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How Non-Profits can use Facebook successfully

Using Facebook, Non-Profits can generate Awareness and Raise Funds

Facebook for Non-ProfitsWhile non-profits may not allocate extra funds to stakeholders, charitable organizations still have a bottom line — to spread their message and accomplish their mission. To do this, strategic planning, which includes digital outreach, is involved. That’s why a growing number of non-profits are using social media to draw attention to their goals.

And what better way to start with Facebook, the undisputed leader of the social media space as the medium of choice. It makes sense to create a presence on one of the top five Web sites on the Internet where people are already regularly visiting rather than expecting users to find you.

It serves the need of sensitizing vast sections of the population with the issue your organization holds so close its heart. Help everyone throughout the world be a part of the great cause each of the non profits support and believe in so passionately.

If your nonprofit has video content, podcasts, interviews, or documents just languishing on your desktop, creating a presence on Facebook provides an easy way to upload these types of media, without spending the time or resources required for updating your own Web site.

It can allow organizations to plug into an existing audience of organizations that have opted into similar interest groups. It can also help organizations collaborate, connect easily, and increase their network of volunteer and supporters.

Facebook gives organizations a venue to quickly broadcast a message to a large list without getting blacklisted by an Internet service provider (ISP) or having their message get caught in a spam filter. In addition, the event-posting capabilities allow organizations to advertise upcoming events easily and efficiently.

The top ways to make it work for your non profit:

Inspire Direct Action! : Social-friendly applications Tweet4Good, SixDegrees and even PayPal make accepting on-the-spot donations easy for non-profits and mission-driven organizations. Make it easy for people who want to give, and put one of these tools to use now

Monitor & Engage : Facebook Social Ads tap into the incredible treasure trove of information people publish about themselves. It’s easily the most valuable marketing database on Earth – Microsoft invested $240 million for a 1.6% stake in Facebook. Use a publishing and analytics solution that heps you optimize on the time and frequency of your messages.

Crowd sourcing : Ask your users and leverage on the millions of ideas from the users. Ask for new strategies, ways to raise fund or even a tagline. Build on each other’s creativity in an unpredictably powerful way.

Now that you have kick started your awesome facebook page to support your cause; it’s time for some expert and professional service to truly unleash the power of social media for your organization. We at ObjectiveMarketer have helped Non-Profits like Ashoka.org and many others in their endeavor to increase public awareness and involvement, by using revolutionary social networking solutions to all your social media marketing needs. Sign up now for a Free trial or write to us at info@objectivemarketer.com to find out about the discount rates we offer for Non-Profits and how ObjectiveMarketer can be of service to your non-profit.

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Business Plan on a Napkin

October 21, 2010 1 comment

“Business Plan on a Paper Napkin” is a very interesting segment of the startup competition organized by women 2.0. In a not-so-common medium (napkin), how do you articulate your business such that the high points are clearly communicated.  It took us more time to find the right set of pens and the paper, than to actually draw the napkin. The concept was very clear – and, the second rev was the final one.

We had to rush to the drop-box (UPS Store in San Mateo) to deposit the napkin by hand – as we had not time to get it post-marked or sent by mail.  The images below show the preparation and the final napkin, with Business Plan presented on it.

Business Plan on a Paper Napkin – Women 2.0 Startup Competition”]Business Plan on a Paper Napkin - Women 2.0 Startup Competition

Preparation for Business Plan on a Paper Napkin

 

Business Plan on a Paper Napkin - Women 2.0 Startup Competition

Business Plan on a Paper Napkin - Women 2.0 Startup Competition

Read more about the women 2.0 pitch contest and the application process here. View the 2 min Video submitted for the application here.


 

SME’s catching up on Social Media

SMEs catching up on Social Media

SMEs catching up on Social Media

Small business owners play multiple / every role in their company. They are required to do the accounting, marketing, public relations and customer service. And, it is not hard to see why they don’t have time to dedicate to a social media strategy. Big businesses hire people specifically for social media marketing. Smaller businesses are being left behind.

According to a recent Citibank survey, 81% of small businesses are not using social media. “This survey shows that many small businesses have yet to add new tools to traditional marketing methods that they have found effective in the past,” said Raj Seshadri, head of Small Business Banking at Citibank.

