.

Reach new audiences.

While the many benefits of link building are clear, SEO professionals are challenged to select the tactics that will have the biggest impact.

It might seem overwhelming. There are so many potential strategies to execute, including:

Third-party outreach.

Competitive link analysis.

Brand mentions identification.

Business profile optimization.

Trade associations.

Industry affiliations.

But backlinks are just one of the many factors that search engine algorithms use to rank a website.

You also need to focus on technical site elements, on-page content optimizations, new content development, and the list goes on.

Leveraging Content & Social to Support Link Building

There are two essential parts of naturally generating authoritative backlinks to a website:

Producing high quality, link-worthy content.

Promoting that quality content strategically.

For this reason, aligning content and social media efforts with your link building initiatives is crucial. In this article, I’ll be providing a variety of tactics to do just that.

Creating Link-Worthy Content

Let’s start with the first part of generating authoritative backlinks to your site – producing high-quality content.

It’s important that content and link building efforts are aligned from the very start, before the content creation process even begins.

Not only will this ensure that you’re creating the write type of content, but it will also help you reach and engage key targets when possible, whether that includes specific influencers, industry publications or other third-party websites.

When it comes to creating valuable and link-worthy content, here are some of the tactics that I’ve found to be successful.

Influencer Insights

Create content around industry influencers or experts by sharing their unique insights.

This will offer valuable content to your readers, further position you as a thought leader in the space, and encourage these influencers/experts to share the asset with their highly targeted audiences.

This content could include:

Interview-style articles.


Lists of predictions or trends.


Get creative based on the type of content that you know your audiences is most receptive too.

The best place to start with identifying influencers? Your link building targets.

If you don’t already have a list established, use FollowerWonk to determine credible profiles that are related to the topic.

For example, if you are writing a piece about The Top Artificial Intelligence Predictions for 2023, you can use FollowerWonk to search Twitter bios that reference “artificial intelligence” or “AI”.

Then, sort by Social Authority and Followers to find the best opportunities.

Once the asset is published, be sure to reach out to the people/websites directly, and let them know that you’ve mentioned them in the article.

Depending on your relationship with them, you could even directly ask them to link to it.


No matter what industry you’re in, research is valuable, which makes it link-worthy.

What common questions are you hearing from customers or clients?

It’s likely that other people within the industry have already been asked, or will be asked, similar questions. These types of considerations should help spike ideas for research-based content assets.

People love to reference statistics that prove the value of their jobs, or research that backs initiatives that are typically more difficult to get buy-in from leadership.

Once you distribute this research across social media (and, I’ll get to that shortly), this extremely valuable asset will naturally generate links.

You should consider ways to further align this with link building initiatives from the beginning.

If you have a list of specific link targets related to the topic, be sure to share the article once it’s live. If you don’t have a list already built out, again – you can use FollowerWonk for this.

Or, BuzzSumo also allows you to search for a topic/keyword to determine profiles that are sharing similar content.


By sharing resources and tools throughout your content, you are making the piece more actionable for readers and creating the opportunity to share the asset with those you are promoting.

To improve your chances of acquiring a link, it’s important to put yourself in the shoes of both your blog subscribers and link building targets.

What would make this asset more valuable for readers?

An outline of not only tactics, but also:

The specific tools they can use.

How they can use the tools.

Insights on what other experts have to say.

Other resources and guides around the topic.

Bonus: Each of these elements also presents the opportunity to reach out to the sites mentioned, and encourage them to share the asset and link to it.

What would make this asset link-worthy for the targets mentioned?

If you’re referencing a tool, provide an explanation of what exactly it is, why it’s so helpful, key features, how they can use the tool, and screenshots of what the tools look like.

If your content includes insights or other resources/guides, call out why the guide is unique, what it has to offer, and what makes the resource so credible.

Promoting Content Strategically

OK, so you’ve created all of this amazing content. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that’s really only half the battle. Now, you need to promote it appropriately and strategically.

One of the most effective ways to do this is via social media.

Here are some specific ways you can use social media to support your link building campaigns. 

Post Sharing

How you’re sharing content across social media can be a make or break when it comes to link building.

With the number of automated messages going out on social media, you need to figure out a way to stand out to your targets.

For example, instead of tagging every person/website in one tweet, send out individual tweets that are engaging and won’t come off as automated.

Use their name, say something that shows you know them, consider using custom graphics, or quoting them in separate social updates.

