Entries in Social Networking (301)

Thursday
Feb202014

New Study Shows People Don’t Read Articles, they Retweet

Are you impressed every time a blog post by your organization gets a lot of retweets? How about all those social shares on Huffington Post and Mashable? How many times has your boss come to you and asked “why can’t we get those social share numbers?”  

 A new study by Chartbeat, which measures real-time traffic for some of the biggest websites like Upworthy, said their research shows that many people aren’t reading articles that they retweet.  

Josh Schwartz, Chartbeat’s lead data scientist said that “Facebook shares would reflect the same pattern.”  

Upworthy says they have found that web visitors who consume about 25% of an article are more likely to share it on social media than people who moved onto to something else.  They also found that people who read the entire article are even more likely to share it on social media.

"There is obviously a correlation between number of tweets and total volume of traffic that goes to an article," Schwartz says. "But just not a relationship between stories that are most heavily consumed and stories that are most heavily tweeted."

Over at Buzzfeed they found that social media shares occur by users who have spent 3.5 minutes on a page on a desktop computer, or over 2 minutes on a mobile device.

I’m not surprised by this data. There is just too much information to consume on the web these days so it’s impossible for people to read it all. Plus people tend to skim on the web, especially with the rise of mobile devices.

It’s alarming that so many people are sharing articles with friends, colleagues, and strangers when they barely read the articles. It’s even more disturbing when you factor in that Nielsen’s research shows that 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family.  

What Should Your Organization Measure?

If social shares and pageviews shouldn’t be your main source of measurement what should you be measuring?

  1. Bounce rates and Time Spent on Website and Posts:  Are people staying on your website and looking at other pages? Or are they immediately bouncing off your website? When you share an article on social media, how long are people staying on that page to read the article, watch the video, etc.?
  2. Commenting: Are people commenting on the articles you share? And if so, which ones? What is the sentiment? Is it positive, neutral, or negative?
  3. Most Popular Articles Across Channels: What articles generated the most comments and traffic on your website and social media?
Thursday
Feb062014

Best Studies On How To Get More ReTweets

It’s hard to believe that seven years after Twitter launched, organizations are still vying for any information they can find on how to get the most ReTweets out of a platform that was meant for social conversations. One of the best places to go for Twitter data is Dan Zarrella at Hubspot. Dan has spent the last few years studying millions of Tweets and what resonates with people on Twitter. So if you are looking to amplify your advocacy efforts on Twitter, check out some of Dan’s most important data. However, it’s important to note that integrating some of these strategies will only take you so far. If you don’t have compelling content but your tweets are the recommended 100 characters, you still won’t get very far with this channel.

Recommended Tweet Length to Generate ReTweets

Tweets between 100 and 115 characters were 34% more likely to be ReTweeted than Tweets outside of this range.

Hashtag Effects on ReTweets

Tweets that contain one or more hashtags were 55% more likely to be RT’d than Tweets that did not use hashtags. Note: Please don’t fill your tweet up with 7 hashtags. That will not get RT’d.

Images Impact on ReTweets

Tweets contained images using Twitter’s native tool pic.Twitter.com were almost 2x as likely to be retweeted while the use of Twitpic increased the odds by over 60%. However, tweets that used Facebook or Instagram links were less likely to be RT’d so don’t use these tools for Twitter.

Social Calls to Action Work

When you ask people do the following on Twitter, many will do it.

  • Please Help
  • Please ReTweet
  • Please RT

“Visit” did not resonate with people so remove that from your Twitter vocabulary.

In addition, I recommend using these social calls to action sparingly. If your audiences constantly see tweets that ask for help or to please RT your message, they will tune you out. Focus on engagement such as answering people’s questions about your issue and ask them questions. Put yourself in their shoes. Do you like when people or organizations always ask you to do stuff on social media? Or do you prefer that people have a real conversation with you?

Exclamation Points Get More RT’s

While exclamation points in tweets may get more RT’s they don’t get more clicks.  

Monday
Jan272014

Upworthy Type Headlines: To Like or Dislike?

Upworthy, a site that focuses on curating social cause related videos and content has been receiving a lot of media attention for changing how bloggers write headlines. In November of 2013 Upworthy traffic grew to about 87M unique visits, which was quite a drastic leap from less than 5 million a year ago, according to Quantcast. In December traffic dipped about 21% to 68M unique visits. These numbers are still quite respectable. But is this a signal that people are growing weary of the “and you won’t believe what happened next” headlines? And what does this trend mean for nonprofits?

Please do not run out and start using Upworthy like subject lines on your online advocacy and fundraising appeals. Just because this tactic works for Upworthy (who is driven by a ton of testing on their own website) does not mean it will work for your organization. Remember, you are not a viral news sharing startup. Just like you were never the Obama campaign when their fundraising tactics were all of the rage. Raise your hand if you adapted those tactics a few years ago and suddenly raised an extra few million dollars. Any takers?

However, trying to amp up your creativity with headlines and testing them to see if they resonate with your audiences is something you should always be investing resources into. And that is one of the key take-ways from Upworthy’s success. The startup is constantly experimenting and testing to see what headlines and messaging works best with their target audiences. And if you look at their website right now, you will find that some of their headlines are simpler and not the hyped up "and you won't believe what happened next."

What about Facebook?

Upworthy is a great example of how compelling content can generate a lot of shares and comments on Facebook too. Should your organization adopt a similar model and share popular memes and videos with your audience on Facebook to generate more engagement? You bet so as long as there is some connection to the issues you are working on. However, memes and videos should not be your only source of content. Drew Bernard over at ActionSprout likes to compare this content strategy to broccoli and cheese. You need to balance just the right amount of cheese (fun stuff) and broccoli (your engaging messaging and content) to get the perfect dish that everyone loves.

Has your organization tested Upworthy like subject lines or headlines? What have the results been?

PS: Be sure and check out this fun Chrome plugin called Downworthy. It changes viral headlines like ""Will Blow Your Mind" to "Might Perhaps Mildly Entertain You For a Moment". #SoAwesome

Monday
Jan202014

Social Media Stats You Need To Know

It's the end of January and that means organizations social media and marketing plans for 2014 are off to a running start. As you begin to execute your campaigns, take a look at these social media stats from 2013. The stats are impressive. For example, did you know that there are 250 billion photos posted on Facebook daily? Or that 28% of RT's on Twitter are due to the inclusion of "Please RT". Side note: please don't use this tactic in every tweet you send out, or else people will start to ignore you. Save it for the VIP tweets.

 

Wednesday
Jan082014

Webinar: Social Loves Email

Direct mail acquisition costs continue to rise and while most organizations have a social media presence, most aren’t using it to fundraise. The good old-fashioned email address is the secret to activating and cultivating these channels more effectively. Join Justin Perkins of Care2 and Roz Lemieux of Attentive.ly and Salsa Labs for this insightful webinar to learn why Social Loves Email and how a simple, effective strategy for getting the most out of integrated email, social media, and multichannel marketing will pay off with your donor outreach.

You will learn simple strategies and tools that will help you to:

  • Recruit more donors and super activists
  • Raise more money more efficiently
  • Save loads of time and budget
  • Simplify your multi-channel integration; and
  • Stretch your marketing efforts further.

When: Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 2PM

RSVP: https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/s/registrations/new?cid=8cz32z8v9ppt

Wednesday
Dec182013

This is What Nonprofits Need More Than a Facebook Donate Button

Yesterday on Care2’s Frogloop, we discussed the value of Facebook’s new Donate button and its potential impact on nonprofits. If you did not get a chance to read it, I encourage you to, as there are some implications you need to be aware of. For example, since Facebook won't provide donor data to nonprofits this could easily lead to people receiving multiple donation solicitations when they just donated to the organization via Facebook, thus angering supporters, as Rob Manix, one of my colleagues at Rad Campaign stated yesterday.  

While adding the Donate button is a nice gesture towards the nonprofit community, what the nonprofit community really needs is a Facebook Ad Grants program, an idea that Beth Kanter and I discussed a few months ago. The program would function similarly to Google’s AdWords program for nonprofits.

A Facebook Ad Grants program would be extremely beneficial to the nonprofit community given Facebook’s recent priority of paid content over organic reach. Nonprofit organizations on a shoestring budget have put in a lot of staff time over the last few years building a community on Facebook organically. But many nonprofits can’t afford to pay Facebook to promote their important content and fear that the years of work they spent building their community will now go down the toilet. No one wants to see that happen.

The right thing for Facebook to do is to work directly with the nonprofit community, gather their input, and create a Facebook Ad Grants program to help nonprofits continue to thrive on Facebook.

Very soon, a few of us in the nonprofit community will be organizing an open letter campaign to Facebook encouraging them to start a Facebook Ad Grants program. In the meantime, please share this article and idea with your collegues in the nonprofit community. The hashtag we are using for the campaign is #FacebookAdGrants.

Here are some other articles that highlights the need for a Facebook Ad Grants program:

http://communityorganizer20.com/2013/12/18/need-more-than-facebook-donate-button

http://www.johnhaydon.com/2013/12/18/this-is-what-nonprofits-need-more-than-a-facebook-donate-button/

http://www.bethkanter.org/facebookadgrants/

Monday
Dec162013

Facebook's New Donate Button: Good or Bad for Nonprofits?

The nonprofit world was buzzing today over the announcement of Facebook rolling out Donate buttons to nonprofit organizations on pages and posts. This will be similar to the Facebook Gifts button that they have been testing with about a dozen nonprofit partners for the past year.

The big question on every nonprofit organizations' mind is, will this Donate button help their charity raise a decent amount of money? From all the donor data I have seen on Facebook, the answer is NO! I predict that the majority of nonprofit organizations won’t raise very much money on Facebook unless your organization’s mission is to protect cute wildlife and animals, or works on disaster relief during a disaster. Here’s why:

People Don’t Use Facebook to Donate Money

People use Facebook to share stories, photos, and videos with friends. They comment on posts and like status updates. It’s a social space to be, you guessed it - social. Giving money is not a very social activity on Facebook. And when it comes to nonprofits, your supporters want to be engaged and feel like they are helping you to achieve your mission. There is a time and a place for giving money, and Facebook is not really that place. BTW, you should check out the Nonprofit Social Networking Benchmark Report, which historically shows that the majority of nonprofits have not raised a dime on Facebook. And remember the days of Causes on Facebook where many nonprofits struggled to raise money?

Facebook’s User Experience is Not Focused on Donation Conversions

There is a lot of design and user experience strategy that goes into raising money online. That’s why nonprofits spend a lot of time and resources on designing donation pages that focus on conversion rates. While it’s nice to see Facebook being charitable, having a little Donate button mixed in with all of their other features vying for users attention will negatively impact conversion rates.

Donations are not a priority for Facebook. What is a priority for Facebook is Wall Street, ad revenue, and paid partnerships. Facebook’s cluttered design has never been a good user experience, but nonprofits have muddled through it. After spending a few years building a community, now nonprofits are experiencing a decrease in organic reach as Facebook changes its algorithm to focus on paid content. Perhaps, in the future, Facebook will offer nonprofits paid options to better highlight the Donate button. However, the poor donation user experience still remains a large issue. 

No Access to Donor Data

Facebook does not plan on permitting donors to opt-in to have their information shared with nonprofits. Donors are the lifelines to nonprofits, yet nonprofits will not receive donors’ names, email, or other important contact information to continue cultivating these important people. This is problematic says Rob Manix, Senior Web Director of Rad Campaign and who works with me. "Many nonprofits dedicate considerable resources to track supporter’s multi channel donations and activities. Donor history is integral to strategically targeting advocates with relevant campaigns, avoiding donor fatigue, and stretching limited resources. Without this data the potential for multiple solicitations and angry supporters, is inevitable."

Why is Facebook doing this? They want all relationships to stay on Facebook.

It’s also not clear if nonprofits will be able to tell if donors “Liked” their page.

However, since Facebook is prioritizing revenue over community these days, I suspect they will offer paid options in the future for nonprofits to receive opt-in donor information.

If your nonprofit is interested in testing out the Facebook's new Donate feature, you can apply to be part of their program. However, my advice is not to get too excited about the this new feature. Experiment with the Donate button a bit, but do not turn your Facebook page into an ATM platform or your community will disengage.