April 8, 2020

A to Z of Social Media Marketing: G is for Goals

Filed under: Social Media — lidia @ 10:00 am

Like any other marketing tactic, social media outreach must be goal-based. And in order to be effective, it should be integrated and aligned with your organization’s overall goals. For example, if one of your goals is to increase first-time donors, then your social media goal would be to attract and engage with this audience. 

Once you’re ready to develop your social media goals, start by reviewing your organization’s overall strategic plan and goals. Then, create related SMART social media goals, such as brand awareness, website visits, event signups, etc. Lastly, determine metrics to track each of the goals. 

TIP: Here are 9 social media goals and metrics you can consider for your organization.

April 7, 2020

A to Z of Social Media Marketing: F is for Frequency

Filed under: Social Media — lidia @ 10:00 am

Over the years, I’ve read many posts about when and how often to post on social media—and they all seem to have conflicting opinions. My advice is to use suggested posting frequency as a reference (like this guide from Buffer) but refer to your analytics to see when your audience is most engaged with your posts. 

It can also help to do some testing: bump up your frequency to see if you get better results and vice versa. 

TIP: Once you’ve determined your ideal posting frequency, make sure to use a content calendar and social media scheduling tool to keep your posts organized.

April 6, 2020

A to Z of Social Media Marketing: E is for Engagement

Filed under: Social Media — lidia @ 10:00 am

In social media, engagement refers to the likes, comments and shares on posts. Engagement is not a one-time thing, it’s a relationship-building activity and should be incorporated into your overall social media strategy. 

For most organizations—because they are not selling a product or service—engagement will take the form of connecting with potential donors or supporters, creating something that stirs emotions and resonates with them and ultimately, causes them to take action.

And considering that 55% of people who engage with a nonprofit on social media are inspired to take further action (Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication) it’s worthwhile to pay attention to your engagement.

April 4, 2020

A to Z of Social Media Marketing: D is for Data

Filed under: Social Media — lidia @ 10:00 am

If you are not tracking and analyzing social media data, you may be wasting your time. At the very least, you should track the most important metrics, such as engagement (likes, comments, shares and clicks) and awareness (impressions and reach) to see if your campaigns are reaching the right people and making an impact.

Keeping an eye on your social media data will also show you which campaigns are most successful, which can help in creating future campaigns (don’t reinvent the wheel every time!)

April 3, 2020

A to Z of Social Media Marketing: C is Calendar

Filed under: Social Media — lidia @ 10:00 am

Every social media marketing strategy should be paired with a content calendar. A content calendar makes it easier to keep posts organized, on-schedule and spaced out appropriately. It’s also a good place to store links for curated posts. 

A content calendar can be simple or more detailed, based on your organization’s needs and strategy. I use Trello to create content calendars, here’s a great template to start with 

TIP: Here’s a detailed post on creating a social media content calendar from Hootsuite.

April 2, 2020

A to Z of Social Media Marketing: B is for Branding

Filed under: Social Media — Tags: , — lidia @ 10:00 am

A to Z of Social Media Marketing: B is for Branding

Branding is just as important in social media as it is in your print and online presence. Without consistent branding, your posts can appear scattered and not relay your intended brand messaging.

As I do with my other branding projects, I recommend creating a Social Media Brand Guide (or Social Media Style Guide) for your organization. It can be simple like the sample shown below, outlining brand fonts, colors and types of themes and posts.

Social media brand guide sample

Or you can go into more depth with specific guidelines for writing, grammar and voice, including sample posts. Here’s a social media style guide example that includes writing style from Buffer.

TIP: Creating a social media style guide is especially worth the time and effort if you hire subcontractors to write, design or manage your social media marketing, as it assures they will create content and graphics that are on-brand.

April 1, 2020

A to Z of Social Media Marketing: A is for Algorithm

Filed under: Social Media — lidia @ 10:00 am

A to Z SM Mktg_Algorithm

In social media, an algorithm is a set of formulas that determines what you see in your feed. Where feeds were once chronological, now they vary based on “relevance”—which is affected by the user’s usage, interests, interactions, and connections.