Direct Outreach

It’s important that you reach out to the people and websites mentioned in your content directly, whether via direct message on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or email.

Automated messages also won’t cut it when it comes to direct outreach. Here, it’s especially important to create personalized messages that stand out to your targets.

In addition to reaching out directly to those mentioned in the asset, look for other opportunities to distribute across the community.

Leverage some of the tools mentioned above (FollowerWonk and BuzzSumo) to figure out who has shared your content in the past, and may be interested in the topic at hand.

Or, aim to turn sharers into linkers by analyzing the users who have shared your asset on social media that may be an applicable link building opportunity.

You can even set up Google Alerts using related keywords to determine specific articles or websites that would benefit from linking to the asset. 


Now that you’ve created this extremely link-worthy asset, make sure it gets in front of your key targets.

There are numerous targeting options that could be successful here; however, the most refined approach would be to create Tailored Audiences using the list of link building targets that you’ve gathered and/or those mentioned in the article.

You can target those specific profiles, as well as their followers.

Final Thoughts 

Integrating and aligning your link building tactics with content marketing and social media efforts can help move the needle. All this while making your digital marketing campaigns more efficient.

Remember, high-quality content is essential, especially when your goal is to build links back to a website.

Distributing engaging and personalized messages on social media is also key. These principles should remain at the foundation of your digital marketing strategy.

Hopefully this article has given you some actionable ways to align your content and social media efforts, in order to drive link building success.

More Resources:

Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, February 2023

How To Manage Social Media For Business In Only 18 Minutes A Day

If you’re in charge of multiple marketing activities for your company, you may not have much time on your hands to dedicate to social media.

Many small business owners don’t have the bandwidth to manage social media accounts—let alone the budget to hire dedicated team members or a social media manager.

But that doesn’t make social media management any less important. People expect to be able to connect with businesses on social platforms: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or even TikTok. Without an active presence, your company may be forgotten, lose customers to competition—or worse yet, look neglectful.

Plus, you may be missing out on new customers. More than 40% of digital shoppers use social media to research new brands and products.

For those who are short on time, we’ve put together an 18-minute plan. This plan takes you minute-by-minute through the social necessities, highlighting time-saving tips along the way.

If you’ve got more time for social, use it. But for those who don’t, here’s how to make every minute count.

The 18-minute-a-day social media plan

Here’s a down-to-the-minute look at how to stay on top of social.

Minutes 1-5: Social listening

Start off with five minutes devoted to social listening. What does that mean, exactly? In simple terms, it comes down to monitoring the conversations people are having on social media about your business niche.

Social listening can involve tracking keywords, hashtags, mentions, and messages for your brand and competitors. But don’t worry, you don’t have to manually scour the internet. There are tools that make tracking a lot easier (*cough* social media management tools like Hootsuite).

In Hootsuite, you can set up streams to monitor all your social channels from one dashboard. This makes it easier for you to engage with mentions from followers, customers, and prospects later on.

Here are a few things you should check and take note of each day:

Mentions of your brand

Mentions of your product or service

Specific hashtags and/or keywords

Competitors and partners

Industry news and trends

If your business has a physical location or storefront, use geo-search to filter for local conversations. That will help you focus on customers that are close to you, and the local topics they care about.

Tip: If you have some extra time to invest upfront, take our free course Social Listening with Hootsuite Streams to save more time in the long run.

Minutes 5-10: Analyze your brand mentions

Take another five minutes to analyze your findings. Doing this will help you fine-tune your social listening process and marketing efforts. Here are some of the aspects you should keep in mind:


Sentiment is a good place to start. How are people talking about your brand? How does it compare with how they are talking about your competitors? If things are mostly positive, that’s great. If negative, start thinking about ways you can steer the conversation in a more positive direction.


Do your customers have specific feedback about your business? Look for recurring trends and insights that you can act on.

For example, if you run a restaurant and a lot of people find the music too loud, turn it down. If you offer a product, such as gym bands, and customers express an interest in more color options, you’ve just spotted a new sales opportunity.


What are the current trends in your industry? Spotting them can help you identify new niches and audiences to engage with. Or, maybe they’ll inspire content for your next marketing campaign. Even better—maybe they’ll inform the development of a new product or service.

Purchase intent

Social media listening doesn’t only involve tracking conversations from current customers. It can help you find new customers, too. Track phrases or topics that prospective customers may use when they’re in the market for your offering.

