Non-Profit Generating Revenue Through Facebook & Twitter

The non-profit teaching certification program I work for ran a small promotion on Facebook and Twitter last week and we saw some nice results, bringing in over $12,000 in revenue in one day. The promotion also helped us gain new followers, particularly on Facebook, where we’ve gained about 100 new fans since we first announced the promotion about two weeks ago.

Here’s what we did…it’s rather simple and hardly groundbreaking but it worked for us and it could work for others: we gave people something they’d already shown us they wanted and we directed them to our social media channels to get it.

Some specifics
Our program normally costs $975 and whenever we run a promotion giving a discount (i.e. $150 off during January) we see a big response, sometimes with a few hundred people taking advantage of the offer over the course of a month. Normally these promotions are planned out well in advance and have promotional materials, emails and web graphics to go along with them.

For our Facebook/Twitter promotion, we took this successful concept and altered it slightly, giving people one day to save $150 on our program. We called it the One-Day Sale and put a blurb in two of our monthly newsletters, letting people know they could save $150 on our program but the only way to find out when was through Facebook and Twitter. We saw an immediate spike in followers and reactions from people on our Facebook wall. A few days later, we let people know the first One-Day Sale was coming soon, giving them a big hint the day before saying in our status updates “…IT’S TOMORROW…”

We ended up with 15 enrollments (over $12,000 in revenue) through that first One-Day Sale, which is pretty good when you consider that our product is not going to be an impulse buy for people. It costs almost $1,000 to enroll and people will then spend, on average, eight to ten months completing the program. So, we’re never going to see the same results as when someone gives away something like coffee or ice cream on Facebook or offers a discount on a product that is much less expensive than ours and appeals to a wider audience. Our program is also only accepted for public schools in nine states to date, so our market is still rather small compared to an organization that sells a product that could be used in all 50 states or the rest of the world.

Apart from the financial results, there’s also the increase in followers, which means we have more people to get any of our messages out to, not just the One-Day Sale announcements. And, because they know we’ll hold these spontaneous One-Day Sales, some people are more likely to keep an eye on our Facebook page or our Twitter account, during which time they might come across one of our videos, decide to make a donation or read an interesting story about us and share it with others.

A few other upsides to the promo…
The cost for us to hold a One-Day Sale through our social media channels is basically nothing—it’s really just about the time. We also don’t need to plan these out in advance because nothing needs to be printed, no emails need to be scheduled and nothing needs to be done to our website. We can turn around and hold one of these on very short notice. Another nice thing, we already have people wondering when the next one will be. Just yesterday, someone posted to our Facebook wall asking if we’re planning another one soon.

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