Entries in Social Networking (306)


Are Facebook Videos Dominating YouTube?

Let's flashback to 2013 when Facebook announced in a blog post that they'd start autoplaying videos:

Since September, we’ve been testing a way to make videos more engaging on Facebook, and as a result we’ve seen views, likes, shares and comments increase more than 10 percent. We’re beginning to test a similar video viewing format for advertisers. Marketers will be able to use this new format to tell their stories to a large number of people on Facebook in a short amount of time – with high-quality sight, sound and motion. This approach will continue to improve the quality of ads that you see in News Feed.

Recently, Socialbakers analyzed over 180,000 Facebook video posts across 20,000 Facebook pages owned by brands, media companies, celebrities, and entertainment companies, and found some pretty remarkable results that is worth nonprofits taking examining.

Here's some insight into what they found:

  • Facebook really is dominating YouTube. Brands posted 20,000 more videos on Facebook than they did on YouTube in December 2014.
  • Video engagement is skyrocketing on Facebook. In January 2014, Facebook was getting just over half of all video interactions. In December, Facebook videos received more than 80% of all video interactions.
  • Marketers are honing in on Facebook even more. Marketers are turnings to Facebook videos first, before other social networks, and nonprofits should take note. Natively uploaded videos are being found on Facebook more often. And, they're being watched more often.

Facebook also conducted their own research. They want brands (including nonprofits) to use Facebook to engage target audiences with videos. "We are seeing this shift to a visual language come to life on Facebook," Facebook reported. They're really pushing videos, and it's working.


A snapshot of their findings...

  • In just one year, the number of video posts per person has increased 75% globally and 94% in the US.
  • Every day, people upload more than 350 million photos on average to Facebook.
  • Facebook announced that, "with people creating, posting and interacting with more videos...the composition of the News Feed is changing." This is confirmed by the increase in video from people and brands in the News Feed. It's increased 3.6x year-over-year.
  • Since June 2014, Facebook has averaged more than 1 billion video views every day.
  • On average, more than 50% of people in the US who come back to Facebook each day watch at least one video per day.
  • Cisco Systems estimates that mobile video will increase 14-fold between 2013 and 2018.

With the huge increase in video production and consumption, Facebook appears to be the place for video. So if your nonprofit is producing short videos, it's definitely worth posting them to Facebook and testing audience response rates. Be sure and analyze what percentage of people on your FB page are watching the videos, sharing them, and commenting on them. Also analyze how you are promoting the video content. After you test a few videos on Facebook, you will have some good data to determine if a video strategy is something you should add to your social content strategy for 2015. 


New Study: Investing in Facebook is a Waste of Time

For the past few years, nonprofits have spent a lot of resources on building their Facebook page presence. Many social media strategists and the media told nonprofits and businesses that email was dying and that FREE social networks like Facebook would be king of communications. So it's now 2015 and guess what? Email is definitely not dead and in fact it raises a heck of a lot more money than any social media platform. In addition, the majority of nonprofits still haven't raised a dime on social media. So is Facebook still worth it? I think it depends on your goals with Facebook and if you have the funding to pay to play.

It's no secret that Facebook manipulates its algorithm to favor the content users see, but Facebook has changed its algorithm so much that Facebook pages now only reach 2% of their followers. That means 98% of the people who "Liked" your FB page don't see the content UNLESS your organization pays Facebook to boost a post, buy a Facebook ad, etc.

A study conducted by Forrester found that posts from top brands on Facebook and Twitter have an awful engagement rate. Only 0.07% of followers actually interact with those posts.

According to the New York Times, Facebook has aggressively promoted its advertising products (like pop up ads that appear on users’ mobile phones urging them to install a new app...Facebook Messanger, anyone?). In the third quarter alone, Facebook reported a 64% increase in advertising revenue to $2.96 billion and said ad prices rose 274% year over year, in part reflecting strong demand from advertisers.

Brian Boland, a Facebook Vice President who oversees marketing of ad products, said Facebook surveyed hundreds of thousands of users, who complained that they were bombarded with useless promotional posts in their news feeds. While some of those useless posts were paid ads, about 2/3 of them were posts from brand pages. To appease users, Facebook decided to downgrade their chances of showing up in the news feed.

“Facebook is basically saying that their algorithm will be the arbiter of what’s promotion and what’s not promotion,” Jordan Bitterman said, chief strategy officer for North America at Mindshare.

