Promoting an Auction for Success

Few things are as time-consuming as fundraising events. To make sure you can raise funds, a strong marketing strategy is important to reach and invite donors and buyers and foster stronger relationships with supporters. It creates positive awareness for your virtual event, and with so many distractions these days, every cause needs a way to catch attention and stand out!

Auction events rely on advertising and marketing to increase bids and ensure that items will sell. Auction organizers must ensure that many people should learn about the auction as possible and those attending have the financial capacity to place bids and buy.

Here are some auction advertising ideas to ensure success:

Optimize social media.

An illustration of a man using social media for promotion

If you want people to get excited about your auction ahead of time, social media is going to be your best friend. It’s the easiest and widest way to communicate and create a visual online brand. When it comes to promoting your online auction, involve your supporters as much as possible. Follow many donors who strongly connect with your organization or cause. Also, invest time daily to engage with donors you follow so you can build social engagement.

To make the most out of social media, here’s what you can do:

  • Create an event hashtag and encourage its use.
  • Highlight top fundraisers and tag them in your posts.
  • Ask supporters to share your content.
  • Check activity streams.
  • Post-event updates and progress.

Create a Facebook event.

According to Pew Research Center, 79 percent of online American adults use Facebook. And more than 76 percent of them check Facebook every day. This is a great opportunity for you to promote your auction.

If you want to spread the word about your auction, create a Facebook event and share it with your organization or groups. Here are some ways how you can maximize Facebook to promote your event:

  • Make it a public event so that anyone can see it.
  • Link your auction registration page in the event description so people can see where to buy tickets.
  • Create an FAQ section that includes the date, time, location, and a brief statement about the event. Indicate what it will fund, for what cause, and what attendees will enjoy during the event.
  • Invite donors, staff, volunteers, and other supporters who are active Facebook users. Also, invite your friends and followers. If they indicate they are going or are interested, the event will appear on their friends’ timelines.
  • Remind guests to invite friends personally, and share the event on their newsfeeds.

Post updates regularly.

Once you create a Facebook event, post updates often enough to keep readers engaged, but be careful not to overdo it so that they start unfollowing your notifications or unliking the page. Every post must be interesting, special, and worth reading. These are simple content ideas that you can post:

  • Latest news and updates
  • Press releases
  • Photos from last year’s auction
  • Raffle or ticket giveaways
  • Video testimonials
  • Interview of the featured speaker or the organization benefitting from the auction
  • Interactive polls and questions
  • Highlights from the auction catalog

Share impactful videos.

Make compelling messages from those people you have served, and connect your auction to your mission by bringing the cause to life using videos. Impactful videos can catch attention and ignite the social media fire you need to boost interest in the event. Videos shared on social media can contribute a lot to online engagement to your cause and event.

Share highlights from your past auctions.

If you have great photos from your past auction, show them off. This will give donors an idea of what your event will be like this year. You can start by sharing a few great photos so that donors can envision what the dress code will be, what the food and entertainment will be like, what kind of people will attend, etc.

And as you promote, keep the focus on fundraising. Demonstrate the impact of your past successful auctions and showcase what made them successful. Share some personal impact stories through videos or anecdotes.

Show the audience what they can expect from your event.

People like to see behind-the-scenes pictures as you plan your event. Giving them an overview of what they can expect from an auction makes them feel like they are insiders. You can make thank-you posts to supporters and businesses to donate auction items. Post a photo of the person who coordinated the donation and the businesses by name. Then, you can go into detail about what they donated.

You can also encourage interaction to ensure they reach broader audiences. And whenever you share your posts, you can post directly to your Facebook event and then share it to your nonprofit’s Facebook page. This will make more people see the post, even if they are only following either the page or the event.

Highlight your noteworthy items.

Big-ticket items with plenty of wow factors can snag higher bids, sell more tickets and ignite momentum surrounding the event. Enticing your audience through your posts can generate traction on social media and make them excited about the auction.

To make your highlight post successful, use illustrative words. Activate the readers’ imaginations and highlight the item’s most unique and exclusive aspects. Then, incorporate a high-resolution image or a quick video clip of the auction items. You may also want to create an album with photos of the items for auction and some descriptions in the caption.

Recruit people to spread the word.

Social proof is a desirable asset you can have while marketing an event. If someone sees that a friend of theirs likes your post or indicates they are attending your event, that person is most likely to interact with you. There are many instances of people attending charity functions like auctions just because a friend of theirs is going.

To get even more views on your content, ask for help. Ask your friends, family members, or staff to comment and react to your post. More than a like, ask them to react with a “wow” or a “love” – Facebook loves these. Whenever Facebook sees a post with lots of positive reactions, its algorithm automatically assumes its quality content. Those kinds of posts are more likely to reach a wider audience.