Recently, it took me close to two days to look through all 600+ of our TntMPD names to decide who to challenge for an fund appeal. The next day, one of the women I was going to call, Peggy, popped up on Facebook with the news about her mother’s serious cancer. Now that we know Peggy’s family situation, we won’t contact them at this time, but “just” be a friend now. That’s what she needs, obviously. We see her most Sundays at church and will be praying for them.
Check Social Media Regularly
This reminded me I need to check Facebook and LinkedIn before connecting with people, so let’s help you get started, too, with some great MPD social habits!
First, friend your financial partners on Facebook and LinkedIn. (You could choose other sites if you wish.) You’ll need to do this repeatedly as people will join later. Also, make sure TntMPD has up-to-date social media information. You can paste the links to profiles into the appropriate fields for each donor. If you use MPDx this information is already synced. It’s likely many of your donors would love being on Facebook with you and being connected, too.
Next, I’d like you to make a list of your donors in Facebook. It’s really quite easy. (here’s how). You can make this list a “favorite” and the list’ll be in the upper left sidebar. Do this by clicking on “Friends” in the left sidebar. You’ll see all your lists with a gear icon on the right which you can click to add or remove a list from favorites. Daily or weekly, visit your MPD list; you’ll only see the “feed” from your financial partners. Like, comment, and share as you go through their news.
If you want to, use that list to post your Facebook status only to your group of donors instead of posting a public announcement on your wall. This is helpful if what you’re sharing would really only be of interest to them.
Also, get in the habit of acknowledging birthdays when you see them (look in the upper right corner of your Home page).
And What about Facebook Pages or Groups?
If you want all your donors to know your news and prayer requests, I don’t recommend Facebook. Only a portion of your donors receive what you send from your wall or from a page or group. On the other hand, a group or page can be a fun way to share an in-the-moment prayer request or photos with just these special people. I invited 150 financial partners to a secret Facebook group for prayer requests, posting two to four times per month. I usually only hear from two to six people after posting, but they always appreciate the chance to know about our opportunities and to pray for us. Try a Facebook prayer group with a handful to test this out first, if you like. I recommend making it a secret group, especially if you want to send prayer requests.
Check Social Media before Contacting
Take that extra step to see what’s new on their social media sites, not just through your Facebook MPD list feed, before phoning or setting up appointments with your donors. (Checking LinkedIn on one donor a few years ago, we learned he was unemployed.) Knowing your financial partners’ Facebook news is good for conversation starters and shows you’re interested in them. Obviously, if you see a need, I recommend contacting them directly and as soon as possible to express your concern and to listen and pray.
Looking for the following information may determine what you’ll do:
- Are they having major house repairs done?
- Do they have kids in college?
- Are they going through medical treatments?
- Are they job-hunting?
- Are they dealing with a recent death in their family?
- Is a baby due any minute?
- Are they traveling right now?
Conversation-starters can include:
- Their hobbies
- Recent wedding or new baby in the family
- Anniversaries or reunions
- Award recognitions
What are you going to start doing regularly in social media to be more connected with your financial partners? This summer, I started using Facebook (and email and text-messaging) to arrange a phone appointment in order to hopefully eliminate trouble getting through.
<< First (in You-Can-Too series)
- Read tutorial posts on e4e about social media.
- Want more ideas? Check out Stacie Fletcher’s MPD and Social Media.
- I recommend Top 10 Trends: How Major Donors Are Changing and What to Do about It.