How to Build An Army of Online Brand Ambassadors


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Nonprofits are strapped for resources – staff time is minimal and marketing budgets are nonexistent. What are some creative ways that you can build buzz and spread the word about your nonprofit on the cheap? Consider tapping into your existing network to find Brand Ambassadors – supporters that will voluntarily promote your nonprofit and your cause by blogging, tweeting and speaking publicly about how much they love you! People who want to spread the word about your cause, raising money and awareness are by far your greatest online asset – if they are identified, engaged and acknowledged correctly!

In this webinar we will discuss:

Ways to identify and recruit Brand Ambassadors
How to structure and operate a board effectively.
How to excite and acknowledge them.
How to cultivate relationships for future engagement

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How to Build An Army of Online Brand Ambassadors

  1. 1. Sponsored by: How to Build An Army of Online Brand Ambassadors Julia Campbell August 13, 2013 Use Twitter Hashtag #npweb Part Of:
  2. 2. Sponsored by: How This Webinar Works • A link to the slides/materials will be sent in an email after the webinar • If you’d like to ask a question during the webinar, you can type it in the question box of your control panel on the right side of your screen • Chat with us on twitter using the hashtag - #npweb Part Of:
  3. 3. Sponsored by: Upcoming Webinars Register at Part Of: Dates Topic 8/20 Email Marketing 101 – Beyond the Monthly Newsletter 8/21 Successfully Navigating a CFO Transition 8/27 No Webinar 8/28 The Importance of Validating Your Statement of Need
  4. 4. Sponsored by: How to Build An Army of Online Brand Ambassadors Julia Campbell August 13, 2013 Use Twitter Hashtag #npweb Part Of:
  5. 5. Sponsored by: Protecting and Preserving the Institutional Memories of Nonprofits Since 1993 (866) 598-0430 Part Of:
  6. 6. Sponsored by:Part Of: Coming Soon
  7. 7. Sponsored by: Today’s Speakers Hosting: Cheri J Weissman, CJW Consulting & Services, Inc. Assisting with chat questions: Jamie Maloney, 4Good Part Of: Julia Campbell Principal J Campbell Social Marketing
  8. 8. Julia Campbell President/CEO of J Campbell Social Marketing Nonprofit Webinars August 13, 2013 #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  9. 9. Takeaways From Today  Why an Online Brand Ambassador program is important  Ways to identify and recruit Brand Ambassadors  How to excite and acknowledge them  How to cultivate relationships for future engagement #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  10. 10. Before We Begin…  There are no silver bullets and no quick fixes.  Time, capacity and resources are needed to effectively develop and maintain an Online Brand Ambassador program.  Every organization, no matter how small and strapped for resources, has champions and advocates.  They key is passion, not Klout score. #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  11. 11. Two Scenarios Scenario 1: You receive a form letter in the mail from a breast cancer research charity that bought your name from another organization’s mailing list. The letter is addressed “Dear Friend” and lacks any personalization. You are confused because breast cancer research is not even your passion – protecting the environment is. #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  12. 12. Two Scenarios Scenario 2: You receive a personal message from a friend on Facebook asking you to sponsor her in a walk for breast cancer research, in honor of her mother. She writes in the first person about watching her mother suffer from the disease, and why she wants to help others. #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg Breast cancer isn’t a cause you usually give money to, but you love your friend and you want to help.