For example, if your company is a travel provider, in January you may want to track keywords like “winter blues” and “vacation.”


Have you noticed a new keyword emerging? Or maybe you’ve noticed a common typo when people mention your brand. Maybe a new competitor has entered the playing field. Keep an eye out for things you should add to your social media listening tracking list.

Minutes 10-12: Check your content calendar

Check your content calendar to see what you’ve planned to post for the day. Double-check that visuals, photos, and copy are all good to go. Always make sure to proofread one last time to spot those last minute typos.

Hopefully, you already have a social media marketing plan and content calendar in place. If you don’t, plan to set aside about an hour each month to brainstorm and prepare ideas, and fill in your calendar.

Tip: If you don’t have time or budget for high-production content, consider adding user-generated content, memes, or curated content to your social media calendar.

Minutes 12-13: Schedule your posts

With the right tools, it should only take you about a minute to schedule your social media posts. All you have to do is add your content, select the time you’d like to publish it, and schedule.

Schedule content for times when people are most likely to be online. In general, Hootsuite research finds that the best time to post on social media is between 9 a.m. and 12 a.m. EST. But that can vary platform by platform. And, of course, depending on where your target audience is based.

Check out the best times and days to post on your Facebook Page, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Tip: Use analytics to see when your audience is usually online, too. It may be different from the global average.

Minutes 13-18: Engage with your audience

The more positive the experience, the more likely people will be to buy from you and recommend your business. In fact, more than 70% of consumers who have a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to refer the brand to friends and family.

DM us and we can help with recommendations!

— Glossier (@glossier) April 3, 2023

To save time, you can create templates for common responses. These are particularly useful when you find yourself frequently sharing the same specific details, like opening hours or return policies.

But don’t overuse boilerplate responses. People appreciate authenticity and want to feel like a real person is engaging with them. Even something as simple as leaving customer service agent initials in replies increases goodwill from consumers.

Tip: When possible, try to engage shortly after posting something. If you’ve timed it right, that’s when your audience will be online and engaging. That way you’ll interact with people in real time and maintain a good response time, too.

Looking for more time-saving social media tools? These 9 social media templates will save you hours of work.

Save time managing your social media presence with Hootsuite. From a single dashboard you can publish and schedule social media content, find relevant conversions, engage the audience, measure results, and more. Try it free today.

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Social Media Marketing Planning Mistakes

6 mistakes that will doom your social media strategy

Sure, you can be active in social media without a plan, but a company that uses social media marketing without a clear idea of what they want to achieve, and the steps they need to take to get there, is usually going to waste a lot of time and money, without seeing a return.

I think that a written strategy document is crucial for online success. But of course, not all social media strategies are created equal! Many times, the factors that make the difference between success and failure do not just concern what is in the document. Equally important are the steps companies take before and after compiling it. Here are some of the mistakes I’ve seen with social media planning which I look to make businesses aware of.

6 mistakes to avoid with your social media planning

Here are 6 of the most common mistakes, in the planning process and some ideas on how you can avoid them.

1. You don’t do your homework

Contrary to common perception, a social media strategy is not the first step you take when you decide to ramp up your efforts online. If you’ve already been dabbling on social media or implementing a strategy that is just not showing results, you first have to audit your previous efforts, to figure out what’s worked and what hasn’t, and what foundation you have to build on.

Ideally, you want to audit what your competitors are doing too, as their strategy will directly inform yours. You need to know where you are behind, where there are gaps in the market, and what tactics they are using that you can learn from (an enormous time-saver).

Last but not least, it is hard to build a really effective social media strategy without properly researching your target audience. Ideally, you want to build buyer personas, so that you know exactly who you are trying to reach, and what kind of material will speak to them.

Barring that, you should still look at any research your company has conducted into its client base; talk to your sales and marketing team; monitor relevant conversations on social media and so on, to build up as good a picture as you can get.

The more facts you have, the better your strategy will be. To get an idea of what should go into a social media review, Smart Insights Expert members can download the social media audit template or example social media plan I have developed based on the approach we use.

2. You write your strategy alone

In a larger company, as head of marketing, communications or social media, it may be tempting to handle the whole strategy process within your own department. Perhaps you understand social media better than anyone else in your company or are keener than anyone else to get going?

