Social Networking

Get Ready to Grab Your Org's Custom Facebook Address for Pages and ProfilesSome call them vanity URLs, other Facebook user names but you can grab your organization's moniker starting starting at 12:01 a.m. eastern on Saturday, June 13. At that point, you'll be able to choose a username on a first-come, first-serve basis for your personal profile (many folks have a personal profile that's work oriented or doubles as personal and professional) AND the Facebook Pages that you administer (only those established by May 31, 2009 and with 1,000 fans or more). Do it here.

If your organization's name or program names are trademarked, go here to prevent the registration of those as usernames by others. But most critically, think carefully about the username you choose. Once it's been selected, you won't be able to change or transfer it!

Here's more on usernames for Facebook pages.

This is a great branding opportunity, and one that's particularly important as more giving moves online. It'll allow your organization to feature a Facebook page URL that's easy to remember — something like — and should be incorporated in all marketing communications, including your email sig lines when appropriate.

If your page doesn't meet the mark at this point, keep checking back with Facebook. It's likely they'll relax the criteria for being able to designate a username after a month or so!
Flickr photo: KevinH

Nancy Schwartz in Nonprofit Communications, Social Media, Social Networking | 1 comment
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Join Me & Two Branding Experts Tues 62 -- Free Online Chat on Promoting Causes on Social NetworksHere’s the deal…In today’s economy, nonprofit leaders need to understand how to effectively promote their organizations, programs, and fund-raising campaigns.

Many groups want to use online social networks to get their messages out, but don’t know how to build their brands and get attention on these networks.

Learn more by participating in tomorrow’s (Tuesday, June 2nd, noon eastern) free online discussion. I’ll be joined by two online branding brains — Danielle Brigida of the National
Wildlife Federation and Felicia Carr of the National Parks Conservation
Association — to discuss how to ensure your organization stands out on online networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and explore how those tools can complement traditional marketing efforts. You ask the questions so you guide the focus!

You’ll also learn how to teach your organization’s leaders, staff members, and volunteers to speak with a unified voice when they talk to others about your organization’s mission and seek contributions.

If you can’t make it, download the cliff notes version for must dos, don’t dos and what we dids from Danielle and Felicia and Red Cross social media maven Wendy Harman. They’re some of the smartest branding brains in the biz!

P.S. Don’t miss out on the in-depth articles, case studies and guides on branding, messages and more of what you need to know in the twice- monthly Getting Attention e-update. Subscribe today.

Flickr photo: itripp42

Nancy Schwartz in Branding and Messages, Case Studies, Nonprofit Communications, Social Media, Social Networking | 0 comments
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First Steps in Working Social Media for Your Org Report from Norfolk Had a great time yesterday teaching a social media immersion class to staff members of 25 nonprofit orgs in the Norfolk, VA region. The organizations these folks represented are varied in size, experience, issue focus and more. Yet the group came together as an incredibly productive learning community around social media.

During my intensive prep for the class, I had to do a lot of sifting — through tons of resources, tools and, the greatest challenge, my own perspective and experience with nonprofit use of social media tools.

This palette of tools is way too new, and changing too quickly, for any definitive must-dos across the board. But here are the few should-dos I recommended to yesterday’s students and want to share with you:

  • Set up Google Alerts to listen to what others in the Web 2.0 world (used synonymously w/social media) are saying about your organization.
    • The conversation is already going on without you, so the easiest (and most valuable) first step social media wise is to listen to what’s being said and to jump in as appropriate.
    • Set up Google Alerts (free) to report back to you on your org name, leaders names, issue area, names of key colleague and competitive organizations.
    • When you receive these daily outtakes via email, you’ll get immediate feedback on your org and its programs (enabling almost real-time course correction) and and the environment in which you work.
  • Next, set up a Facebook Cause page for easy micro-fundraising and membership-building by your network to their networks. This takes 30 minutes or less.
    • You’ll need to have either a personal page or an org page (fan page) to do so.
    • Once you have the Cause page up, spread the word that it’s open for business for your network to use to raise donations from their networks.
    • Easy way to start is to suggest birthday campaigns. I asked my Facebook friends to donate what they spend for lunch (or more, if they wanted) to the Community Food Bank of NJ and raised over $500 in a week. Make it easy for your supporters to do the same.
  • Talk, listen and learn about social media, whenever you can. Start here:
    • Beth’s blog — from the inimitable Beth Kanter, writing on nonprofits and social media 24/7
    • Chris Brogan’s blog — Chris makes the social media morass accessible. Read him.
    • We Are Media — comprehensive, well-organized, highly-accessible social media starter kit for nonprofits.
    • Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day by Dave Evans –This primer teaches you everything you need to know social media wise in an hour a day for 3 1/2 months.