  13. 13. Which Is More Effective?  According to a recent Nielsen study on which types of advertising or promotion people trust most, the top five in North America are: 1. Recommendations from someone they know. 2. Consumer opinions posted online. 3. Editorial content such as newspaper articles. 4. Emails they signed up for. 5. Branded websites. #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  14. 14. The Key Is Sharing! Getting people who are sharing anyway to share their stories = more awareness and money raised Online Brand Ambassadors are people who want to spread the word about your cause and want to raise money for you – they are your greatest asset! #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  15. 15. Message amplification isn't linear – Seth Godin “Put two loudspeakers next to each other, and the perceived sound isn't twice as loud--and ten times as many speakers certainly doesn't seem ten times as loud. But when you hear an idea from two people, it counts for twice as much as if you randomly hear it once. And if you hear an idea from ten people, the impact is completely off the charts compared to just one person whispering in your ear. Coordinating and amplifying the evangelists of your idea is a big part of the secret of marketing with impact.” #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  16. 16. Where Are They?  Your email newsletter.  Use your email list to send out clear and concise calls-to- action, and then determine who is opening the emails, who is sharing the content and who is forwarding the emails to their networks.  Constant Contact, Mailchimp, Aweber – email tools #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  17. 17. Where Are They?  Your social networks.  LinkedIn – Use LinkedIn Groups strategically to find people who care about your cause and who are vocal online.  You can now search LinkedIn profiles for Volunteering History and Causes. #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  18. 18. Where Are They? Twitter – Twitter is a perfect place to engage with supporters. See who is following you and how active they are on the site. Do they ReTweet your content? Do they give you a #FF (FollowFriday) mention? Create a Twitter list of all the Twitterers who have shared your content and mentioned you. #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  19. 19. Where Are They? Facebook – You can see who your Fans are, but (depending on their privacy settings) you probably cannot see much about them other than their name. However, you can see who is liking, commenting on and sharing your content – thank them profusely! Try installing a “Top Fans” app on your page. #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  20. 20. Where Are They? Pinterest – See who is following you and who is re-pinning, commenting on and liking your pins. To get Pinterest Analytics, go to the name on your profile, and choose Analytics in the drop down menu. #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  21. 21. Where Are They?  Staff, Board members, volunteers, donors.  Who always shares information about your organization?  Who was the top fundraiser last year?  Which community members have held fundraisers or awareness events for your organization? #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  22. 22. Where Are They?  Cross reference with your database.  Make sure to cross reference your online supporters your donor and volunteer database.  Are they there? Have they given money? Have they attended an event?  You will get to know them and see where their interests lie and where they have yet to connect. #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  23. 23. Where Are They? NOTE: You have to be actively using these tools to find your supporters – this requires an investment in staff capacity and resources. #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  24. 24. Questions? #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  25. 25. What Do You Do With Them?  LISTEN first.  Listen first – Follow your online supporters on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest.  What are they sharing? What motivates them? What moves them to comment on a blog, to like a Facebook post, to retweet a link, to share a photo?  Listen to their conversations, figure out what moves them and tailor a strategy using this information. #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  26. 26. What Do You Do With Them?  Create content that people want to share.  Much easier said than done, but necessary for success!  Online Brand Ambassadors have their reputations on the line – they are not going to share spammy info. #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  27. 27. What Do You Do With Them? The Customer Insight Group (CIG) at the New York Times published a study exploring why people share content online. People share to:  Bring valuable and entertaining content to others  Define themselves to others  Grow and nourish relationships  Give self-fulfillment  Market causes or brands  How can you help your Online Brand Ambassadors do these things?  #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  28. 28. What Do You Do With Them? Spend some time and dedicate some resources to creating content that is well- written, original, compelling, timely, relevant and interesting. This may seem like a tall order, but that’s what it takes to stand-out in the noise of social media. #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  29. 29. What Do You Do With Them? Make it extremely easy to share.  Encourage commenting and other interaction by disabling strict privacy settings on your social media sites.  Add social share buttons to all blog posts and email newsletters.  Social share buttons are those buttons on the side or at the bottom/top of articles and blog posts with the social media icons. #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  30. 30. What Do You Do With Them?  Write the updates for them.  Send out emails, Facebook posts, Tweets, etc. with suggested updates that the online supporter can simply cut, paste and share.  Example: “Tweet this! The @waterforlife campaign for fresh water is well underway – can you donate $1 to help a child now? #waterforall” vs. “Tweet about our fresh water campaign today!” #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  31. 31. What Do You Do With Them?  Let them determine how they want to share the information.  Provide updates in several social media formats to let the online supporter choose where they want to share.  It’s not about where you want them to share the information (although you can suggest it) it’s about where they are going to want to post it!  They are in control of the where, when and you are in control of the why. #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  32. 32. What Do You Do With Them? MA Conf for Women Social Media Street Team  Weekly emails with tweets, Facebook and LinkedIn posts, Pinterest pins and Instagram ready photos  Graphics provided, hashtags provided, all speakers and relevant people tagged #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  33. 33. What Do You Do With Them?  Make it timely, relevant and interesting.  Don’t say “Help our organization raise money!” (That isn’t very interesting, compelling or timely.)  Make it about the impact that donors and supporters will have if they help you.  How many kids do you help every day? How many animals are you saving?  What would happen if your organization disappeared?  What difference are you making? #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  34. 34. What Do You Do With Them?  Target online supporters based on their sphere of influence. Craft a personal solicitation to online supporters that wield a lot of clout to support you where they are most influential. them to share on Twitter (if they have lots of followers), post to Facebook (lots of friends/fans) or pin on Pinterest (many followers). #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  35. 35. What Do You Do With Them?  Don’t ignore other social networks!  Don’t ignore influencers and supporters on LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube. (MySpace is coming back too!) #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  36. 36. What Do You Do With Them?  Give updates on your progress.  If you are looking to get a specific number of signatures on a petition, update your online supporters on your progress!  Celebrate milestones in fundraising – “We’ve raised $5,000 – only $5,000 more to go!” People love to be part of success. #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  37. 37. What Do You Do With Them?  Use hashtags to build community and monitor the conversation.  Hashtags can be used on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.  The best hashtags are original, memorable, easy to spell and short. Think #womeninbinders, #masswomen, #water4all etc.  Go to to research #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  38. 38. What Do You Do With Them?  Celebrate successes.  Show your online supporters how they helped get you there!  “We had 348 retweets and an increase in Facebook Reach of 567%!”  You will need to monitor your insights to get this information. #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  39. 39. What Do You Do With Them?  Give them what they want!  Online Brand Ambassadors are online and always looking for content to share with their networks.  They support you and your cause already.  They are most likely looking for easy ways to get more involved.  Give them easy instructions and compelling content and see your online reach explode! #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  40. 40. Questions? #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  41. 41. Round Up  We discussed:  How to identify your biggest online supporters  How to engage with them  How to make content that is easy to share  Coming up next:  How to build continuing relationships with Online Brand Ambassadors  Examples from the field  Conclusions/Things to Remember #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  42. 42. How Do You Keep Them?  The power of Thank You  The 2012 AFP Fundraising Effectiveness Report found that for every $100 gained by nonprofits in 2011, another $100 was lost through gift attrition.  Donor attrition was 59% - meaning that 59% of donors did not give again to the nonprofit! #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  43. 43. How Do You Keep Them?  Acknowledge, thank, celebrate, rinse, repeat!  Identify and acknowledge the special people.  You know, the ones who always comment on your blog (genuinely and with value) and share your Facebook posts.  They might only have 45 LinkedIn connections, but their passion and interest is authentic and real – and often contagious! #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  44. 44. How Do You Keep Them?  