June 4, 2014

Using social media shortcuts to increase productivity


14 IFTTT recipes to hack social media marketing

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

John HaydonIf you’re not familiar with it, IFTTT (If This, Then That) is a free utility that automates tedious online tasks.

For example, updating Google spreadsheets with retweets, updating profile pictures across networks, or uploading Instagram pictures to DropBox.

Basically, it’s a digital personal assistant who takes care of repetitive tasks, based on simple if/then rules. The automated tasks you create with IFTTT are called recipes.

Here are 14 IFTTT recipes for nonprofit marketers:

Continue reading

March 14, 2013

Free download: The Nonprofit Marketing Personas Workbook


Create more effective calls to action with personas

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, marketers, Web publishers, video producers.

John HaydonMarketing personas are powerful tools to help you create more effective call-to-actions, social media content, landing pages and email messages.

This free e-book will walk you through eight steps to creating and using effective marketing personas for your nonprofit.

You will learn:

  • What marketing personas are and why you should care.
  • How to discover the emotional triggers that motivate your supporters.
  • Four questions that will breathe life into your personas.
  • Resources for finding photos you can use for your personas.
  • How to use your personas to improve your website content. Continue reading
October 28, 2011

6 reasons to use Flickr for your next media campaign

Flickr network
Image by Nano Taboada on Flickr

Don’t overlook the visual component of social media marketing

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, social enterprises, social media managers, marketing professionals, businesses, brands, Web publishers, photographers.

Guest post by Karissa Van Hooser
Marketing associate, Walker Sands Communications

It seems as though everyone is looking for creative ways to engage their audiences through social media. When social media experts develop a campaign, however, many turn to the usual outlets, Twitter and Facebook, with good reason. These social media outlets reach a large, engaged audience.

Flickr, on the other hand, is an often overlooked but effective social network where the emphasis is on visuals: photos and short video clips. Here are a few reasons why you should add Flickr to your next social media campaign.

People are visual
1You’re able to tell a story in a way you can’t through other mediums. Let’s face it: people like to look at pictures. Plus, the change of scenery is nice. Most people, when browsing online, typically stare at text; mix it up to create more ways to engage with and inform your audience.

You can share your photo stream
2The Flickr community is not the only place where people can see the photos you post to the site. Flickr makes it easy to share photos across all social media platforms.

It’s good for searches
3The tags you assign to your photos are used in search. This allows people with your interests to more easily find you, and enables your audience to grow beyond people who already know about your brand.

Higher picture quality
4Picture quality is much higher on Flickr than any other social media platform. On Flickr, you will have fewer grainy images, and your presentations will be much sharper.

Creative Commons
5Flickr provides a safe platform for pictures. They offer creative commons, which means you pick the stringency of your copyright. This feature can give you peace of mind that others aren’t using (or misusing) photos without your permission. This is something you don’t always get with other social media platforms.

You can start discussions
6Flickr allows you to create groups and comments, just like all other social platforms. Although the focus is on photographs and videos, people are still interacting with each other – and could be interacting around images and videos of your brand or client.

Now, go get a Flickr account and let the fun begin!

Karissa Van Hooser is an interactive marketing associate at Walker Sands Communications, a marketing, design, SEO and public relations firm. Reach Karissa at [email protected] or visit the Walker Sands blog, FootPrints.
October 18, 2011

Media Cause: Crowdsourced online marketing for nonprofits

Image by arenacreative for Big Stock

Platform sources online volunteers to help nonprofits get the most out of the social Web

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

Guest post by Jennifer Helfrich
Communications Manager, Media Cause

Having a social media strategy is an essential component for effective nonprofits and the causes they represent. However, creating a strong Web presence requires funding, technical skill and time – three things many nonprofits never have enough of. Case in point: James Schaffer, executive director of the Tiba Foundation, says finding time for the social Web is a frequent challenge. “Most of our time and effort goes to our actual project work, so when it comes to Web outreach, it can be a little overwhelming trying to gain a foothold out there.”

Media Cause allows volunteers from around the world to connect with nonprofits and offer their expertise on focused project needs.

Enter Media Cause. Eric Facas founded the nonprofit Media Cause in April to connect admirable organizations like the Tiba Foundation with Internet outreach professionals interested in volunteering. Facas found that social media experts capable of giving advice want to support good causes, but many don’t have the time to take on a pro bono client. For a flexible and relatively small time commitment, Media Cause allows volunteers from around the world to connect with nonprofits and offer their expertise on focused project needs. Most projects posted on Media Cause are hourlong commitments, can be sorted by cause and can be completed entirely online. Volunteers can offer expertise in three areas: search engine optimization, social media marketing and Google Grants support. Continue reading

February 2, 2011

Using Twitter & LinkedIn to promote your event

Crowdsourcing panel
The audience at the Crowdsourcing panel at SXSW 2010 (photo by JD Lasica)

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause and community organizations, foundations, NGOs, businesses, brands, government agencies, conference organizers, educators. Second of two parts. See part 1: 5 ways to use social media to build a crowd for your event.

Guest post by Tamara Mendelsohn
Director of Marketing, Eventbrite

Social media is becoming an indispensable means of promoting any event these days. Think about what are the best channels to reach your target audience: blog, Twitter, Facebook or something else.

In part 1 we covered five guiding principles on promoting events, from choosing the proper platform and defining success metrics to inviting friends and stakeholders. Below are five more tips that will make your event a success.

Use Twitter to generate buzz and allow your attendees to connect

6Create an event hashtag and promote it. Encouraging dialogue with Twitter hashtags is an excellent way to build buzz around an event. However, it’s important to step in and designate what the event hashtag will be as early in the process as possible (if you don’t, others will do it for you and there will most likely end up being multiple ones, diluting the effect). Then publicize the hashtag in advance across all channels — put it on your registration page, website, and use it in every single one of your Twitter posts.

One conference gave away free tickets to the event through a random drawing from all people who tweeted with their hashtag

Once at the event, plan to promote it repeatedly: in signage, in printed programs, and from the stage. Your goal is to get every tweet about your event to contain your hashtag. The hashtag will aggregate all Twitter conversation around the event and help attendees connect and spread the word. Some events run contests — for example, asking trivia questions on Twitter related to the event topic, and requesting that all responses contain the Twitter hashtag — to get traction for the hashtag early on. TechCrunch50 did a random drawing from all people who tweeted with their hashtag and gave away free tickets to their event.

Engage your attendees with a profile on Twitter

7Create a Twitter profile. Because Twitter is automatically more public than Facebook (you don’t have to be friends with people for them to see your tweets), using a personal profile to promote your event on Twitter is totally acceptable (as opposed to Facebook where you might not want to do that if you reserve your Facebook profile for more personal communication). In fact, attendees might like to see the face behind the event and connect directly with you as the organizer, and Twitter is perfect for this.

However, for larger or frequently recurring events, creating a dedicated Twitter profile is a great way to engage attendees if you have reason to engage with them year-round. Whether it’s your name or the event name in the profile, use it much like the Facebook fan page: to share event information as it unfolds as well as engage with attendees. Continue reading

January 11, 2011

20 free, awesome social media monitoring tools

alerts and monitoring tools


Take the pulse of the social Web by hitting these rich targets

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, brands, businesses, NGOs, educators, independent publishers, individuals. In this social media monitoring series:
Guide to monitoring social media conversations
10 paid social media monitoring services for nonprofits
How to build & manage a monitoring dashboard

JD LasicaReady for a listening program? There are a wealth of free monitoring tools to choose from.

10 social media monitoring tools: a downloadable flyer

Free monitoring tools may fill your needs if you work for a small nonprofit or your business has no need for more sophisticated services (coming tomorrow). Just remember: Free monitoring tools aren’t really free — they require an investment of staff time and analysis.

And a word of advice: Don’t begin with the tools. Begin with a strategy — a social media game plan. Think of this as a multi-step process: Listen, learn, engage, act and measure. Listening is only the first step — you need to take action on what you discover. (Socialbrite can help you with an integrated approach to social media.)

Yesterday we covered why monitoring is essential to your organization. Today we’ll look at the wealth of free monitoring tools available to you, divided by functionality.

Here is our Guide to Free Social Media Monitoring Tools. Have your own favorites? Please share in the comments.

Monitor social campaigns

Wildfire: How is your brand performing in social?

1Wildfire, a startup focused on creating interactive promotions on social sites, last month launched Social Media Monitor, a tool that tracks and compares how brands are performing on Facebook and Twitter. Wildfire allows companies, small businesses, marketing agencies, nonprofits and bloggers to create their own branded interactive campaigns — including contests, giveaways, incentive-based surveys and sweepstakes — and to simultaneously publish them in multiple social networks and on their websites. More than 65,000 users have done so. As we understand this, the basic tools are free and Wildfire also sells premium services.

Monitor social networks & blogs

social mention

Social Mention: Widgets & social search

2Social Mention is a social media search engine that searches for keywords on social media platforms — including blogs, comments, bookmarks, events, news, videos and microblogging services — and provides metrics around keywords and “sentiment.” It also provides graphic illustrations or charts showing mentions per day or week. Download the free search bar for your browser and monitor anything from your brand to your cause. They also offer APIs and provide coding for your own keyword monitoring widgets.

Collecta lets you enter any search term to receive real-time results for mentions in social media, in blog comments and on news sites.


Google Reader: Begin with a dashboard

3Social media monitoring begins with a dashboard. (See our Top 10 social media dashboard tools.) A good choice to begin your monitoring is Google Reader: Subscribe to the RSS feeds of top blogs in your sector, competitors’ sites, news sites, Twitter searches and more, all in one place. You can even subscribe to searches on sites like Flickr and YouTube, so you’ll get an update on any new image or video that matches your brand or cause. If the page you’re on doesn’t seem to have an RSS feed, try Feedyes.com. We also like Feed Informer, which lets you splice multiple feeds together into one and filter for duplicates.

Alternatives: Bloglines, Netvibes.

BlogPulse: Take the pulse of the blogosphere

4BlogPulse from NM Incite is an automated trend discovery system for blogs that analyzes and reports on daily activity in the blogosphere. You can keep on top of key phrases, top blog posts, videos, key people news sources and more. But its real power lies in the options you have to track blog conversations based on topics or keywords. See which blogs, news posts, etc., are fueling the most conversations about your brand online.

Other blog monitoring services that should be in your arsenal:
Google Advanced Blog Search


Alltop: Identify the top blogs in your sector

5Alltop, Guy Kawasaki’s online magazine rack – or, more precisely, topic-based directory — lets you search for influential blogs in a given niche or subject. Add the feeds to your RSS reader and you have a more targeted monitoring process. Continue reading