Blogging & Social Media Essentials


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Strategic use of blogging and social media is critical for Great Lakes advocates reaching and engaging grassroots supporters, decision-makers, and funder. In this presentation we will cut through the endless list of new media tools to focus on how to strategically use blogs, Facebook, and Twitter to reach your target audience.

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  • My background. Online campaigns: advocacy, marketing and outreach on climate & energy, and GLs restoration. Online editorial work: Helping campaign staff on our climate & energy teams, and the GLRC work blogs into their communication & advocacy plans; then helping them learn how to write and distribute the blogs. NWF and NWF Great Lakes Regional Center and NWF Action Fund. Using web content on; blog content on Wildlife Promise; Facebook; Twitter to advance campaigns.
  • Google finds blog posts faster than standard pages Blog URLs are easy to read Search engines (and readers) know what this is about Blog posts are link sources for other bloggers Links power SEO NWF’s Wildlife Promise blog: - Blog readers average 71% more time on the page than the rest of the site -80% of blog readers that visit the main NWF site are new visitors (to the main site) – so blog is pulling people to Journalists use blogs and social media to source stories 91% of journalists, reporters and editors use search engines to do their job 89% use blogs 65% us social networks Source: TopRankBlog - How Journalists Use Search and Social Media Other Reading: Mashable - How Journalists Use Social Media for Real Results NWF has also used blogs to pitch news stories. Makes your organization “real” by sharing your staff’s authentic voices. -Important for donors & supporters Makes your org relevant & timely. Also connects your content. -Speed & connection. Connect your work to what is happening to the world, and what is happening in the world to your content. -Thanks to the multitude of tags and links in blogs, your content from diverse areas and campaigns are linked wherever they do converge. Brings together issues more wholistically than on your website, which is not making the timely connections. Everyone else is blogging. Now that discussions on your issues are happening in blogs, don’t let your voice be left out. It is too big of an opportunity to spread your message in an interesting, opinionated, and relevant way to ignore or do poorly.
  • People are there. Why not share what you have to say with them? Really, you owe it to your fans and to yourself to share that photo that shows your org going something good, or shares your opinion with a funny/sharp/sweet/intense photo. Social Media Users Engage Deeply -“22% of all time [is spent on social media sites]. For the first time ever, social network or blog sites are visited by three quarters of global consumers who go online. The average visitor spends 66% more time on these sites than a year ago, almost 6 hours in April 2010 versus 3 hours, 31 minutes last year.” Jeremy Owyang -Facebook claims that 50% of active users log into the site each day. This would mean at least 175 million users every 24 hours. Jake Hird -Facebook counts for 44% of all online sharing (of blog posts, articles, information, photos, etc.) Maggie Fox
  • Often there is confusion about the difference between blogs and news articles/press releases, and how the types of content fit together. *Evergreen website content and more frequently changing web features are formal and longer lasting information on the topics your org works on. *Press release = news article. Supposedly neutral and reporting facts. Sometimes dry. *Blog post = op-ed. Make it spicy. Write quickly (but give proper review.) Give it opinion and a strong lede/intro. Toss in an emotionally compelling image. Help people feel something and ask people to DO something (leave a comment to tell what they think, share the article/image, take an action, donate money). *Social media = entertaining nuggets. Twitter=facts. Facebook=images. Along with those posts of facts or images, include a short link to your blog post.
  • Today: Use something you heard at the conference that peaked your interest, and that reinforced the main advocacy message of the conference – that the presidential candidates need to pledge to support Great Lakes restoration and fighting Asian carp. We’ll draft it in a moment.
  • What makes for good online content? Write with your own voice Write often (Minimums: Blog & Facebook, several times per week; Twitter, at least once per day.) Write with your reader in mind (catchy, concise) Write with reasonable expectations for yourself Most of your posts won’t be great Most of your posts won’t be widely read People willing to be provocative will get more traffic than you in short run
  • Admin panel – don’t let it suck you in. Strong image in the style of a FB meme. Facebook wants your best content: the images, questions, infographics, memes and snarky comments that help share your blogs and get your main message out there. This is a big part of sharing the great blog posts that you are going to learn how to write.
  • And Bitly for shortening links.
  • Who are you talking to, and what do you want them to do?
  • Photo: US FWS
  • Blogging & Social Media Essentials

    1. 1. Blogging & Social Media Essentials Jennifer Janssen Online Advocacy & Outreach National Wildlife Federation Healing Our Waters – Great Lakes Restoration 2012 Conference
    2. 2. My Background
    3. 3. Your Background• Why are you here?• Do you blog, or do you want to blog?• Are you on Facebook & Twitter?
    4. 4. Why Blog• Great search engine rankings• Journalists use blogs to source stories• Makes your org “real” & relevant
    5. 5. Why use Facebook.• Your friends, family, supporters, media, decision-makers staff and donors are there.• Social media users engage deeply. 250 “Likes” 55 Tweets
    6. 6. What Content Lives Where Informal Right Now Formal 3 Years from Now
    7. 7. When to Write a Blog Post• Today: Conference-inspired opinion piece• Reaction to relevant & timely news• Updates or overview of policy issue• Stories from events • What else?
    8. 8. When & How to Use Facebook• 3+ times per week• Comment on & share content – Your own content: blogs, news stories, features, reports, opinions, reactions – Share friend’s posts: allies, journalists, decision-makers, funders, supporters.• Post strong images
    9. 9. How to Write a Blog Post• Catchy & concise – Write for audience – 700 words maximum – Active voice – Your voice• Write for the web – Clear headlines – Subheadings – Text blocks < 5 lines – Compelling photos
    10. 10. Facebook
    11. 11. When & How to Use Twitter• At least once a day• To share facts from blogs & news• When other people are (right now) – Hashtag: #healthylakes
    12. 12. Twitter
    13. 13. Hootsuite
    14. 14. Outline Your Blog Post• Think: – Who are you talking to? – What do you want them to do?• Write: – Your headline, lede text and action• Social media – Facebook post (post image) – (share shortened link) – Tweet (fact with hashtag & link)
    15. 15. Go!• Will you post this blog?• Obstacles?