School Auction Social Media Strategy Series: Getting Started
Before we get into the fun content and marketing posts, let’s start by getting comfortable with our auction’s social media accounts. SchoolAuction.net has made it easy to share your event page, auction catalog, and other auction goodies to your social media platforms. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the three social media outlets that will garner the most views.
Set Up Your Accounts
Utilizing your PTA/PTO’s current social media accounts is ideal, as they already have a social media presence and followers. If one isn’t available, it’s worth creating your own.
After setting up or gaining access to your accounts, connect your Facebook and Instagram accounts to save time by automating cross-posting.
(Another thing you want to set up? A hashtag for you and your team to use in social media posts and printed materials. Devising the perfect hashtag makes branding easy and creates a sense of unity and hype across all of your auction’s touchpoints, from whiteboards to websites. We’ll dive deeper on hashtags later in this series.)
Preparing Your SchoolAuction.net Event Site
Your SchoolAuction.net event website is not just the software your team uses to produce the event; it’s also the public face of your auction. Make sure it’s ready for its big debut before you start driving traffic to it:
- Set up your homepage with important dates and information.
- If you are selling tickets from the site, make sure that is set up and tested.
- Decide whether you want site visitors to be able to peruse your catalog of auction items, and set the visibility controls to comply.
Facebook is not only a great way to spread the news about your auction, but it can also work as the main recruiting tool for auction items, attendees, and volunteers. Once you’ve created your auction’s Facebook page, be sure to set it as public. Later in this series, we’ll be diving more deeply into what makes a great Facebook post to promote your auction. But for now, let’s start with a suggestion for your first (and possibly most important) auction Facebook post:
- Link your SchoolAuction.net homepage and pin it at the top.
- Invite all of your followers to share the post linking to your SchoolAuction.net homepage.
Because of Instagram’s handy-dandy cross post feature, the photo content you upload here is automatically shared to Facebook. Instagram is purely visual and best thought of as an auction storefront for window shopping and advertising.
Before we get to recommending what and when you post to Instagram, however, there’s one important setup step to take now: Because Instagram doesn’t allow links in individual posts, link to your SchoolAuction.net event website in your Instagram profile. Later on, you will remind Instagram visitors in each post, “Auction homepage in Bio.”
Twitter operates slightly different than Facebook and Instagram and gathers a different crowd. It’s possible that your target audience who aren’t on either of the former may be on Twitter. If your organization doesn’t have a Twitter account already, setting one up for your event is worth considering. Even a few followers sharing a few tweets and using your hashtag can have a positive compounding effect.
Communicate The Strategy
Once you have your group’s social media accounts set up , make sure you tell the rest of your team, and ask them to help. Consider putting together a schedule for when you’ll be posting so that everyone knows when there will be new posts for them to share.
Social Media is THE primary promotional vehicle for most fundraising auctions - for good reasons. Make sure that this isn’t one of those jobs that gets put off!