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Justin Ware - Building an Army of Online Ambassadors
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Justin Ware - Building an Army of Online Ambassadors






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  • That’s it. That’s all you need to know. So, feel free to check out. UNLESS you want to see some examples of HOW to do this for your organization. Then by all means, stick around (but please do tweet about this presentation liberally)
  • You might be aware of some of them, some are still waiting to be discovered, but they are a crucially important group of people to the success of your online activity – whether it’s building awareness about your mission, fundraising, volunteer engagement, etc.
  • Have you ever wondered what the value of Klout is? …beyond Internet bragging rights? Klout helps you determine who you should focus your content strategy around…
  • How do I know Online ambassadors drive activity and engagement with your org? Let me give you two examples – one fundraising related, the other related to building overall awareness for your organization.Other organizations confirm – one of the most striking things about online campaigns are the number of new donors it brings to an organization.
  • During the 36 hours, FSU had a constant presence online, talking with supporters, asking for gifts, explaining how the gifts would be used to strengthen the university…
  • This is why you build “online ambassadors” – and a great example of using email to effectively fund raise
  • Chad’s clip to be inserted later
  • If you look at recent studies, this online ambassador approach really shouldn’t surprise anyone…
  • It’s not just the kids – social/online is important for older, more affluent groups, too
  • Why does it matter? The affluent people want to let others know what they’re into – in other words, they want to tell their friends about your organization! And they have LOTS of friends. Affluent are active online and off – PTA, religious groups, Rotary…
  • So here’s how you get the affluent talking about your nonprofit organization.
  • Show of hands – how many use Google+ for their orgs? Hangouts are a GREAT free way of getting your org’s personalities out in front of an audience. And Google+ continues to grow. But it could grow even more quickly, even you used your ambassadors to engage other users…
  • …which leads me to my next point, how do we find online ambassadors?
  • This is for a university …also works for the “interests” and “causes” sections on LinkedIn
  • …you can also look at feeds of orgs with similar fan/follower bases and reach out to the more influential users.
  • We’ve had a lot of success doing this with one client. First, look for influential Twitter users who mentioned the client. Then, cross reference the database to determine if they were donors and at what level…
  • It’s not a quick fix answer that a lot of people might like to hear, but it’s probably the most effective way of connecting with ambassadors – by sticking with a strategy focused on being valuable and informative to your community.
  • Great example of basic social media tenets coming through in a big way…“This is Nicholas Kristof, he’s a writer for the NYT who focuses on human rights and social issues…”
  • “This is Opportunity Fund, a California-based microfinance nonprofit that’s focused on fixing a lot of the problems Nicholas Kristof is focused on fixing…”
  • They exchanged a number of tweets – with no intention of getting any specific media converage – but when Kristof was covering a topic related to what they do, he turned to his friends at OF and included them in a story. So, ongoing relationship building with a big-time ambassador resulted in a lot of attention for the nonprofit.Your best online ambassadors will drive positive energy and enthusiasm around your nonprofit both online and off.
  • Value does not necessarily mean free or discounted stuff. Think about why we’re online …for info on how to do something – to learn more about an organization – to laugh – to feel nostalgia – to donate. Everything from heart-warming videos to a smooth online giving process are valuable to our constituents. Find out what matters the most by listening to your followings and build a content engagement strategy around that
  • …and encourage your ambassadors to do so. I love email for this, because it’s a personal request by you, the org, of them. They want to feel important and this facilitates that.
  • How? Same rules apply – post interesting, relevant content, that anyone with a special appreciation for the type of work your org does will appreciate.
  • Ambassadors are generally people who want to be recognized as active supporters of your org.You might get lucky with a Nicholas Kristof, but most of us are going to have the most success connecting with a lot of lesser-known ambassadors. Again, that’s the viral nature of social media and it does work.
  • Nothing motivates sharing online more than when a person is part of the content…Tagging volunteers in Facebook photos, being sure to mention Twitter handles of those in the content when posting on Twitter, including them in video that can be emailed…
  • Here’s a few more details on that first slide…Build strategies that incorporate the work on online ambassadors.

