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Posts Tagged ‘social media’

So your organization has decided to put together a social media fundraising campaign. You have seen other organizations magically put their work out into the social media ether and emerge a few days later with money.Campaigns like Twestival have raised more than $250k on twitter alone, so you figure you’ll put your donation link out there, and the tweeters (and dollars) will follow. It’s always possible that your twitter campaign will go viral. However with more than 140 million twitter users on the net, being top of mind may be a challenge. So what can your organization do to improve the success of your campaigns? Are there actions you could take prior to the release that would improve your chances?

Yes! And a lot of them are just variations on the kind of communication prep you would use for fundraising campaigns, with or without social media.

Identify your advocates, partners, and connectors.

Sometimes a campaign is so compelling that people who care about the cause you’re championing will spread it, but by taking time to inform the people in your party that the campaign is coming, you have an opportunity to lock in the attention of influencers without competing with the hundreds of other tweets on their wall. Build lists of people and partner organizations who are in your corner and get them primed for your campaign when it’s released.

Integrate the campaign with other forms of communication.

While the focus of the campaign itself may be on twitter or facebook, be sure to outline how the message can be crafted and distributed through the various forms of communication being used in your organization. Take stock of your blog, email, facebook, and even direct mail, to see how the different communication pieces can be pulled together to effectively support the campaign. This will again let your existing network know that the campaign exists and provide another opportunity for it to be shared, spread, and result in more donations.

Say Thank You

During the campaign itself it is helpful to have a way to recognize and thank those who have participated and have made it possible for your campaign to be successful. When you are planning, make sure you organize a way of giving accolades and expressing gratitude to the individuals who helped you along. This becomes an important step to building momentum behind future campaigns. The better people feel for taking part, the more likely it is for them to not only tell their friends, but participate in future campaigns that you organize.

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Volunteers are crucial to a nonprofit organization’s sustainability.  You may have existing tools attract, and retain talented people who are willing to contribute to your cause, but now you can consider how social media can be part of the mix. Since internet users are more likely to volunteer it’s good to figure out how to use social media to engage people in your nonprofit’s volunteer efforts.

The three core functions of a successful volunteer program can be broken down to Recruitment, Retention, and Recognition. Each of these can be powered and accelerated with the strategic use of social media. This blog will discuss how this can be used for recruitment.

Recruitment

volunteerThe first step in a successful volunteer program for your organization is attracting people to help out. In the hunt for volunteers, you can use social media to get some traction in your efforts :

  • Leverage Your Existing Social Media Network: In your volunteer recruitment efforts, if you are placing a generic posting on a nonprofit job board, chances are some of the people who see your ad may like your organization or be keyed into your cause, others may not. If you are already engaged in social media, your existing tools are the first place to start. You have already established a connection and presence with people who care enough about your cause to follow you in some way. Your messages to your twitter followers or facebook fans have by default become more targeted because they are people who are already interested in what your organization represents. Design campaigns that go out to your existing networks.
  • Make It Shareable: Social Media is called “social” for a reason. Increase your chances of being mentioned through word of mouth in the by giving people who sign up easy ways of sharing your organization’s project with their friends.

-Facebook- Get a more tech savvy staff member to use facebook integrations so when users sign up to volunteer with you, they have an option to share that message with their friends.

-Twitter- Create a hashtag for your event and use it for tweets related to the volunteer project. Then use Twitter’s Widget Tool to create a badge that shows all the tweets about the event based on the event.It will give people the impression that there’s a buzz about it and also give users a way to signal to each other that they are participating in the same event.

  • Connect with Influencers: To widen the scope of your influence after getting the word out in your own circles, start engaging individuals with high leverage points in your target audiences. By getting buy-in from people who have wide audiences, your volunteer opportunities will not only be exposed to a larger number of relevant people, but will likely come from someone who is trusted in the community you are trying to reach.

Case Study: Volunteer 4 Long Island

This is a great example of an organization that used some of the above strategies for a successful volunteer recruitment campaign. They started by optimizing their existing social media vehicles and corrected the error in the site. After taking stock of what they had in place already, they chose to expand their reach by tapping into the specific network of Long Island Tweetups. They messaged specific twitter influencers in the group to get them on board with Volunteer 4 Long Island’s project. This lead to retweets, facebook messages, and several more volunteers signing up.