Acknowledge, thank, celebrate, rinse, repeat!  Organize a “Thank You” campaign!  Heather Mansfield of the blog Nonprofit Tech for Good lays out ideas for creating “Thank You” videos for your 2012 fundraising campaigns.  This idea, using Vine or Instagram video, can also work for nonprofits as a “Thank You” to their biggest online supporters.  8 Inspiring Thank You Videos Created by Nonprofits: You_videos_created_by_nonprofits_11155.aspx #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  45. 45. How Do You Keep Them?  Acknowledge, thank, celebrate, rinse, repeat!  Participate in Diane Darling’s “The Thank You Project”, where you hand write at least four personalized thank you notes per week.  Blog about your Thank You campaign, post on Facebook and Twitter, share your Thank You process on LinkedIn. Your supporters and customers will appreciate the special touch and the personalized attention.  join-the-thank-you-project.html #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  46. 46. How Do You Keep Them?  Pick a Facebook Fan of the Week  This is a simple, easy-to-use Facebook application to add to your business or nonprofit’s Page.  It automatically highlights the person who interacts with your Page the most within a given week. #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  47. 47. How Do You Keep Them? Facebook Fan of the Week: Offer to highlight that Fan’s business or favorite cause for one week on your page Create a gallery of Fans of the Week on your website Make a special phone call to the Fan of the Week (if you have their information) to thank them for their engagement. You can also send them items such as a t- shirt, pen, coffee mug or other memento (with your logo on it of course)! #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  48. 48. How Do You Keep Them?  Give them something special.  “Something special” includes exclusive access to events, reports, celebrities, thought leaders, discounts and offers.  As a part of the Massachusetts Conference for Women Social Media Street Team, I am awarded a free ticket to the Conference and other enticing rewards. #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  49. 49. How Do You Keep Them?  Show the impact!  This is the most important step.  Your online supporters want to know that all their tweeting, Facebook posting and blogging has actually helped your organization.  Otherwise, why waste their time? #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  50. 50. Example  National Oesteoporis Foundation  They use their Brand Ambassadors to:  Advocate on behalf of their cause to congressional leaders.  Direct people to the NOF website to download advocacy tools and resources  Pass along key research and updates  Respond to community conversations about industry news and events #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  51. 51. Example  St Baldrick’s Foundation  They are volunteer-driven.  “Content is designed to give our volunteers a voice, and provide them with information to share with their friends and family.”  They analyzed what worked and what didn’t work and did more of the stuff that worked. #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  52. 52. Keeping Momentum  Be open-minded and don’t get discouraged. Not everyone will be an Online Brand Ambassador (no matter how much you want them to).  Don’t go by Klout score alone.  Just because someone is influential does not mean that your cause will resonate with them.  Actively look everywhere for people who are passionate about your cause.  Cultivate your current online advocates and thoughtfully create others. #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  53. 53. Keeping Momentum  Identify and acknowledge the special people.  See what you can do to find your offline community and entice them to join you online. #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  54. 54. In Conclusion Too many nonprofits online today seem to have a race- to-the-top mentality – who can get the most fans, the most followers, the most likes.  However, it’s said that just 1% of an organization’s online fan base drives 20% of the traffic to the website and 75% of the interaction on the social networking sites.  Focus your social media efforts on cultivating, engaging and celebrating your biggest online supporters and reap the rewards! #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  55. 55. Tools  GaggleAmp - Nonprofits are able to widely distribute their content and messages by creating a network of people (called a “GaggleTM“) that share, Tweet, and post company-created messages and content.  Dropbox – Post sample social media posts in Dropbox, graphics, photos to share, and language for Online Brand Ambassadors to use #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  56. 56. Nonprofit Resources  John Haydon –  Nonprofit Tech for Good –  Beth Kanter –  Giving 2.0 (book) –  Amy Sample Ward – #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  57. 57. Questions? #army4good @JuliaCSocial @4GoodOrg
  58. 58. Sponsored by: Upcoming Webinars Register at Part Of: Date s Topic 8/20 Email Marketing 101 – Beyond the Monthly Newsletter 8/21 Successfully Navigating a CFO Transition 8/27 No Webinar 8/28 The Importance of Validating Your Statement of Need
  59. 59. Sponsored by: Thank you! Please complete the post event survey that will show up as you leave the webinar. You will be receiving an email with links to the materials shortly after the webinar. Part Of: