A nonprofit’s guide to social media posts [Infographic]

Sometimes it’s tempting to hand all our social media accounts over to the youngest person on a nonprofit staff. They know social media better than you, right? The problem with that is they might not know your nonprofit as well as your senior staff does. Since establishing a strong voice on social media is huge for your nonprofit’s digital presence, we encourage you to involve someone on your nonprofit team who knows your nonprofit’s voice and mission in your social media strategy – even if this someone isn’t a social media expert.

Luckily, there’s plenty of resources to help the non-social-media staff of the world. Here’s an infographic that walks through the main social media channels and how to post on each. If your a social media novice, this is your new best friend! Even if you’re comfortable with the social sphere, check this out to make sure you’re optimizing each post.

Infographic credit: Unbounce & MyCleverAgency

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For more on targeting your audience on social media, listen to “Focusing your nonprofit’s social media efforts” – a podcast by ArcStone co-owners, David & Lisa.

Pokémon Go + your nonprofit – July Nonprofit Marketing News

If you haven’t been hiding out at the summer cabin the past few weeks, it’s likely you’ve at least heard of Pokémon Go, if not been tempted to play it at all your lunch breaks. You may even be sick of hearing about it by now, however, this post from Nonprofit Quarterly points to ways in which you could optimize it for your nonprofit’s cause.

Go catch em all with your next creative fundraiser. For more trends and tricks, read the recap of the month below with our favorite posts.

– The Nerdy Nonprofit – July 2016 –

Social media lesson: Which networks should you be on?

Podcast + worksheet from co-owners of ArcStone, David & Lisa

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Take 10 minutes to listen and determine where to focus your social media energy.

Fresh ideas: Snapchat success story

Contribution from Kate Metzger, digital strategist at St. Thomas University

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It might be time for you to try out this social media platform. Read how this nonprofit school targeted their audience with 3 different successful Snapchat strategies.

Google tip: Maximize on micro-moments

From Think with Google

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Meet your audience in their time of need with some ideas from Google and our team.

Fundraising: New tool for fundraising data visualization

From Foundation Maps

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Yes, you can track where your funding comes from and yes, it’s free.

If you can spare 30 minutes or so this summer, reply to this message to sign up for a podcast interview. We’d love to chat and hear your story.

Now get Go-ing!  

Jenna & Chloe

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A free (mini) website audit for your nonprofit

It’s tempting to keep things as-is as you try to conquer the day in the nonprofit realm, especially when it comes to your website. It’s challenging to take the time to review your current digital marketing progress, let along invest more of your tight budget into improving it.

Despite this temptation, we all know better than to let our website sit with little attention. In this day and age, keeping up with changes in tech and digital marketing is vital to keeping your nonprofit visible to prospective donors, volunteers and those who need your services.

Our solution?

We put together the worksheet attached below in hopes that you’ll take part of an hour and walk through your website with fresh eyes. We encourage you to be critical as you audit your website so you can make sure all your hard work is paying off and will continue to down the road. You can notice where your digital efforts are thriving versus where you’re falling behind and determine where to focus your digital marketing energy and budget.

Open the website audit worksheet here.
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If you need help setting up your strategy and determining your website priorities, message our team at ArcStone and we can brainstorm with you.

Free advertising credits for Minnesota-based nonprofits

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This week MinnPost announced they are granting free advertising credits to Minnesota-based nonprofits.

Their program is called MinnPost FAN Club, with FAN standing for Free Advertising for Nonprofits. This program will reward advertising credit for their magazine based on which nonprofits are nominated by members.

Platinum members of their magazine will log into their accounts this week and vote for a MN nonprofit of their choice. At the end of each voting period, they will reward a value of up to $1,650 credit to three different nonprofits.

Read more on this program here.

Where the micro-moment meets the nonprofit

If you keep an eye on marketing trends, you may have heard of the term micro-moments. With Google’s help, many marketers are trying to meet their customers via this type of search. What is a micro-moment to begin with? And why should your nonprofit care?

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A micro-moment defined:

According to Google, this phenomena occurs when…

people reflexively turn to a device –increasingly a smartphone – to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something. They are intent-rich moments when decisions are made and preferences shaped.

So it’s not exactly a moment where people are figuring out which cause to donate $1 million to or where to commit all their free time to a nonprofit board. Rather, it could be when someone is wondering where they should bring their extra clothes after spring cleaning their closet, how they could help with a recent natural disaster, or how to get resources for a problem they’re facing.

Your nonprofit can be there in these moments, not only answering questions for people who need your answers, but also increasing web traffic and rankings from Google.

The benefits of optimizing your nonprofit content for micro-moments:

In Google’s ebook, they explain that “these micro-moments are critical touchpoints within today’s consumer journey, and when added together, they ultimately determine how that journey ends.”

They’re pointing out that if you can meet a searcher at these moments, you will create a more positive experience for them. If you can answer their question in their time of need, chances are your nonprofit will stand out in their memory above others.

How nonprofits can use micro-moments:

1. Think about the places where your audience and the questions your nonprofit can answer intersect.

First ask, what might someone ask that you can respond with a quick answer?Then, create web content around these answers.

