Charities should leverage their trustees’ social media skills and networks as part of their content marketing strategy to increase visibility and spread their message
Charities can use social media to raise the visibility of what they do, build relationships with key stakeholders, demonstrate their impact and give out valuable information.
But charity marketers know it takes time, work and know-how to build a following online. What if there was someone who knew your charity inside out, who already had these skills and a lot of social media followers, and who could help amplify your efforts to the right people?
Zoe Amar, Charity Digital trustee and Chair of the Charity Digital Code of Practice argues that an underrated and cost-effective resource “is always the networks of your staff.”
“Think about who in your organisation might have a great network and then be a bit strategic about it. It’s a bit like the change we’ve seen in fundraising – there’s a shift away from campaign to campaign to focus on building a community of people who support and are passionate about what you do.”
In much the same way that brands might leverage online influencers with wider networks than them, charities should be thinking of ways they could be making use of their trustees where they already have a social media presence in the communities they want to reach.
If at least a few of your charity’s trustees don’t already have a social media presence – it’s about time they did.
The new Charity Digital Code, released in 2018 as a core set of goals and principles for charities’ success in the digital age, stresses the importance of trustees taking the lead on digital. In fact the very first principle, Digital Leadership states:
“Digital skills should be represented on all charity boards, with the aim of every trustee understanding how digital could increase their charity’s impact.”
The Code advises that Leaders and boards need to be exploring new ways of working and communicating, including the use of social media, and looking at how peers and similar organisations are already successfully using these tools.
Despite this, most charities (68%) rate their board’s skills as low or having room for improvement, according to the 2019 Charity Digital Skills Report.
If you don’t already have some digital skills representation on your board, you need to be strategic in your recruitment of new trustees and make well connected, social media savvy trustees a priority.
A first step is to ensure you are asking specifically for social media skills as part of your trustee recruitment advertising, and looking at their social media presence. Using social media itself to recruit will help attract people who are already active on those channels.
As well as showing that your charity is the authority in its area and the leaders in your particular field, leveraging the wider social media network of a trustee can be a win-win for them, helping them to fulfil their role better and be more connected with what’s going on in your community.
Charities should encourage less digitally-minded trustees to get involved by reminding them of this, and by making it clear how their involvement plays a key role in the charity’s social media strategy.
To enable your existing trustees to be social media champions: