November 4, 2011

Get deep into engagement with the new Facebook Insights

Online engagement
Image by iqoncept for Big Stock

Find out how Facebook can help your nonprofit increase engagement

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, social enterprises, brands, social media managers, marketing professionals, bloggers, individuals.

Debra AskanaseIlove the new Facebook Insights. Unlike so many other changes that Facebook has sprung unexpectedly on us, the new Insights is a welcome change. I think it is such a significant change that it is a game-changer in the social media space. If I sound gushy, well, I am. With the new Insights metrics, Facebook is boldly telling the Facebook community and its competitors that the most important social network metric is real online engagement. As I’ve written before, if your page cannot ultimately move people to take action, then your organization is wasting its time with Facebook. Online engagement is how it begins.

Know how engaging your content really is

Everything about the new Facebook Insights is focused on helping page administrators understand how well their page’s content is being received, shared, and talked about within Facebook. No longer do we have to count up Likes, fan posts to walls, and comments on posts, and pull together the online engagement percentage. And what’s more, we can dive deep, very deep, by post. By who is seeing the posts, and where. By how the content is being shared, and what type of content is being shared. That’s just the beginning. The Facebook metric that matters now is engagement. Here are but three examples of how Facebook is highlighting engagement.

Likes vs. PTAT (People Talking About This)

Think about the bold statement Facebook is making when it shows this publicly on every Facebook page, for all to note:

Likes-vs.-PATA

In one glance, which number is more important? With simplicity and sharpness, Facebook turned the Like numbers game into a “how many really care” numbers game. Brilliant. Continue reading

November 4, 2011

The role of personal branding for nonprofit professionals

Build brand
Image by kikkerdirk for Big Stock

Why sharing your core beliefs matters to your organization

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, social enterprises, brands, Web publishers, bloggers, individuals.

By Tamara Schweitzer
Socialbrite staff

Tamara SchweitzerLast week I attended the Social Venture Network‘s fall conference in Philadelphia, which is always an inspiring gathering of innovative business leaders and organizations working in the social change sector. One of the most valuable sessions during the conference was an interactive discussion on “Building Your Personal Brand,” facilitated by Andy Shallal, who is best known as the founder of Busboys and Poets and is a great example of someone who has mastered the art of personal expression and branding for the greater good of his business.

Other panelists who helped guide the discussion and offer their own experiences with personal branding were seasoned communications professional Josh Baran, social media expert Amber Rae of the Unreasonable Institute and public speaking consultant Marta Flynn.

No matter what your role is in the nonprofit sector — whether you are the director of an organization, a social media manager, or the fundraising guy or gal — personal branding plays a role in your job. However, there’s often confusion over the role that personal branding should play in the business world, because as a professional you represent the core values and beliefs of the organization you work for. While passion for your organization’s mission is key to engaging supporters, in the age of Internet connectivity, your own core passions are becoming an increasingly important part of the strength and visibility of your nonprofit.

Here are some key points I took away from the session that will help you build your personal brand and in effect grow your organization even more.

On becoming a personal brand

Amber Rae, who does communications and social media work with the Unreasonable Institute, says the key to personal branding is in being yourself and unlocking your personal story. Tap into the beliefs and convictions that you hold in addition to those of your organization. They are the foundation of your personal brand and the kind of information you should be sharing with your followers, through social networking, and even on a personal blog. She says people like to follow other people on Twitter more than they like to follow businesses. That’s because people are intrigued by what makes up your personality: They want to hear about other human experiences and challenges, the mistakes you’ve made and the advice you have. In sharing your own ideas and beliefs, you’ll not only be gaining street cred, but you will cultivate your role as a leader and thinker in the nonprofit space.

On separation

Many session attendees were concerned about the nitty gritty of how to separate their personal brand from their company brand and what the differentiators should be. Rae said separation between the two is the wrong thing to focus on. Rather, she encouraged us to focus on where we can find alignment between our organizations and ourselves. Ultimately, your personal brand is an extension of the nonprofit you work with. Continue reading

November 3, 2011

‘ICT4D postcards’: The picture so far

kiwanjaAcouple of weeks ago I sent out an open invitation for people to contribute to the ICT4D Postcards Project. The idea was to gather a collection of postcards from people working in international development who had a technology theme – or influence – in their work. Postcards have been coming in since, and I thought it would be a good idea to post a few up here, ahead of the full collection that will be posted online in the coming weeks.

In short, a postcard consists of a photograph and short narrative that explains why the image is important – or how it relates – to that person’s work. The idea is to go beyond usual explanation and website narrative to reveal more personal insights and motivations of the people who work in our field.

Here’s a selection of five that have come in so far, in no particular order.

Jonathan Donner. Kigali, 2003 | Website | Twitter

In 2003, mobile phones were just appearing in Rwanda. Penetration was just 1.5 per 100 people (1.5%) then. It is over 33% now. I organized some studies to ask microentrepreneurs about how they were using their new phones. Everyone was quite accommodating, letting us ask details about each of the last 10 calls recorded on the phones call log. Though we learned a lot about business processes and productivity, our data also demonstrated just how intertwined these phones had already become into daily life – two-thirds of the calls were with friends and family. I suspect these trends still hold.  At this moment, the interviewer (Nicole K. Umutoni) was probably looking back at me and wondering why I was taking this picture. Now we know! Continue reading

November 3, 2011

Study: How nonprofits benefit from using social media

social media study

Image by Michael Darcy Brown for Big Stock

A look at nonprofits’ use of Twitter, blogs, YouTube, Flickr & Facebook

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, social enterprises, brands, social media managers, bloggers, individuals.

John HaydonIdealware just published the second edition of their Social Media Decision Guide, which you first heard about on Socialbrite last year. The guide includes information about how nonprofits are benefiting from Twitter, blogs, YouTube, Flickr and Facebook.

Facebook drives website traffic and gets people to take action

facebook research

As you’ll see from the graph above, most nonprofits report using Facebook to increase website traffic and get people to act.

They also found that a growing segment of Facebook users turn to the platform as a reference site. Not being on Facebook today is almost as bad as not having a website.

Download the Social Media Decision Guide

What you’ll really love about the Social Media Decision Guide is that it’s extremely easy to understand and digest. You’ll be led through a five-step process (that includes a bunch of amazing worksheets):

  • Understanding Social Media
  • Defining Your Goals and Audience
  • Evaluating Specific Tools
  • Choosing Tools to Meet Your Goals
  • Creating Your Social Media Strategy

Download the Social Media Decision Guide here.

November 2, 2011

5 essential Facebook applications for nonprofits

Facebook apps
Image by Thomaspajot for Big Stock

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, social enterprises, businesses, brands, marketing professionals, social media managers, individuals.

This is the first part of a two-part series on Facebook apps and resources available to nonprofits.

Guest post by Kim Bale

It’s important to diversify the platforms that nonprofits use to reach supporters, but we know that social media isn’t one size fits all. If you find that your community engages more with your organization on Facebook than it does on Twitter, then put your energy into raising your organization’s profile on Facebook rather than trying to spread yourself too thin.

These five Facebook applications will help boost your social media presence even further and expand your social network. Sign in as the Page administrator, search for the app on Facebook, then follow the steps to install it.

Causes logo

Causes App

1 The Causes Facebook Application allows nonprofits to fundraise via Facebook in a number of ways. Fans can “like” Pages, watch videos, play games or complete a number of other small tasks, and donations will be made to their chosen charities. Followers can also opt to donate directly to campaigns they care about via the Causes Application without ever leaving Facebook. With 2.3 million active monthly users, this free application raises awareness for a cause while donating real money to verified nonprofit organizations.

YouTube app

YouTube App

2 The YouTube application boasts 500,000 active monthly users and gives you complete control of which YouTube videos are displayed on your Facebook Page. Users can watch, share and comment on your videos from the comfort of their Facebook account. Sharing recruitment videos, event coverage and campaign collateral with your fans doesn’t get easier than this.

Involver Twitter app

Involver Twitter App

3 Involver, one of the Web’s most popular social marketing platforms, offers more than 24 applications geared toward Facebook, Twitter and the iPhone to create a distinctive user experience. Each Facebook account is entitled to two of their Basic applications free of charge, which can be swapped out at any time. To access more than two at a time, they offer a professional upgrade. The Twitter application will stream your Twitter feed directly to your Facebook Page, allowing you the freedom to customize its look and feel. Instantly two of your most important handles are accessible from one website, expanding your followers and encouraging conversation across platforms. Continue reading

November 1, 2011

Creating compelling advocacy videos for nonprofits

This is the first of a three-part series on how nonprofits can create powerful multimedia stories. Part one is an overview of multimedia options available to nonprofits.

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, social enterprises, brands, educators, video producers, Web publishers, storytellers, individuals.

Lauren MajorWith the power of online video, social media and crowd-funding at an all-time high, nonprofits need a better understanding of how to create compelling multimedia stories that inspire a call to action.

Most nonprofits don’t have the resources to hire large film production crews to tell their stories. With recent innovations in digital video technology, nonprofits have more options for creating powerful visual stories in a timely and cost efficient manner. Socialbrite’s media resource round-up is a great list of tools and techniques to create media.

If time and staff resources are a scarcity, or technology just isn’t your thing, Socialbrite (I’m a partner through my consultancy Major Multimedia) can provide the expertise and training to help your nonprofit get its stories heard.

There are several options for nonprofit clients depending upon your needs, resources and technology know-how. We can offer training to nonprofit staff members and/or volunteers to learn how to create stories with an impact. Training will typically include uses of capture devices (Flip, iPhone, digital video/still cameras). Continue reading