October 18, 2012

8 ways to get more from your nonprofit’s email marketing strategy

Image by Rangizzz on BigStockPhoto.com

Boost your email marketing power through personalized communication

This is the second of a two-part series. Also see:
5 easy ways to integrate email marketing and Facebook

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, general public.

John HaydonLike social media, email marketing is where you nurture constituent relationships. But e-mail is different from social media in a few critical areas:

Privacy and Intimacy: E-mail is not a public channel like Twitter or Facebook. Opting into your list is an agreement to enter a private and intimate relationship with you, by way of their inbox. There is no public audience to your conversations. It’s one-on-one and very private.

Segmentation: The core principle of e-mail marketing is segmentation, adding people to specific lists based on their interests and actions. Segmentation ultimately allows you to create highly receptive messages. You can’t do this with Twitter or Facebook. Continue reading

October 11, 2012

How to install Facebook’s new Power Editor

Targeted Facebook ads are taken to the next level

This is the second of a two-part series. Also see:
Part 1: How to target your donors or email subscribers with Facebook ads

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators, Facebook Page administrators.

John HaydonEven if you don’t create a lot of Facebook ads, you can use Facebook’s brand new Power Editor to create custom audiences that integrate external data into your Facebook ad.

Haven’t heard of Power Editor? It’s a complimentary tool provided by Facebook that can be downloaded at the click of a button. If you manage multiple Facebook accounts or campaigns for your nonprofit, Power Editor might become your new bud, making it easy to create, edit, manage and optimize multiple ads at once. Continue reading

September 19, 2012

6 simple steps to create a Facebook page that just works

Tips for leveraging the power of Facebook at your nonprofit or school

Target audience: Nonprofits, universities, colleges, associations (including alumni associations), cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators, Web publishers — and anyone with a Facebook page.

Guest post by Frank Barry
Director, Professional Services, Blackbaud

We already know that Facebook is crushing it, and that schools have an incredible opportunity to use the platform to deepen relationships with families, students and alumni. But is your school or nonprofit getting the most out of the platform? Are you using Facebook to its full potential?

Based on what I’ve seen I’d say there’s a high likelihood that you’re not.

But there is hope!

Among the countless schools I found using Facebook poorly, there were plenty of shining examples of schools doing a great job of utilizing Facebook to build lasting relationships with families, students and alumni (both university and K-12).

Here are some of the key findings and takeaways from my recent presentation on how schools can leverage Facebook.. Keep in mind that these tips also apply to any nonprofits trying to effectively use Facebook as part of their online strategy. Continue reading

May 7, 2012

6 creative ways to use photos to increase engagement on your Facebook page

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, marketing professionals, businesses, educators, photographers, general public.

John HaydonThe reason Facebook paid $1 billion for Instagram is the same reason why Pinterest is one of the fastest-growing social media sites in history.

It’s also the reason why Facebook redesigned pages to the new Timeline layout: People love pictures.

People upload more than 300 million photos to Facebook every single day!

Facebook users love liking, commenting on, and sharing photos more than any other type of content on Facebook. So posting photos automatically gives you an advantage in the EdgeRank game.

Here are six ideas to help you get more from the photos you post on your Facebook Page.

Post big photos

1Make sure your photos are at least 851 x 403 pixels to accommodate highlighting or possible use as Facebook cover images by others. That said, you should also consider posting sizes even larger so that when users view photos in fullscreen, they’ll see the image at the highest resolution. This varies depending on screen size, but as an example, a 17-inch Macbook Pro is 1920×1200 (iPhone photos are 2592 x 1936 pixels). Continue reading

March 28, 2012

Tips on maximizing the new Timeline for your organization

The new National Wildlife Federation page on Facebook.

Target audience: Nonprofits, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, cause organizations, brands, businesses, Web publishers — anyone with a Facebook Page.

Editor’s note: Facebook is switching over all nonprofit and business pages to the new Timeline format this Friday, March 30. Because so many organizations haven’t yet made the move, or are still figuring out the best approach, we’re devoting this week to help you get ready to make the transition smartly. Contact Socialbrite if you need help.

In this series:
• Monday: 7 tips & cheat sheets to help you implement the new Timeline
• Tuesday: How to shape your nonprofit’s message in Timeline
• Thursday: What story should you tell in Facebook Timeline?

Shonali BurkeLike it or not, if you administer at least one Facebook Page, you’ll need to face the music Friday when the new Timeline format will go live on all nonprofit, brand and business pages.

I actually opted to switch my business Page over to the new Timeline when it was offered to me, and overall, I like the format a lot. But many people don’t feel the same.

Comfortable with a format that worked for brands

Hy.ly's free eBook on Facebook Timeline for Business PagesThe thing is, we were comfortable with the old format. It allowed brands to set up default landing pages, so when a new visitor arrived at their pages, they would be prompted to first “like” that page in order to access discounts and other promotions.

Companies loved this feature because it allowed them to convert visitors into fans without much work or paid advertising on their part.

It’s not fun being made to get up out of a comfortable armchair, is it? Seventy percent of people polled on Sodahead voted against the new Timeline.

