Part of our job as social media marketeers is to make effective and persuasive presentations. In this terrific presentation, Chiara Ojeda shares tips on how to utilize your best presentation asset – YOU!
And now for your starter for ten.
What is an octothorpe?
The following definition comes from the World Wide Words website
Octothorpe is just one of a plethora of names for the symbol # In the US it’s often called the pound key, because it has long been used to mark numbers related to weight, or for similar reasons the number sign, which is also one of its internationally agreed names. Elsewhere it is commonly called hash, a term dating from the 1970s that may have been a popular misunderstanding of hatch.
So now you know if this question ever comes up in a pub quiz!
But more immediately why should you care about octothorpes or in Twitter parlance, hashtags?
A hashtag is a keyword marked by the # symbol in front of it. When you click on the hashtag it is hyperlinked to all other tweets using that tag, so it is a handy way to categorize tags and connect with others interested in the same topic.
Here is one on my own Twitter timeline for #bcsm (breast cancer social media) which represents an ongoing conversation on Twitter within the breast cancer community.Twitter really comes into its own when it draws interested parties together in a real-time virtual conversation this way and hashtags facilitate the conversation.
I also use hashtags to curate an event, either by building a story on storify (more about that in an upcoming post) or to look back after the event on what people have been tweeting. It is also a useful tool during the event to see who is there that you might like to network with – simply search the hashtags to see who is present and tweeting from the event. This has worked very well for me at several recent events. Furthermore if I can’t attend an event in person, I can follow along on the conversation through the hashtags. It is also a great way to connect on and off line attendees and create a buzz around your event offline.
This is just a simple overview of hashtags for Twitter newbies, and I hope it has demystified the octothorpe for you. So now, get tweeting and don’t forget those hashtags – who knows you may even start to trend if enough people tweet with your tags.
Let’s start off with a quick exercise – make a list of all the different personality traits you can think of and then pick three that best describe your nonprofit and/or which three you would like it to be known for.
Some examples that spring to mind:
Projecting your organisation’s personality is vitally important, because in essence it’s your brand – what you are known for and how people perceive you. I would go so far as to say that your brand is your nonprofit’s most valuable asset. It is how you connect with and form emotional bonds with your supporters.
One of the main reasons I recommend blogging to non-profits is because it is a great way to show your brand personality. You can use it to display your trustworthiness, your transparency, your stories, your warmth, your enthusiasm and your humanity and as a means of building rapport with your audience.
Exploring the question of what your brand personality is/should be is a useful tool to use across the board – it helps ensure consistency of tone and message in all your communications (both on and off-line). Furthermore it can throw up inconsistencies in how you want to be perceived and how you are actually perceived by the public. (I run a communications audit with my clients before we even think of taking your brand online).
So what three personality traits best describe your non-profit? And if you are reading this and thinking but my organisation doesn’t have a personality, then this exercise is definitely one you need to do!
Come back to me tomorrow with your list and I will show you some practical ways in which you can use your online communications to project your personality.
Until then..get thinking, get writing and get ready to take the next step in successfully branding your non-profit organisation online.
If you’re on Twitter, and you’re trying to target people in a particular niche, then take a look at Twellow.
It’s the Twitter Yellow Pages, and its advanced search function allows you to drill down into narrow niches, even geographically.
- Take advantage of Twellow’s 2,000-character profile, and link to your website and blog from relevant keywords within the bio.
- Choose up to 10 categories where you want to be listed.
- Use Twellow’s badges for your website and blog, so visitors know to find you on Twellow.
- Use TwellowHood, the giant map of the world, so you can find people who live in a certain city and tweet.
I am getting great mileage from Dan Zarrella this week. Turning his attention to which Twitter biographies garner the most followers, he turns up the surprising result that, far from being off-putting, the word guru in your bio will net you 100 more followers than the average Twitter account. (I am still unconvinced you should use it though!)
Take a look at what other bio words are successful in gaining Twitter followers in the infographic below
I want to return today to one of the findings from the Harvard Business Review study on social media – specifically the fact that 75% of the companies in the survey said they did not know where their most valuable customers were talking about them.
It is important to listen to what is being said about your brand, not just to know what is going on, whether you are receiving any negative publicity or comments that need to be addressed, but also to know what you are doing right, so that you can do more of it.
How do you monitor online conversations about your organisation?
- Comments and messages on Facebook
- Tweets/retweets on Twitter
- Blog comments
The above are basic conversation monitoring tools. For more see the list below:
- Set up Google Alerts for your organisation and the field you operate in.
- HootSuite allow you to monitor basic volume of interactions.
- Paid tools like Radian 6, Meltwater Buzz and Scout Labs will allow you to track data in a more automated fashion.
So get listening to what people are saying about you and get ready to respond in appropriate strategic ways.
Encouraging comments mean encouraging engagement and engagement is the engine that drives your social media vehicle. You want your community to feel actively involved in the work of your organisation. You want to give them a voice and a feeling that their voice is worth hearing. Social media is all about two-way communication with your audience – you listen as well as talk, and comments are a way to make this happen.
Encouraging comments can drive the conversation along and it will make your site look more lively, interesting and the place to be. As Ivan Walsh put it in The Right Way To Market With Blog Comments
A site without comments is like an empty bar. Who wants to go in?
You get the picture? So now we know the why, let’s look at the how-to.
7 ways to encourage more comments on your blog
1. Write great content
This goes without saying, but I shall say it anyway for the first step in getting readers to comment on your blog is to give them something worth commenting on.
Often readers need a little prompting to start commenting, so finish each blog post with a question to help things along. Something as simple as “What do you think” or “Would you agree” should do the trick.
Make sure your question stands out, so highlight it by italicising and/or putting it in bold at the end of your post.
4. Be Topical
Although I usually caution care when it comes to controversial posts, (it’s a delicate balancing act, and if you get it wrong you can damage your brand), there is always something topical which you can invite opinion on. Write in a way that gets people to reflect on a topic and expands their knowledge in some way. Then ask them for their comments.
If someone has taken the time to leave a comment, please acknowledge their effort. I have seen many blogs where the owner ignores the comments. Apart from being the courteous thing to do, you miss out on the opportunity to extend the conversation and engage with your audience. So always, always answer any questions you receive, clarify any points that have been raised in the comments and thank your readers for taking the time to comment.
6. Make it easy to comment
There is nothing more off-putting and more likely to lose you comments, as requiring your reader to register on your site before they can leave a comment. Make it as straightforward, quick and easy for people to comment.
7. Comment on other blogs
Make sure you always take the time to leave comments on other relevant blogs and add value to the conversation. Chances are the blog owner will be encouraged to visit your blog and will in turn join the conversation there.
Ok over to you now. Can you add an 8th way to encourage blog comments? You know what to do – leave a comment below
This post is also available as a powerpoint presentation – click here to view
Interesting results from the Harvard Business Review study The New Conversation: Taking Social Media from Talk to Action.
The survey was conducted among HBR magazine and newsletter subscribers during July 2010. The participating organizations were mainly based in the US and in Asia.
The following is a summary of the main findings
- The average amount of time spent on social networking sites increased 82 percent last year and two-thirds of the companies in the survey predicted their use of social media would grow significantly over the next few years.
- In many companies, social media will move from a “one-off initiative” to an important, integrated tool in marketing and communications strategies.
- 75% of the companies in the survey said they did not know where their most valuable customers were talking about them.
- Nearly one-third do not measure effectiveness of social media.
- Less than one-quarter are using social media analytic tools.
- Only 7% of participating companies are able to integrate social media into their marketing activities.
So we can clearly see that use of social media within organizations will require a shift in thinking about how to measure the effectiveness of their social media strategy.
Those companies who are most effective in social media now are using multiple channels, creating metrics to measure effectiveness and using new tools to understand how to enter into a new conversation with their customers.