Justin Ware - Building an Army of Online Ambassadors Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Building an Army of Online Ambassadors August 28, 2012 Presented by: Justin J. WareBentz Whaley Flessner 0
  • 2. An online strategy should be focused on providing a valuable experience to your constituents so that they feel compelled to share that same experience with their online connections.Bentz Whaley Flessner 1
  • 3. ―Online Ambassadors‖ Def: Influential Internet users – specifically social media – with an affinity for your organization’s mission, who have a high likelihood of enlisting the support of others through their online activity.Bentz Whaley Flessner 2
  • 4. Klout – it really is useful!Bentz Whaley Flessner 3
  • 5. The online campaign—Florida State University’s ―Great Give‖ 36-hour online-only giving campaign.  Raised $186,000 (goal was $161,000).  1,100 donors— 380 had never given to FSU before.Bentz Whaley Flessner 4
  • 6. Why it worked… A strong social media push…Bentz Whaley Flessner 5
  • 7. Why it worked… …emails with suggested social media updates.Bentz Whaley Flessner 6
  • 8. Why it worked… Email and ―word of mouth‖ …but what does word of mouth mean in today’s world?Bentz Whaley Flessner 7
  • 9. ―Word of mouth‖ …is not what it used to be…Bentz Whaley Flessner 8
  • 10. The Power of Connecting Millennials motivated to act by… 1. Compelling mission/cause. 2. Personal connection with leadership. 3. Friend or peer endorsement. Millennial Donors Report 2011Bentz Whaley Flessner 9
  • 11. Peer Influence Power A friend or family endorsement is the first place a Millennial turns when trying to determine if they can trust an organization.  Ads are not effective for this younger age group.  Traditional marketing is viewed as superficial by Millennials.Bentz Whaley Flessner 10
  • 12. The Online Affluent According to a recent Fidelity Investment survey…  85 percent of all millionaires use some form of social media.  Nearly three-quarters of that 85 percent are on Facebook.  Median age of those surveyed—56.Bentz Whaley Flessner 11
  • 13. The Power of Connecting When it comes to brand support, the affluent…  Support brands they feel a connection with.  Want to let others know which brands they support.  Want to be kept informed about a brand’s inner-workings.Bentz Whaley Flessner 12
  • 14. Open a Window  Skype forums.  Recorded messages from your organization’s leaders.  Consistently updated blogs and/or Twitter accounts.Bentz Whaley Flessner 13
  • 15. Bentz Whaley Flessner 14
  • 16. Finding your org’s ambassadors…Bentz Whaley Flessner 15
  • 17. Linking upBentz Whaley Flessner 16
  • 18. Manual Twitter search Takes time, but yields results…Bentz Whaley Flessner 17
  • 19. Donor database cross reference  Are your biggest donors online?  Are your biggest online supporters in your database?  Combine Twitter search results with info in your database. New tools will come on the market to make this easier.Bentz Whaley Flessner 18
  • 20. You find ambassadors… …by being social on social media!Bentz Whaley Flessner 19
  • 21. Bentz Whaley Flessner 20
  • 22. Bentz Whaley Flessner 21
  • 23. Good ol’ fashioned online talkin’…Bentz Whaley Flessner 22
  • 24. We found them! Now what? Determine what it is your online ambassadors like to share and discuss online, then build your social media strategy around that type of content.Bentz Whaley Flessner 23
  • 25. Mission: Determine what your ambassadors find ―valuable‖Bentz Whaley Flessner 24
  • 26. Make it EASY to shareBentz Whaley Flessner 25
  • 27. Post content they’ll want to share!Bentz Whaley Flessner 26
  • 28. Make them feel like they matter!  Assign them awareness- building tasks through social media.  Give them exclusive access to leadership through Hangouts, webinars, private forums.  Produce content around their activity supporting your organization.Bentz Whaley Flessner 27
  • 29. Produce content featuring their workBentz Whaley Flessner 28
  • 30. To-do list 1. Identify a core group of online ambassadors. 2. Develop a content strategy around what it is they’re looking for online, from organizations like yours. 3. Deploy your army of online ambassadors in an effort to spread awareness about your organization.Bentz Whaley Flessner 29
  • 31. Facebook.com/BentzWhaleyFlessner jware@bwf.com 108378:JJW:jub.Bentz Whaley Flessner 30