October 23, 2012

Why you should add author tags to your nonprofit’s blog

Bring authority & visibility to your site’s search results

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators — anyone with a website.

JD LasicaIf your nonprofit team creates content on the Web, then your biggest challenge is to have people find you in search. And, let’s get super obvious here: That means you want them to literally click your link and arrive on your site, right?

Now, the first challenge to overcome is showing up on the first page of Google search results, given that about 97 percent of people never click through to the second page of results. (To dig deeper into search engine optimization for your site, see our articles on SEO.) Continue reading

November 16, 2011

How to create a Google Plus business page

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, businesses, brands, social media managers, Web publishers, individuals.

John HaydonLast week Google released their business profile page, which includes many of the features that Google Plus profiles have. Creating a Google Plus page for your nonprofit or brand can increase the visibility of your organization.

Once you have a page, you will have a URL for it that you can include on all your other marketing collateral and in any communications your organization sends out. If you make the information on your Google Plus business profile available to everyone on the Web, then your page URL will also appear in Google searches, making it more likely that your organization will be discovered.

The video above walks you through the steps of creating a business page for your nonprofit. If you’re already using Google Plus, you can easily build a business page from within your existing profile. On the left-hand side of your profile page, under your avatar, there is a drop-down menu with the option to “manage your pages.” By selecting that option, you will get started in creating a new business page. Much like Facebook Pages, you can switch between two different identities on Google Plus — your personal profile page and the page for your nonprofit.

The video tutorial covers:

  • How to choose the right category for your business (the category options are much more robust than they are on Facebook, so this is an important aspect of your profile)
  • How to upload and feature multiple profile photos to represent your organization
  • How to select the settings for who sees the information on your business page
  • How to navigate within the Google Plus dashboard
  • How to add visual extras to your business profile
Will you create a Google Plus Page for your nonprofit?
September 6, 2011

9 steps to getting started with Google Plus

Decide how to take advantage of the newest social network

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations businesses, brands, bloggers, educators, individuals.

John HaydonGoogle’s new social networking platform, Google Plus, is still going strong since it was released at the end of June. Farra Trompeter at Big Duck created an awesome Slideshare presentation that outlined the steps to get your nonprofit started with Google Plus.

Here are nine ways to start off with Google Plus:

1Set up a personal profile. Google Plus does not yet support profiles for nonprofits, organizations or businesses. So decide which individuals at your organization can serve as representatives for your brand. Begin to connect with thought leaders in your field, and connect with people you already know. Note: You can ignore people after you add them to a Circle.

2Manage your privacy. One of the best things about Google Plus is that you can configure the security of each section of your Google Plus profile. This video will show you how to configure Google Plus’s privacy settings.

3Learn the features. Google has created an easy-to-understand guide for Google Plus. There is also an epic Google document with every tip and trick users have discovered, plus this useful website on Google Plus. I’ve also created a few video tutorials.

4Understand how it works. As with any social network, it’s important to understand both the functionality of the tool and community etiquette. As Beth Kanter points out, Google Plus allows for asymmetric sharing: I follow you, but you might not follow me.

5Consider what you want to add to the stream. Ultimately the value that you get from Google Plus is in direct proportion to the value you give. Before you share something, ask yourself: “Will this really be useful to people?” Google Plus can’t give you the mindset to put others before yourself, but it can give you the tools to share selectively. Continue reading

July 20, 2011

How Google’s +1 button will change search

Debra AskanaseIn late March, Google announced the arrival of its version of the “Like” button, the +1 button, and the world waited to find out what that would really mean. With the launch of Google Plus, it’s pretty clear that “+1″ and Google Plus, Google’s brand new social network, are Google’s play for  social graph domination. While Google Plus has been all the rage the past two weeks, one overlooked point is how the +1 button will change the way we search, interact with search results and use the Web in the future.

Google holds about 64 percent of the total search market. Though Google lost some market share last year to Bing, this should change with the use of Google’s +1 button. In fact, a recent study of 10,000 of the Web’s largest sites found a 33 percent surge in the number of sites adopting +1 in the last few weeks.

What is the +1 button?

In its simplest form, +1 is a button for individuals to publicly share what content they enjoy on the Web. As explained by Google:

“+1’ing is a public action. Anyone on the web can potentially see that you’ve +1’d content when they’re searching on Google or viewing content you’ve +1’d. For this reason, you should only +1 pages when you’re comfortable sharing your recommendation with the world.

Your +1’s may appear to anyone who sees the pages you’ve +1’d. However, we’ll try to display your +1’s to people (specifically those in your social connections) who would find them most useful. Similarly, the +1’s you see will typically be from people in your social connections.”

Continue reading

July 12, 2011

How Google Plus can help nonprofits connect with supporters

A 36-second video explaining Google+’s new video conferencing feature.

google plus logoJohn HaydonIf you’re reading this and work for a nonprofit, you may not want to hop onto the Google Plus bandwagon – especially if your peanut butter is already spread too thin.

However, if have time and you’re the curious type, go for it! As Andy Huston suggests, “Experiment personally then apply professionally.”

Just know that the vast majority of your constituents will continue to be on Facebook for a long time.

2 ways Google Plus will change how you connect

Though it is early, there are a couple of features that stand out about Google+: Hangouts and Circles.

Hangouts – Hangouts is a way to conduct group video conferencing with other Google+ users.

With Circles, Google puts segmentation up front in their product – and they make it fun!

I can see Hangouts creating a paradigm shift in how organizations connect with their supporters. Imagine key staff (the ones who can effectively represent the organization) posting “open office hours” where G+ users can pop into a Hangout and chat with them face to face about critical topics.

Here’s what Danielle Brigida of the National Wildlife Federation had to say about Google Plus in general:

star focus

Circles – Facebook and Twitter both allow users to put various different people in specific groupings or lists. But how many people use or even know about Facebook friends lists? The same goes for Twitter. Circles, on the other hand, put segmentation up front in their product – and they make it fun!

I could see organizations segmenting their donors, volunteers, partners into a various different circles. Continue reading

July 8, 2011

How to get started with Google Plus and Circles

John HaydonGoogle Plus is the new social platform expected to give Facebook a good fight, and make Flickr, Quora and Twitter a bit nervous.

The video above covers the basics of using Circles, Sparks, Google Profile and sharing updates with friends.To get the most out of this video, share it with your friends (ask them what they think) and read Chris Brogan’s list of 50 ideas / possibilities about Google Plus.

Here’s what you’ll find in the video:

  • 00:45 – Filtering streams
  • 01:25 – Sparks
  • 01:40 – Sharing articles with Circles
  • 02:20 – Sharing with Extended Circles
  • 02:45 – Viewing photos
  • 03:33 – Using Circles
  • 05:45 – Editing content and visibility of your Profile
  • 06:20 – How to share updates, photos, videos and links with your Circles

How to use Google Circles

Google+ has a feature called Circles”that allows users to put various different people into specific groupings or lists.

This feature is intended to:

  • Share relevant content with the right people
  • Follow content posted by people you find interesting

No one in a circle can see who else is in the circle. They also don’t know what you’ve named the circle, or how many other people are in it.

This makes sense when you think about the real life “private circles” we all have in our minds:

  • People we look up to
  • Our closest friends
  • Potential project partners
  • Crushes

The people in these circles usually don’t know they’re in the circle. Some might eventually know (potential project partner becomes project partner), or they may never know (crushes). Continue reading