Ultimately this will work against you, because the social media strategy needs to be widely accepted across your organisation. Get other internal stakeholders involved early in the process. The last thing you want is to develop a detailed strategy that is roundly rejected when your CEO, fellow Directors or legal department finally get their hands on it!

Beyond the political aspect, there are practical implications to working alone as well. Your online marketing will be far more effective if it is properly coordinated with your offline marketing. If someone else is in charge of that area, it is absolutely essential that you work closely with them on developing your social media strategy, and not inform them of your decisions after the fact.

3. You start with the platforms

All too often, the first decision companies make when developing their social media strategy is which platforms they should be present on. In reality, this should be the very last decision you take.

Before you ever get to that stage, you need to figure out your goals for social media (do you want to build your reputation? Grow your client base? Simply monitor conversations that are relevant to your brand?).

How you achieve these goals will form your strategy: We’ll use social media to reach out to potential referrers, or to build up our email database, or to develop our thought leadership (for example).

Which platforms you are going to use are a tactical detail! Only once you’ve figured out what you want to achieve and how you are going to do it, can you decide whether Facebook, Twitter or Instagram will be the best vehicle for your purpose.

Doing it the other way round will mean that your strategy is inside-out. It’s like deciding that you’re going to buy a Porsche before working out why you really need a new car (to get the kids to school each morning) and what type would be best (a 7-seater so you can join a rota with another family).

4. Your strategy is too long

Granted, you want your strategy to be comprehensive. But you also need your team to be able to refer to it easily. If you expect them to ever read it, keep it as short and light as you can.

Often it will still be too long, so create a one-page summary of the most important points, which they can refer to at a glance.

5. You distribute it and then forget about it

Too many strategies end up in a draw gathering dust. If you want your strategy to be actively used, you need to take a proactive approach.

Show your staff that the strategy is updated with their practical issues in mind. Bring the strategy with you, and refer to it, during all meetings relating to your social media programme. Ensure that it is easily accessible to all relevant staff and that there is an electronic copy they can search easily.

It is up to you to ensure that the document is integrated into your daily activities and discussions, informing and guiding them, and not treated as a Platonic ideal that is great in theory, but ignored in practise.

6. You treat your strategy as a sacred document

Social media evolves fast and your strategy has to change with it. It is essential that you keep up with changes that might affect you, and not stick blindly to a social media strategy that might have been appropriate 3 months ago, but is suddenly under-performing.

Your document must not become a convenient excuse to stick with a failing strategy!

Treat it as a living document.

How To Fundraise On Social Media: 12 Tips To Increase Donations

Find out how to fundraise on social media, get inspired by examples of successful campaigns, and learn about the tools that will boost your efforts.

In 2014, pro golfer Chris Kennedy Tweeted a dare to three friends: dump a bucket of icy water on your head within 24 hours or donate $100 to support ALS. The now-famous ice bucket challenge went viral, raised $115 million in donations, and funded new treatments for the disease. The campaign set the standard for how to fundraise on social media.

Not every social media donation drive delivers such stunning results. There’s competition for scrolling thumbs, and the platforms themselves keep throttling the reach of organic posts.

But social media is still fertile ground for fundraising. Non-profits, universities, government agencies, and hospitals will find energetic supporters ready to help meet funding goals there. The trick is knowing how to do it.

How to fundraise on social media: 12 tips

But there’s more to promoting a fundraiser on social media than simply posting pretty pictures. These 12 tips show you how to create a fundraising strategy, network with followers, and track your progress.

1. Create a goal-oriented plan

Any social media fundraising campaign needs both a destination and a roadmap.

The destination is your goal. It’s probably based on dollars donated. But it could also include other key performance indicators (KPI) like total new donors, repeat donors, or average donation amount. Pick a reasonable target based on previous drives and a stretch goal. That’ll motivate your team to blow past previous campaigns.

The roadmap is your campaign plan. It’s the how and when that’ll lead to achieving your goal. Your social media campaign plan should include:

Start and end dates

The types of posts you’ll publish

Hashtags, both specific (like #ALSicebucketchallenge) and general (like #ALSsucks)

How people will donate

Roles and responsibilities for the team

A budget for things like paid post distribution if applicable

Consistency is key in social media. So while creating your plan, explain how you’ll publish content regularly. One option is to produce a batch of posts and schedule them for release at optimal times.

2. Pick the right social platform

The demographics of your donors and the type of content you’ll publish dictate which social platforms you use.

