Blog Archives

Latest Reads: Week of March 12

Here are a few of the latest reads for this week. Happy reading!

More than half of consumers ‘overwhelmed by brand messages’ on social media (Ragan’s PR Daily)
I appreciate the top highlights in this study that was published by Ragan. If you read nothing else, here are the findings that were spotlighted. If you are engaged in social media on behalf of a company’s brand, DON’T POST every day, give people something meaningful, and more than anything – keep it simple. 

  • 40 percent of respondents felt that brand promotions are too complex to enter;
  • 20 percent felt incentives are not worth the effort;
  • 75 percent said that one or two Facebook messages per day is too much to receive from a brand;
  • Nearly 40 percent don’t want to share brand interactions with friends
  • 20 percent proactively post messages to brand pages.

15 Most Frequently Asked Questions by WordPress Beginners (WP Beginners)
I love WordPress, and I loved these FAQs! Hope this is helpful! Want a blog or Website?  I enjoy BlueHost’s How To Use WordPress tutorial too! Check out the Playlist.

What People Are Pinning on Pinterest (Mashable)
By now, you know I love Pinterest (Pinterest InfographicWhat’s So Awesome About Pinterest). Well, the latest article shares what eople are posting. Top categories for posting are Home (17.2%), Arts and Crafts (12.4%) and Style/Fashion (11.7%).  No big surprise there! 

A Store in Your Pocket: Retailer Mobile Websites Beat Apps among US Smartphone Owners (Neilsen Wire)

The latest Nielsen study shows that smartphone users prefer to visit mobile sites rather than mobile apps. As more and more companies start thinking about how to use mobile technologies, I always urge for mobile optimized sites, rather than creating dozens of apps! Ask yourself, what makes your app something a user can’t live without. If you can’t answer it, maybe you should wait.

Infographic: How To Train Your Employees To Handle Your Social Media  (MindFlash)
Arming employees to use social media in a way that is safe for the company and safe for them is a critical project for me in my current role. Once I roll out, I’ll be able to share some of our results and best practices on my blog, but for now – enjoy this infographic from MindFlash! 


5 Tips for Non-Profits Exploring Social Media

help imageFor the past few weeks, I’ve been working with a programming committee called Gift of Giving, as part of KC/IABC. The goal of the program is to help 5 non-profits with communications needs and wants. As we surveyed the non-profits what they were looking for in terms of communications support, each one included social media as a topic – what’s the craze, how do I use it, and does it make sense for my organization? Reading their survey responses, it didn’t completely sink in – until I met with an organization this past week to share a social media 101 presentation and if and how social might make sense for them.

Based on those conversations, I wanted share some of the tips I shared in person here on ALook@. If you’re a non-profit or volunteering for one, here are a few tips and tools that might helpful.

1. Identify Your Goals – The first step is to think about what you want to achieve. Are you trying to increase donors? If so, what type of donors are you looking for? Are you trying to increase awareness? If so, with whom? Are you trying to get more volunteers? The most common and frequent thing we hear from all non-profits is “We need more funding.” And as you’re communicating that message, the question I come back to is, “To do what?”

Communicating your message means delving into the heart of an issue, and for some, the issue is so large and has so many legs that it’s difficult to focus on exactly what is needed. For example, if your issue is tackling homelessness, which includes services for education, health, food, emotional support and so much more beyond simply housing – we need to look at the umbrella and the pillars that support that umbrella – then organize that into something that is easy for a general audience to understand.

But before you read further … stop and ask yourself, “Why do I want a [insert social media channel here]?”

2. Define Your Voice – How do you want to be perceived in the community – online and offline? Are you warm and fuzzy? Are you personable and humorous? The importance here is consistency. This is not just about posting content, this is about brand consistency on your website, across social platforms, on video, on newsletters, brochures, mailers, emails and more. Be consistent.

In terms of posting, consistency doesn’t mean only one person posts. It may mean that 2,3,4 people contribute across multiple platforms but the tone should have a common theme.

3. Work with Your Ambassadors and Your Existing Resources – You may have a staff of 3 or 4 people, but you have volunteers and donors who have personal stories about how your cause has touched their lives. Use their stories, use their networks and use their hands and feet. As you get started, call or meet with 20 of your top volunteers and donors and find out how they found out about your organization, and how and why they tell their friends and family about your cause. Then, give them a flip cam or a camera and have them take photos with projects they work on. Have them capture video footage that you can use. Do interviews with them – just 3 questions, 2 minute interviews. It’s quick, it’s shareable, but it’s also personal. You can’t be everywhere – so use what you can.

4. Prepare – As you audit what’s working and what’s not, think about what you need to explore new channels. For example, if you’re exploring social media – it will be critical to create a social media guidance policy. Clearly map out who can and cannot leverage your social outlets, and what they can and cannot say and do. Have a transition plan in place. One of the painful things that can happen is creating a Twitter, YouTube or Facebook account under a board member or volunteer, and then they leave and you have no idea what the password is. Also, create a plan for if/when a crisis occurs – internally or externally. How do you respond if an employee accidentally posts a personal message onto your social presence (Red Cross for example)? Or you receive criticism from the community (like the Smithsonian in 2010)? Be prepared…

5. Start Small – Social media can be overwhelming. Start small and in digestible nuggets. If Twitter is the right place, then create your own handle (personal), and search for topics and people who are of personal interest to you. For example, if you’d like to connect with others in the non-profit world – go to, create your own account, search for people to follow who talk about non-profits and click “Follow.” Watch for the first week and see what pops up! Then, start to send your own tweets, send @replies to people who you want to talk to (similar to a public message directly to them) and follow more people!

Other helpful resources:

Do you have tips for non-profits you’ve worked with? If so, please share!

Consumers Demand Cause Marketing

Seems like this week should be dedicated to cause marketing and social media. Today, eMarketer publish results from “2010 Cone Cause Evolution Study” by Cone. I’ve included the tables from eMarketer below, but the over takeaway is that moms and millennials (18 to 24) emphasized the importance of cause marketing. Eighty percent of all those surveyed said cause marketing made them likely to switch brands, and 19% were willing to pay more for a pricier brand that participated in a positive social or environmental cause.

As more and more companies begin to include cause marketing into their overall corporate social responsibility initiatives, it’s important to think about how the cause integrates into their overall CSR strategy and plan. Companies like Starbucks have received accolades for their integrated work. Two questions to ask: does your CSR initiative speak to the company’s brand image? And to the simplest root: does it make sense?

Would a company’s CSR initiative impact your buying decision? Also, what is your company doing in the CSR realm?