P.S. How about wishing me happy birthday today by donating the cost of your daily lunch to the NJ Community Food Bank? Give today please — We’ve raised $540 on a pledge of $1,000 — campaign ends March 31st!

Nancy Schwartz in Nonprofit Communications, Professional Development, Social Media, Social Networking, Web 2.0 | 2 comments
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Social Networking Sucking in Adults Big Time May be Right Channel for Your NonprofitOnce again, the folks at the Pew Internet & American Life Project have opened our eyes: The share of adult internet users who have a profile on an online social network site has more than quadrupled in the past four years — from 8% in 2005 to 35% now. And Tech Crunch just weighed in that one in five Internet users are visiting Facebook in a given month.

The fact that mom and dad and maybe grandpa are on social networks, reported out in detail here, has huge implications for your nonprofit communications work tomorrow and a few for your work today:

  •  75% of online adults 18-24 have a profile on a social network site, but only 7% of those 65 and older do. Those stats are bound to grow in these age groups and those in between. But for now, track your target audiences with their current level of involvement.
  • Social networks are becoming a more important part of fundraising and advocacy campaigns, but mainly through individuals sharing their passions and interests with their friends. These online boosters are folks you want to help spread the word.
  • Right now, explore social networks in a minor way if your targets skew 45 and up; more so if they're younger. But do participate so you're ready to go when those older are on board (not likely to be so far away).
  • Keep tracking who's on social networks, and jump on board when your core audiences are there too. Meanwhile, read about strategies, case studies, dos and don'ts from your colleagues who are already out there.

Just in from TechCrunch (tip of the hat to The Agitator):
"In November 2008 Facebook drew 200 million unique worldwide visitors; more than 1 in 5 people who accessed the Internet that month visited the site. When sites are that big growth generally stagnates, but in Facebook’s case it’s still skyrocketing. In December, 222 million people visited the site says newly released Comscore stats, a 10.8% month over month growth rate. 22% of the total Internet audience went to Facebook in December."

P.S. Whether you're engaging over-65s or 20-35s, when a powerful tagline is joined to a compelling mission…nothing is impossible! Download the free Nonprofit Tagline Report for must-dos, don't dos, case studies and 1,000+ nonprofit tagline examples!

Nancy Schwartz in Nonprofit Communications, Recommended Resources, Social Media, Social Networking | 1 comment
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Your Org's Base is Most Vital Nonprofit Marketing Power You Have -- Pull Your Peeps In, NowThis is it.

The boiled-down, most essential, most vibrant, most potential (you can sing that) takeaway I have from the NTC Conference is the value of imperative for nonprofit marketers to fully engage our citizen bases, aka crowdsourcing. It’s not just about Web 2.0, social marketing gewgaws, getting attention, or capitalizing on our constituencies (and that can mean external audiences, partners, boards, colleagues or…) their creativity or intellects to create high-impact content.

They are you and you are them, or not (and that’s trouble). The whole dynamic has shifted, and you have to get with it. This is the natural continuum of ceding control of our brands — ala Everybody’s Talking About You–Why Your Nonprofit Needs to Listen, and Listen Hard, and we’ve moved ahead very quickly.  Now it’s clear that proactivity is key to growing and strengthening your org. Don’t wait till you have no other choice.

Read my posts from the 08NTC (Nonprofit Technology Conference) for several inspiring models and hands-on how-tos. Then get to work, today.

Missing out on the Getting Attention e-newsletter? Subscribe now for in-depth articles and case studies on nonprofit marketing.You’ll get first access to research like this, plus other coverage to ensure marketing impact.

Nancy Schwartz in 08NTC, Branding and Messages, Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants, Citizen Participation/Crowdsourcing, Nonprofit Communications, Social Networking, Trends, Web 2.0 | 0 comments

LinkedIn Answers Great Source of Nonprofit Marketing GuidanceI recently dove into LinkedIn (a high dive, mind you), and find it to be an absolutely incredible professional networking tool.

You probably know all that, so let me tell you about its much-less-publicized value — as a strong source of peer insight on the challenges that are plaguing YOU. LinkedIn offers a great Question-and-Answer venue (you can do either, or both), which you can post to your other members in your industry (charity and nonprofit, marketing) and/or to your own network of connections. It’s an incredible resource.

Here are the few of the queries recently asked in the marketing and nonprofit venues within LinkedIn (accessible to LinkedIn members only):

I subscribed via a RSS news feed to get new questions in the nonprofit and marketing areas sent to my news reader. Makes it easy for me to share my knowledge to help colleagues, and to learn what others have to say.

Beyond providing great answers, LinkedIn provides an opportunity for nonprofit marketers to ask key questions of colleagues in the field. The community is one of pure sharing, nothing territorial here. So refreshing, and so valuable.

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Nancy Schwartz in Nonprofit Communications, Recommended Resources, Social Networking | 0 comments

Here's How Making a Great Chocolate Cake Engages Much Like Good Nonprofit MarketingBalderdash, you say. What ever is she talking about? Too long a long weekend, perhaps?

Nope, just inspired by my newly-discovered expert on social networking tools — Chris Brogan. The guy’s fantastically insightful, imaginative and (most critically) realistic. I recommend you add his blog to your reading list so you understand the options social networking wise and improve the impact of what your doing and/or get some strong direction on how to start or change course.

Anyway, last week Chris wrote about cake. Baking a cake. Now, I’m not much of a cake eater, but baking my daughter Charlotte’s birthday cake is one of my favorite rites of spring. So Chris’ analogy about the impact of baking a cake the old fashioned way, vs. just using a mix vs. using a "nothing to add" mix  hit me hard.

Chris reminds us that when cake mixes were "improved" so users no longer had to add two eggs and water, sales plummeted. The experience became too much like buying a cake.

When the makers pulled it back so that people added two eggs and the water, sales rocketed back up. It turned out that adding the eggs made people feel more involved, part of the process.

When your media feels too complete, people don’t feel like they’re participating. [Let them make cake.]

I’d push Chris’ conclusion even a bit further — make sure your organization is having a conversation (most of the time), rather than lecturing. Because interaction is a key ingredient in effective nonprofit marketing, just like a homemade cake is always better than store bought.

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Nancy Schwartz in Nonprofit Communications, Recommended Resources, Social Networking | 1 comment

Five Stars for New Users' Guide to Great NonprofitsPerla Ni, former publisher of the Stanford Social Innovation Review, and friends have just launched GreatNonprofits, a new site that aims to be the Zagat guide to nonprofits.

Frankly, I couldn’t be happier about this latest resource in the "get a better idea of whom you’re giving to" universe. Yes, it’s great to see 990s and charts on how budget is allocated. But I’m hooked on insights from peers (I’m addicted to Amazon’s user reviews, and never buy a book without reading a few), and GreatNonprofits gives me what I never had before.

At, donors can read personal stories, see photos, and videos showing how people have volunteered with, worked with, donated to, or benefited from the work of nonprofits.

GreatNonprofits is piloting in Pittsburgh in partnership with the Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership, over 300 nonprofits are participating.  Reviews of nonprofits have been written by people who have volunteered, who have donated or who have benefited from a nonprofit’s services. 

Says Vivien Luk of Pittsburgh’s Forbes Funds, "We see GreatNonprofits as a way to connect the public with services provided by our local nonprofits and to better connect nonprofits with each other.  This is also a great way to increase donations and volunteerism for our local nonprofits.

Great work, Great Nonprofits.

P.S. I’ve found that giving participants (and here that means donors, volunteers, board members, program participants, service users) a venue to spread the word like this gets them even more fired up. Nice byproduct of a very useful service, Perla.