Ex. for the American Red Cross:

“Where can I volunteer during the holidays?” = write a case study about their holiday volunteer opportunities

 “How can I help with disaster relief?” = create a landing page to drive donations after a natural disaster

“Best ways to keep your family safe during severe weather.” = create a checklist for weather safety tips

2. Do your research with the tools you have

If you have a web agency or someone who’s Google Analytics-savvy, ask them to look at the most common mobile-centric searches with which people land on your site.

Also find your long-tail keywords for which you’re ranking or could be ranking with a tool like SEMRush.

Read more Google’s ideas in, “How to build your mobile-centric search strategy.” Or build your keyword strategy with our post, “SEO Tips for Nonprofits.”

3. Write out your nonprofit’s plan.

Theorizing on where people are in their searches is one thing, but finding a way to create content for each of these searches takes you to the next level. Once you have a handful of ideas, create your content strategy around this. Build up five or so micro-moment-friendly pieces of content and then continue to analyze and refresh in order to keep content relevant and search-engine optimized.

4. Think mobile first.

Most of these moments center around hand-held devices – what people have when they’re on the go. If your site content is not crafted around mobile, not only does Google notice that, but so do your users.

Ex. Rather than create a long blog to answer these questions, craft up a mobile-friendly infographic. Rather than creating content users would have to download, make it easy to view right on a landing page. 

For more ideas on making your nonprofit micro-moment and mobile-friendly, contact our team at ArcStone and we can strategize with you.

Building a nonprofit’s Facebook presence & community: success story by Presbyterian Homes & Services

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Finding time to post on Facebook is tough. Getting people’s attention on Facebook is even tougher. Perhaps most challenging of all is convincing your nonprofit coworkers and your board that a strong nonprofit Facebook presence is crucial to building up your nonprofit community.

These are obstacles Minnesota-based nonprofit, Presbyterian Homes & Services, ran into this past year: not everyone believed Facebook would be worth such an effort due to the expense and time commitment. Likewise, seeing as the nonprofit serves 42 communities across 3 states, their reach is fairly widespread, which makes a well-maintained Facebook page an even greater feat. One final challenge? The employees of this nonprofit consider themselves as guests in these residents’ homes. Because of this, when the staff have photos or stories to share online, they have to make sure each individual feels comfortable sharing the content.

Despite these challenges, like many nonprofits, Presbyterian Homes & Services rose to the occasion. Since they’ve seen such success, we can all follow their lead. They even found out ways to make the process rather fun. Read how they approached increasing their nonprofit’s Facebook presence and review some examples of their success below. Hopefully you feel as inspired as we were.

Success by numbers

Presbyterian Homes & Services Facebook page was set up back in 2012. For the first few years, they were comparable to other nonprofits on social media, struggling to increase interaction on their page and not finding the time to develop a strong social strategy.

In the last six months, they launched an effort to start pilot pages as branches of their main Facebook page – which they hope to eventually do for each of their 40+ communities – and to put more energy into the Presbyterian Homes & Services page itself. Since this initiative, it is rare to see a post on this page that didn’t have Facebook reactions like hearts or thumbs up and several shares. What’s more, they now have over a thousand page likes.

The reason for the success?

Besides their diligence and hard work, it’s become clear the community is there – their target audience is already on Facebook (find out more about meeting your target audience on social media in this podcast). Plus, there’s evidently a desire from this audience to connect with fellow residents and share this community with their friends and family.

How did they do it?

To cover this story, I spoke with Director of Sales & Marketing, Darcy DeMars, and she excitedly shared how this success has unraveled.

As far as residents sharing their stories, they’ve continued to make sure the needs of residents are met first, so they only share with permission. The positive effect of this is it also means the posts that are shared are often from people who are more excited to be a part of the social media effort. They these folks share with their family and friends.

Darcy admits it takes some time to gather content and manage this social strategy on her own – an hour or so each day. Fortunately she also gets help from members of other staff as they enthusiastically share photos and stories from their own community. This work has resulted in several success stories of which Darcy and crew can be quite proud.

To track all of this, Darcy takes notes on what’s worked. She’s also careful to track holidays and other such trends to makes sure Presbyterian Homes & Services has something to say. She has experimented with Hootsuite, but is still figuring out the best tool to help manage all this content.

Telling Residents’ Stories

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Having Residents & Family Check In

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Connecting & Building Community

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Showcasing Awards

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Promoting Their Communities & Services

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Celebrating Holidays

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Participating in the Greater Good & Spreading Awareness

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Recognizing Employees

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HR Recruiting

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What can you do now?

As Presbyterian Homes & Services continues to grow their Facebook presence, they are working towards getting each community on its own Facebook page and encouraging them to post more frequently. Then, once those pages are regularly updated by each separate communities’ staff, each community can share content and stories amongst one another. Hopefully, this will increase ties between communities, while also building up each community as a whole.

Share this post if you need help showing your nonprofit board or fellow staff members all that social media can do. Similarly, take a look at “Convincing your board content marketing matters” to help your case.