On Monday, I had the opportunity to attend the 2nd annual Social Media For NonProfits conference held on the Microsoft campus. According to the Social Media For NonProfits website,
“Social Media for Nonprofits is the world’s only conference series dedicated to social media for social good and to date has earned a 92% approval rating from over 2,500 nonprofit leaders across the USA. Instead of abstract concepts and theory, our focus is on sharing practical tips and tools for fundraising, marketing, and advocacy with nonprofit decision-makers.”
Oh.My.Gosh. It was A-MAZING! 8 hours listening to talented, skilled social media experts who work every day in the world of non-profits and explained how “social media is the great equalizer enabling community-based organizations of all sizes to have massive impact” (Social Media For NonProfits). The knowledge they have for tips and tricks to help a non-profit successfully grow their organization and use social media as an amazing tool to engage those interested, volunteers, donors, potential donors and goverment programs to just name a few. This event completly opened my eyes to use social media as an instrument to impact social change.
Here are some of the best tips and hints I received (and tweeted) during the event I came across during the conference and now while I’ve gone back and re-looked at all the presentations! These tips were generated to help nonprofits, but I think many of them (if not all) can help even the personal blogger grow and expand his or her online presence!
*Note, I included a link to the actual presentation slides that go along with the tips or quotes if you are interested in learning more!
- Evernote is a great tool for organization-I admit I’ve had Evernote on my IPhone for months. I think Jackie or Jillinsisted I downloaded this, I cannot remember for sure..but to be honest I have never used it and that little elephant app has sat empty on my phone until now! I’m so ready to try out this tool!What does Evernote do? You can capture anything by saving your ideas, things you like, things you hear, and things you see. You can access it anywhere as it works with nearly every computer, phone and mobile device. AND you can find things fast by searching by keyword, tag or text! How cool is that?
- “Content Curation is not stealing, it’s the way the web is going” - Zan McCollochLussier (@zanarama), Presenter of Creating and Curating Killer Content
Content curation is a process of sorting, organizing and arranging a compilation of items/information/etc around a specific topic. The example of content curation that makes the most sense to me is Pinterest. On Pinterest people organize (pin) similar items or ideas together into one coehesive organized board. There are many content curation tools and sites that can be used to compile information together, however [currently] the only automated curation site that pulls together information from your twitter followers into a [somewhat] cohesive online daily newspaper, is Paper.Li….which I was thrilled to hear since I already use it!It’s important to remember that it is quality over quantity and “make sure what you’re sharing is the cream of the crop” (@zanarama).
- “If you are boring offline, you will be boring online, but now amplified” – Ash Shepard (@NPTech_Ash), Presenter of Don’t Just Do It, Do It Well! Process and Management of Social Media EffortsHow true is this statement? If you are boring “in real life,” just your friends and family will see it, however once you put something on the internet it is blasted out to the world and suddenly you are no longer boring to just a handful of people…you are boring to the entire world! In nonprofits, it’s important to present the organization by managing the conversation through tone, voice, story and messaage. Be engaging! Storyboard your campaign! Have a plan! Connecting and linking interests to your organization’s mission is the key to real relationships and sharing which will lead to more broadcasting of your content
Get the community involved and participating in posts. Ask questions. Engage with your readers. Make it personal. Make people talk. This will begin a fast moving ripple effect of engagement with your readers and your community.
- “Social Media is the 21st century cigarrette break” – Ritu Sharma (@ritusharma1) & Laura Coltrin (@lauracoltrin), Presenters of Leverging Social Media for EventsPeople don’t spend their cigarrette breaks smoking anymore (well at least not many of us!)…we now use it to check Facebook, Twitterand other Social Media outlets! Heck, how many people can go to the bathroom without their phone? Heaven forbid we sit on the toilet without our phones!If we are checking out social media during those times, so is the rest of the world. Therefore, it’s important to push your content to be published during those times! The number one times people are online during the day is between 8-9am, lunchtime, 3-5pm and after 9 when the kids are in bed. AKA during the commute (of course not when YOU are driving!), lunch and the afternoon lull. Furthermore, the most strategic time to hit an even bigger audience its recommeneded to post Tuesday-Thursday between 9-11am and 1-2pm. Oh and don’t forget it’s important to post on the weekend too! If you’re sitting bored and surfing the net, there’s a high chance someone else is too at that very moment!
