Entries in Social Networking (301)

Sunday
Aug312014

Best Times to Post on Social Media

If you are like most organizations, your staff wears many hats. If you are juggling several tasks including managing social media accounts, check out this data about the best times to post updates. However, before you dive into it, it's important that you remember to look at your own engagement and what the best times are to post for your own organization. Sometimes posting during the "dead zone periods" can be beneficial because you are not competing with all the noise. The best thing that you can do is to test it. 

 

Best Times to Post on Social Media:

Twitter  9am-7pm ET 
Facebook  9am-11pm ET 
LinkedIn After 5pm ET 
Tumblr   1pm-11pm ET
Instagram  9am-11pm ET
Pinterest  8am-12am and 4pm-6pm ET
Google+  9am-5pm ET

 

What are the best times you have found to post on social media?

 

Friday
Aug222014

Will Nonprofits Take SXSWi By Storm in 2015?

SXSWi is one of the biggest conferences for startups, technologists, and people who have innovative ideas that they think can change the world. But where do nonprofits and cause related startups fit into SXSWi? This year several nonprofits and leaders who are doing innovating work to create social change movements, submitted terrific panels in hopes of carving out a bigger track related to activism.

Check out some of the panels that could be featured at SXSWi if we rally together and vote for them by September 6th!

 

 

Why Failure Is a Dirty Word for Nonprofits

Vote Here: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/39063

 

Sex, Lies, and the Internet

Vote Here: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/33003

 

Beyond Email: How Modern Teams Master Communication

Vote Here: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/40589

 

Activism At Its Best: Drive Supporters To Do More

Vote Here: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/41471/ 

 

Blurred Lines: How to Engage Brand Super-Champions
Vote Here: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/37716

 

Engagement Strategies for Niche Communities
Vote Here: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/37990

 

Sync All Your Data (No, For Real)

Vote Here: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/36283

 

Keepin' It Real: Content Strategy on the Cheap!

Vote Here: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/41757

 

The Future of Infographics

Vote Here: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/42521

 

Growing an Education Innovation Community

Vote Here: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/38230

 

 

Is Social Good the Next Killer App? 

Vote Here: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/32981

 

Nonprofit Crowdfunding Bill of Rights

Vote Here: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/32927

 

Building an Army of Brand Advocates 

Vote Here: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/39274

 

The (Data) Science of Social Change 

Vote Here: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/40373

 

Synchronized Social: Collaborative Campaigns

Vote Here: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/41802

 

Meaningful Marketing: Working for the Greater Good

Vote Here: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/40429

 

Pushing the Envelope Forward: Latin@s in Tech

Vote Here: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/41530

 

New Models in Higher Ed: From Texas to Rwanda

Vote Here: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/34758

 

Data as Storytelling

Vote Here: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/38262 

 

Startups & The City

Vote Here: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/35709

 

Thursday
Jul312014

Infographic: 57% of American's Don't Trust Social Media 

If you knew that your donors and activists were very concerned about their privacy online, what would you do to better protect their personal data that you have stored in your databases? Well you better start thinking about it. Today, a new national poll was released that showed almost three-fourths of Americans worry about how much personal information is available online.

More than half of Americans also feel that they can't trust social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to keep their personal information, buying habits, and political beliefs confidential, according to the poll that my firm Rad Campaign, Lincoln Park Strategies, and Craig Newmark of craigconnects released.

According to the survey of 1007 people 18+, mistrust of websites and social media and concerns about privacy increase as people get older. People over 65 expressed the least trust in social media, and were most certain their data was being sold. It was this demographic who felt most strongly that privacy laws need to be strengthened.

As a nonprofit, it's critical that you're aware of these issues when collecting and using the data of your constituents.

The data from the poll shows very clearly that Americans feel manipulated and exposed by the websites they frequent. While that may not stop them from using Facebook and Twitter, or your website, for example, they are clearly calling for more safeguards around their personal data.

If you're collecting your audience's personal data, it's important that you're aware of how you're using it, the capacity in which you're using it, and clearly disclosing how the data is being used. It should not be buried in some legal jargon that real people can't understand.

Here are a few ways you can make sure you're respecting your constituents' privacy:

  • Fully disclose what you plan on doing with their data. How will it be used? Will any of the data be shared with 3rd parties?
  • Disclose what you will do to protect and secure their data.
  • Make sure you're honoring your Terms of Service, and make the language accessible to your audiences.

What else can you do to make sure that you're protecting your constituents data and respecting their online privacy?

Check out the full infographic, and survey data at www.onlineprivacydata.org.

Wednesday
Jul162014

How To Track Your Twitter Engagement

Nonprofits have been able to track gather important data about their audiences interactions with their website via Google Analytics. Facebook pages have also offered some insightful data on audience engagement. Twitter has been a bit late to the party, providing very limited data unless you invested in their ad platform. Just recently however Twitter rolled out their new Analytics platform, making it accessible to everyone. What will this mean for the nonprofit world, and will this change how we're communicating on Twitter?

Now people will be able to see what tweets are being seen by how many people, and how frequently their tweets are actually being clicked on, retweeted, or favorited.

If you haven't had a chance to look at the different analytic options, we'll give you a short rundown...

For your tweets, you can track:


  • overall impressions

  • engagements

  • engagement rate

  • link clicks

  • retweets

  • favorites

  • replies


For your followers, you can track:


  • growth

  • interest

  • geographical location

  • gender

  • the people your followers follow


While you're tracking your tweets and gauging what's resonating with your audiences, it's important to remember that vanity metrics aren't everything, and quite honestly, they shouldn't be your top priority. Your top priorities on Twitter should be about genuinely engaging your audience and moving them up the ladder of engagement. Social media isn't a broadcasting system, it's meant to be social, like a cocktail party.

 

Some people are concerned that Twitter is not what it used to be. This past January, Jenna Wortham said that social media "is fueled by our own increasing need for attention, validation, through likes, favorites, responses, interactions. It is a feedback loop that can’t be closed, at least not for now."

Do you think that the new analytics will only add fuel to the fire that we call validation?

Here are 3 ways that nonprofits can use the new analytics without giving into the vanity metrics:


  1. Don't obsess over every piece of data. Looks for overall trends.

  2. Use the analytics to determine what sort of content is resonating with your audience. What sort of content are you putting out to the Twittersphere that your audience really needs from you? Try to produce that sort of content once a day or a few days a week depending on your capacity.

  3. Use the analytics to supplement your realtime engagement, but don't get stuck in the numbers. Use the analytics to test how campaigns are running, or how hashtags perform, but then remember # 1.


What are your thoughts about Twitter's release of analytics to the public?

 

Wednesday
Jun252014

Can Online Campaigners Fight Online Harassment?

If you work in social media or online advocacy you are no stranger to trolls and online harassment. We at Rad Campaign along with Lincoln Park Strategies and Craig Newmark of craigconnects recently conducted a national online poll about the rise of online harassment. We found that almost 25% of people reported that were either harassed online or knew someone who had been harassed. Even more alarming was that this figure climbed to 47% for people under the age of 35.


A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to talk with Ted Fickes at Mobilisation Labs about how harassment in the nonprofit campaigner world. We discussed how online campaigns are built around email lists, Facebook, Twitter, text messaging and phone calls and that we are reaching more people with less face to face interaction. However, is the nature of digital campaigning contributing to an environment that makes harassment possible?

I personally think the lack of face to face communications makes it easier for people to lash out and make threats against others, as people can hide behind their screens. It’s easy for someone to disconnect from the face on the other side of the screen, and cultivate a means of dehumanizing someone since they’re “only speaking to a screen.” This is also where the mob mentality comes in, which is more easily formed online than offline.

So how do we create safer campaign spaces online? I think the biggest piece to address is the cultural piece. Creating and sustaining a culture where people respect women and people of different faiths, political beliefs, gender identities, and sexual orientations, etc. is going to take a long time. There are a lot of awful stereotypes that have impacted our culture that need to be dismantled.

However, there are other things that we can explore that are more immediate steps. One of the things that I’m interested in talking with the panel about is what the online gaming community is doing. When League of Legends players faced online harassment, they had people from their own community voluntarily “police” the community to report and address the harassment. People were able to issue email warnings and ban users. When staff audited the community warnings and bans, they found that 80% of the reports were credible. They also focused on working with the game users who were censured or banned to get back into the game. Many said that they did not realize how offensive they were until another user pointed it out. Other online gaming communities have tested creating a code of conduct that people must agree to.

What other ideas do you have for nonprofit campaigners fighting online harassment?

Saturday
May312014

Is Your Communication Style Engaging Constituents?

We're about halfway through 2014, and it's time to check in about where you are with your goals for the year. Have you accomplished any of your organization's goals yet? Have your communication goals changed? What are your priorities for the rest of the year?

In January, the Nonprofit Marketing Guide released the 2014 Nonprofit Communications Trend Report, alongside an infogrpahic to break the data into easily digestible chunks. 2,135 nonprofits responded to this online survey, and at the beginning of this year the top communicaton goals were (in order of priority):

  1. Acquiring new donors.
  2. Engaging the community.
  3. General brand awareness.
  4. Retaining current donors.

If your goals were similar, have you acquired new donors? If not, there's still time, but you'll need to come up with a strategic project roadmap. Remeber planning for year-end fundraising will be here before you know it.

Who is your target audience? How will you reach out to those new donors? Have you invested in an organic and paid recruitment strategy via social action networks like Care2.

Have you been engaging your community? Make sure you're talking with them and not at them when you are using social media. It's important to remember that social media is like a cocktail party. It's a place to be social not like a bot posting press releases. That is the fastest way to bore your community and have them NOT pay attention to you.

If you're acquiring new donors and engaging your community on social media, make sure your email communications tells your donors how their actions and support are generating impact even if it's incrementally like I discussed last week in my article Why Email Still Rules.

Nonprofits believe the six most important modes of communication are:

  1. The website
  2. Email marketing
  3. Social media (other than blogging)
  4. In-person events
  5. Press releases and media relations
  6. Print marketing

If these are your top avenues of communication, how are you tracking their success? It's important to track the success of your communication in an effort to effectively reach your audiences. What works for one audience may not work for another. It's important that you tailor your outreach to meet your constituents where they're at anytime, everywhere (for more on this, check out the book Social Change Anytime Everywhere I co-authored with Amy Sample Ward of NTEN).

Be sure and check out the full infographic below for more about nonprofit 2014 communication trends:

 

Tuesday
May132014

Why Email Still Rules!

Social media strategists (ok, not all) love to discount email in favor of, you guessed it - social media. They have deemed email a dying communications channel, which is absurd. Email lists and email marketing continue to grow, especially for the nonprofit sector where list size grew at least 14% in 2013, according to the 2014 eNonprofit Benchmark study.

Here’s just a few reasons why email still rules:

  • People who take action on advocacy campaigns via email are 7x more likely to donate money to your organization. 
  • You have the most control of how you engage your audience. For example, who sees and responds to your message is not based on some proprietary social network's secret algorithms and you are not forced to pay a premium to target segments.
  • There are good analytics for action, open, and click rates for email, so you can segment your list and move people up the ladder of engagement based on their level of commitment. With a good CRM you can capture a robust snapshot of your consituents - what are people taking action on, are these the same people signing up for lobby days or donating money? What specific issues are they interested in?
  • You can leverage your email list to drive further action on other platforms. For example, on Facebook, you can use Facebook Custom Audiences to target your email list members and further engage them on your advocacy campaigns. You can test targeting a range of advocates – the most engaged people or try to re-engage those who stopped taking action via email. But you need a strong email list to support that kind of targeted social engagement.
  • Email raises money. Outside of direct mail, email raises a lot more money than social media. Online giving increased 14% in 2013, mainly due to email communications. Monthly giving revenue grew 25% in 2013.
  • The majority of nonprofits aren’t raising a dime on social media. And the amount of nonprofits that have raised $100K or more on social media is only about .07%.

While email still rules, there are some issues that I’m concerned about, but I think we can tackle them with thoughtful strategy. Battle of the inboxes and social media noise is competing for our constituents' attention. This has had an impact on email response rates, which declined about 25% in the nonprofit sector in 2013. I think that another contributing factor to the decline of email response rates is that  people are getting bored with our messaging and they are not seeing enough impact. This means nonprofits need to spend more time and resources changing things up. Focus on developing messaging that really resonates with your supporters and their values.

What’s the best way to do this? Start by finding out the pain points that people have around the issues you are working on. What are the pain points people have with your organization? You will see common trends that you can address. Then begin testing different content to find out what connects with people more. Measure the response rates to see what worked and what clearly flopped. Many organizations are working on campaigns that will take years to win, so it’s critical to find creative and meaningful ways to keep constituents engaged and show them how their actions and support are generating impact even if it's incrementally.