Sector: Nonprofit / Social & Racial Justice Project: CDFI Social Media Management
We used organic social media tactics to extend this small but mighty team's bandwidth and step up their CDFI social media presence. Our Social Media Management strategies have resulted in increased website traffic, new donors and grantees, broader participation in grantmaking state-wide, and greater presence among community partners.
As one of only 24 community development financial institutions (CDFIs) within Wisconsin state, Forward Community Investments (FCI) is dedicated to delivering responsible, affordable lending to help disinvested people and communities join the economic mainstream. As a CDFI, they are unique in their focus on racial equity and social and economic justice.
However, when they approached us, many in the community were unaware of their unique mission and vision. In the past, their communication efforts were focused on email and print media. FCI was interested in using their social media accounts more effectively, but limited staff bandwidth meant the process would need to be streamlined and efficient.
Initial goals for our work together included:
Increase awareness of their mission and offerings to a broader audience across the entire state of Wisconsin;
Attract new investors interested in aligning their social justice values with their investing choices;
Boost engagement with their social media content and bring attention to partner organizations, including former grantees, awardees, borrowers, and investors;
Provide information about their Game Changer Grant to a wider audience and grow the number of people applying each quarter;
Promote the annual Nan Cheney March for Justice Award event and increase registrations for the event.
We were initially engaged to manage the organization’s Facebook and Twitter social media channels, planning content in collaboration with staff on a monthly basis, then crafting posts that went out twice per week, freeing time up for FCI staff so that they could focus on other important efforts, such as event planning, grantmaking, and cultivating community support. After our first year of engagement, we expanded our work to posting three times per week.
In our continuing work with FCI, we implement smart organic strategies to build FCI's audience, to use social media for outreach to community foundations across the state who can help spread the word out about grant applications, and garner event registrations steadily over time with a modest budget for boosted content, proving that good strategy can outpace a large budget when it comes to obtaining great results.
Reaching new Donors and Grantees: Audience members 44 and under now make up nearly 50% of FCI's total audience on Facebook, where traditionally, the organization’s audience had skewed a bit older.
Elevating the Organization's Presence: On Facebook, link clicks and traffic to the website more than doubled, as the organization’s social media posts garnered 727,000 impressions. On Twitter, where retweets play a critical role in spreading grant notices across the state, our efforts yielded an increase in retweets, leading to a 78% increase in organic impressions.
Community Partnerships: Conversation and buzz around FCI's grantmaking, events, and advocacy for Wisconsin communities has grown as well. FCI reported greater engagement around events, with an increase in retweets by community partners and influencers.
"Sarah Best has helped us step up our social media presence in a MAJOR way. We get feedback from our partners stating this on a regular basis. SBS staff are always amazing to work with. They are prompt, responsive and provide us with great ideas on how to support our organization’s brand, but also our projects and partners as well. Cannot recommend them enough!"
- Tom Behnke, Manager, Communications and Development, Forward Community Investments