- Visual content is SIMBA [think Lion King]: Snackable, Inspirational, Motivational, Bold, Actionable – Noland Hoshino (@NolandHoshino), Presenter of Lets Get Visual! Visual Content Marketing StrategiesFace it, you are more attracted to a blog post when there are pictures involved? Am I not right? Who wants to read a ton of text? It’s the pictures that grab people in and get their attention. (Note taken…this post sucks when it comes to visuals!) The goal of visual content is to generage fan-created content as visuals are processed 60% faster by the brain than text.
Photos also say a lot without saying a lot! Through photos, videos, infographics, sketches and slide shows you can share lots with your readers. Another tip was “chunk”-ing infographs….I’m still confused by this but according to this presentation by cutting up infographics and staggering shares will prolong engagement. Are you an infographics ninja? Help me understand!
- How energy efficient am I being? Great ways for measurement dashboards – Holly Ross (@ntenhross), Presenter of Social Media Dashboards that Help You DriveHow many of you are addicted to reading the metrics of your blog or site? Prior to my blogging slump that was me. Two years ago I participated in Kludgy Mom‘s B2S/B2B event where she introduced me to the wonderful world of metrics (blog statistics) and how to incorporate them into growing and making my blog even better (I know hard to believe it could get any better!). I even created a statbook, that I (used to) fill out monthly to keep track of all the fun statistics! Below you can check out Gigi’s amazing blog posts on blog statistics, making them actionable and creating your own statbook.KludgyMom’s Tutorials and Tips on Creating StatBooks:
–> Blog Stats – The Magnificent 7
–> Making Your Blog Stats Actionable
–> Creating a StatBook: Tutorial
Back to Holly’s presentation and using metrics with nonprofits …. by creating your own measurement dashboard (I recommend and use Google Analytics) you can see the reporting that is important to you and your organization! Keep track, bring order, structure and a process to the raw data that is important to helping you grow your nonprofit’s social media presence online! Metrics are more important than how many followers and/or likes you have … that’s a shocker I know!
- “People Give to People” and Not Organizations – Darian Rodriguez Heyman (@dheyman), Presenter of A Guide to Social Fundraising
Did you know that the most powerful form of an ask is a “Peer Ask”? People are more likely to donate to a person who shares a cause or has a personal connection or story to the organization. You need to tug at the hearttsrings of your donors. Once you have done the ask, turn your donors into your personal fundraisers by making it easy for them to share with their social network after they donate. Nonprofits with this online option will see a 20-200% bump in revenue! How crazy is that?!You have about 3 seconds to catch the attention of potential donors. Does your homepage have photos, videos, statistics – something to grab the attention of visitors? It is recommnended to think incrementally to show the greatest impact. For instance at Eastside Baby Corner a donation of $10 pays for five days of disposable diapers , keeping a baby dry and healthy. $15 buys 3 days of formula, ensuring that a vulnerable infant has adequate nutrition for proper development, $25 ….Secondly, if it takes more than 3 clicks to donate from any page on your site, you need to redo your site. People will give up and not follow through with their donation if there is that many steps involved. Make it easy. Make it convienent! Don’t make your potential donors work to hard, do the work for them!
Wow! That was quite the post! Can you tell I loved this event?? I could go on and on, but these were the items that really stood out to me, that I wanted to share and pass along to others!
If you get a chance I highly recommend you attend Social Media For NonProfits. They have conferences all across the United States and starting next week they will be in New Delhi in India! It is WELL worth the money spent to attend!!