Sunday, August 14, 2011

Great Advice for Not For Profit Social Media Newbies

Last Friday I shared a speaking spot with Stephen Fox of Melbourne-based digital company Reactive at the annual YMCA marketing forum.

A social media guru if ever there was one, Stephen offered great advice for not for profits embarking on social media.  He suggested they need to get the fundamentals right upfront including: 
  • Setting a social media governance framework with clear boundaries. 
  • Resourcing social media efforts and train those who manage social media platforms. 
  • Monitoring and listen in to social media platforms before you start to advocate. 
  • Using a personal voice because corporate speak does not cut it in social media. 
  • Engaging, supporting and responding to others with valuable information.
Of particular interest Stephen shared tips  to raise funds or advocate an issue on social media:
  • Give people a simple call to action – something they can easily do online to contribute or participate.
  • Provide fresh content as the campaign unfolds.
  • Tell people your targets and graphically show how and where you are achieving them. 
  • Show who else is involved.
  • People appreciate acknowledgement so find a way to recognise those who donate dollars, time, and effort or otherwise support your cause.      
Based on Stephen’s knowledge and enthusiasm, I think his company would be a natural fit for any Melbourne not for profit wanting a social media campaign with integrity.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Great Word Of Mouth Starts With Great Topics

Effective word of mouth marketing needs topics, talkers, tools, time and tracking.  But perhaps the critical start point is your topic.  

Want word of mouth to work for you? Then give people something to talk about. 

A complex or boring message rarely works so when you step out in public your topics must spark interest and cause conversations.  And that only comes about because they are new, different or useful to your audience.  

Your messages must be simple and uncluttered otherwise people beyond your organisation will not understand them and struggle to tell others when they connect with them over the phone, on-line or face to face.

True, your first topic could be about what your organisation does.  But you need to build on this with new, relevant and engaging conversations that are reflect the  value your organisation brings.  People will not share stale or repetitive content so your marketing imperative is to continually refresh, reinvent and represent your information. 

Stories make great topics.  While most of us have little time to be marketed to, we will make time to hear a story. These could be stories about achievements, who you helped or better still those generated by supporters willing to craft and pass on their personal testaments to others (user generated content.)  

A great word of mouth campaign requires simple topics people can relate to and willingly share.  And generally these have one of two key ingredients humans respond to: humour and emotion.