Archives For Social Media

Have you started a 365 Project yet?  A photo-a-day? A blog-post-a-week?  A journal project?

These can be an amazing way to highlight the year at the end of the next year.  But you have to spend a few minutes this week to plan for the content when you need it in 11 months from now.

Planning year-end highlight videos now

 

Here’s a fun little video that my friends Sim & Bek just released — as you can tell, it was 9 months in the making.  BUT —  if you think about how they produced it, it is something anyone (even you! ha!) can execute on if you just plan it out in advance.

Take a looksie and I’ll join you further down the page after you watch the fun vid:

 

As of this post’s publishing they’ve already garnered over 1,000 video views.  Would you love that for any of your organization’s videos too?

All this creative couple needed was a still camera — an iPhone cam would do perfectly; a regular spot for the camera to sit; and a regular spot for Bek to stand when taking a couple of snaps each month.

If you review the video again, they only take 3-6 shots for any given milestone.  Easy-peasy!

The more important thing to think out now is the workflow — You can easily email the photos to yourself with the same subject line (easy to search for at the end of the year) or sync/transfer the photos into a project folder that you set up now.

At the end of the project, all you have to do then is simply import them into iMovie or Windows Movie Maker and overlay a track of music to fit the mood.  That’s it!

What kind of project could you create in 2013 if you started today?  Check out these fun photo-lapse videos to spark your creativity:

 

Imagine taking a photo a day of your staff at work in the office.  They can hold up ipads or printouts or chalkboard with whatever big project you’re working on that month?

What about a photo a week for every Sunday at your church?

Or have someone hold up signs that feature flyers / posters / marketing collateral featuring your monthly events, message series, etc.

A simple one is to create a simple sign that says “We HEART our volunteers” or “supporters” and then take snaps shots whenever you meet one anywhere.   The key here is that you have a sign or some other device that stays constant in all of the photos.

Do you launch customer projects all across the country?  Why not create simple signs that your sales force brings around and snaps with their customers?

Or get a small whiteboard and have people answer a fill in the blank statement that talks about something related to your mission.

Imagine a year-end review video flipping through the photos of all of these various series of photos.

 

All it takes is a simple snap of a photo TODAY to get things going!  Can you help me pick a project for myself?  Drop a comment here to suggest one!

Nanalew - Puppy's First Christmas Video on YouTube

Have you seen the latest trending viral YouTube video this Christmas season?

It’s a cute 96 second video against a 1 1/2 minute music track.  Short, simple, cute.  Perhaps people just want to watch anything other than Gangnam Style, but this is a sharable, watchable fun video in its own right.

Take a look:

You can easily see how this video has racked up 4.5 MILLION video views on YouTube, at least as of this post.

While viral videos can never be architected, there are a couple of things you can learn from this viral video and apply right now:

1) Timing.  Just like the timing of PR and any newsjacking piece you are employing, timing of content publishing is important.  This video tapped into the Christmastime season as well as the niche trend of families getting new puppies for the holidays.  The lesson here? Take your intended message, subject or idea and try to tie it thematically with a current trend, news piece or movement.  You’ll hopefully be able to harness the momentum others have already begun so that your video is not trying to depend on pick-up from scratch.

2) Short & Sweet Music Track. The mechanics of the actual video are quite simple.  While there a couple of moments that are timed to the actual song, most of the video clips used in the montage are simple and almost random cuts that anyone (like you!) can put together.  The key here is that they picked a short and sweet upbeat song to use as the backdrop of the video.  By using a music track as the basis for creating the video, it becomes a much easier task to assemble clips to fill in the parts of the song — vs — building a script from scratch, and then trying to source background music to fit / match the storyline. The lesson here?  Try planning a video project by using the music track as the constraint and see what happens.

3) Lots of different views.  Did you notice all the different camera angles, and varied ways the puppy was shot by the camera?  This video took one subject, one idea.  And then shot tons of various video clips of the subject (the puppy!).  This makes is relatively easy to shoot.  Are you shooting a volunteer celebration video?  Go out and shoot various scenes of your volunteers in action, high-fiving each other, working together, etc.  The lesson here?  Don’t make it super complicated and hard on yourself.  Find simple approaches in producing your film.