In order to make it easy for small businesses to adopt social media strategies, it is important to  look at the situation from a very grass roots perspective. Let us say, while eating at a neighborhood restaurant that you have never tried; just try to think, “How did I not know about this place?” The answer might be very simple: Chances are nobody in the real world might have told anything. In this social world, word-of-mouth is one of the most trusted sources for new products and services. In fact, 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations. If small businesses want to get noticed, they have to build a loyal customer base, not just with the people who visit their place of business but with people who have never stopped in.

Social Media results are not necessarily instant – you have to plan your strategies in advance, and consistently and diligently implement your plan – optimizing as you proceed.  The means that you employ should let you do more, with less. Some of the techniques that you can adopt include:

  • Set rules for Follower Management
  • Automate Messages relevant to your target market
  • Give exposure to your brand in every user touch point
  • Create, Compare, evaluate and optimize – repeat

The question isn’t whether a customer wants a product or service…they can figure that one out on their own once they are exposed to them. It’s deciding who they purchase that product or service from, that matters. Be it any channel – traditional like Print, TV etc or the very young social media, there is one common characteristic of your communication – making your messages “conversation worthy”.

In Social Media, Always Be The Host, Not The Master!

Brand v/s Consumer Activity on Twitter

According to a report by eMarketer, “marketers are using a significantly greater share of their tweets to push out news and information rather than converse with other users. Just 16% of brands’ tweets use the “@” symbol, a sign of back-and-forth engagement on the service – very low compared to consumer stats, which is almost 43%.”

Brands activity on Twitter

Consumer activity on Twitter

Stats in Isolation, do not Mean Anything

Indeed, the very fabric of Internet is changing into a platform that facilitates conversation. Consumers are now engaging in conversation with countless others through network of friends, across international boundaries, and who probably they have never physically met – connected through shared interest, belief or philosophy. In this evolution of consumer-brand relationship, Brands that have successfully adapted to the changing consumers are the ones that have found ways to foster and nurture a community of their most loyal fans.

However, an “engagement service/ system” for brands, which is both scalable and efficient, is essentially a community of enthusiasts and loyal supporter who engage for and on-behalf of the brands, and not necessarily the numbers of @ they accumulate over time.

Brands Builds Communities, Gathers Advocates

Let your Community be the Voice of your Brand

Let your Community be the Voice of your Brand

If you are spending your ‘social media time’ to listen to all mentions of your brands as they happen, and respond to them real time –either you are not working strategically or you have surplus resources.  Assigning a dedicated resource 24×7 to respond to mentions is not “long-term” thinking. Listening is very important – and, there is a value in aggregating response, which is not collected in isolation – to understand patterns / behaviors and to identify collective insights of your brand mentions. However, it is neither scalable nor necessary to put a resource for real time response to all brand mentions – as they happen. A real time response is great, but it need not come from you. Instead, a brand can help create and manage a thriving community in each network – that stands up for the brand.  For example, when a prospect asks a question about a product, and a friend from the network responds to this query, the recommendation sounds much more real and convincing.

The Intuit Example

One brand that comes to mind, when you think of community involvement is Intuit. In 2009 the company built community right into their products. Users have become company ambassadors and today, 70% of users get their answers from the community site versus customer support – significantly driving down support costs. Intuit is leveraging Twitter and observing customer-created videos on YouTube that showcase Intuit’s products.”

There are endless list of successful brand communities like Running Plus (Nike), My Starbucks Idea, Dell Ideastrom, eBay Powersellers etc. These communities are present everywhere and doing well with or without user interaction directly.

Bring Community Building in your Agenda

Build your community - From diverse population, with same passion for your brand.

Build your community - From diverse population, with same passion for your brand.

Here are some pointers which will help you kick start your own community with better results:

  • Identify the loyal supporters of your brands – These are the influencers, who amplify your messages to a larger audience, and are those few loyal supporters, who are also respected in their communities. It makes a great sense to nurture, and acknowledge their help in building your brand. Read about how you can get this information from ObjectiveMarketer.
  • Foster many-to-many relationships. A brand community is not a one-to-many relationship—that’s brand autocracy. People need to interact with each other and not simply “the brand” if you want to create a successful brand community. Therefore, build peer-to-peer communication into your structure.
  • Don’t create “more.” Massive amounts of information is being created about your brand and distributed across the web everyday. Rather than spend time asking people to create more content, make it easy for people to enjoy and engage with the stuff that already exists.
  • Let your advocates advocate. The only way to inspire your best advocates is to let them work their magic without interference except in issues of ethics and legality. Your advocates are not pawns—they are your partners, so treat them that way.
  • Observe the 1-9-90 rule. This new rule, pioneered by Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li in their seminal book Groundswell, is quickly becoming a standard: 1% of your population will create content, 9% will comment or engage with it, and 90% will just browse. Voyeurs rule the online world, so keep this in mind.

