BOOK GIVEAWAY: Who in here has been to Disney? Stand up Stay standing if you’ve been more than 5 times, 10, 25, 50, 100… Let’s hear it for the themepark road warrior, you won a book! So, let me ask you a question. Before you stormed the park, did you have a plan? A strategy before hitting all the rides? Maybe grabbing a fastpass or heading to the back of the park first?
Well, you’ve got a social media plan, right? Raise your hand if you have this written down somewhere. Have you told anyone else about it? The office pet maybe?
Well, a lot of people are in the same boat. So, before we head off into shiny tools and tactic land – let’s talk a bit about developing a plan. This can be pretty overwhelming, but a great way to simplify the process is by applying the POST method. (Borrowed from the book Groundswell) Instead of starting with tools (Hey, let’s start a Pinterest page!), you start with the people – who do you want to reach? What’s the demographic? Then on to the O – the objectives. What are the MEASURABLE goals I have? This is KEY for developing social media measurement. If you don’t have specific objectives, then you are just counting vs. measuring against a well-defined goal. S is for strategy. How are things going to look different when I achieve my goals? (What’s the high level outcome?) Finally, and only when you have the P, the O, and the S sussed out, comes the tactics. And that, is what we’re going to focus on today.
Strategic statement: P – is the local supporters O – 200% is the measurable objective S – Increase community engagement T – what tactics can we use?
Enter the tactics. All 101 of them. This presentation contains all of the tactics in the book 101 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits, which I co-authored with Chad Norman and released with Wiley in February. We’ll take a closer look at a bunch of them. In the book, there are 101 tactics, each with an overview of why it is important, what you need to do it, how you do it and a closer look case study at an organization who is doing it well. Cool part is - most of the tactics are free.
The tactics are organized in 5 sections, with the majority being in engage, where they should be. (I know what you’re thinking – they shouldn’t be in fundraise!) However, the book wasn’t designed to be read cover to cover, but instead, used as a field guide to handpick tactics that support your plan.
For example, in our first example, if you want to reach more local supporters, you may want to claim your venue on foursquare, connect with top tweeters in your area, or organize a tweetup.
Or, if you want to increase online donations, you may want to encourage supporters to make a wish, launch a sponsored tweet campaign, or ask supporters to pledge social actions.
The first tactics we’ll cover are all focused on starting off on the right foot. Properly branding your page and optimizing the setup of your accounts.
With the new timeline design of Facebook, branding your page is even more important. You basically have three areas where you have the opportunity to build brand continuity – your cover, your avatar and your icons. Livestrong did a fantastic job with incorporating its iconic yellow band into all three and they even seem to flow together. If your organization’s name isn’t central to your logo, don’t worry about including it in the avatar necessarily, because your name will always appear right next to the avatar. Mission-related cover photos can be super powerful as well. I really like what many organizations are doing by providing supporters with cover photos that they can use to show their support of the organization.
There are many commenting tools you can choose to use that provide similar functionality, but in this case, we’re going to talk about Disqus. Disqus allows you to add commenting anywhere on your site and on your blog that authenticates with popular social network logins. This removes the barrier to entry by making it easy for someone to authenticate with their existing credentials and pulls in their photo from whatever site they choose. This is a great way to add some interactivity to your website too.
Power of social media is the action of sharing The sharing of mission-related photos helps extend your reach and story Providing clear usage guidelines provides instant access to your content to media, bloggers, and other supporters who want to help spread the world. Example: The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies puts photos of their relief work up on Flickr. The use of CC licensing invites users to share their story while ensuring proper acknowledgement. The beauty of CC licensing is you can tighten or loosen the rights based on needs. This doesn’t just have to be on Flickr though – you can provide cc licensing info on your site, in your pressroom or on documents and videos too.
In this section, we’ll cover ways to target and extend your communications and take advantage of the many features that are unique to each platform. Tactics we’re not featuring today, but are worth a mention include:
Identifying, targeting influencers and building real relationships can bring real results. Using sites like Twitaholic, you can ID local users who are active, have the largest network or have the most clout (using other tools) Once Ided, you can top this group of key influencers next time your social media campaign needs an extra push. Example: Once you’ve Ided key influencers, here are some real, non-creepy ways to engage them: Get to know their interests Start a conversation directly with them RT them, if relevent content Reply to their questions If you find their content useful, throw them a FF Once you’ve established a relationship, you may ask them to share a timely message, or dm them to ask for help with an issue. Build your twitter Army so next time you have an immediate need, you can easily get the word out.
