I started helping Bath Medical Museum with their social media in December 2017. We are all volunteers and, as live in London, I support the museum remotely through coordinating their online presence. Because I am not on the ground I rely on the other volunteers to send over interesting pictures, feedback and news to keep our feeds interesting and full of content.
Bath Medical Museum only opened its doors in 2012 and one of our biggest challenges is to get people through the door. We are a small charity without a marketing budget and we have turned to social to recruit volunteers, attract visitors and thank our supporters.
We have experimented with different social media networks and currently use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with varying levels of success and engagement.
But one of the things that has worked for us was our recent thank you campaign which acknowledged our donors, supporters and volunteers who all contributed to our Christmas in a World War One Hospital exhibition.
Here are low cost and simple ways for small charities to use social media to thank donors and supporters.
1. Share helpful resources
We have found that our community responds well when we share practical, useful and valuable information. By connecting them to valuable resources we hope to show our supporters how much we support and understand what they are interested in. Outside of social media our Project Manager, Dr Roberta Anderson, shares interesting content with the team of volunteers gleaned for a wide range of publications relating to museum work, heritage and medical history.
When we share this type of content our engagement goes through the roof.
2. Showcase your donors
As part of our “Thank You” campaign to donors we created simple images to share on social media. The text accompanying them (as the actual tweet) acknowledged their contribution and used phrases such as “Because of you…”, “Thanks to your generosity..” and where possible we included links to their websites or their twitter handles. Each of these posts were shared by the recipients but also amongst their networks too helping us to extend our reach whilst, at the same time, genuinely thanking our supporters and increasing awareness of them amongst our followers.
3. Retweet and repost your donors content
The first thing I did when I took over as Social Media coordinator was to make a twitter list of
BMM donors, sponsors, funders and major supporters.
This allows me to easily monitor their tweets and blogs posts so I can share their content on our social media channels which helps to build relationships between the museum and their organisations. We aren’t just interested in them when they support us but are genuinely interested in their news and their successes.
4. Use key hashtags
This is one that we are working on at the moment but two really popular ones are #ThankfulThursday #FollowFriday
By incorporating popular hashtags into your thank you campaigns and general tweets it also helps to extend awareness of both your organisations and your supporters.
Our website is the perfect spot to show public appreciation and we will be putting out a series of posts in the future that will showcase our supporters with information about what they do, how they helped the museum and links to their social media profiles and their logo.
Small Charity Week is an important point in our year. As a tiny, and very new, charity it is the chance for us to reflect on how far we have come and where we are going. We will be using the week to get to know other charities and expand our contacts within the sector. It is great to have a focus and see what else is happening out there.
- LUCY JANE SANTOS
SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR, BATH MEDICAL MUSEUM