November 1, 2012

3 analytics tools to gauge your social audience


Image by kgtoh on BigStockPhoto.com

Listen, implement & measure to keep up with your users’ needs

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, metrics specialists, educators.

Guest post by Ritu Sharma
Social Media for Nonprofits

Like many of the nonprofits Social Media for Nonprofits works with, we were excited by the recent release of Beth’s new book, Measuring the Networked Nonprofit: Using Data to Change the World.

In line with the book’s focus on turning data into knowledge through powerful, insightful measurement and analytics of social media efforts, we wanted to share three simple tips and resources that nonprofits can put to work.

All of these platforms have been profiled at our recent Social Media for Nonprofits conferences, which is about to produce its final U..S program of the year in Seattle on Monday, before we head to New Delhi in December, and then back to New York City, Silicon Valley, Vancouver, plus most other major U.S. markets in 2013.

And now, for those tips and tools: Continue reading

October 15, 2012

How DoSomething uses data to change the world

Sometimes impact can be achieved without money, an adult or a car

This post was written by Beth Kanter, co-author of the new book Measuring the Networked Nonprofit: Using Data to Change the World. She and co-author KD Paine appear at TechSoup headquarters, 525 Brannan St., Suite 300 in San Francisco on Wednesday from noon to 1:30 p.m. Register to attend the free talk.

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators, Web publishers, general public.

Guest post by Beth Kanter
beth’s blog

The New York-based nonprofit DoSomething.org has a big social change goal: To harness the energy of young people 25 and under and unleash it through national campaigns on causes teens care about. The call to action is always something that has a real impact and does not require money, an adult, or a car. Their measurable goal is to get 5 million active teen members engaged in social change campaigns by 2015. They use social media, mobile, and data to reach that goal.

A recent example is their “Pregnancy Text” campaign featured on their quarterly dashboard. This clever sex education campaign is an updated version of the teen pregnancy education program where young people carried eggs around and pretended they were babies. It was a text campaign where teens opted-in to receive texts on their mobile phones from the “baby.” Once they joined (and they could share it with their friends), they received regular annoying text messages at all hours from the “baby”  that poops, cries, and needs their immediate attention. Continue reading

July 19, 2011

How DoSomething engages young people

 

Make it easy to participate, make it mobile — and don’t forget the fun!

JD LasicaOne of the great success stories of online advocacy has been DoSomething.org, a not-for-profit that encourages young people to use the power of online to “do good stuff offline.”

Last fall I moderated a panel at BlogWorld Expo with DoSomething chief technology officer George Weiner, and last month I co-presented a Social Media for Social Good bootcamp at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service with George.

“This generation is far more engaged than anyone can possibly understand or measure due to the amount of conversations going on in social media.”
— George Weiner

So during a brief break in the action I got him to talk about how DoSomething spurs 1.2 million young people a year to take action on behalf of a social cause they care about.

“Young people have this amazing thing they can do that doesn’t require car, money or an adult,” he says. Simply put, any young person — 25 or younger, with a sweet spot of 16- to 17-year-olds — can launch a social cause campaign about any cause they feel passionately about.

The nation’s largest cause site for young people, DoSomething has about 30,000 cause projects started by young people.

Watch, embed or download the video on Vimeo

Success comes down to a combination of factors


The annual DoSomething Awards airs on VH1 in August.

The site’s success comes down to these factors:

• They make it easy to participate by lowering the barriers to entry.

• They’re laser-focused on catering to young people.

• They make it easy to take part in campaigns via mobile devices.

• They try to make causes fun by emphasizing use of participants’ social networks. Continue reading

October 19, 2009

Highlights from new report on online campaigns

Amy Sample WardAs I announced recently, Advocacy Online and Fairsay have jointly produced a benchmark report to examine key e-campaigning performance measures. The benchmark data is derived from the activity of over 2 million supporters from 50 campaigning organizations in the UK, Canada, and several other countries. In addition to the benchmark data, the project also includes an e-campaigning survey that has been carried by Jess Day, an independent e-campaigning consultant. (I also referenced the report in my latest presentation slides about social media use by individuals in nonprofit organizations.)

The report, titled “2009 eCampaigning Review Insights & Benchmarks,” was released this past week at an event in London (and via webcast). I want to share some of the highlights from the launch presentations of Duane Raymond and Jess Day, but if you want to skip ahead to the download, you can scroll to the bottom.

Report highlights

65% of actions reviewed in the report asked people to add their own message (whether this was a petition, or post, etc.). This is great because letting your supporters personalize or otherwise get more involved in your actions will only help build a commitment to the outcome of your campaign or action as well as encourage your supporters to ask their friends or colleagues to participate as well.

Only 43% of actions linked to background information. People may worry that if someone clicks on an action button, say, on your home page, and then you provide them links to more information about the topic of the action, that they will click away and never actually complete the action. Nope. People may want more background information but that’s because they are interested! Most all of the actions reviewed in the report that even those that did link to background information, those pages didn’t link back to the action. That’s why people aren’t completing the action. Remember to link to actions from everywhere on your site that is related to the action! Continue reading

October 10, 2009

7 tips for measuring your blog’s success

measuring

Photo by the TruthAbout

Beth KanterThe success of your blog, or any social media effort, depends on your willingness to solicit feedback and take corrective action when necessary. If you want to have a successful blog that supports your organization’s goals and adds value, improvement should be continuous. You need to pick the right hard data points, or metrics, that will help you harvest insights and improve your blog.

Analyzing your blog content
First, you need to set overall goals for your blog and understand your audience. Next, you need to know the right metrics to use, and employ the proper tools to collect the data. Most important, you need a strategy—either for yourself or for a team—to gather insights from your metrics. Remember, it isn’t about the numbers alone.

Avoid Analytophilia
Alexandra Samuel coined that phrase in a post on social media analytics and metrics about the greatest peril of social media: analytophilia. It’s about obsessing on raw numbers and constantly checking the number of Twitter followers or retweets or Facebook insight clicks. She recommends that you don’t go into your analytics or stats program without composing a specific question first. I’ve been advocating this approach for a long time and offer you a set of data points and questions.

Here are seven tips to help you start measuring social media efforts.

Readership growth

1This means content consumption. There are two different kinds of web viewers: subscribers and visitors. Subscribers have made a commitment to regularly receive (and hopefully read or at least scan) your blog. Visitors are people who occasionally visit your blog. You should pay attention to monthly trends of content consumption over time. This will tell you a lot about your readers’ satisfaction with your content.

  • Hard data points: Look at the feed subscribers trends from Feedburner and unique visitor trends from Google Analytics. Understand how Google Analytics calculates unique visitors and how Feedburner calculates subscribers, but please don’t get so hung up on the geeky part of measurement that you don’t have enough time to gather insights and apply them.
  • Gathering insights: Is the number of visitors and subscribers increasing? If not, why? If yes, why? Think about your publishing frequency, the length of posts and the mix of topics.

I get a notice when someone unsubscribes to my blog. I send them a personal follow-up e-mail asking why. I’ve received excellent feedback from my inquiries about how to improve the blog’s publishing schedule, topics and more. Continue reading