If you’d like to learn more strategies and read more case studies for how social media can be used to boost your nonprofit’s volunteer efforts, then be sure to sign up for the webinar on the topic in a few weeks.

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Social media has clearly made its way into mainstream marketing strategies for a wide range of companies, nonprofit organizations, personal brands, and everything in between (if you missed that, check out our Social Media 101 resources). What does that mean for business-to-business (B2B) companies selling green products? While social media plays a different role in mass consumer brands, this doesn’t mean you should count social media out! If your audience is online, chances are there is a role for social media channels to play in enhancing your marketing and sales process!

Take for example Kinaxis, a tech company specializing in supply-chain management, that has seen how social media can help B2B companies reach their goals. In this interview with the director of corporate marketing, Kirsten Watson discussed three main strategies that lend themselves to Kinaxis’s success in social media.

1) Connect with very targeted niches

As a business that’s not consumer oriented, it’s even more important for you to be really specific about the social niches that you want to build a presence in. As green products tend to fit very specific uses, such as materials within a green building project, you are likely selling to really specific customers in very targeted markets. Our advice: Maintain that laser focus and identify the specific communities that you want to connect with. Kinexis narrowed down their target audiences by the company’s industry classification (NAIC). Regardless of how specific, be sure to use criteria that works for you to define a market and make the social networking more manageable.

2) Choose the right channel for your tone, message, target audience, and goals.

After identifying the specific niches you are targeting, think about the goals that you have for connecting with each of those communities and the messages and tone that will best resonate. What channels are the best fit for what you are trying to accomplish and where your audience is listening? Sometimes it’s best to leverage more established channels like email or your website, while other times you need niche blogs, social media, or even mobile tools. How will you use each channel to achieve your goals? Kinaxis uses their email campaigns (which go out to the largest cross-section of customers) to let their community know about the range of content in their other communication channels. By planning which channels your message will go out to, you increase your chances of getting the attention of your prospects.

3) Integrate social media with marketing automation tools

Some companies post content on Facebook and Twitter and cross their fingers, hoping something will come of it. Kinexis got more proactive about their social ROI by integrating their social media with Salesforce in order to gain deeper insights about their leads. By keeping track of the quality of interaction between potential customers and your various vehicles of communication, you can easily identify who are the best prospects, get more insight into what would get their attention and engage them in the content your company is producing. Social media is useful, but paired with a strong CRM system like Salesforce, it can become a great tool for nurturing leads and closing sales.

While social media may be more common (especially in the news!) among consumer businesses, it needs to form a part of the marketing strategy for B2B companies as well. For green companies, it can be a key way of educating and engaging prospects. Just remember to limit your target audience so it doesn’t get unmanageable! If you are ready to take a deeper dive, consider using our Social Media Planning workbook or contact us to find out how to boost your business through more effective online marketing.

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apIn our workshops and trainings, we stress that social media is best viewed as a conversation — an honest, friendly, transparent exchange between you and your target. We stress that, unlike traditional marketing, social media must not be controlled (it simply can’t). It must be reacted to.

The Associated Press proved this point the hard way last week. According to a Mashable article, the AP created a strict social media policy that prohibits employees from revealing their opinions about religion, politics, or other “contentious issues” on their personal social media accounts. The policy also suggests that employees remove postings from friends that “violate AP standards,” without defining what those standards are and how they relate to social media.

Why the AP imposed these guidelines is obvious: the higher-ups fear the mix of personal and professional content in social media could compromise the organization’s journalistic objectivity. But what happens when a news organization limits free speech by attempting to control what its employees say? Doesn’t that compromise just as much, if not more?

Already, the AP is feeling backlash from its employees. It’ll be interesting to follow how the AP adjusts its policy, and if this conflict affects how people (especially bloggers) view the AP in the months to come.

For more information, read Mashable’s article on 10 must-haves for social media policies.

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In a recent article, Mashable reviewed and compared 19 popular Twitter desktop applications. The reviews are informative, but mainly focus on how these applications can benefit individuals who tweet, not businesses. Does this mean that the Twitter apps best suited for individual users are the ones best suited for businesses or organizations? Not necessarily. If your business uses Twitter, here are five business-geared apps that will make your social media life a lot easier:

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