Here’s how each of the most widely used social media apps stacks up.

Facebook’s users skew older than the average audience on other socials. It’s also a versatile platform to post videos, images, long-form text, and managed events.

Instagram’s audience is concentrated between 18 and 34-year-olds. The platform is primarily visual, so it’s the place for a carousel of photos and videos.

LinkedIn is where professionals go to find jobs and talk shop. Regardless of age, this is where you’ll inspire corporate donations.

TikTok is the platform to use if your goal is to reach Gen Z; most people on the platform are under 34. Funny, educational short videos are the key to success here.

YouTube holds a unique position on this list as the place for long-form videos. They give you more space to tell a deeper story. There’s a cross-generational audience on YouTube, so just make sure your content matches your target demographic.

3. Optimize your content for mobile

Most people flip through social feeds on their phone (e.g., 97.4% of Facebook users access via the mobile app). You want your posts to shine on small devices.

Here’s a fundraising post from Water for People that’s optimized for mobile.

See how they shortened the link via chúng tôi That’s another way to keep the copy tight. They also put the full link in their bio. IG doesn’t let you link in captions, so make sure donors know where to go.

One thing missing from this post is a donate button so followers could donate without leaving Instagram. We’ll explain how that works in a minute.

4. Show and tell your story

Researcher Paul Zak uncovered an interesting truth about our brains. We’re more likely to support a cause when we hear stories about it.

That’s why your fundraising posts should include emotional stories about the people, places, or animals you help.

The Make-A-Wish team is masterful at telling stories on YouTube. Their features show supporters how their donations change lives. Watching a child, who’s been through the roughest of times, meet their hero is a powerful motivator.

These videos are beautifully produced, but you don’t need a professional videographer or voiceover pro to create yours. Sixty seconds of iPhone footage or a well-timed photograph can be just as persuasive. Combine it with a quick paragraph on how your organization uses funds, and new donors will jump at the chance to help.

Alright, you’ve captured the hearts and minds of new supporters with your fabulous posts. But if it takes seven steps to donate, some givers will move on. Luckily, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok let donors give without leaving the platform.

Here’s an adorable example from the Hotel for Homeless Dogs. They presented a carousel of cute canines, then added a fundraising link to the post.

Facebook also has an automated thank-you tool to show appreciation without extra work on your team. And several apps let you add donate stickers or buttons to live streams so donors can give during live events.

6. Use your bio

Posts are usually the star of your social media fundraising campaign. But don’t forget your bio. It’s valuable space you can maximize on every social media platform.

Check out how St Jude’s Children’s Hospital uses its profile to raise money.

The bio is so effective because it has:

a “Donate Now” button that links to their donation website

a fundraising link so followers can donate and share from Instagram

a link to their store

several pinned Stories that show other ways to give

That’s an efficient use of valuable real estate.

7. Enlist your supporters

The network effect is influential on social media. A single request can find its way onto thousands of feeds when people share it around.

The American Heart Association tapped into the network effect with its #keepthebeat challenge. They asked followers to share a video with creative ways to move to a beat. Dancing, bouncing, and even kicking were all on the table.

People posting videos challenged three friends to find their own way to keep the beat. Each post included a text-to-donate number so viewers could donate from their phone.

Peer-to-peer fundraisers like this are popular on social media and there are several versions of them. Birthday campaigns—where users post your donation link on their birthday—are simple. Giving days, like #givingtuesday, are common, too.

8. Collaborate with creators and KOLs

It takes time to build an audience of passionate patrons. Shortcut the process by tapping into the existing networks of popular social media creators and key opinion leaders.

Step one, find the right partner for your fundraiser. Aim for someone who has an audience you want to reach and a vibe that matches your goal. Here, the British Red Cross collabed with men’s lifestyle guru Ehab Ali.

Ali showed sharp dressers they could find fine fashions in the BRC resale shops, and support a great cause at the same time.

Ali and the BRC used Instagram’s Collaborate feature. You can see that both accounts are tagged. That means BRC’s followers and Ali’s audience sew the reel. Your partners can also add donate buttons to their posts or links to your giving pages in their bios.

However you decide to collaborate, don’t worry about finding top-tier celebrities with massive audiences. (Although if Selena Gomez wants to shout out your org, even better.) Look for micro-influencers with a few thousand followers that are easier to reach. Or partner with like-minded corporations or other non-profits. Whatever helps you boost the signal to new audiences.

