Advocacy veterans know what moves their audience. Clear messaging. Narrative stories. Powerful calls to action.
Yet, even if your organization does everything right, punching that message through to advocates is challenging in an increasingly busy world where people are assaulted by information all day. How do companies, nonprofits and associations cut through the noise?
The answer can be found in technology. Phone2Action’s report, 9 Pro Tips for Advanced Grassroots Advocacy, provides many ways for organizations to communicate more effectively and mobilize their advocates, all by using readily available digital tools.
“We dig into specific tactics that leverage the latest in advocacy technology so you can take your advocacy program to the next level,” the report says. “If you’re still running your grassroots advocacy program like you were five years ago, you have a lot to gain from adopting some of the newest tactics.”
Take Advantage of Text
One potent strategy is text messaging. For years now, email has been the workhorse of the advocacy world, providing a cost-effective and efficient way for advocacy organizations to communicate with their audience.
As we all know, it still works. But it’s no longer a magic solution. Inboxes are crowded and people are understandably getting more discerning. Many programs are seeing mediocre results from tired, overused lists.
That’s why text is so powerful
Text messaging has a 99-percent open rate, reaching advocates wherever they go. Advocates opt-in, ensuring there is no messaging fatigue and opening up a world of strategies, from “daisy chaining” engagement activities to creating live calls to action at an event.
As Ximena Hartsock, co-founder and chief operating officer of Phone2Action, said at a recent webinar, “text messaging is King.”
Leverage Social Media With Advertising
Most organizations are using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn—and sometimes all four. Yet even if you are posting regularly, using imagery, and engaging with you audience, there’s no guarantee your message will be heard.
The reason is the “black box” nature of most social platforms, where secret algorithms control the content that advocates see. “Facebook and Instagram have both adjusted their algorithm so that even if a person likes or follows your page, your content won’t automatically appear in their News Feed,” the report says.
The answer is to combine advertising with organic posts to create a more sophisticated strategy. “Advocacy organizations need to follow the lead of companies searching for customers and incorporate paid advertising into their social strategy,” the report says. “While it does add an expense, the advantage is that Facebook ads target your potential supporters with near-surgical precision.”
Facebook Lead Ads allow organizations to move an advocate to action and capture their information, all in one step—and all without leaving Facebook. As the report says, “you can target, identify, and expand your advocate base with a single ad.”
Harness Artificial Intelligence
Of course, how you engage on social media is also important. Personal contact, in which a member of your organization interacts directly with a new advocate, gets the best results. But that’s a major lift for many organizations.
“Engaging with advocates directly is a powerful way to build your movement—but for most organizations, it’s not possible to hire a person to monitor and write personalized responses to messages as they come in 24/7 on Facebook,” the report says.
Again, the answer can be found in technology. AI “chatbots,” which are advanced enough to hold written conversations, act like an always-on member of your staff, allowing your organization to interact whenever your audience has the time.
“Chat sessions can be initiated with every supporter that contacts you,” the report says, “directing them to the information they need about your organization, your issues, and how they can help.”
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