With the frequent algorithm changes, making authentic connections and encouraging interaction on your pages is more important than ever.

TIP: Here’s some useful and actionable info on navigating Facebook algorithms from Hootsuite.

March 3, 2020

What makes a successful marketing campaign?

Filed under: Marketing & Promotion — Tags: , , , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

For the last several years, I’ve been a judge at the IAPD/IPRA annual conference’s Agency Showcase Awards, which highlights marketing and communications from parks and recreation agencies in Illinois. 

This year my category was Marketing Campaigns, which ranged from event marketing to promoting special programs and initiatives. While I was reviewing the competition entries, I noticed several common threads in the most effective campaigns. 

They make SMART goals

The agencies that saw the best returns created SMART goals. Most importantly, their goals were measurable (the M in SMART) and trackable. 

They know their audience

Agencies with successful campaigns got to know their audience by doing customer research online and offline, checking demographic data in Facebook and utilizing customer surveys

They track their data

Rather than tracking anything and everything, agencies tracked the data that was most relevant to them, such as website visits, social media reach, response to events, discount redemptions, visibility of out of home advertising, email campaign clicks and opens, and increase in email list size. 

They use the data wisely

The campaigns that were most successful in their outreach used data to inform their campaigns. For example, one agency saw a decline in attendance in their events, so they launched a campaign specifically to increase event participation and it worked—attendance increased by 30%. 

Are you utilizing  these techniques in your marketing campaigns? Are there any other characteristics that effective campaigns share?

February 18, 2020

RECAP: The Nonprofit Communication Trends Report 2020

Filed under: Marketing & Promotion — lidia @ 10:00 am

The 2020 Nonprofit Communication Trends Report from Nonprofit Marketing Guide shares insights from 600+ nonprofit organizations to shed light on the comunications side of fundraising. Not all of it is great news—but there are lessons to be learned and changes to be implemented. 

Email marketing 

Email deliverability and engagement tends to be a challenge for nonprofits. 

  • 69% of nonprofits continue to email subscribers even after they stop opening emails
  • More than 50% of nonprofits implement a re-engagement series—but are waiting too long to implement it
  • Nonprofits are potentially missing out on up to $100 in donations due to email deliverability problems
  • 65% of nonprofits do not send a welcome series to new subscribers

The lesson: Nonprofit communicators should focus on best practices for email marketing such as keeping your list clean, segmenting subscribers, focusing on subscribers who regularly open emails, and launching re-engagement campaigns for lapsed subscribers. 

Social media marketing 

Nonprofits put most of their communications efforts into social media, but admit it’s the area they have the least confidence in—and that they aren’t using best practices to maximize engagement. 

  • 53% of nonprofits manage an active Facebook Group
  • 42% post a story on Instagram weekly
  • 25% actively use Facebook Messenger or a chat bot
  • 17% actively encourage people to create Facebook Fundraisers
  • 13% live stream video monthly

The lesson: With video posts capturing the most engagement on social media, smart nonprofit communicators will spend more time in that area. They may also want to consider Facebook Messenger or other ways of keeping in touch with supporters in real time. 

And of course, like any other marketing outreach, you need to start with a mission and strategy. (Download my Social Media Mission Statement for an easy guide) 

Communications staffing 

The workload for the communication staff continues to grow, yet the size of the team hasn’t.

  • Nonprofits with annual budgets under $1 million devote 21% of their total staff full-time staff to communications positions.
  • Nonprofits with annual budgets between $1-$10 million devote 10% of their total staff full-time staff to communications positions.
  • Nonprofits with annual budgets above $10 million devote 4% of their total staff full-time staff to communications positions.
  • About 73% of effective nonprofits organized their teams as centralized or integrated. 

