More and more charities are turning to social media to build relationships, which makes it a great platform to recruit new volunteers.
Contact the Elderly organises monthly tea parties for small groups of older people who live alone. Volunteers play a key role in managing these local groups and, as the charity grows, we need to find more.
In the past few years, we’ve really upped our social media game. Here are my top 5 tips for recruiting volunteers through social media.
Take advantage of local groups
When it comes to finding local volunteers, I’ve found that sharing posts to local groups works much better than posts on our main account. Most towns and villages have local Facebook groups – take advantage of them!
A mixture of calls for volunteers and good news stories should mean that people don’t get bored of your content.
From one post last year, I recruited three new hosts for my group who still volunteer with us now.
Give topical news stories a local twist
A few months ago the BBC shared a video about a local charity who opened an animal park for disabled people to help them get outdoors and improve their wellbeing.
Heart-warming and inspirational stories such as these can really move and motivate people to want to make a difference. If they’re relevant to your charity, share these stories with a post about how volunteering with you can change the lives of local people.
Tell people what you want from your volunteers
One of the downsides of social media is that it’s quick and disposable. Unlike a leaflet that you see on your noticeboard over and over again, people flick through their social media feeds, so you often have one (if you’re lucky, two) chances to catch their attention.
If you want people to volunteer for you, tell them from the outset what you want from them – once a week, once a month, a full day, a couple of hours? People can then make an informed decision there and then about whether it’s for them.
Tell them how to get in touch
In your promotional activities, any type of conversion depends on a mighty ‘call to action’.
There’s nothing worse than seeing something you’re interested in and then not been able to find how to do it. When you’re recruiting for volunteers, tell them how to get in touch.
Lots of charities use online registration forms or emails to collect the details of new volunteers – and these are fine for people who are actively looking.
But in the social media world, I’ve found that asking people to comment on your post is more effective – once they’ve done that the ball’s in your court to make it happen. Any online forms can be filled out later once they’ve committed.
Follow it up with a direct message
To keep up with the fast-pace of social media, you need to strike whilst the iron is hot.
Follow up any leads with an instant direct message – some people might not want to talk logistics or personal circumstances in the public eye, so try to avoid this on public posts.
Find out more about Contact the Elderly at www.contact-the-elderly.org.uk and follow them on Twitter @contact_teas and Facebook @contactteas.