4) Just Publish.  If you look at Nanalew’s YouTube channel, this isn’t the only video produced and published this year.  In fact, once you start watching the other videos in the account, you’ll see that there a bunch that are nothing close to 4.5-million-view-worthiness.  The thing Nanalew understands is that the Internet rewards a bias for action when it comes to publishing content.  Many coaching clients I have worked with continue to look at web content as single-event, milestone-like publishing.  That’s what you did in the Gutenberg era.  But in the Google era, you want to be able to publish a *stream* of content so that your audience on the web can help lift up the winners.  That’s exactly what happend with PSY and his 1 Billion View Video.  He’s been a Korean pop-star for a decade, pumping out song after song.  It was the YouTube audience that decided to make Gangnam Style the king of web video.  The lesson here?  Stop planning on planning it out.  Just start the project and drive it to completion so you can publish it.  Remember you always have the option to take it down in the end.  But please, just publish.

What else can you see working with Puppy’s First Christmas video that might be applicable to videos for your organization, cause or campaign?

Looking back at 2012, the USA Olympic Swim Team contributed to one of the biggest social media sharing phenomenons with their Call Me Maybe mashup parody video.  It wasn’t just a blip and was of course included in the international coverage of the Games, but 10 million video views later, the video is an example of something else that’s happening — video as a form of content publishing for the masses has gone mainstream.

Call Me Maybe Social Media Viral Video

 

The genius of these cover videos of pop music hits is that they are actually really easy to script, record and publish.  In fact, if you think about it, you could take various people in your organization and create an end of year video in this style that’s enjoyable and relatively easy to pull off.  The result is that you really put on display all of the parts of Check out what the team at Wheaton College did with their Merry Christmas video message.  I love the simplicity and the fact that they used this format to put on display the various parts campus life and departments who make it all happen all year long.

For an institutional end of year video message, I thought this was one of the more fun and engaging executions of the year-end message.  It sure beats the staid “From all of us at _________, we wish you a safe and joyous holiday with your family. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!” type message, doesn’t it? Face it, those just get deleted as soon as they are opened.

The only thing I would change is for someone at Wheaton to upload it to YouTube instead of Vimeo and secure a Google Non-Profit Grant so they can put a donate link at the end of the video (HELLO WHEATON — if you’re reading this, contact me directly and I can help make this happen).

You could even take the cue from Wheaton and recreate this same music video with your own team singing the various parts of the song, right?  Are the various people on your teams going through your head right now?

What about creating one that features all of the various volunteers and/or donors that support your organization? And if you’re able to plan just a bit, you can bring a video camera to various groups activities throughout the year to sing parts of the song in order to assemble your very own blockbuster video at the end of next year for Christmas 2013.

If song isn’t your thing, what about reading a poem, or a famous passage in this style on camera?  As you can see, there are many possibilities for creating a short, but engaging video like this.

Can you see your own group produce a simple year end video like this?  What is keeping you from making that dream — what you have in your head right now — a reality?

 

It still surprises me a bit that whenever I mention that I actively use virtual assistance across the various projects I’m managing, it is still somewhat of a novelty.  The majority of people have not used any sort of remote help. . . yet.

But whenever I have walked someone through the process of finding and utilizing outsourced help, it has been a big win — and in a couple of cases, they have become basically addicted to scaling their work with the help of remote assistants.   This can come in form form of help with small finite tasks as well as hiring contractors to do full blown large-scale projects.

Slide1

One way virtual help can have a big impact for most business workflows is the role of executive assistant.  This is where Bryan Miles, founder of Miles Advisory Group comes into the picture.  Bryan has built out a service providing proficient virtual executive assistants who are all US-based, native-English speakers, technologically adept, and as he explains a bit in this interview, typically are of a much higher caliber than for what you probably would be utilizing them for.

Bryan Miles - MAG Miles Advisory Group

Check out how he describes the service MAG & eaHelp provides in this video interview below.  (the video session went totally 8-bit on us in a couple of spots, and Bryan looks like he’s morphing into Wreck-It Ralph here and there, but the audio is just fine and you’ll be able to appreciate the interview content just fine). Continue Reading…

In terms of content marketing, videos are “the new black”.

If you’re on the web, you want to attract the attention of as many new people as possible. And you already know that if you’re producing content for the web, video needs to be a part of the mix.

YouTube Viral Videos in Church Marketing

The question is, just how long is the ideal video length?

90 seconds?

3 minutes?

4 minutes?

10 minutes?

Popular notion has been that you want something definitely under 5 minutes if you want it to be shared and spread across various social networks.  Attention spans just aren’t that long.  While the average online video viewed is 6 minutes 14 seconds, if you look at the most shared videos on YouTube you get a different story: Continue Reading…

One of the biggest tools you can utilize in your communications when trying to get people to consume content, sign-up for your program or attend an event is SOCIAL PROOF.

So what is it and how does it look like when put into action on the web?

Well, social proof (of some nerdies call it “information social influence”) is taking a scenario where the end user is given some choices (buy something, attend something, sign-up for something, etc) and presenting some traction data, show the other people “like you” are doing X, Y or Z.  Basically. this helps people psychologically take the risk to move in the same direction as the others doing so.  Usually, this is more effective in circumstances where the choices might be a bit ambiguous or if there isn’t a clear demonstrated need to participate (it’s not mission critical).

Shopping is one environment that is a great example.  Here’s a great example of Crocs using it in a customer email blast:

 

social proof with social media - facebook twitter pinterest

 

Do you see how they are presenting the highlighted products based on the “MOST ______ed” across the three major social networks?

But it’s not limited to shopping obviously. when you provide social proof, it taps the assumption that the people around you are making good choices and removes some of the needed decision discernment.  Social proof increases confidence in the behavior being presented as a successful one.

 

Billions Served social proof example

There are many ways social proof can be offered.  Five different ways social proof is expressed are:

  1. Crowd-based social proof –– This is the Crocs example above.  Using the masses to signal suggested choices is highly effective.
  2. Celebrity or high influencer social proof — traditional endorsements leverage the high-profile individual’s brand equity by association to provide the proof to the audience
  3. End user social proof — This can be featuring user reviews.  Displaying Zagat or Yelp review counts and specific examples is an example of this.
  4. Expert or authority social proof — Using the testimonial of a sector expert or someone positioned with authority on the category or topic related to the behavior being proofed
  5. Personal friend networks social proof — you’ve seen Facebook ads feature specific friends within your own personal network that have already “liked” or purchased something.

Whether you are trying to increase the effectiveness of your donor development communications, registration for specific events or fundraisers, or even take up a new praxis or discipline, social proof can be a powerful tool to employ across your communications efforts.

What specific marketing communications project are you working on now that could benefit from integrating social proof?  Share your live examples and we can help brainstorm how to maximize the impact.

If you’re a parent of a pre-teen or teen, you probably have already seen your kids rush to answer that text, IM or Tweet or Facebook message.  For many in the Google generation, checking Facebook for messages is more important than checking email.  In fact, Facebook has automatically issued everyone a @facebook.com email address in hopes to solidify its top of mind and centrality in online communications between friends and associates.

It’s more important that ever for parents to understand what’s at stake and what’s to gain by appreciating and even jumping into social media if you haven’t already.  You’re read about online safety before here.  But beyond safety, is there anything else to gain by embracing social media as a parent?

Recently, Peter Gowesky of TheSaltLick.tv interviewed me on the subject.  Take a looksie here and come back to chime in with your own thoughts.

Should Parents Engage in Social Media?

 

If you’re a parent, have you friended your kids on Facebook or Twitter?  Why have you personally engaged with your kids using social media?  Or why have you avoided embracing it to date?

Today’s guest blog post covers some of the large buckets of activity a webmaster or owner of any given non-profit website needs to consider.  If you’re interested in submitting a guest post, check out www.Godvertiser.com/guestblogger

If you are working for a non-profit organization you need something that will help bring new visitors to your front door on the web. The “traffic generating wheel” is one way to help get new traffic to your website.
So are you ready? Let’s spin the wheel for your non-profit site. . .
church-marketing-wheel

Goals

To have a goal for your website might be the most import step on the wheel: Why do you have this website — very specficially?
For a non-profit website it is even more important. You don’t have a website because you think your group is cute or funny or interesting. What is your real goal? What is the most important goal?
Maybe to get more members for your organization? Sign up for a newsletter? Sign up for an event?  Volunteer recruiting? Donor development? Define which is your top priority and the rest will start to fall into place.

Analytics

A lot of organizations forget about this step. But you shouldn’t start to do anything before you have your analytics on your website.
You need to know where your viewers are coming from. What are they reading on your pages?
If 80 percent of all the readers consistently visit a specific page on your site – you might have to make that a first priority on your site.
If your goal is signups for a newsletter – you will need to know which traffic source brought the people to your site – so you can start speeding up this process.  Are they all coming from Facebook? Or Google+? Or Twitter? Why spend 10 hours a week doing marketing on Facebook if all your sign ups comes from Twitter, right?
You will also need analytics to find your keywords for your pages. Which keywords did your viewers type in Google to find your site?
Which keywords are relevant for your site? Sit down and brainstorm this – and then go and check if the competition comes up for these keywords. If the competition is high you might have difficulties to get into top 10 for these particular keyword phrases.
So instead of “donation” you should maybe optimize for the keyword phrase “good donation” or “cat donation”. Normally its easier to get into top 10 for a keyword phrase than just one word keyword — called a long tail search.
Well you get my point – never work on a website that has no analytics.

Content

Some people start to write before the analysis is done – but that is not a great idea. You will need to write your content to match your keywords being targeted.
So before writing a page on your website – you should write down what the main keyword phrase for each page should be.
You might ask me – “Henrik – how can my content drive traffic to my site today?” Well it will not bring you traffic today or tomorrow – but if you write focused content that the search engines can tell represents the right keywords phrases, you will usually get traffic within 3 or 6 months.
You also need content for your article marketing and for input to the social networks.  So start writing strategically and you are on your way.

Design

Ready for design?
The design can actually be very important for your traffic generating too. It might not bring traffic to your site, but it will lower your bounce rate (we SEO guys love this — the rate at which visitors arrive and then “bounce” away to someone else’s site) and if your site is awesome they will return to your
site.
So don’t confuse the viewer. Make sure your navigation is clear and clean. If people have to wonder where to find your content – they will just leave and find another page.  User testing is a great way to ensure you are getting it right.
And if you don’t believe me check out the duration – the time – people spend on your site. I will guess that between 25 – 40 percent of the people will leave your site again before 10 seconds.
Design is important for both non-profit and profit organizations.

Social

Now here most non-profit organizations have the potential to really rock.
Typically the organizations that do social media well have a lot of members. So now you will have to really use this marketing channel. A typical Facebook user has around 190 friends – so if one of your members starts to write about a subject, 190 people read about it.
This is the modern day form of word of mouth method.
Last time I checked Facebook they had 845 million accounts. In the world there are around 7,000 million people – so 12 percent of all people in the world have a Facebook account. Impressive I will say.
Social media is the step on the wheel where non-profit organizations really can make a difference.  Compelling content about your audience, staff, etc can really help leverage the word of mouth power available.

