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On a webinar I attended recently an interesting question came up. “Do I still need to do audience research when I have access to so much social media and web data?” The speakers pounced quickly. "I hate to break it to you, but YES! Social media listening is not research." That’s because social media listening:
We've written in the past about understanding the way your particular donors use social networks, and an interesting article on USAToday.com raised additional questions about how you should analyze your organization's social media activity. The article, entitled "Social media: Hype or money-maker for your small business?", focuses on business results, but is very applicable to event fundraising as well.
In the last 24 hours, a number of journalists and bloggers have been writing Facebook Advertising's premature obituary after two researchers concluded that Facebook political campaign ads are ineffective, with voters scarcely remembering they ever saw them.
According to Mashable, the study’s organizers worked with a single candidate for one state legislature race, who bought enough ads that the study claims 15,000 Facebook users in his district saw the ads over the course of a week. The campaign budgeted $150 a day for the Facebook ads. However, Facebook only allowed it to buy $40 worth of advertising each day for the week, or $280, because of “the finite supply of Facebook users from the targeted constituency,” according to the study.
How many times have you heard a picture is worth a thousand words? We all know how powerful an image is. How the message can be conveyed with a single glance. How it can stay imprinted in your mind’s eye long after you’ve seen it. What if you could translate your organization’s mission through photos? What if you could connect your constituents to the work you’re doing and the impact you’re making, just by snapping a photo from your mobile phone? Well, I’m here to tell you all of that is possible and more with a powerful and free application called Instagram. And many non-profits are already doing it.
Everyone, including us, is talking about Pinterest—and the numbers reflect it. Since January, traffic on the site has topped Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined. It’s even pulled ahead of Twitter. And now, since the site is based on interest rather than personal connections, businesses and nonprofits are starting to take advantage of this nascent social media powerhouse.
Sometimes the simplest questions lead to the greatest insights. The trouble is, these are the same questions that we most often tend to overlook. And when it comes to online communication, with all the options and fanfare that has come with the fast-paced evolution of the Internet, the pressure to act first and ask questions later is enormous. In what seems like no time at all, “Got to get online!” becomes “Got to have a site!” becomes “Got to jump into social media!” Well, how about, "Sure, but I also got to step back, catch my breath and ask myself: What can I get from these tools and what’s the best way to use them in today’s fundraising environment?”
Earlier this month when I attended Salesforce’s “Cloudforce Chicago” event, I noticed something. People. Lots of people. This jumped out at me partly because I attended one of the software provider’s events at a Chicago hotel about two years ago along with about 500 others. This month’s gathering was at the city’s grand conference center, McCormick Place, and was comprised of thousands of people. For those of you unfamiliar with Salesforce, let me explain what that is and what those numbers should mean to you and me.
Salesforce is a major player in cloud computing and customer relationship management (CRM) software. Its main focus is providing platforms and applications that are riding (and indeed facilitating) a shift in the business and nonprofit landscape toward the concept of the “social enterprise.” This means helping organizations communicate, collaborate and better understand their customers by taking advantage of the global advent of social media, evidenced by the success-beyond-measure of entities such a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others. Cloudforce is the group’s annual conference tour.
Getting people to see your message. Getting people to act on your message. Getting the right message created. There is no shortage of things to get done in social media. But how do we go about doing this in a way that is effective and impactful?
One of the most impactful ways of doing this is to make sure that your supporters are the ones doing the talking about your event. It’s not enough for your organization to simply have a Facebook page through which you try to acquire fans and “Likes.” Your organization needs to put social media tools in the hands of your supporters and event participants so that they can then go out and be ambassadors for your nonprofit. It’s about making it possible for them to talk about you in their social networks—and, when needed, help generate stronger fundraising results in the process.
New forms of social media come and go in an Internet minute. But every once in a while something shows up that seems to have what it takes to stay aloft in the mix—something that makes the transition from “all the rage” to “here to stay.” Pinterest is clearly in that category.
Just when I thought social media was hitting its marketing stride, our friend Beth Kanter posted a recent article on her Facebook page by BBCnews.com co-founder and journalism professor Alfred Hermida, in which he declares the now ubiquitous phenomenon is about to become – ready for this? – “boring.”