Carla Ankiah is Head of Fundraising, Partnerships and Supporter Relations at Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland.

We’re told that a short video on Facebook is generally more successful than image or text because the algorithm prefers video and people seemingly engage more with video.

This must have been at the back of my mind because when I was going through my list of Facebook fundraisers to thank, it suddenly occurred to me… ‘Why am I not using video to engage with my Facebook fundraisers?’.

It felt like an epiphany and, with my brain buzzing with this great spark of inspiration, I fired off a quick email to GivePanel for advice on how to add a video to the pre-set messages I copy and paste onto my fundraiser’s pages. Their founder, Nick, quickly came back to me with advice on how to include a shortened link that would display the video. We tested it and it worked as anticipated!

So, instead of just a text message, now on my fundraiser’s wall was a short thank you message and the preview of the video link I had included.

The video

For those of you wondering how slick the video was, I can assure you there was absolutely nothing fancy about the video at all! It was simply me saying ‘thank you’ for hosting a fundraiser and encouraging them to invite their friends to support them.

I recorded it on my phone in the office and, being completely unprepared for this spark of inspiration (and in the middle of a gruelling week), I was having a bad hair day and had raced into the office that morning without even so much as looking at a make-up brush. But I didn’t want to waste any time testing it out so put my vanity aside.

The strategy

Following best practice, I always place two to three messages in total on a fundraiser’s wall. The first message is the ‘thank you and here are some tips etc’ whilst the second and third messages are all about congratulating the fundraiser on their success and inviting them to share their data with us so that we can send them a thank you letter in the post.

In order to see how effective the video would be, in terms of increasing engagement, I undertook a split test. I began placing the video link on half of the new fundraisers coming in and with the other half I stuck to the original message I had been sending all along.

The results

It’s only been a few weeks since I started testing the video so of course I have limited data to analyse at this stage, however I have noticed that people are definitely engaging more with the video link post versus the original message.

This is so important because when someone engages with your post, you can then invite them to Like your page. Not only will you gain more supporters, you can build relationships with them too through engaging content.

What’s next?

Due to the success of this test, I am now in the process of getting a lovely testimonial/impact style video created to include in the second message I send to fundraisers. If a simple video of me just talking to camera is generating engagement, then you can be sure an impact/testimonial style video will generate even more!

How can you test this yourself?

The beauty about digital is that it’s so easy to test and learn. If you’d like to test video ‘thank you’ messages for your Facebook fundraisers, here’s how I did it (and how you can do it too).

Step 1 – Record a short video. Make sure the sound quality is good!

Step 2 – Upload to YouTube.

Step 3 – Change the settings on YouTube so the video is only discoverable via a link, i.e. not public. I also removed the video views, so they were not visible. Although the video is personal, it’s not tailored to an individual so removing the views will make it seem more personal to them.

Step 4 – Create a short URL for the video link. I used Blink but you could also use Bit.ly.

Step 5 – Paste the link into one of the pre-set messages on your GivePanel account. It is worth noting that if there is more than one link in the message, Facebook previews the first link in the message (so ensure that the video is the first link).

Step 6 – I created an extra label on GivePanel so that I could easily identify which fundraisers I had sent the video link message to.

Whilst here at Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland, we use GivePanel to help manage our Facebook fundraisers, you can still test video thank you messages without being a client. In Step 5, simply include the video link in the ‘thank you’ message that you post directly on to their Facebook fundraiser.

Do you have any creative ideas on how to engage with Facebook Fundraisers and their supporters? Tweet me @Carla_Ankiah   #KnowledgeShare