Smart Facebook promotion is the #1 best predictor of T-shirt sales. It’s easy to use, it’s the most popular social media website and chances are you’ve already been engaging your potential supporters there.
Anyone can benefit from effective Facebook promotion, from big organizations and nonprofits to smaller communities and individuals. But remember: promotion on social media only works if your shirt design is attractive and has wide appeal. For design tips, check out our blog post “How to Design an Awesome Shirt.” Otherwise, read on!
Pages, groups and individual sharing
There are a number of ways to reach your potential supporters on Facebook. Each has its pros and cons:
Sharing as an Individual – By sharing as yourself, you’ll reach many of your friends and family, and possibly more if they share as well. While this method is quick and easy for individuals, it usually limits your audience and makes it more difficult to engage potential supporters.
Groups – Creating a group is great for small, tightly-knit communities where you know the names of everyone who might buy a shirt, such as a family reunion or a church group. After inviting people to your group, try creating an event for your fundraiser that “takes place” on the last day. (This will remind people when it’s about to end.)
Pages – Facebook pages are the most powerful way to promote your fundraiser because they help attract public interest in your cause. With Facebook pages, it’s all about the likes: the more people who like your page, the more your fundraiser will appear in potential supporters’ news feeds. Organizations and communities with lots of likes tend to sell way more shirts, but getting those likes in the first place can take time and effort.
Plan your posts
Don’t leave Facebook promotion up to chance: write and plan all your posts beforehand and transform your social media page into a well-oiled fundraising machine. Here’s a potential posting schedule to use as a starting point:
- Pre-launch: "What color shirt should we use?"
- Post-launch: "Shirts are now for sale!" (Pin this post to the top of your Facebook page)
- First day sales recap: "Our first day of sales was great - let's keep the momentum going!"
- Halfway to our goal: "We're halfway to our sales goal!"
- Tipped our goal: "We reached our sales goal! Everyone's shirt will be printed!"
- 2 days left: "Only 2 days left to buy!"
- 1 day left: "All orders must be placed by midnight tonight!"
- Last call: "Last call to buy shirts! Don"t miss out!"
- Re-launch: "Our shirts are back by popular demand!"
How to write great Facebook posts
Writing posts that sell shirts is an art. Your words should make people care about your cause so much that they physically pull out their wallet to support it. Here are some ways to achieve that:
Establish a sense of urgency – Clearly communicate the need. When deciding whether to buy a shirt, a potential supporter should perceive that their money will make an immediate, measurable impact on the cause. For example, instead of writing “Support our animal rescue by buying a shirt,” write “Give these animals a home by buying a shirt.”
Communicate the scarcity – You’re not selling a generic shirt that can be bought at any store. Your custom T-shirt is only available for a limited time and can only be purchased from your fundraiser. Emphasize the exclusivity of your shirt and encourage supporters to purchase before it’s too late.
Personal connection – It’s been proven that people pay more attention to Facebook posts that elicit powerful, human emotions. Tell humanizing stories about your cause and you’ll connect with your audience on a deeper level, making your appeal to buy a shirt much more effective.
Use powerful images and other great content – Your supporters’ news feeds are full of posts competing for their attention. Use eye-catching images and stand out from the clutter. Whether it’s photos related to your cause, your T-shirt graphic or even a video, visuals are proven to sell shirts better than text alone.
Tag potential supporters – For smaller communities, consider tagging individual friends and family in your posts. This will ensure that your post shows up in their news feeds, firmly establishing the foundation of your fundraiser.
Vary your posts – Don’t be a broken record. Once people start seeing the same appeal in their inbox, empathy turns to eyerolls. Keep writing new content, and you’ll better engage your potential supporters.
Engage elsewhere on Facebook
Getting other Facebook pages to post about your fundraiser can make a huge difference. Although it certainly requires creativity, we’ve seen it work on countless occasions.
Reaching out directly to administrators of Facebook pages can be very effective if you can convince them to post on your behalf. When contacting them by email or through Facebook, always ask yourself what’s in it for them. Are you offering them a unique, timely story that’s relevant to their followers? Would they be interested in you publicly thanking them or endorsing them in some way?
Another method is to create interesting, relevant content that other Facebook pages might share with their followings. Content can range anywhere from powerful pictures to well-written blog posts – the sky’s the limit! Just be sure to include a link to your fundraiser.
Finally, the simplest way to utilize other pages and groups is often to post directly to them, although your posts will have far less visibility this way. When posting, always try to be relevant to the page, and not appear to be merely using it for your own ends. (No one likes a spammer, after all.)
Boosting your post
If you have a Facebook page with more than 1,000 likes, you could benefit from boosting your post via paid Facebook Ads.
Regular old posts to your Facebook page will only be seen by a small fraction of your fans. In order to reach a larger percentage of them, Facebook lets you pay to “boost” your post, putting your fundraiser in front of way more people. It might seem counterintuitive to pay to get the word out on a free site like Facebook, but if done right, it can massively increase your sales, earning far more money than initially invested.
Here’s how to test out boosted posts:
- Click on the blue Boost Post button on the bottom right of your fundraiser post
- Target only people who have liked your page.
- Try out a small budget of around $10 to test the waters.
- Set the duration for 1 day and click “Boost” to go live
At the end of the day, check your sales stats in the admin panel on Bonfire. If there was a sales spike for the day, try experimenting with different budgets and durations.
Thanks for reading our Facebook promotion tips. If you have any questions on promoting your fundraiser, feel free to reach out to us on our Contact Us page, and we’ll do our best to help out in any way we can.