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Social Media Tips for Nonprofits

Posted By Ewald Consulting, Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Smartphone social media
Photo by Omkar Patyane from Pexels
Your organization was likely founded with the goal of creating a community for your members. Fostering a virtual space where your members can come together and communicate with you and each other is crucial to community building. Social media is also a cost-effective way to get the word out about your organization.

 

Buffer explains that the top social media platforms used by nonprofits are Facebook with 98% of nonprofits using the site, Twitter (70%), LinkedIn (55%) and YouTube (45%). If your organization is not already on these platforms, take some time and set up profiles on each. Some associations are also using Instagram or even TikTok to communicate with younger audiences. You do not necessarily have to start posting today, but start your presence. Here are a few ways you can grow your presence online.

  1. Encourage engagement
    According to a blog post on Sendible, each post should include a call to action—every post you create should invite the audience to do something. For example, if you are promoting a conference, rather than merely announcing “Our conference will be this July in Chicago,” include a link for the audience to click that directs back to your website’s conference page. Whether it is a link to click, a video to watch, or asking the audience to leave a comment, opening the door for interaction is a major component of a successful social media presence.

  2. Use the right hashtags
    Sendible also explains that hashtags act as a great, free way to market your organization. Do some research and discover what hashtags are used in your industry. If you find ways to incorporate these hashtags into your posts, your content will come up in native searches that use that hashtag. It is a great way to get exposed to those interested in the industry.

  3. Be responsive
    Buffer explains that you should respond to every person who reaches out to you on social media. This ideally should be done in 24 hours or less. You want to make sure you are seen as friendly and open to those who reach out. This helps you build community by fostering communication with members and others interested in your organization.

  4. Observe
    Mission Box emphasizes the importance of social listening. Social media is a wonderful tool to get your message out to the public and communicate with your members, but social listening helps you understand what is going on with your competitors and your industry and examine how your organization is being received. To do this, take some time to research competitors and comb through their social media. How often do they post, and what are their messages? How many likes are they getting on their posts? You should also search your organization’s name to look at mentions on these platforms. Social listening not only helps you better understand the nuances of social media, it also gives you insight into how your organization is being received.

  5. Schedule your content
    Plan your posts ahead of time and use tools (such as Hootsuite, Zoho or Sprout Social) that post the content for you at designated times. This is a great way to ensure that social media is updated without having to dedicate time to posting every single day. According to Sendible, this is something that many nonprofit marketers struggle with, so having that assistance will make consistent posting easier. Beyond the schedule, be sure to monitor your social media accounts regularly. Sharing and liking posts from your members, allied organizations and other industry thought leaders can magnify your reach. It’s also important to be aware of major news stories, and to be sensitive to situations when your tweet or post could be perceived as out of place with current events.

By using and consistently updating social media, you are building a community around your organization.

Tags:  marketing  social media  tips 

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Don’t get left behind! Four content trends for associations to stay relevant

Posted By Ewald Consulting, Thursday, July 25, 2019
Updated: Thursday, July 18, 2019

The world of marketing moves fast.

The industry is constantly progressing, and nothing is exempt. Standards, processes, and especially trends may change at any time. In order for organizations to survive, they need to be dynamic, quick, and up-to-date on relevant trends because if they are not able to adapt, they will get left behind.

The same applies for associations, with one key difference; they don’t necessarily require the newest, best, or flashiest tools and technology. As a result, some are far removed from the newest marketing methods and trends.

Associations often ask when faced with marketing challenges becomes, “How can we be a resourceful organization and stay relevant in the fast-changing marketing industry?” The answer is easier than one may think. To stay on top of relevant marketing trends, associations can adopt basic, necessary tools and techniques to deliver meaning and value to members.

To help get you started, here are three of the top content marketing trends associations should consider to keep up in the fast-changing industry.

  1. Writing
  2. Written content is a mainstay in the marketing industry. Even though how writing is consumed has changed over time, for example newspapers vs listicles, writing itself is timeless and serves as a foundation for other content including white papers, long form blog posts, advertisements and webinars. As associations think about the future, it is important that they have a strong, reliable writing base developed as a foundation for that content.

  3. Video
  4. Every day, 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube and 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week. Viewers are 95% more likely to remember a call to action after watching a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text form. Video is clearly a form of content that people consistently consume and remember. By producing video associations can increase brand awareness, social reach and engage with a huge number of users. When producing videos, they should be optimized for the platform they will “live” on and their use. For example, videos promoting a certification session should be high-quality and have professional production to guarantee quality sound and graphics whereas videos promoting a social event can be more “approachable” and filmed with a cellphone. Whatever the use of the video, the content should include subtitles and not just for accessibility. At least 85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound, make sure to include this overlay text in all of your video content.

  5. Live content
  6. At the end of the day, associations are resources that focus on promoting events and conferences. Whether it’s live tweeting or recording a live Instagram video, live content provides value to members, association and builds event awareness, and also gives the association future content for professional videos, webinars, and more. With the popularity of social media, live content provides too many benefits and opportunities to not capitalize on it.

Staying up to date with content trends should be a fun way to consistently deliver meaningful content to members. While the industry will always shift, adopting basic trends is an easy way to provide value to your members. Go ahead, adopt the trends, and unleash the new possibilities for your association.