The lesson: As communications needs keep growing, nonprofit communicators should consider growing their teams or outsourcing, as well as implementing apps that can streamline the process (hint, hint: I love content and social media marketing). 

Communications objectives

The survey found that there is a diversity of purpose found in nonprofit communications teams—as well as a challenge in prioritizing and focusing a strategy.

The top 3 communications goals for nonprofits who responded to the survey are: 

  1. Financial gains or savings (e.g., fundraising results) 
  2. Participation levels (e.g., numbers registering or taking action)
  3. Expression of loyalty (e.g., donor retention or long-term engagement)

The lesson: The best results come from having well-defined goals, a focused strategy and tactics that will reach your ideal audience. 

What makes communications teams most effective?

The report found the following common threads in effective nonprofit communications teams: 

  • At least one full-time staff person is dedicated to communications work
  • Teams are centralized or integrated
  • Responsibility and control is given to the team member leading communications
  • Best practices are implemented in email and social media marketing
  • Team members have a willingness to change
  • Team members’ opinions are valued and there is mutual respect

The lesson: Great communications teams are built on respect and trust, as well as an honest understanding of what is required to get the work done.  

How do these results compare to your own organization’s experiences?

February 11, 2020

RECAP: #GivingTuesday 2019 Impact Report

Filed under: communications — lidia @ 10:00 am

#GivingTuesday first started in 2012 with the mission to inspire collective action towards improving communities and creating real change. Since then, the movement has done just that—igniting acts of kindness, both big and small, all over the world.

This year’s Impact Report gives an overview of #GivingTuesday 2019, showing how “when people demonstrate generosity collectively, they can create real and systemic change.”

Here are key takeaways from the report: 

Giving made a real difference

On #GivingTuesday 2019, PALTOWN Development Foundation, a nonprofit that provides online support groups to empower cancer patients (and comprised of only two members), raised 25% of its operating budget. 

Crisis Text Line, a nonprofit that help texters from self-harm, signed up thousands of volunteer crisis counselors on #GivingTuesday.

Food4Thought spent #GivingTuesday—and every other Tuesday in 2019—feeding the homeless and providing them with clothing and toiletries. 

There were measurable results

  • $511 million was donated online 
  • $1.46 billion was donated offline
  • 27 million people participated (13.5 million donated and 7.6 million volunteered)
  • 60 movements within the U.S.
  • 400+ community movements worldwide
  • 20.1 billion social media impressions worldwide.
  • 13% of the entire U.S. population participated in #GivingTuesday.

Records were broken in 2019

#GivingTuesday has continued to grow. In 2019, online giving increased by 28%, donations made online increased to $4.3 million (from $3.8 million in 2018), and average donation size increased to $119 (from from $105 in 2018).

People shared stories from around the world

In Portugal, the city of Chicco donated a baby basket filled with diapers, blankets, and other baby items to mothers that gave birth on December 3rd (“GivingTuesday babies”)

On #GivingTuesday in Liberia, leaders found volunteers to donate their wedding dresses to women that had lost their wedding photos. The leaders then organized a photoshoot so women could rebuild those lost memories. 

Organizations came together to make a bigger impact

Community campaigns within the U.S. have increased by 57%. In 2019, there was a new trend in which multiple organizations came together to fundraise and split the donations equally. Supporters liked this trend because it allowed them to donate to a cause, not just an organization. 

Kids got involved in giving

On December 3, 2019, kids from over 32 countries participated in afterschool acts of kindness and generosity through #GivingTuesdayKids

In Ukraine, students raised money for a local cancer hospital by organizing a school-wide fair that involved a bake sale and other hands-on giving activities. 

Brazilian child superstar, Isabella Casarini, led a social media movement to encourage kids to share their acts of kindness within their community.

It’s not too early to prepare for this year

It’s never too early to start thinking about your #GivingTuesday campaign. As you prepare for this year’s campaign, here are some tips from my series on branding and marketing your #GivingTuesday campaign: 

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »