Friday, February 26, 2010

The Future of the Non-Profit Internet


Earlier this month, Pew Internet released its annual Future of the Internet report. The survey of 900 leaders forecasts the future direction of online media. In turn non-profit strategists can glean insights into the future, and how to steer their individual programs.

This year’s research report dove into five critical areas. Here’s what non-profits need to take away from the Pew report for their efforts:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How to Use “Us vs Them” Stories to create Social Media Evangelists

From Dan Zarrella:

The villain is wronging the victim.

If the listener believes this statement, and believes that the victim deserves to be saved and if the villain is bigger or more powerful than them they will realize that the only way to effectively challenge the villain is to recruit more people to help. The evangelism hook is implicit, subtle and powerful.

Journalists’ Use of Social Media Is Surging

From the Society for New Communications Research:

While the 2008 study brought to light a striking disparity in adoption rates and attitudes about the value of new communications and social media technologies and citizen journalism between the youngest versus the older journalists, the 2009 data shows explosive growth in the adoption of social media tools and technologies across all data sets.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How can I encourage my fans to take action?

From Andy Sernovitz and SmartBlog on Social Media:

Having an army of fans is a fantastic word-of-mouth asset — but that’s only half the job. The other part is getting them to take action — this is where the power of word of mouth really starts to make itself apparent.

While most fans would love to help you, they might not be sure where to start, or where their efforts could really make a difference. But with a little encouragement and hard work on your end, you can turn these fans into true ambassadors.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Twitter Analyze Words

Analyze Words
AnalyzeWords helps reveal your personality by looking at how you use words. It is based on good scientific research connecting word use to who people are. So go to town - enter your Twitter name or the handles of friends, lovers, or Hollywood celebrities to learn about their emotions, social styles, and the ways they think.

5 Twitter Management Tools You Can’t Live Without

From Social Media Today

Without a doubt, one of the most popular shiny new objects of many social media marketing programs is Twitter. There are Twitter books, Twitter conferences, Twitter blogs and numerous articles devoted to Twitter marketing. Unfortunately, there’s not enough time left over after reading all the promises of marketing nirvana from using Twitter to actually implement recommendations.

Fortunately, social media masterminds at companies like Seesmic, TweetDeck and HootSuite — to name a few — have developed tools to make our Tweeting lives easier. Or at least more efficient. We use such tools here at @toprank to grow own Twitter presence as well as for clients on a daily basis and have learned quite a bit about Twitter best practices and which tools work best.

Here are five Twitter account management tools to help you keep your Twitter activity in check – whether you tweet for one account or many.

I would add to this list, UberTwitter for use on the BlackBerry. It's great.

Friday, February 19, 2010

2010 Nonprofit Text Messaging Benchmarks

Very interesting report from M+R Strategic Services and MobileActive:

In its current form, text messaging is most effective as part of a multi-channel communications strategy. For the foreseeable future, email, web and direct mail are likely to continue to be the primary means by which organizations communicate with supporters, raise money and generate action. However, text messaging can reinforce messages from other channels, provide an immediate engagement opportunity in urgent situations, and serve as a key part of a broader communications strategy.
And this:
The response rate for call-in advocacy text messages (text messages urging a supporter to make a call to a decision-maker on behalf of the organization) was 4.7 percent – is nearly six times the 2009 benchmark response rate of 0.82 for call-in advocacy emails. This rate is impressive, and indicative of the power of text messaging to generate an immediate response.
And, another excellent report from M+R on non-profit organizations' 2009 use of e-mail and other online activities for advocacy and fundraising.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A 4 Stage Model for Member Engagement in Online Communities

From Social Media Today
Creating a successful, vibrant online community – especially for an audience of busy professionals – requires a thoughtful, active approach to attracting, inviting, involving, maintaining and retaining members. The umbrella term to describe the process of acquiring and sustaining participation by members in an online community is member engagement.

Facebook Mobile Tops 100 Million Users

From MarketingProfs

More than 100 million people are actively using Facebook from their mobile devices every month, a 54% increase from the 65 million people who did so just
six months ago, according to Facebook. The data come less than a week after Facebook announced it had exceeded 400 million users in total.

People who use Facebook on their mobile devices are twice as active on Facebook as non-mobile users, according to Facebook statistics.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Curating Content for Social Media Outposts

Guest Post by Maggie McGary on SocialFish
If you had to pull stuff from your association’s web site five days a week and deliver it to a mix of members and non-members, what would you choose? Does your site have five new items per week that are of broad enough interest, aren’t overly sales-y, and are interesting enough to inspire fans to act by “liking,” commenting or clicking back to your site? How about stuff they’d re-tweet?