So, it's pretty much a gamble whether or not Facebook will decide if your content is going to perform well. Since nonprofits don't have money that grows on trees, it's worth it to invest in engagement where you know it will count. I would invest in increasing an organizations email list over investing in Facebook ads or boosting posts or spending money on promoted Tweets in Twitter. However, if your organization has the budget to do both, you could spend money on list growth and also spend a bit of money on testing important advocacy related posts on Facebook to see how they perform.

So the next time a social media strategist tells you that email is dead, you can now tell them that email certainly isn't dead. In fact, it's very much alive and well. "Your emails get delivered more than 90% of the time, while your Facebook posts get delivered 2% of the time," writes Nate Elliott, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester. "If you have to choose between adding a subscriber to your email list or gaining a new Facebook fan, go for email every time."

Where will you invest your engagement in 2015?


Three Keys to Working with Crowds

Gathering crowds to help your cause is an essential part of working in a networked world. Crowds create capital, or “go-go juice,” that can include human connections, intelligence and expertise, resources like equipment and furniture, and, of course, money.

Ideas and ventures that would have been impossible when capital was scarce are now possible because of social media platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Creating capital is an essential part of what I call “Matterness,” the powerful force of mutual interest that happens when organizations and people work with one another rather than at one another.

Crowds can be difficult for organizations to work with because people in crowds aren’t trapped in databases or sitting quietly as an audience. People come and go as they please, not necessarily according to the wishes of organizations.  Here are the three essential steps for turning crowds into organizational go-go juice.

1. Understanding the Need

Successfully leading crowds takes clarity of purpose, intentionality, and some elbow grease. People need to be treated with dignity and respect, which means ensuring that their time and intelligence are respected and used well. By thinking clearly about why and how to engage crowds, organizations will turn some of these doers into donors, who are more invested in the organization and more likely to give over time.

2. Creating “No Fake” Zones

Crowd members want real, meaningful opportunities to help an organization. Fake requests like:  Send me money today, or my opponent will win and send your children to Russia for kindergarten!  do more harm than good. Fakery also include messages that look like they are from real people but are from black-hole email addresses like “no reply.” Social media are conversational vehicles. People are smart, they can see through artificial requests for help that are really just excuses to ask for donations and opportunities to capture contact information. Building trust with a crowd is essential to keeping people engaged longer.

3. Following and Leading. There are times when what an organization wants to get is different from what constituents want to give. When this happens it is smarter for an organization to become a follower rather than a leader. Organizations need to be on the lookout for crowds that form that can enhance their efforts — but beware, these crowds cannot be “owned” by organizations. Leaders need to focus on Matterness in these instances and find the sweet spot that exists between what crowds what to give and what an organization needs. It’s there, it just may take some conversations between the crowd and the organization for it to emerge.

*Allison Fine is the author of Matterness: What Fearless Leaders Know About the Power and Promise of Social Media. In addition, she is the author of the award-winning Momentum: Igniting Social Change in the Connected Age, and co-author of the bestselling The Networked Nonprofit. Her blog, A. Fine Blog, can be found at www.allisonfine.com


Is SEO Dying, Or Do You Just Need to Revitalize Your Content?

SEO certainly has its critics. Some call it snake oil. But SEO is critical to your website, online advocacy, and online fundraising.

If your nonprofit is about to embark on a website redesign, a website audit, or even online content planning for year-end fundraising, it's important to come up with a content strategy that is tailored to your specific audiences. This also will benefit your site's SEO.

I'm going to highlight a few of the best content marketing strategies visualized in this infographic:

  • Develop a consistent tone, message, and personality for your brand. It's critical that the entirety of your online presence has consistent branding with the website. Branding social media outposts will provide a more seamless user experience as users move from the website to social media sites and back.

  • Headlines are everything. It's true, a headline can make or break whether someone will click through to read your content. One way to come up with great headlines is to brainstorm several headlines at once. I like to make a list of 10 to 15 potential headlines and circulate them among our team for feedback and suggestions. This may be time consuming, but it's worth it.

  • Don't just post...Engage! I've said it before (in Tips for Writing An Awesome Social Media & Communications Guide), social media is like a cocktail party, it's meant to be social. Don't just sit back and watch the comments roll in, engage and respond. Generate dialogues, encourage questions, and even keep notes about your audience's comments to use for future content.

  • Quality is as important as quantity. Well sort of! While quality is more important than quantity, quantity is also important. If your nonprofit has a blog or a tumblr and you don't have the staffing or resources to keep it updated (even if you've got 1-2 awesome posts), it might not be the thing for you. You don't have to be where everyone else is. You just need to be where your audience is. Your constituents will notice if you don't ever update your content. This is why it's important to create a content calendar that you use to regularly curate quality content. You can even check out these tips to rock your online presence.

What strategies resonate with you?


Tricks and Tips to Use #Ello (With Screenshots)

Last week I joined Ello, a new social network that is ad-free and allows users to opt out of some data collection and tracking. Last week, Ello said that there were 31K invite requests per hour. Why is Ello sparking so much interest? Ello had great timing. Facebook and Twitter have been hit with different pockets of frustrated users.  For example, in September Facebook implemented a new policy that stated all user profiles had to have their real identity. This presented many issues for the transgender community, mental health providers who don’t want to publish this information, victims of stalking and abuse, etc.

Nonprofits have also become concerned about Facebook’s ever-changing secret algorithm and the pay to play presence it’s been building to strongly encourage all pages (including nonprofits) to start advertising if they want their FB Likers to see their content. Many nonprofits simply can’t afford to do this. But it’s not just FB that nonprofits are concerned about. Twitter has been experimenting with secret algorithms too and testing to see if popular content should be filtered to the top of users Twitter feeds. Pay to play could be way for Twitter to monetize.

Combine all of the above with the public’s concern over online privacy, and voila you have the perfect timing for a new social network that promises it will remain ad-free, cares about your online privacy and gives users the ability to opt out of some tracking, and has an impressive manifesto many people can get behind. 

I’ve have been on Ello via @womenwhotech for a few days and here’s what I have learned. It’s feels like a combination of Twitter (say hello and share what you are up to), Tumblr (longer form posts, photos, gifs), and Google+ (a bucket for friends and a bucket for noise).  It’s still in beta and run by a small team so it’s glitchy and the UX needs improvement. This is to be expected. Nonetheless, when people first join Ello they have found it frustrating to figure out how to do basic things like reply to comments.  So here are some tips and tricks to get you started (with screenshots).


Setting Up Your Profile

The round circle you see next to your @username will be your profile image. If you are looking to “brand yourself” then be sure this is a photo or image people will recognize. The image I use on Ellow below is the same one I use on Twitter with the @womenwhotech user name. The recommended size is 340 by 340. Note: See screenshot below where I use the red arrow to point to the profile image.


You will also notice a gray background where you can drag and drop or insert a large header/background image. The recommended size is 1800 by 1013. Note, in my screenshot below I have already uploaded a photo I shot of Georgetown University as my header/background.

Note: For both of these images, if you don’t upload the exact sizes I mentioned above, it can crop in weird places that you may find acceptable or not. You will need to play around with it, particularly if you are working with a logo. This came particularly frustrating when I started an Ello account for our web agency @RadCampaign so we could share fun photos and musings related to open source and philanthropy. When I uploaded our logo for the profile image it did not crop right at multiple sizes even 340 by 340. It still does not look perfect but I can live with it.


User Settings and Data Permissions

This was not the most intuitive to find at first. To locate these settings, ook for the small gray gear icon to the right of the black smiley face. In the screenshot below, I used a red arrow to point to the gear, which is also part of a set of 3 icons and the hamburger menu that serves as a toogle toolbar. Once you find the gray gear icon, click on it. It will bring you to your “profile” settings page.  Here you can input your bio info. 

Below the bio section you can change your notifications settings and data tracking settings. When you first sign up to Ello everything is set to YES. In the notifications section you have several options to make your profile viewable to people outside of the Ello network, allow other users to comment on your posts, and allow Ello to gather anonymous information about your visit, which they say helps make Ello better. Learn more. Note: See screenshot below.



How to De-Ello Your Inbox

If you have opted in to receive notifications, your email inbox will fill up fast. 

How to de-Ello your Gmail inbox via @dab

“Click on an email from Ello, click the More dropdown, select Filter messages like these, select Create filter with this search. Then select the last checkbox Categorize as: Social, and check the box Also apply filter to matching conversations.

You have now successfully moved your Ello notifications to your Gmail Social tab.”

If you are on a mac, drag an Ello email to your social tab. (Thanks for the tip @craftyreels).


Finding "Friends"

The "Discover" icon, which is the gray stick figure that is part of the 3 set of icons located to the right of the black smiley face is also supposed to land you on a page with the search tool. However, the search tool does not work at the moment. Note: See screenshot below using the red arrow that shows where the Discover tool is.


You have a few options to find people.

1. Use the Discover tool to find new and interesting people you have never met by scrolling through the list of users. I have done this and met some great people who have been sharing some content that really resonates with me.

2. Tell your community on other social networks like Facebook and Twitter what your username is on Ello with a link. Ask them what their user name and link is so you can follow them too.

3. Once you begin to connect with either new friends or old friends, scroll through their list of friends to either find more of your friends or meet new ones.


Posting Content

On Ello you can basically post a variety of content in the Omnibar that starts with a black rectangle bar that says “Say Ello.” Start typing away and the Omnibar instantly expands across the screen. Besides text, you can post photos, images like jpegs, animated gifs, Youtube, Vimeo, Soundcloud links, etc.

To Post Images: Beneath the gray Omnibar you will see two squares overlapping each other. Click that icon to upload images. Note: See screenshot below where the red arrow points to the square icon.

Formatting Content:  To bold or link content, select the text and a bar will popup with options to bold or hyperlink content. Note: See screenshot below.

Emoji Cheat Sheet: There are numerous and hysterical emjoi’s you can use on Ello.  Here’s a cheat sheet that @Scottbeale shared. 

When your content looks perfect, here's how you post it to your feed. Beneath the Omnibar, you will see a gray arrow located next to the gray X. Click the arrow and your content will post to your feed. Note: See screenshot below where I point to this.


Editing Content

If you posted content, but need to go back and edit it, no problem. First, go to your comment in your feed that you want to edit. Below the post you will see a few icons including the pencil icon. Click the pencil icon to edit your post. Note: See screenshot below where the red arrow points to the pencil icon.

Click the X (located next to the pencil tool) if you want to delete the post.


Commenting On A Post

Commenting on a post seems to be confusing people the most. It’s definitely been clunky at times. Here’s how it works. Underneath a users post you will see three gray dots. Click on those dots. A box will appear. This is where you enter a comment. It should auto-populate the username of the person you are replying to. Note: See screenshot below where the red arrow points to the three dots.


What Do The Numbers Underneath Each Of Your Posts Mean?

You will see three numbers underneath your post. The first number represents the timestamp - how many minutes/hours/days ago the post was published. The second number with the eye icon represents how many views the post received, and the third number with the three gray dots represents how many comments the post received. Note: See screenshot below with red outline around the three numbers.


Liking And Sharing On Ello:

Right now, you can’t like or re-share content automatically by other Ello users. You have to manually do this. I know it’s annoying, but remember Ello is in beta so they are still building out features. Here’s what I have been doing. Cut and paste the content that you want to share. Make sure you credit the Ello user whose content you are sharing. I have been using ReEllo via @username like you would do on Twitter as a RT. It was the first thing that came to mind when I wanted to share content by another Ello user. It seems Twitter has trained me. :) People are also using H/T for hat tip.

Another option is to click on the time stamp of the post that you want to share. This will give you a permalink. Frame the content you want to share and select the words you want to hyperlink using the permalink. Note: @ccarfi says this only works in the Omnibar and not comments on existing threads.

@Nicolelee on Ello posted on her Ello feed that she spoke with a couple of the co-founders who confirmed that there is a bookmarking feature in development. Here is what they said.

From Paul: Ello Beta has a bookmarking feature in development, which will allow Ello users to bookmark any post they like, with a separate feed so they can browse all the bookmarks they've ever made. This is a way to collect all the posts you like most of over time.

The working title for this feed is called the “Love” (as in, “I Love This”), but may be renamed by the time it is released — we’re just working on it now.

From Todd: This feature is evolving. We want to get it right. It will be two-way. This feature will be primarily focused on the person taking the action and secondarily on the person/entity receiving the attribution. We’re designing an experience less shallow and empty than the typical ‘like’ or ‘favorite’.”


How To See All of Your “Friends” Feeds

Click on the black smiley face.


How To Get Back To Your Own Feed

Go towards the top of the page and click on your profile image or username.


Keyboard Shortcuts

@teno found & shared they great keyboard shortcuts. On your/friends feed, with your Friends/Noise avatars in the left column, hit Shift+1 for a full screen of people. Use Shift+1 to toggle back and forth. You can drag people's avatars into the Friends/Noise boxes. (You can do this when your people are in the default column view also.) Hit the Right Arrow key from your /friends feed to hide your Friends list. This is a super clean view. Then it's nice to use Shift+5 to toggle a grid and list view of the feed. Use the Left Arrow to show your friends list again. If you're looking at your /friends feed, there's probably a bit of notification noise there ("Someone started following you"). Shift+0 will hide or show those.


Need more tips? Once you join Ello people will share all sorts of useful tips and we are al figuring this out together. Be sure and also check out their tips page here

Updated: October 1, 2014


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?



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