Bonus: Get the influencer campaign template for brands to easily plan your next campaign and choose the best social media influencer to work with.

9. Consider paid posts

Social media algorithms prioritize posts from close connections. That’s great for user experience but makes reaching donors difficult with organic posts. One solution is to spend on sponsored posts.

Sponsored posts, Tweets, or videos are available on almost every social media channel. The best part is that you can pick an ideal audience to view your donation requests. Say your organization helps people overseas like the World Food Program does. You could tell Facebook to show your post to travel enthusiasts.

Source: World Food Program USA on Facebook

You can target an audience by demographics like location, age, interest, or activity like former donors. You can even find a “look-a-like” audience with similar characteristics to people who already follow you.

Of course, the downside to sponsored posts is the cost. But if you start with a small investment, it won’t break the bank to test the waters. Then use metrics to see what’s working and focus your budget on the places with the highest return.

10. Say thanks and celebrate the wins

You set benchmarks for success in your plan. When you hit them, celebrate publicly and thank all the donors that helped get you there. You’ll remind current supporters that their help matters and sweep new donors up in the excitement.

When the American Heart Association hit a million-dollar milestone in one of its campaigns, people took to TikTok to share the love.


THANK YOU!! YOU ALL & so many others have come together to raise $1,038,645.56 & counting for the American Heart Association! This life-changing accomplishment and milestone will save lives for years to come. This is a testament that the power we have when we come together is unlimited. ❤ @kfiercce @kristinekapow @kickinitwithk20 @marriedwithflaws @nadines_heart @scottdhenry @shannonwinnington @duetraiders @swoledds @thehealingheart @themccartys @vanessacutting

♬ original sound – American Heart

The beauty of this strategy is that the AHA supporters did all the work. Plus, they shared the post with their network, expanding its organic reach beyond the charity’s page. That’s a lot of exposure for their fundraising campaigns without a lot of work put on volunteers.

11. Track and analyze performance

The best results analysis includes both big-picture views and granular, post-level tracking. A few metrics to review include:

Engagement rate



Profile visits

You can pull these metrics individually from each platform. Or you can create a custom dashboard in Hootsuite that collects data from several social media apps.

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It’s much easier to compare when you can see like-for-like results from each social media app. And with Hootsuite, you get benchmarks from your industry to know how you compare.

Most fundraising organizations run lean. There’s never enough time to do all the work that needs to get done. The right social media tools let your team work more efficiently and effectively.

Social media platforms offer options to help fundraisers get a leg up on other organizations.

Facebook’s fundraising suite includes donate buttons, supporter fundraising campaigns, and automated ‘thank you’ replies.

Instagram offers support buttons, fundraiser posts, donation stickers, and several ways to collaborate with creators and celebrities.

YouTube’s non-profit program gives you dedicated technical support and Link Anywhere Cards—links that direct viewers to your fundraising website (there’s also a YouTube program specifically for education organizations).

TikTok for Good has plenty of crowdfunding campaign ideas and fundraiser tools, including account management support.

You’ll also need a fundraising landing page if you don’t already have one built into your website. Donorbox and Little Green Light are good options.

For creating, scheduling, and managing social media posts and campaigns, Hootsuite has you covered.

Composer is where you’ll build and schedule posts in Hootsuite. You can write text, add images and videos, and even design posts using Canva (without leaving the Hootsuite dashboard).

There’s a Grammarly plugin to avoid any embarrassing spelling mistakes. Plus, Composer will suggest the optimal time to publish your post.

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You’ll likely post on a variety of social media platforms. In Hootsuite, you can manage all your paid and organic posts from Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. And as mentioned, you can view the analytics in one place.

How to fundraise on social media: FAQs Can social media be used for fundraising? Can I fundraise on Instagram? Which social media platform is the best for fundraising?

The best social media platform for fundraising depends on your donor demographics and the types of content you’ll share. Facebook and Twitter users skew older, TikTok younger, and Instagram has a more multi-generational audience.

How do I get people to donate on social media?

Social media is a flexible communication channel with many methods to motivate donors. You can post a direct donation link to your account, ask followers to create fundraising posts on your behalf, and collaborate with creators to tap into their network of followers.

Use Hootsuite to manage your next fundraising campaign on social media. From a single dashboard, you can schedule and publish posts across networks, engage the audience, and measure results. Try it free today.

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