Links

Just some few years ago backlinks counted for around 50 percent of the ranking algorithm. But the algorithm is constantly changing and the social media are also more important these days. So maybe the backlinks now only count for around 40 percent, or 30 percent, or 25 percent.
But even 25 percent is a lot.
So you will have to make a plan for getting backlinks. Let me just give you some ideas here. But start writing down a plan.  Here are some tactics to consider including in your plan:
  • Blogs – start a blog
  • Free linking – use Google Groups, Yahoo Answers, Squidoo page, Wikipedia (write a page about your organization with a link back), social bookmarking
  • Freebies and giveaways – make a contest, make something interactive on your page or a whitepaper.
  • List lovers – we are all list lovers so write a “Top 10 …” or a “How to ….”, Build a 99 list, a list with 10 myths for your category, do an interview with a specialist or a guru in your line of business/organization
  • Local links – get a link from your local chamber of commerce (if its really want), relevant city and state governmental site, local library website…
  • Signature in emails – If you have many volunteers make sure you have the link in all the mails.
But remember to start writing down an action plan.  Plan the work and work the plan.

Conclusion

The traffic generating wheel is a helpful framework for all organizations. The idea is that if you just start trying to get backlinks to your site – but your design/navigation is so bad – people will just leave your site quickly again. And if you haven’t got a goal for your site – why do you really need backlinks at all? — Get the point?
So good luck with the traffic generation wheel. Ready? Now it’s your turn to take a spin.
All the best to you
Henrick Sandberg headshotHenrik Sandberg runs the website www.Seocustomer.com where you can find more content about SEO, PPC, Social Media Traffic
and Link Buidling.
Pinterest is an image sharing social media platform that helps companies connect with their target audience. Non profit organizations can use it to promote their campaign and collect money from donors. I’ve blogged about churches starting to use Pinterest before.  In this guest post, I have asked Hema Gupta to discuss some of the techniques for driving online traffic towards a non profit website. If you are interested in submitting a guest post, please review the guidelines

Pinterest used by non-profits
We have social media networks like Facebook and Twitter for business promotion, then why Pinterest? Facebook fan page and Twitter connections bring clients, yet Pinterest is creating a buzz among social media lovers and corporates alike. The image sharing, intuitive and bright UI of this latest social media network gives it an edge over its contenders.
While Pinterest is growing rapidly and people love this image sharing platform, business houses have not explored its full potential yet. It’s quite surprising that non-profit organizations are not using this platform for promotion and fund raising, and missing a huge opportunity to reach millions of donors.
If you are wondering how an image sharing (rather pinning!) website can help the serious cause of a non-profit organization, here is how:
Creating Brand Identity and Spreading the Issue- This site is used by millions of users all over the world. Therefore, when you post something, it captures global attention. If you run a NGO, pin relevant images, documentaries and reports. Pinterest users may click on the glossy and happy photographs more often than dark and gloomy ones, but when an image is soul touching, users are bound to notice it.
  • We all know a picture can spell a thousand words and break the boundaries of social-cultural differences. When you post an image of a nuclear disaster or a child refugee, it grabs immediate attention. It creates curiosity among viewers and they will probably visit your site to know more about your organization. However, it is important not to present your organization as needy. Tell the story behind each photograph and highlight the solution so that people can help you in your mission.
  • Showing What You Do- People love a brand that has a human face. When you show the logo and ask people to donate money, it may not appeal to them. Instead of displaying a corporate image, upload some pictures of your organization’s work. Show what the volunteers are doing on the field, how you are fighting against pollution/poverty or anything else. Make people believe in your work so they understand that their contributions won’t go intro wrong hands.
  • Fundraising Prospects- Pinterest can be used to drive the “social” traffic to your website for better income. If you want to sell goods for charity, create an e-shop page and collect money for your campaign.
You can also use this site as a monitoring tool and shape future strategies. Take a look at the items people are pining from your site, where they are sharing it and the discussions about those pins. Following this strategy, you can get an idea of your brand perception and plan the future campaign promotions accordingly.
Pinterest has really opened a new door of possibilities for all types of businesses. All you need to do is set your own path and make the voice of your non profit’s mission heard.
Hema Gupta is an accredited social media marketing expert at Webguru India. She often likes to write contents on several subjects regarding website design, search engine optimization and social media updates during her free time. For more information she suggests to visiting here.