Tags:  associations  marketing  marketing strategy  marketing trends  social media 

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Top 5 MN Government Relations Twitter Accounts

Posted By Mattie Roesler, Wednesday, July 22, 2015

For many people working in or with government relations, the invention of Twitter appears to have been a welcome development for receiving news updates. Lobbyists and policy makers no longer have to be in front of a desktop computer, radio or TV to get breaking news. Wherever they are, they simply click the blue app on their smartphones and scroll. However, the government relations team at Ewald has found that people don’t always know how to access this vast but efficient pool of information. It can be a bit overwhelming, as there are hundreds of Minnesota reporters and journalists to potentially follow. Because of this dilemma, we asked our team to list the #topfive people to follow for great political updates in Minnesota. This may not be where the Ewald GR team receives the bulk of their daily news, but these five Twitter personalities keep them in on the action of the capitol even when work brings them elsewhere. 

 

Tom Scheck - @TomScheck

Tom Scheck, government and politics reporter for Minnesota Public Radio, has become a favorite Twitter presence among many politicians and lobbyists. His tweets range from comical testimonies to full news story links, with the addition of helpful live tweeting from the Minnesota State Capitol. Scheck even received Twitter shout outs from other media sources for his  thorough coverage of the June 2015 #MNleg special session. His educational yet witty feed lands him in our #topfive Twitter feeds to supplement your newspaper or television sources.

 

Brian Bakst - @StowyDad

As a St.Paul correspondent for the Associated Press, Brian Bakst has the perfect Twitter account for any Minnesota political junky. Similar to Scheck, Bakst received praise for camping out at the June 2015 Special Session and live tweeting. Bakst's tweets are great for veteran followers of Minnesota politics, as he provides in-depth discussions and coverage of issues in the legislature. He often includes links to laws, reports, and additional news sources, helping his followers to see all aspects of a topic. Brian is another great Twitter resource in our #topfive.

 

Rachel Strassen-Berger - @RachelSB

Rachel Stassen-Berger is the capitol bureau chief for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. She also spent seven years reporting for the Star Tribune. As self-proclaimed "Political Journalism Cheerleader", Strassen-Berger breaks down complicated issues from the capitol, giving the Twitter world an efficient update on all things related to Minnesota government and politics. If you are looking for accessible language and consistency, @rachelSB is a must-follow.

 

Patrick Condon - @patricktcondon

According to the Star Tribune, Patrick Condon is their go-to reporter for all aspects of Minnesota politics, the state budget, the administration and state agencies. The Ewald team loves following Condon, as the majority of his tweets are live coverage of all capitol events and legislation news. No matter what's happening in St. Paul, Condon always seems to be in the heart of the action. It helps our lobbyists be in numerous places at once! He also links to great Star Tribune photography at the capitol, adding dimension to your Twitter timeline.

 

Briana Bierschbach - @bbierschbach

Brianna Bierschbach is an award winning journalist for MinnPost. She covers higher education, public affairs, and general politics. Her Twitter feed reads similar to Condon's, as she is often tweeting on-site at the capitol. Bierschbach's Twitter reporting is clean, easy to follow, and informative for Minnesota legislative updates. She was even mentioned by our other #topfive pick, Rachel Strassen-Berger, for her reporting work! Another big thank you goes to you, Brianna, for giving us great news updates. 

Tags:  Government Relations  social media  twitter 

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Engaging Millennials in Associations

Posted By Sai Yang, Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Untitled Document

As a Millennial, going into the workforce can be quite a challenge when I feel that I’m constantly being judged because of my generation. Millennials tend to get bad reputations, mostly from Gen-Xer’s and Baby Boomers. I grew up in a rapidly developing technology society; having access to information from any place, at any time, from any device. I find myself constantly multitasking; whether that is responding to emails, doing an intense homework assignment, and or juggling two jobs to name a few. Just because I don’t desire a typical 9-to-5 work day, this doesn’t mean I want to work less. As Millennials, our priorities are different now. Within a few years if not already, companies will find their association aging. Millennials will be everywhere and it can be tricky to work with them if you don’t know how to engage with them. Here are a few ways I liked to be engaged.

  • Learning and Development: It is important that I have ongoing and learning professional development. I am a team player. I enjoy working with others. To obtain growth, it is best that I work and learn from other employees in order to improve my work ethic.
  • Constant Feedback: Millennials are very familiar with social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. and the idea of constantly updating our status. We love feedbacks. We are looking to our management team and colleagues to be our mentors. I benefit greatly from receiving these feedbacks about the work I do. Millennials expect openness and transparency.
  • Responsibility: At any given chance, I want to be able to have ownership of my work. I want my work to mean something to me. The best way to engage Millennials is by having them be involved in the workplace. We have a very care-free attitude but we get the work done! 

Tags:  engaging millennials  sai yang  social media 

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KNOWLEDGE & RESOURCES

MANAGEMENT | View all Management articles
A Successful Year Starts with a Solid Budget by Bill Monn
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MARKETING | View all Marketing articles
9 Marketing Ideas for Your Organization by Kathie Pugaczewski
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MEMBERSHIP | View all Membership articles
A Holistic Approach to Membership Recruitment by Darrin Hubbard
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Three Ways to Stronger Volunteer Engagement by Paul Hanscom
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