November 14, 2012

How to automate Facebook content curation with PostPlanner

John HaydonPostPlanner, the tool for managing content on Facebook, has powerful features that allow you to automate content curation. The service allows you to schedule posts for the different pages that you manage and optimizes content specifically for Facebook.

Nonprofits use their Facebook pages to engage potential donors and raise awareness, but organizations are often too consumed with daily activities to keep their Facebook pages updated on a regular basis. Continue reading

August 28, 2012

5 ways to make your website content more remarkable

Tips for making your website a more powerful engine

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

John HaydonWhen it comes to marketing on the Internet, your website is your primary marketing machine. It’s the headwaters people go to when they want to swim upstream and find out what you’re really about. It’s also the place where you convert email subscribers, donors and volunteers. Following are five things you can start doing today to amp up your material and make your website content more remarkable.

Tell meaningful stories

1Have you ever wondered why getting people to volunteer and donate seems so difficult? It’s not necessarily that the economy sucks or that your cause is unsexy. It’s about motivating people by telling a story that moves them. Motion requires emotion.

Creating emotional stories is easier when you keep these tips in mind:

  • Bigger than you – Stories that matter are bigger than you and your organization. It’s in the eyes of your people. Check out the story that GLAAD is telling with their timeline for inspiration.
  • Include your supporters – A well-written story comprises the chapters that your supporters have written. Take a look at how Livestrong does this.
  • Stay positive – The story that you tell should ultimately empower and encourage people. When things seem darkest, you can brighten your own way by lighting another person’s candle.
  • Plot points - Make sure your stories have a beginning, middle and end (conflict, challenge, resolution) to keep readers engaged.
  • Protagonist - Your stories should have an underdog that people can personally identify with. Use personas to help you fill in the details about these characters.

Use second-person narrative

2Use second-person narrative to speak more directly to your reader. The Internet is a solitary medium where individuals – not groups – read content. Rewrite your copy as if you’re writing a personal email to one of your constituents. Read more about second-person narrative here. Continue reading

July 26, 2011

Tips for making your Web content personal

 

Create blog posts that speak to an individual, not an audience

John HaydonRegardless of how many people visit your website, there’s one person you need to be paying attention to:

The person reading your blog post or Facebook update right now.

I know what you’re thinking. “We get thousands of visits per day on our website – surely more than one person is reading our content at any given moment.”

This is true, but people don’t gather around a laptop to view your website.

Back when television was our main media source, it was not uncommon for people to participate in consuming its content in groups: Families, roommates, parties.

But consuming Web content is a personal activity we participate in as individuals. And this is why social media conversations should be considered as essentially being one to one.

Making content personal

Content is more effective when it’s perceived as “written for me.” Try these tips:

  • Try writing your posts or updates in the second person (“you” instead of “I” or “we”).
  • Think of someone you already know and write to them – as if you’re writing a personal email to them.
  • Write to that person and that person only – don’t worry about alienating people.
  • Write with a human, conversational tone – the way you would talk if they were sitting right in front of you.
  • Try using Dragon speech-to-text tools to achieve this conversational tone.
  • Continue reading