The Impact of Social Share Buttons on Lead Generation

Most nonprofits use social share buttons on their website but often fall short of comprehensively integrating this channel with their lead generation strategy. Even those who do use the social share in email communications and blogs do not often track it’s impact.

Without analyzing your organization’s use of social media ‘share’ buttons, you really don't have a clear understanding of what a click on that link means to your organization. And it could result in a significant missed opportunity in lead generation.

In order to understand the impact of your social share buttons, you want to look at the origin of where the supporter shared and then follow the lifecycle of that action to when they donated.

Insights to be gathered: How long after clicking the initial ‘share’ button do they make a donation? Do they later become donors only after a series of touch points with your organization? How specifically do they engage with your organization after that initial ‘share’ (website, blog, etc)? Are you finding a pattern of activity after sharing on a specific channel or communication? How do those who ‘share’ impact your organization: how many new registered/non-donating supporters did they bring to your org? How many of those converted to donors and how much did they give?

According to GetReponse, newsletters that include social share buttons experience a 159% increase in click through rate over those without social share buttons. That’s an exciting statistic and validates the use of social share buttons. But it’s not enough that a donor simply share your content if it doesn't eventually translate into more supporters and more money for your cause. Having a simple ‘share’ button and then crossing your fingers for good luck isn’t going to make those ‘shares’ work for you in a meaningful way. Social media must be cultivated like every other channel. There should be a strategy behind your social sharing and learnings must be gained for use in future marketing campaigns.

In order to understand the impact of your lead nurturing campaigns, analyze the course of events that transpired up until the point a donation was made: where they came from, and what actions they took along the way. This exercise shouldn’t be time-consuming. Allot one-hour a week for the social media channel.

Here’s an exercise to get you started.

Week #1: Integrate social share buttons into ALL of your online channels and communications.

Week #2: Identify a segment you want to target for lead nurture.

Week #3: Create 2-3 ‘lead nurturing’ email campaigns that move them through the giving cycle.

Week #4: Follow those supporters from ‘share’ to ‘donate,’ evaluating all the actions that transpired in the process.

Once the results are in, you’ll have a much better idea for how effective your social share strategy really is, which messages work best, and what tact may work best for you in the future.