Perhaps you’ve heard that #FUSEcon2014 was an amazing experience! One of the many highlights was watching Heather Mansfield (@nonprofitorgs), author and principal blogger at Nonprofit Tech for Good in action.
With so much packed in, it’s difficult to narrow down the lessons learned into just a few. So we highly recommend you watch the full video series of Heather’s presentation. She absolutely captivates an audience of more than 250 nonprofits with her wise and witty lessons for launching a mobile and social media strategy. But if you insist on the abbreviated version: Download the full PowerPoint presentation or check out our top 10 tips below.
(Note: Look for our September blog article where we’ll share Heather’s second presentation – The Math & Science of Social Media: 20 Tips & Tricks for Nonprofits.)
1. Don’t believe the hype – the Internet may produce viral sensations overnight, but there’s no instant success when it comes to growing your nonprofit’s social media or mobile following. Managing your mobile and social media programs requires time and resources ($$$) to earn a return on investment (ROI). But don’t lose heart, Heather says “The good news is is now that we’re 11 years in to the social web, we actually have some data on what works.” And knowing is half the battle…
2. Repeat after me – integration. Is there a synergy between all your communications? How does your blog drive traffic to your Facebook page? How does your email list build your Twitter following? All of these worlds must connect in order to tell a larger, more cohesive and coherent story. That story must be written in your organization’s Online Strategic Plan. (If you need some help with yours, Heather explains how you can get started writing a strategic plan in Part 2.)
3. Plan for success. All roads lead to your nonprofit’s strategic plan, so make sure you’re not overlooking the big stuff: clear action items, budgeting for growth (that means investing in new technology before it’s too late!) and the staff time it takes to create all of that awesome content.
4. And then there’s this: “As a communications professional you gotta think ‘how do I get somebody to sign a petition when they’re sitting on a toilet…and does our website look good on a toilet.” Yup, mobile optimization is very, very important.
5. Great a-ha moment at the beginning of Part 4: "This old idea of 'we can’t promote another nonprofit’s piece of content' is antiquated. Whoever posts the best content [on social media] wins.”
6. Images are where it’s at. Heather Mansfield’s presentations are so entertaining because she takes you on a tour of all the big, bold, beautiful (and user-friendly) nonprofit websites and tools out there. When it comes to imagery, in Part 5 you’ll get to feast your eyes on the evolution of nonprofit website design by taking a walk down memory lane from World Wildlife Fund’s website 10 years ago compared to now.
7. When’s the last time you saw your “Thank You for Donating” page? OK, stop and go and donate some money right now to your own nonprofit through its website (and using the company credit card!) Take a good hard look at what you see on that page. How can you make it a better experience for your donors – social media buttons, a thank you video, other calls-to-action. Don’t leave the valuable group high and dry after you’re done processing their credit card – tell them what comes next!
8. Say “yes” to #GivingTuesday and other Giving Days: These important dates come around every year and are crucial campaigning moments. Mark them on your calendars! Check out NP Tech for Good’s list of peak Cause Awareness Days in 2014.
9. Cool trends to watch: Who else is excited about the idea of getting rid of the credit card? Heather Mansfield explains why she is in Part 8. And hold on tight, because Facebook and Twitter are rolling out new “Buy Now” buttons. But are they thinking “Donate”? Also there are some really exciting fundraising apps coming onto the scene (Give App; Face the Planet; I Can Go Without), so push your organization to become an early adopter – try them out and learn from experimentation.
10. Respect the New Media Manager: Building an online brand is hard work! So understand the advanced skill set required to be a successful New Media Manager and learn how to integrate and cultivate this individuals at your organization.