Hashtags are a super powerful way to aggregate/monitor conversations. To create a hashtag on Twitter, you simply put a pound sign before a word or acronym. This then generates a live link that will produce a search query on the term if you click on it. Hashtags are a huge part of the Twitter community, but it is important that you tailor your Facebook updates because they are useless on other platofrms and it is quite obvious that you are automating your updates if hashtags are showing up there. Supporting the last tactic, you can search on local hashtags like #chs for charleston, where I live to see what people are tweeting about in your area or to add #chs to get your voice added to the stream. In this example, the hashtag is #climatechange. Each mission has a set of hashtags associated with it – the key is to find out what the most popular or often used tags are. You can also take advantage of trending topics or hashtags on Twitter by inserting yourself into that conversation as well.
It is an easy way to incorporate real-time activity into your site. It’s easy – one line of code can turn a static page into a dynamic destination. FB’s social plugins let visitors of your site to see what their friends have liked, commented on, or shared. Everyone has seen the “Like” button, but there are 11 total plugins you can use. A great example of the use of social plugins is Epic Change’s “To Mama with Love” site. The campaign, which took place around Mothers Day in honor of mamas everywhere benefitting female changemakers, around the world raised $30,000 last year. Visitors to the highly-interactive site were asked to create a “heartspace” in honor of the mama of their choice or a loved one. The heartspace was added to an interactive map and visitors could like comment and share it. With the FB plugin, the activity was aggregated and shared back on the homepage where it could inspire more activity.
Your organization’s supporters are often the best people to tell its story. If you are clear about your intentions, it is a great way to crowdsource content. It is rewarding for supporters to have their artwork promoted. The Sierra Club does an awesome job integrating supporter photos in its Daily Ray of Hope Newsletter. The org uses its Flickr group to solicit photos and features one per day, giving credit to the supporter. The org has amassed enough photos to do this for 60 years. There are only 6900 subscribers to the daily enewsletter, but a whopping 50 percent open rate.
The KONY 2012 video got 100 million views in 6 days. Why? It was controversial, it told a story, and it had a clear call to action. Don’t recite your mission statement verbatim. Use humor, do something different that will surprise people or evoke emotion. If you are going to use video, which I highly recommend, don’t use a talking head. Have a strong call to action and a clear message to your video, and make it interesting and unique.
Livestreaming is a great way to involve a broader audience in your mission and event. There are tons of platforms you can use like USTREAM – pictured here. You can now livestream content on your YouTube channel as well. (A benefit of the nonprofit program.) Some examples of what you may want to livestream include a walk or run, a performance, the construction of your new building, oh, and PUPPIES! Who doesn’t love staring at webcam shots of cute puppies as they play together. The ExtraLives Marathons example is really unique in that they livestream themselves playing old video games and periodically put up a call to action to raise funds. You can see they raised about $3500 in this example by using a chipin widget on the page.
Taking communication to the next step – getting people to take action and interact with your brand. Feeding the feed, when people take actions, that action is seen by their followers/friends. Plus, once someone takes an action on your behalf, they are 7x more likely to donate when asked.
These used to be tabs, but are now called apps. Best Friends Animal Society has a Pets of the Week featured on a custom app where you can go to learn more about pets available for adoption. Each of these pets get 100s of clicks. It brings the look, feel, and experience of the website to Facebook where supporters are already interacting. Remove the barrier! You can also build a donation tab that pulls in your online giving form, an app with multiple calls to action around different ways to get involved (signup for newsletter, volunteer, etc.) Static html app – setup in 5 min, plug in html.
Success shouldn’t be solely measured by the # of Likes your org’s Facebook page has, but a large supporter base sure doesn’t hurt. Especially when you are an advocacy-based org. We all know Facebook advertising is a great acquisition tool, however, if that isn’t in your budget, a good ole grassroots like campaign may be in order. It relies on existing supporters to recruit like-minded friends. Example: One of the most successful ”Like” campaigns I’ve seen is from The California State Parks Foundation. When park funding was facing major cuts, this organization launched a multichannel effort to raise awareness and advocate the issue. The Foundation’s “Friend get a friend” campaign grew the organization’s Facebook base from 517 likes to 33,0000 in two weeks. Key takeaways from the campaign include: Be direct – just ask! Multichannel is key Tell supporters how to utilize the share link Set a numerical goal or tie it around an awareness initiative.
If you have an active campaign, it’s good to tell supporters how they can help. Give them a guide. The page features hashtags associated with the climate bill discussion and shows the hashtags of the opposing groups. The idea is your supporters can interject and spread the word to influence both sides of the discussion. They give you a script with ways to respond to certain tweets and ways you can help spread their views. They also have Tweet this buttons to make it super easy for people to participate.
Why? Blogs are a powerful storytelling platform. There are many niche/influential bloggers who may align with your mission. Can create an avalanche of awareness Example: Save the Children took 3 of the UK’s top mummy bloggers to Bangladesh to provide a firsthand experience and to raise awareness of child mortality. And, like any legit blogger would do, they tweeted, blogged, and posted videos the entire time. Reached 10 million people and inspired 63,000 actions.
Tweetup is a meetup organized on social media. It’s a great way to get online supporters offline for some real-life engagement. Exclusive benefit for social supporters – treat them like VIPs. Use Tweetvite to organize. Great for zoos, museums etc to give people behind the scenes VIP access. Just don’t make it about fundraising! It is great to add a service project to a tweetup though.
You may think, my org doesn’t have a physical location like a building that supporters check into, so Foursquare isn’t for me. However, through the use of tips, you can bring your mission to people at multiple locations when they check-in. Charleston Parks Conservancy is all about advocating the use of local parks. So, when you check in at Blackbaud, for instance, a tip pops up suggesting you get out of the office and check out this neighboring 7-acre park. National Wildlife Foundation and The History Channel have also left tips throughout the US bringing their missions to people’s phones via foursquare.
Taking Flickr group a step further. Great for orgs that have highly visual mission. Indianapolis Museum of Art is a beautiful museum, with beautiful grounds. They have a bunch of great sculptures, including the LOVE sculpture. Great use of free tools, crowdsourcing, location based services mashed up together. Set up a group and asked people to upload photos of the museum. Since photos are geo-tagged, they show up on the map as a pink dot. Every Flickr group has a map feature and it is embeddable on their website, etc. It provides a great interactive map.
The tactics I’ll talk about next are all centered on fundraising. An important thing to note though is not to think of social media in a silo, but instead, as a component of multichannel fundraising efforts. Nonprofits are still not raising a lot of money directly on social media, but it has proven to be a huge referring source for fundraising.
Let’s supporters ask for donations to your organization in lieu of physical gifts. Causes provides many easy-to-use tools for alternative giving. Many of you have probably used the birthday wish feature, but did you know you can now use the same platform for wedding and other memorial wishes? You can also promote this on your site as an additional way to give, add a wish widget, etc.
Through YouTube’s nonprofit program, you get a bunch of specific features including the ability to use annotations to link out to get people to your website. (vs. just within the Google world.) (These are the thought bubbles or boxes you see in videos.) Great example is Livestrong – graphical banner with calls to action. Retweet this, post to facebook, donate online, get stillerstrong.org. Created invisible annotations to keep a persistent call to action at the bottom.
Peer-to-peer fundraising is about as social as it gets – it’s when you give your supporters tools and tips for raising money on behalf of your organization. Peer fundraisers are especially successful when they incorporate social media into their ask arsenal. Study by Blackbaud and Charity Dynamics showed that event participants that used social media tools in their outreach raised 40% more than those who did not. Your job as event guides is to educate event fundraisers on how and why they should use the tools. The Salvation Army used Blackbaud’s Friends Asking Friends to raise nearly $2 million with its online red kettle campaign. The organization credits the use of social media tools with a greater ability to engage fundraisers and reach new donors.
Groupon and Livingsocial along with a slew of startup deal sites are great low-cost acquisition tools. Nonprofits can opt to participate in a daily deal, or participate in a platform specific nonprofit program. Depending on your philosophy on discounting Nonprofit specific offers based on matching gift campaigns Membership or ticket sales Discounted services
HelpAttack is a startup that is focused on helping raise funds based on social actions. As a donor, you make a pledge – for instance 10 cents per Facebook update. Then, you choose an organization that it will benefit. To be in this potential list – you need to signup to be added. As you can see, more than $10000 has been raised.
Pinterest is one of the top social sites driving traffic to retailers. Creating a presence on Pinterest is a great way to not only extend the reach of your organization’s brand, but also its gift shop, online store or retail marketing. Provide the pinning tools, open up your boards, pin (some) of your products, and watch as Pinterest grows on your list of referring sites. See what people are already pinning from your site by replacing “yoursite.com” with your website address at the end of this link: http://pinterest.com/source/yoursite.com.
Facebook insights continues to offer more and more bells and whistles to help make you, the admin, smarter. USE THEM! The best way to get your audience to engage with your content and share it with friends is to understand what the people you’re reaching care about. Page Insights gives you the data you need to gather these consumer insights. With Page Insights, you can: Assess the performance of your Page Learn which content resonates with your audience Optimize how you publish to your audience so that people will tell their friends about you Get at some really great demographics that you don’t get with other platforms.
1. Measuring new visitors to your site from social channels is a great way to gauge awareness 2. Any basic web analytics program can provide % of new visitors to your site from each platform. 3. You can use those stats to refine your strategy Don’t just look at % though – it’s all relative. Look at total number of visits.
If you aren’t currently monitoring social media in a holistic way, an iGoogle dashboard is a fantastic way to start. It’s free, it centralizes information, and can be accessed by multiple users. This dashboard is built by creating an organizational Google account, and pulling in multiple RSS widgets pulling in search feeds on various topics, for instance, a Twitter search on your organization’s name, a google alert based on news about your organization.
M e lanie M ath os @ m e lm ath owww.s lid e s h are .ne t/ e lm ath o m
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