Direct messaging on social media is already a thing – but is your non-profit ready for it?

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away, customers picked up the phone if they had a question. Or they’d write it in a letter and send it via Royal Mail.

Fast forward to 2023 and communication happens in real-time. Customers drop questions into social posts or interrogate chatbots: lines of intelligent code that work 24/7 without rest.

This breakneck pace is good for business. But for charities with limited budgets and resources finding a way to keep pace with modern ever-curious consumers who want immediate answers is hard.

And it’s getting harder.

Consumers are now audaciously direct messaging brands via their social media channels. This could have dire consequences for organisations and businesses that are unprepared.

angry men fighting in front of a letterbox

Direct messaging on social media: the consequences of not being prepared

Your charity cannot afford to ignore the importance of direct messaging on social media. Especially as it relies on donations and volunteering to achieve its objectives.

Missed opportunities

If no one is responsible for monitoring social channels messages, opportunities will inevitably be missed. These could be DMs from donors, sponsors, or other stakeholders.

Fortunately the solution is simple. Delegate the task of checking messages to someone in your organisation. This responsibility can be rotated if needed. But make it a habit.

Poor brand credibility

Ignoring direct messaging on social media will reflect poorly on your brand image. This will have a knock-on effect on donations – and could even lead to poor reviews left by disgruntled customers on feedback sites like TrustPilot and Google Reviews.

If delegating social media to someone in your organisation isn’t possible – due to a skills gap issue or human resources problem – then enlist the help of a marketing agency like ours to ease the pressure.

Limited customer feedback

Direct messaging on social media is important for growth. With each interaction you learn more about what your customers like and don’t like – meaning you can start to create a joined-up picture that’ll help you become a better digital marketer.

Encouraging (and responding to) messages across all social channels means you’ll have more data at your disposal which you can use to improve on-site messaging and objection handling too.

woman reading a letter in her drawing room

How to respond to direct messaging on social channels

Here are five simple steps you can follow when replying to messages.

Reply within 24 hours

Responding quickly shows you value the customer while minimising the risk of losing them before their interest wanes – or they go elsewhere. 

Keep the reply brief

Receiving an enquiry from a donor is exciting. But it’s important to curb your enthusiasm so as to avoid overwhelming the prospect with too much information. 

Ascertain the need 

Do they want to make a donation, volunteer, or offer their services? Determining this early on will help streamline the customer journey and create stronger rapport.

man asking a customer questions over the phone

Get an email address

Once the conversation is over the opportunity is lost. So why not ask for the prospect’s email – so you can share more information about the wonderful work you do.

Connect with them 

Depending on who you’re talking to, connecting could be a good strategic move. Commenting on and liking posts created by corporate sponsors will, for example, help keep your brand visible to them.

Continue the dialogue

Direct messaging on social media shouldn’t be a one-off exercise. As touched upon already, obtaining email addresses and connecting with prospects means you can keep the conversation going.

  • Share newsletters with your prospects
  • Send them links to case studies and guides
  • Tell them how much money you’ve raised
  • Explain how those donations have been used


Never miss a direct message on social media again

We get it. Digital marketing isn’t your specialty. And even though your team members roll up their proverbial sleeves and throw themselves into each task with great gusto, their time is limited (and their social media expertise perhaps limited).

Using free social media listening tools like Hootsuite means you’ll be able to track and respond to mentions of your brand. If you want to go further down the rabbit hole these platforms provide concise data that’ll help you analyse audience trends and more.

Or you could call us…

With extensive experience of supporting charities with their digital marketing efforts we could be your perfect partner. Learn more by booking your free consultation with one of our friendly experts.

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