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Nancy Schwartz in Fundraising: Innovations & Research, Nonprofit Communications, Social Networking | 0 comments

Use these 4 Powerful Online Strategies from Mike HuckabeeNonprofit marketers, listen up. Candidate Mike Huckabee is showcasing some powerful online communications strategies. Take a look at what he’s doing right to build online audiences (and awareness) to learn to put these techniques to work for your organization:

  1. Shares lots of user-created videos via his blog. These videos are provocative, informative and funny — a trifecta. They also provide interesting apples-to-apples comparison with other candidates; showing rather than telling which always works better.
  2. Reaches out to key bloggers twice-monthly, and not just the stars. Huckabee has invited bloggers to participated in regular conference calls (listen in here). He’s become known for good listening, and has succeeded in building loyalty among this critical (and widely courted) group of influencers.
  3. Delivers a user-focused Web site, easy-to-use for key functions (participating, giving, learning more).
  4. Encourages independent action including MeetUp, and Huck’s Army (a hugely active independent Huckabee forum), giving up the quest for control he can never achieve anyway.

Together, these strategies have led to a massive increase in traffic to the Huckabee site, far greater than that to Obama’s or Clinton’s site. Even so, Huckabee needs to do a much better job making it easy for site visitors to learn about his responses to key issues such as Pakistan. As it is now, his site just doesn’t give users the tools to judge him. When he does, he’ll find site traffic to build at an even greater pace.

Huckabee doesn’t touch Ron Paul’s supporter-led online fundraising coup of November 5th, which raised 4.3 million in a day. Perhaps this more organic effort — led by Paul’s supporters, not his handlers — made the difference. After all, us communications folks are constantly framing social networking as controlled by users, not by content producers. Any thoughts on the root of Paul’s success in motivating action/giving (other than it wasn’t generated by Paul’s staff)? Please comment below. I want to understand this phenomenon.

No, I’m not a Huckabee supporter. But I’m eager to showcase strong communications models, no matter the source.

Hats off to TechPresident for the tip.

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Nancy Schwartz in Campaign Marketing Models & Tips, High-Impact Websites, Nonprofit Communications, Social Networking | 1 comment

7 Facebook Essentials Nonprofit Marketers Need to KnowThe latest Marketing Profs tutorial on What the Web Marketer Should Know about Facebook really got my attention. Facebook is the second biggest social network in the world (following MySpace), with more than 40 million users and a phenomenally high user growth rate.

Here are 7 Facebook essentials for nonprofit marketers:

  1. Your nonprofit’s Web site is becoming less relevant by the minute. Users dive in and out to find exactly what they need, but few “page through” sites at this point.
  2. Facebook is the primary network for college grads, and its user base is diversifying rapidly beyond students (including the aging of the initial user base), with 35+-ers comprising over 40% of users).
  3. With a clean and easy-to-use interface, Facebook is coming to be THE social network, and a key tool for your nonprofit marketing.
  4. So its the first social network your nonprofit should tackle — college grads with money. See this demographic and audience analysis for proof.
  5. Media is embedded right in Facebook, so you have the opportunity to do some rich storytelling with audio, video and live-streaming video.
  6. Individuals with similar interests are busy developing their own communities through Facebook’s friends network.All of these are opt-in only; so participants are engaged and connected, having decided to join. Perfect way to connect with target audiences on your org’s issues when there’s an overlap in interests.
  7. Facebook is a low cost and highly effective way to engage with a broader audience.Potentials benefits are powerful promotion of your blog, e-news, events and more, and an organic way of staying in touch with core audiences on an ongoing basis. You can even organize and manage events.

Take a look at the Humane Society’s Facebook page, which integrates multi-media, event management and more.

Jump in today to strengthen your nonprofit marketing. Assign a few staffers to join and set up profiles, find what’s there community-wise and start to participate in related communities. From there, you’ll want to launch a group for your nonprofit or event. Turn to TechSoup’s Beginner’s Guide to Facebook for the nitty-gritty how tos.

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Nancy Schwartz in Nonprofit Communications, Social Networking | 4 comments

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