Giving Day is back, but don’t worry — giving back doesn’t always have to be tough. As this month’s Social Media Brunch proved, there are plenty of parts for everyone to play while we rev up our engines for this year’s UCI Giving Day. After all, when everybody gives we all gain!

Leading another brunch-time fun time, OVPTL’s own Ryan Foland recently spoke about all the exciting things to make Giving Day easier. He was joined by Levi Eastwood, the Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications, University Advancement, to share best practices for fundraising on a grand scale. Watch the UCI Giving Day social media workshop teaser here:

To watch the full presentation, click here.

Last year, UCI raised $1.4 million on Giving Day, which shattered the goal of $1 million. This year we’re stepping it up.

Last year, we got the #2 trending hashtag on Twitter!  This year we’re going for the #1 spot with #UCIGivingDay. Last year, we got 1,800 gifts in 24 hours! This year we’re aiming for 2,400 gifts in 24 hours!

Impossible you say? Here’s the game plan to get you there.

Before Giving Day, it all starts with knowing your target audience. If you’re thinking: “I don’t know the first thing about gathering data” or “what’s a target audience??” read on!

Let’s break it down. The target audience is the extended Anteater community — alumni, long-standing supporters, the affiliated, and the interested. To find them all you have to do is search for “UC Irvine Alumni” in your chosen social media platform. Do it, and you should have thousands of names at your fingertips. Gather data by organizing their names, emails, and various social media handles into a spreadsheet so you know who to notify with all your UCI Giving Day news.

The most important type of person to reach in the weeks before UCI Giving Day is called an Ambassador. Ambassadors are people with a few hundred or thousand (or more!) followers who use their position to create a network effect. Influence, like social media, is a tool, not a solution and Ambassadors are the ones who wield it. Identify them and you’ve found the key to External Influencer Marketing — a fancy way to say asking people to get the word out to their followers.

But how do you get an Ambassador’s attention? An Ambassador could be a faculty or staff member, someone active in the community, famous alumni — or even you! Take a personalized approach with every potential Ambassador. Shower them with likes, share their posts, and just when they’re starting to feel the love, send a message that starts a conversation and builds a relationship. You could ask a question, comment on their posts, or let them know how impressive their accomplishments are. To become a UCI Giving Day Ambassador, apply here.

The rule to keep in mind is Give, Give, Give, Give, Give — then ask. The more of us who reach out to influencers, the more likely they’ll help out in return. Once you’ve gotten the attention of the potential Ambassador, make sure both parties get what they want. One way to do that is to partner with the Ambassador to develop some images for UCI Giving Day by repurposing their old posts.

During UCI Giving Day things will be too hectic to make new posts. 3-5 Facebook posts? 2-9 Grams? 10-20 Tweets? How are you going to manage them all?!

Have no fear! That’s why Operation Content is here. We’re going to 1. Create it 2. Map it and 3. Engage it BEFORE UCI Giving Day even starts.

If your department needs a little help in creating all new content specifically for UCI Giving Day, we’ve got you covered!  OVPTL partnered with UCI Media to film, edit, and produce 3 videos of 1-1.5 minutes each for your department’s UCI Giving Day. One is to be released anytime before Giving Day, one is for Giving Day itself, and the last is a post-Giving Day thank you. All you have to do is come prepared with a script for the teleprompter and we’ll do the rest.

The best tool you can have on the road to UCI Giving Day is a content calendar. While you’re developing your content, map it by using a shared Google Doc and folder to keep all the pieces in one easily accessible place. Save yourself the last-minute stress and schedule exactly when posts should be released. Make sure to plan out your captions and hashtags ahead of time so you can save your posts as drafts to be sent out as needed. Consider writing an article focussing on UCI Giving Day and what your department hopes to achieve. Give yourself goals and watch as you grow past them!

Engaging with other content is actually the fun part. In the weeks leading up to UCI Giving Day, you’ll start to see some spectacular videos in your feed from other departments that you can use to like, share, reblog, comment, and generally get the word out. Engagement drives engagement, so try being the first to reach out.

Find out what other people are saying about UCI Giving Day by searching #UCIGivingDay and liking everything within reach. That’s called “hashtag hunting.” Just make sure to check for the trolls that might try to latch onto a soon-to-be worldwide-trending hashtag. Engagement needs to be ramped up to an 11 on UCI Giving Day itself so don’t hold back. As Ryan likes to say: “it’s not spam, it’s a tweetnado!”

If you want OVPTL to “Give More, More Often” follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.