Businesses have been so furious that they will not be given the option to keep the old page design that some threatened, in discussions on posts such as this one, to stop using Facebook entirely. But if you’re like most companies, deleting your Facebook Page isn’t really an option. The network has become so ubiquitous that customers have come to expect companies to have a Facebook presence.

And with over 845 million active users on Facebook, most companies can’t afford not to be on Facebook.

Tips on maximizing the new Timeline

My friends at Hy.ly are dedicated to solving small business problems. So they’ve just released a new eBook titled “Facebook Timeline for Conversions & ROI.” It’s free. I’ve had a look at it and I really like it (and tell me what you think of the design as well when you read it. I think it’s pretty nifty).

It’s not very long, and it gives you some really practical advice on not freaking out over the new Timeline, but making it work for you. Here are three of their tips:

Recover lost traffic

1Immediately after your Page is converted to the Timeline, you will probably notice a drop in traffic, especially if you were using default landing tabs. This is one of the most significant changes for brand pages, since landing tabs were a common social media marketing tactic.

However, according to TechCrunch, only 10 percent of page app traffic was driven by default landing pages, while the remaining 90 percent came from published links and ads. Continue reading

September 23, 2011

Facebook changes will help you change the world



Causes, with 140 million+ users, takes it to the next level

Guest post by Joe Green
Co-founder, Causes

On Thursday Facebook announced two of the biggest product changes in its history. First, Facebook is making it easier for people to share the action they take on Causes and get their friends involved in real time. Second, Facebook is launching Timeline, which will allow people to curate all of the information on their profiles to better share the moments in life that matter most.

Because taking action and then sharing it with friends is the core of what people do on Causes, we think that these changes will have profoundly positive effects on people trying to help the world by using Causes.

Causes was founded with the mission of empowering anyone to change the world. Our model is based upon the belief that everyone has the power to have an outsize impact on the world by banding together with other like-minded individuals, taking direct action, and inspiring their friends and their friends’ friends to join in. In short, we provide the grassroots with organizing tools for creating large-scale collective action.

We could not have launched Causes without Facebook Platform, providing real identity and real friends. Facebook Platform was created so that experiences that are inherently social in our offline lives could be brought online as an authentic expression of who we are; Facebook did this best in revolutionizing photo sharing.

Altruism is one of the most fundamentally social impulses, and doing things for others without expecting anything in return is core to what makes us human. This is why from the day Facebook Platform launched in 2007, Causes has been honored to be one of the most popular applications, with over 140 million users.

Timeline + new Causes profiles = a townsquare of giving

One of the most popular features we included in the launch of Causes was the ability for Facebook users to feature their favorite Causes on their profile. With Facebook updates over time, those featured boxes were removed, leading to the greatest user uproar in our history. Our users’ reactions demonstrated that people feel that their causes represent an integral part of their identity, and that we need to make it as easy as possible for them to express that.

Since then, we have worked with Facebook to once again empower our users to make their causes a core part of their Facebook profile, which is now an even more expressive and powerful tool called “Timeline.” Your timeline will include “reports” that roll up all of a user’s activity through a given application in a comprehensive report of what he or she has done. This change, combined with our newly re-launched Causes profiles, provides people a central public place to organize and promote all of their giving.

Until now, Facebook profiles have been dominated by recent information, such as a friend’s posts on your wall, or relatively static information, such as your hometown), but Timeline now offers an important middle ground for people to feature and curate lower frequency, but highly meaningful information that changes and builds over time.

My mom, for example, can join the Arts in Education cause, which supports her favorite nonprofit, choose it to be her featured cause, recruit friends to join it, and donate. Currently, all of these actions can be published to my mom’s friends in real time, but there is not a good way for her to showcase this cause and the work she has done to support it on her profile, which ideally should be the most complete representation of who she is. The reality is that my mom’s involvement with the Arts cause may be less frequent than playing a game on Facebook, but she may care more deeply about the Arts organization and its mission.

Frequency and recency don’t necessarily correlate with quality or “coreness” with respect to her personal identity. Facebook’s willingness to tackle this issue and give people the power to curate their timeline to feature depth of attachment and not pure frequency of engagement is exciting for developers like Causes that power deeply meaningful social experiences.

Facebook turns your profile into a life scrapbook

From the day Facebook launched in 2004, the profile was the most critical page on the site. People used to navigate the site by surfing friends’ profiles, and used their own profile as their navigational starting point. The profile mostly contained a list of interests, actively curated by the profile owner. Only with the addition of the news feed in 2006 did attention shift away from profile and toward recent activity. This shift certainly allowed Facebook to capture what someone was doing in the moment, but that information did not represent the whole of the person.

Now Facebook is making your profile into a more holistic timeline, or scrapbook, of your life. This will enable a new class of applications focused on helping people express themselves to emerge and revolutionize existing industries and experiences. We are grateful at Causes to be in a position to lead this sea change in the way people give and get involved in social change and will continue build a platform that empowers anyone to make a difference by taking action with their friends.

Look out for new ways to integrate Causes into your online identity and check out this piece in TechCrunch for a first look at the Facebook Timeline.

Joe Green is co-founder and president of Causes.