Facebook launch 'Zero' site for mobile phones

From BBC News

The world's biggest social network has revealed details of a stripped-down, text-only version of its mobile site called Facebook Zero.

The low-bandwidth site is aimed at people viewing Facebook on their mobile and will launch "in the coming weeks."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Facebook Doubles Audience Year-on-Year, Myspace Continues Decline

From ClickZ

U.S. unique monthly visitors to Facebook grew 96.5 percent between January 2009 and January 2010, with over half the U.S. online population visiting during the course of the month, according to data from comScore.

By contrast, visits to MySpace dipped 23.5 percent in that period, with 27.7 percent of users accessing the site during the month of January. That represents a loss of almost a quarter of its unique audience over the past 12 months.

Twitter's Web site grew its traffic by over 800 percent in the same period, but started from a much smaller base. In addition, comScore only tracks traffic to the Web site, and excludes activity on the network via third-party applications such as TweetDeck, which are believed to account for a large portion of its use.

The Number One Reason Your Nonprofit Should Check Out Google Buzz

From Social media and inbound marketing for non-profits:

So Why Should My Nonprofit Buzz?

At this point, the opportunity for non-profits is not totally clear. Yes, there is a huge potential for increased exposure with Buzz, but only time will tell us how Gmail folks will actually use Buzz – and how that impacts your nonprofit. And yes, there is a potentially massive user base. But how many of those folks will continue to be active users?

However, one thing is clear: Buzz is an opportunity for you to flex your “early adopter muscles.”

The world of social media is changing all around us with increasing speed. In order to vet opportunities quickly, your nonprofit needs to be able to quickly understand the functionality of new technology and quickly assess it’s business applications. Buzz gives you an opportunity to flex this muscle.

Monday, February 15, 2010

10 Must-Haves for Your Social Media Policy

10 Must-Haves for Your Social Media Policy

This is several months old, but still quite useful information from the Mashable Social Media Guide.

A few weeks ago, I wrote that your organization should have a social media policy, and one of the things I heard among all the great comments was: “Okay, but what should it say?”

There are generally two approaches to social media policy making. Some organizations handle social media in an evolutionary way. Chad Houghton, the director of e-media and business development at the Society for Human Resource Management, told me that he thinks, “it might be beneficial not to create some arbitrary rules without first seeing where the opportunities and risks really are.”

Other organizations, meanwhile, feel more comfortable establishing a clear policy from the outset. IBM, for example, has published their social media guidelines publicly for anyone to read. It’s a great policy, though rather long.

Whether you’re writing your social media policy from the get-go, or letting it develop organically in reaction to situations as they arise, here are 10 things you should definitely consider. These 10 tips will help you steer clear of pitfalls and allow you to focus on what’s important: engaging the customer.

Friday, February 12, 2010

How One Savvy Nonprofit Is Leveraging Social Media

Guest Post: How One Savvy Nonprofit Is Leveraging Social Media (Even During the Great Recession) MarketingProfs Daily Fix Blog
According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, donations are down 9% this year, causing non-profit organizations to cut critical programs; some organizations are even in jeopardy of closure. However, as a new year approaches, the outlook doesn’t have to be so grim. With the right marketing mix, savvy non-profits are able to leverage social media marketing to their benefit to reach and engage donors and offset declines. Here are some of the ways one particular non-profit, The Staley Foundation, is succeeding.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Social Institute

Social Institute

Interesting. Let's see what comes of this from the folks at The Port Networks. I'm going to offer the RSS feed from FB4TMA as my contribution.
We are proud to announce that we have launched the Social Institute! While we are still in the beginning stages, we are proud to be on our way to building a repository of social media resources and educational offerings that will benefit you. Please learn how you can get involved to join, support and contribute to the cause!

People Share News Online That Inspires Awe, Researchers Find

Findings - People Share News Online That Inspires Awe, Researchers Find -
From the Feb. 4, 2010, New York Times:
Sociologists have developed elaborate theories of who spreads gossip and news — who tells whom, who matters most in social networks — but they’ve had less success measuring what kind of information travels fastest. Do people prefer to spread good news or bad news? Would we rather scandalize or enlighten?
Which stories do social creatures want to share, and why?"

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

10 Nonprofit Text Alert Campaigns

10 Nonprofit Text Alert Campaigns « Nonprofit Tech 2.0

Not to be confused with Text-to-Give campaigns (Text HAITI to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross), text alert campaigns are when individuals opt-in to be alerted of breaking news or calls to action via text message. They can opt-in by sending a Keyword (NONPROFITORGS) to a Short Code (41411), or through a subscribe page/widget on a nonprofit’s website. Text alerts can also be used to drive traffic to an organization’s mobile website and to ask people to Text-to Give.

