July 2, 2015

Periscope for Nonprofits: A Quick Guide & Review

FINAL Periscope-798x310

Socialbrite Blog ThumbnailLive streaming has been thrust into the limelight recently with the release of Periscope — a free mobile app that allows any user to live stream from wherever they are. The whole concept of Periscope is to virtually place you somewhere in the world you would never be if it weren’t for the app.

Even as a nonprofit techie, I tend to look at new apps and platforms with a bit of skepticism because I don’t always think nonprofits should jump on the bandwagon of the next new shiny app that promises a lot and underperforms. That said, I do feel it’s important to keep updated on new tools, make an educated decision on whether it’s right for your nonprofit, and have a strong reason either way as to why or why not your nonprofit is using that social tool. I’ve noticed that having a well prepared answer at the ready is especially handy at board meetings when conversations start to drift to why your npo isn’t leveraging a certain social platform.

So when Periscope came along, I did what I normally do — I downloaded it to my smart phone and started playing with the app and paying attention to how others were maximizing its potential. I quickly realized Periscope could be a powerful broadcasting tool for nonprofits.

But how do you know if it’s right for your nonprofit and if it is, how do use it effectively?

Continue reading

June 1, 2015

25 Nonprofit Twitter tips from the pros

25-Nonprofit-Twitter-Tips-From-The-Pros-1024x535

john-haydon

  1. Try to include an image in your tweets. Twitter is like looking out the window of a fast moving train. If you insert insert a “billboard” (photo or graphic image) tweet, people will notice it.-  Noland Hoshino
  2. Always, always check your links!–  Jenn Johnson
  3. For every self serving post you tweet…engage with one of your constituents. Michael Dougherty
  4. Don’t let your tweets devolve to mere “press releases.” Experiment with your nonprofit’s voice so that you can be interesting to those who choose to follow you.-  Marc A. Pitman
  5. Write specific thank you messages to your supporters along with their twitter handles during online fundraising efforts. More likely than not they’ll retweet you and expand your campaign’s reach.-  Mark Hallman

Continue reading

April 28, 2015

How social media platforms are responding to the Nepal earthquake, and how you can help

 

FBNepal-798x310 2Caroline-120x80

By Caroline Avakian / Photo above courtesy of Facebook

It was just a few hours after I found out about the devastating Nepal earthquake that I noticed an alert on my Facebook feed that I hadn’t seen before. My colleague who works in Nepal had been marked “Safe” in Facebook’s new “Safety Check” feature, that instantly let me know how many of my Facebook friends were in the “affected area”, how many had been “marked safe”, and also allowed me to mark myself safe in the event I was in the “affected area”.

IMG_0055

The Safety Check feature was quickly followed up by a “Donate” feature, so if you log into Facebook today, you’ll notice a message at the top of your news feed that lets you donate to International Medical Corpsa humanitarian organization Facebook has partnered with to provide emergency aid. Facebook is also providing matching funds of up to two million to provide immediate and ongoing relief. The IMCs emergency response teams are operating mobile medical units in Nepal, India and Bangladesh, to deliver critically needed medical care and medicines to the regions hardest-hit by the earthquake. They’re distributing hygiene kits, water purification tablets and other supplies to the most devastated areas.

IMG_0057

Continue reading

April 21, 2015

5 Communications Lessons Learned Working at an Anti-Poverty Nonprofit

TU India RESIZED

This post was originally published in the Huffington Post. Photo courtesy of Trickle Up.

By: Caroline Avakian

The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the world’s targets for addressing extreme poverty in its many dimensions. The MDGs target date expires this year, and as we collaboratively build out new goals for the next 15 years, it will be critical that nonprofit communicators in the global development sector build on what we’ve learned as well. So it got me thinking about what some of my lessons learned were after almost five years working at Trickle Up — an international organization that empowers people living on less than $1.25 a day to take the first steps out of poverty, providing them with resources to build sustainable livelihoods for a better quality of life.  Continue reading

March 9, 2015

Three simple ways to dramatically increase website traffic from Facebook

Three Simple Ways to Dramatically Increase Website Traffic From Facebook

john-haydon

Although Facebook has decreased newsfeed exposure (reach) for Facebook Pages, they have increased newsfeed exposure for links people share with their Facebook friends.

