Mon, April 27 2009

Here Comes Everybody - So Get Ready

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Social Media •

I’m here at the Nonprofit Technology Conference at the opening session, where Clay Shirky (author of Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing without Organizations) is speaking.  Here are the highlights:

He summed up his book in five words: Group action just got easier.  Because of technology.

My take: A theme was the importance of the word “group.”  The power of technology is as limited and limitless as the community it supports.  New social tools result in real social change when they bring together an impassioned group of people. 

He spoke about the Obama campaign being radically different because he was “the first platform candidate.”  Once you knew what you felt and wanted to say, you had the freedom and tools to spread the message.  The campaign then pointed back to what happened organically – and provided tools to enable others to freely spread their own message.

Lateral conversations are what are so powerful – because they thrive without needing help or permission from the “mothership” organization.

As he says:  The loss of control you fear is already in the past.  You have to go after the value this environment makes possible! Join the conversation.  And do so humbly and modestly.

He urges us not to be afraid of failure as we embrace the changing nature of how things are working.  He offers 2 key pieces of advice:

1. Failure = likelihood times cost.  A lot of time and energy is spent trying to prevent or mitigate failure.  Technology lowers the cost of failure – failure is free - but the only way to take advantage of that attribute is to fail like crazy and do it informatively.  Don’t go for one big idea – go for several – and see what works.
2. Scale – get to a large and good system by starting with a small and good system.  Don’t try to turn a big bad system into a good one.  You need many steps to get to scale and you grow. 

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Mon, April 27 2009

4 nifty tips about branding in a Web 2.0 world

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Social Media •

I’m at a Nonprofit Technology Conference at a session on branding in a web 2.0 world, and here’s what blogger Nancy Schwartz has to say:

1. Brand control is gone – lots of conversations are already going on about you.  So you can either curse that or embrace it.
2. That’s okay – the people talking about you are part of a tribe, that can become powerful communicators for you using social media tools.
3. Be simple, memorable and consistent when you talk about your organization so it’s easy for your tribe to talk about you.
4. Your brand is the meeting point between the interests/desires of your tribe and you – they put their own spin on #3.

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Fri, April 24 2009

How to make your landing pages perform better

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Websites and web usability •

Some useful tips from DonorDigital on in a new “Landing on Gold” report you can find here.

The headlines:

-A horizontal gift string layout performs significantly better than the vertical gift string layout on donation landing pages.

-Supporters with no online giving history respond better to more conservative gift string values than to a wide-ranging gift string (e.g. $35 to $250 vs. $35 to $1,000).

-Landing page copy that emphasizes your mission is critical to donor conversion. And putting too much emphasis on the tax benefits from giving may not matter all that much to prospective donors.

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Thu, April 23 2009

Why the Washington Post shouldn’t view Facebook as an ATM machine

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Social Media •

The Washington Post had an article yesterday (registration may be required to read it) that made the same mistake nonprofit marketing folks often make when judging the relative value of Facebook: it simply looked at Facebook as a place you post a cause and expect the dollars to roll in.  If it doesn’t do that, the Post concludes, it doesn’t work.

I’ve heard fundraisers say the same thing. 

But there is more to the story.

Be sure to read the excellent comments here and more important, read Allison Fine’s response on her blog.

Bottom line: the value of Facebook is not to be calculated by dollar per donor.  Allison notes:

Let’s reframe: what if Causes was judged by the number of people who know about a cause who didn’t know about it before; the number of people who increase their involvement with that cause by sharing information with friends about it, organizing an event, blogging and tweeting about it, and so on; the number of people who have self-organized an event for the cause. I’m sure there are other meausres, but you get the point, what measures we use to define success will utlimately define us and while dollars in might be easy to measure it’s not alwasy the best one to use… Causes isn’t just about raising money, it’s also about raising friends and awareness, and in the long run turning loose social ties into stronger ones for a cause may be more important than one-time donations of $10 and $20 dollars right now. Our rush to judge this application effective or ineffective over a very short time period with a primary user base of very young people is off base.

Facebook is one tool for interacting and engaging with a community—not a fundraising silver bullet. 

UPDATE: Be sure to read Beth Kanter’s post on this as well.

 

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Fri, April 17 2009

Trying to figure out Twitter?

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Social Media •

Is it a Holy Grail or Fail Whale? Are you wondering, is it Ashton or bust?  Join a free training call with John Haydon of CorporateDollar.org at April 28, 1 p.m. EDT—Details and registration here. 

What will be covered:

Know how to explain Twitter to your grandmother
Master the 4 post types - when and how to use them
Understand the pros and cons of Twitter vs. email and direct mail
Learn Twitter campaign management basics
And, we will include a live Q&A session to get all of your pending Twitter questions answered

Can’t make the call?  Read John’s Twitter Guide here!

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