When researching this post, I was fairly stunned by how few nonprofits have launched text alert campaigns. A year ago launching a text alert campaign was expensive, but not anymore thanks to tools like TextMarks and Ez Texting. Small nonprofits can now just as easily be early adopters of this new technology as the large national and international nonprofits. That said, below are 10 text campaigns that I was able to find through Google and Twitter searches:

Monday, February 8, 2010

Tools to Analyze Social Sharing Activities

Website Tools to Analyze Social Sharing Activities Community Organizer 2.0

Why is measuring reach important? The number of times an article is tweeted or shared on Facebook or dug on Digg represents the comparable value of the information to the public, your readers, and your target audience. It also represents potential engagement: if your target audience likes what you are publishing, they’ll come back. Social sharing is the simplest form of public approval and feedback. Think of it as a feedback loop.

It’s incredibly easy to share an article on Twitter, “like” a Facebook article or link, or save an article to a social bookmarking or social news site. With a few analytics tools you also know exactly which type of information you are publishing that others value enough to share are save. And, most importantly, articles (or videos, podcasts, etc.) that are shared also expose your organization’s message to new audiences. Social sharing is a represents the feedback loop of potential reach, reaction, analytical feedback, and organizational learning. It’s all the more important, then, to access analytical feedback in order to produce relevant content that extends your organization’s reach and message. Ideally, relevant content moves your readers to action!

Four “must have” analytical tools for your organization that offer social sharing insights:

Friday, February 5, 2010

Nonprofits: don't make these 3 communications mistakes

Nonprofit Execs on the Edge: Nonprofits: don't make these 3 communications mistakes

I recently observed a few surprising mistakes made by businesses using social media and online marketing. I share these in hopes that your nonprofits will not run your online communications and community engagement efforts like these businesses did.

5 Ways Associations Can Use Online Games

Five Ways Associations Can Use Online Games - Associations Now Magazine - Publications and Resources - ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership

The Intelligent Transportation Systems Institute at the University of Minnesota needed a way to interest high school and college students in civil engineering.
The solution, an online game called Gridlock Buster, has reached more than 1.2 million plays worldwide in six months, spreading the organization's message and
information about the engineering and traffic-control occupation.

Could your association harness the power of online gaming? Here are five possibilities to consider.

How could YOUR association take advantage of this?

15 Social Media Tips and Truisms

Sol Design Blog » Blog Archive » Social Media Tips and Truisms

Businesses are entering the social media space in throes, and with good reason- the opportunity and electricity surrounding it is palpable. However, in their eagerness to join the new media party, many neglect to ask the right questions prior to jumping in. For the purpose of this post, I’ve collected a list of ’social media tips and truisms’ I believe to be helpful not only to folks who are considering taking the plunge, but also for those seeking direction with their existing efforts.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Time Spent on Social Media Surges

Time Spent on Social Media Surges : MarketingProfs

Consumers spent an average 5.6 hours on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter in December 2009, up 82% from the same time last year, when users were spending just under 3.1 hours on social sites, according to a 10-country* study by The Nielsen Company.

Americans, too, continue to spend more time on social networking and blog sites: Total minutes spent on social sites increased 210% year over year (YOY) in December 2009, and the average time per person increased 143% during the same period.

Meanwhile, the average time per person spent on Facebook increased 200% YOY in December, while the average time spent on Twitter increased 368%.

Mobile Marketing Best Practices for Nonprofit Organizations

DIOSA Communications: Mobile Marketing Best Practices for Nonprofit Organizations

Here's a host of useful information on getting your mobile marketing campaign off the ground. Topics include:

Text Campaigns
1. Add a “Mobile” subscribe field to your mailing list pitch on your website.
2. Add a “Mobile” subscribe field to event sign-up sheets and donation slips in your print newsletters and funding appeals.
3. Post Tweets on Twitter and Status Updates on Facebook asking your followers to subscribe your text campaign.
4. Less is more. Don't text your supporters too often!
5. Mix up your text message schedule.
6. Make sure your text messages don't arrive during sleeping hours.
7. Limit text alerts to 140-160 characters.
8. Link to your mobile website in text alerts, not your desktop site.

Mobile Websites
1. Link to the mobile versions of your social networking profiles on your organization's mobile website.
2. Make it easy for people to subscribe to your text alerts and e-mail newsletter onm your mobile website.
3. Make sure your "Donate Now" page functions in mobile browsers.

Smartphone Apps
1. Feature your smartphone App(s) on your website and blog with screenshots and "Download the App" buttons.


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