 

Right now, take a look at your own News Feed and look at the number of links from friends versus links from Pages. My News Feed has 1 link (or less) from a Page for every 10 links from friends. Clearly, Facebook puts my friends first in the News Feed.

All this link-sharing has made Facebook the number one source of social referral traffic. In fact, a recent study from Shareaholic shows that Facebook now drives more than 25% of all website traffic (see below).

shareaholic social media traffic referrals

An excellent example of a nonprofit using a blog for content marketing is To Write Love on Her Arms, an organization that gives hope and help to people struggling with depression, addiction and suicide. They publish posts every day that are bothinspiring and useful. Check out the most recent posts:

twloa

How Does Blogging Increase Website Traffic?

When people read TWLOHA’s posts, quite naturally some click “like” if they like what they’re reading.

Each time this happens, an update is posted in Facebook’s news feed, driving Facebook visitors back to the website (as shown below).

twloha - fb post

But these are not just any website visitor. They are friends that your community invited to your website when they clicked a like button!  They are birds of a similar feather, which you want.

Three Ways to Increase Website Traffic From Facebook

So where do you start? After you’re confident that your website has content worth sharing, begin by adding like buttons, sharing prompts, and Facebook comments.

1. Add Like Buttons to Your Website Content

Putting a like button on all of your website content is probably the number one way to drive website traffic from Facebook, in the long run.

You can add Facebook like buttons to your content by generating code on Facebook’s developer site (shown below). If you use WordPress, you can choose from a variety of plugins that automatically add like buttons to your content (I like JetPack).

facebook like button app

2. Add Facebook Sharing Popups to Your Website Content

Let’s say you have a big event coming up, and you want to drive your community (and their friends) to a landing page about the campaign. You have many ways that you’ll be doing this, including making it easy for people to share that landing page with their friends.

You can do this easily and strategically by embedding sharing links in various webpages and blog post on your website.

To create Facebook sharing links, follow these instructions:

  1. Type the following link in a plain text document: https://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u=
  2. Enter your landing page URL after “?u=“. For example, https://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u=http://blogs.bestfriends.org/post-name/ creates a news feed post (as shown below).
  3. Embed URL into text or image
  4. Test sharing

best friends facebook sharer

3. Add Facebook Commenting to your Website Content

Another way you can drive more traffic to your website is by adding Facebook commenting two webpages on your website. Like the like button, each time someone leaves a comment using the Facebook comment plug-in, a link to your website is shared on Facebook.

You can create code using Facebook’s comments plugin, or if you use WordPress, you can use a WordPress plugin.

What do you think?

Comment below with your brilliant idea, question, or cool example of a nonprofit website.

February 23, 2015

Photos no longer get more reach on Facebook

facebook-pages

john-haydon

You’ve no doubt heard the advice that posting photos will help you get more reach on Facebook. That advice has been tried and true for years, until now.

According to a study by SocialBakers, photos now get less organic reach than videos, links, and even text updates. In fact, videos are now the king of the News Feed!

Socialbakers analyzed 4,445 Facebook Pages and 670,000 posts between October 2014 and February 2015. They discovered that videos now get more than twice as much reach as photos (shown below).
organic reach photos
There’s no clear reason for this recent Facebook algorithm change, but Socialbakers offers two explanations:

  1. Facebook is responding to Pages looking to game the newsfeed with photos.
  2. Facebook is taking on YouTube as the king of video content.

Jan Rezab, Socialbakers CEO, told Business Insider: “Video is proving to be a very engaging format and gaining in popularity, consumers really like them. Therefore we’d advise marketers to include video as part of their content strategies.”

How should your nonprofit respond?

  • First of all, check your reach report in your Facebook Page Insights. Specifically, analyze post reach by type between October 2014 and February 2015, the period of time Socialbakers analyzed.
  • Second, consider stepping up video content.
  • Third, consider publishing blog posts on your website. This way, you’ll be armed with a Facebook Page AND your website, in your Facebook marketing action plan.

What do you think?