July 27, 2015

(VIDEO) Leveraging Periscope App for Social Good

Caroline Avakian Headshot finalAs a follow-up to my post on Periscope for Nonprofits: A Quick Guide & Review, I gave a video interview last week with Stephen Shattuck from Bloomerang. The interview covers how nonprofits can leverage Periscope – Twiiter’s new live streaming mobile app – to better reach and communicate with their supporters and donors.

I’ve been getting so many questions, and there’s been so much interest in this new app from the nonprofit community, that I thought posting this video Q and A would be an additional way to get the Persicope basics down, as well as some best practices and ideas on how your nonprofit can put Periscope to work.

Is your nonprofit using Periscope? Let me know in the comments! I’m doing a series of early case studies on Periscope for Nonprofts, and would love to feature how your nonprofit is leveraging Periscope for social or environmental good.

February 23, 2015

Photos no longer get more reach on Facebook



You’ve no doubt heard the advice that posting photos will help you get more reach on Facebook. That advice has been tried and true for years, until now.

According to a study by SocialBakers, photos now get less organic reach than videos, links, and even text updates. In fact, videos are now the king of the News Feed!

Socialbakers analyzed 4,445 Facebook Pages and 670,000 posts between October 2014 and February 2015. They discovered that videos now get more than twice as much reach as photos (shown below).
organic reach photos
There’s no clear reason for this recent Facebook algorithm change, but Socialbakers offers two explanations:

  1. Facebook is responding to Pages looking to game the newsfeed with photos.
  2. Facebook is taking on YouTube as the king of video content.

Jan Rezab, Socialbakers CEO, told Business Insider: “Video is proving to be a very engaging format and gaining in popularity, consumers really like them. Therefore we’d advise marketers to include video as part of their content strategies.”

How should your nonprofit respond?

  • First of all, check your reach report in your Facebook Page Insights. Specifically, analyze post reach by type between October 2014 and February 2015, the period of time Socialbakers analyzed.
  • Second, consider stepping up video content.
  • Third, consider publishing blog posts on your website. This way, you’ll be armed with a Facebook Page AND your website, in your Facebook marketing action plan.

What do you think?

August 21, 2014

My take on the ALS #IceBucketChallenge

Bill Gates
Video still of Bill Gates taking the ALS #IceBucketChallenge (via YouTube)

3 reasons I’ve decided to embrace this campaign — and why you should, too

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

Caroline AvakianAs you all likely know by now, the ALS #IceBucketChallenge is taking your Facebook news feed by storm. Your friends, colleagues, heck, even your grandmother might have been nominated to dump a bucket of cold water and ice on her head in the name of charity. And in this case, it’s a very good cause. ALS is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease,a neurodegenerative disease characterized by muscle spasticity, rapidly progressive weakness due to muscle atrophy, and difficulty in speaking, swallowing, and breathing.

As a social media consultant working with social causes and nonprofits, I have taken great delight in the virality of this meme all in the name of a disease that gets very little attention and fundraising dollars. Continue reading

March 13, 2013

How to build awareness for your campaign

Photo courtesy of unicefiran (Creative Commons)

Social media, data & messaging are among the key ingredients

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, social media strategists, educators.

Guest post by Mary Joyce

Whether you run a nonprofit, a social enterprise or a cause organization, it’s likely that at some point you run up against the barrier we’ve all faced: How do I get the word out about this amazing campaign?

Here are seven steps that we’ve found make a good blueprint on how to build visibility and awareness so that you can then move people to take action and create impact.

Identify your targets and supporters

1There are two types of audiences that you most likely need to take action for you to achieve your goal: targets and supporters. Targets are the people who have the direct power to give you what you want. They are often officials who have the authority to make policy changes. The target could be a government minister or the principal of your school. When the target takes action, your goal is achieved. Continue reading

March 12, 2013

Attracting young people to your nonprofit


Use social media to encourage youth volunteerism in your organization

Guest post by Alison Richmond

Young people can be an incredible source of volunteers for nonprofits – they tend to have much more spare time than adults and often see volunteering as a good way to gain work and life experience to add to their resumé. But attracting young people can be difficult.

DoSomething.org released an index toward the end of last year in which they interviewed young people discussing their attitudes toward volunteering. With their suggestions in mind, here are some steps toward attracting young people to your nonprofit. Continue reading

March 11, 2013

The secret behind creating viral content

Uncovering the mystery of virality

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

John HaydonThat’s right. A video of goats yelling like humans gets 12 million YouTube views in a month.

When nonprofits ask me how to create viral content, I talk about videos like the one above, which probably makes them wonder why they hired me. Continue reading