Finally always keep in mind the three golden rules:

  • WORD OF MOUTH DRIVES CHOICE
  • CUSTOMERS TRUST, RELY AND ACT ON ADVICE FROM PEOPLE THEY KNOW
  • ALWAYS BE THE “HOST” & NOT THE “MASTER”

An interesting article was published on The Fast Company, and the following thoughts do great justice to summarize the content of this blogpost “The one thing to remember: the turbo charger (social media) is useless without an engine (passionate customers). Businesses must offer a great customer experience to draw in those passionate customers, who will in turn spread the word about your products and services.”

How big a deal it is to get on Mashable?

No matter what you say, it is a big deal! But, it is even a bigger deal to be mentioned as players helping the industry!

As published on Mashable in a post by Chritina Warren, and I quote:

Seeing higher level tools like AMP, as well as systems from companies like SocialTALK, Vitrue and ObjectiveMarketer can help push the entire industry forward.

We believe in the potential that businesses see in social media, and welcome as a part of this industry, all competition and innovation that is taking place.

Feature Update: Bulk Upload extends to publishing on Fan Pages

ObjectiveMarketer users who like the simplicity, efficiency and usefulness of Bulk Upload method to schedule messages for Twitter, had just one request – allow publishing to Pages as well. We have customers who manage 100+ Twitter and 100+  Facebook pages using ObjectiveMarketer, and they find Bulk Upload method a very efficient way to manage the schedules of their messages on Twitter.  For those of you who are new to Bulk Upload Method, it allows you to schedule large number of messages, each with different attributes (campaign name, twitter account, date/time/repeat preference), in one single click of a button. Until recently, the bulk upload method could only be used to schedule messages for Twitter. We have now added the ability to schedule messages for Twitter, Fan Page, or both using the Bulk Upload Method.

Using the excel template like this one , users can create their messages with different attributes and paste the messages in a specific format in the Bulk Schedule Interface in ObjectiveMarketer.  The instructions to use the Bulk Upload Method using the template, is mentioned below:

  1. In the Excel Sheet – Write or Copy and Paste the message (including URL) in column A
  2. Copy and Paste the campaign name in column C (It is the same name, as it appears on your account in OM. Please, observe case. If Campaign Name is “Test”, do not write “test”
  3. Copy and Paste the Twitter Account in Column D. Do not put @ sign.We automatically append it.
  4. StartTime – the format is yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm:ss This is a formula field. The first date is hard coded, and the subsequent date/time is set to increment by 30 minutes. You can edit the formula in cell G3.
  5. Repeat’s are set to 1, meaning no repeat.
  6. NEW! The Facebook Page column (Column M) is optional, which is to be populated with the ID of the Facebook Page, to which the message is to be published. The ID for the page can be seen on the Bulk Upload interface in ObjectiveMarketer by clicking on the link “See List”
  7. Column N is the Final Cell. Once, everything is set, you will copy the content in Cell N and paste it in the Bulk Schedule Interface in the Application

If there are any questions about “Bulk Upload using ObjectiveMarketer”, please let us know at support@ObjectiveMarketer.com

Update: More Options in Spread Post

Using Spread Post, ObjectiveMarketer users can now select more options to schedule their messages. Earlier, users could choose between hours and minutes. Now, there are more time interval options to choose from. These include Year, Month and Days. Some use cases are mentioned below:

1. Year – Set a “Happy Birthday” message occurring every 1 year
2. Month – Share “a quote for the month, beginning 1st of every month”
3. Day – Pick your “#FF every 7th day, starting on a Friday”

Spread Posts allow you to create a regular stream of messages with some of the most advanced and sophisticated selection, in an easy to use interface.

Users who are new to ObjectiveMarketer: Spread Posts allow you to schedule multiple messages by providing a start time and a time interval.It saves time, and is an effortless way to schedule content. It would be interesting to know of more use cases.

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