Want To Be A Blogging Wizard Or A Non-profit Wordsmith? Here’s Your Chance

We’re looking for guest bloggers to write about social media, associations, non-profits, charities, small business and other similar issues and organizations for our website!

If you’re unsure about contributing, this handy dandy infographic may be able to clear it up for you.

Guest Blogger 3

 

If the arrows point to “Blog for us!” give us a shout. Email us at inclinemarketingservices@gmail.com and together we can make some blogging magic!

Operation Event Success: How to Pull Off an Awesome Event with Social Media

Pulling off any great plan comes in stages. Just take a look at any good heist movie and you’ll see that at least half the plot involves the ridiculously good looking, relatable main characters planning the job (including the creation of a catchy name for it, like Operation X, Y or Z) and the other half executing their plan with a slice at the end that sees them enjoying their spoils.

Putting on a successful event is similar, although hopefully it doesn’t involve breaking the law or doing any of your own stunts. A great conference or fundraising event involves planning, execution and follow up. Social media can help you complete this mission and take your event to the next level.

On that note, here are the three phases of putting on a successful event with social media, or what we’ve dubbed Operation Event Success

Phase 1- Approaching the Mark: Before the Event

The planning stage of the mission has a few key steps. These include establishing a hashtag, getting the word (and the details) out about the event, and posting/tweeting/writing about the important elements like how to register and how sponsors can get involved.

Remember to have some fun with it though. Create a video tour of the venue or trade show area and upload it to YouTube. Create a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure infographic for your blog or Pinterest to give attendees a fun way to plan their time at the event. You could even run a small Twitter or Facebook contest that promotes your event and encourages engagement, such as one that gives clues for the theme or location of your event.

Phase 2- The Eagle Has Landed: During the Event

This is the crucial part of your mission. The action is at its peak and all the players are in motion. A truly great event happens, well, at the event. If social media has anything to say about it, the conference, fundraiser, etc., will be a huge hit.

Live tweeting the event helps attendees network, learn, contribute and engage on another level, which is always a great thing. Setting up TV screens in the venue that show your live tweets can help attendees who don’t have Twitter keep track of any updates, information or fun stuff. Arranging a tweet up can also be a fun way for your community to network, collaborate and have some fun at an event.

Recapping the day’s highlights on a blog during a multi-day event can also be helpful, engaging and fun for attendees. Try to get one of your attendees, volunteers, members or organizing committee to write a short post to get a different perspective on the day and the event.

Phase 3- A Clean Getaway: After the Event

The chairs are stacked, the lights are out and the venue is a speck in your rear view mirror. But hold on, you’re not in the clear just yet. Even after the event is finished there is much to do on social media in order to achieve a successful follow up and ensure future events flourish.

Recapping the event with a blog post, a video on YouTube and/or an album on Facebook gives your members a chance to develop their new connections and reminisce about the event while highlighting the benefits of your organization’s efforts. Creating an infographic or photo collage on Pinterest can help show your attendees how their efforts made a difference.

Receiving feedback is an important part of putting together future events. Put a poll on your blog or Facebook page asking what everyone’s favourite moment was at your past event. Making the poll into a contest where participants win a trip to your next event also helps increase engagement and feedback.

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A great event isn’t built in a day, but with thoughtful planning, a well-executed strategy and a devoted follow up, all on social media, having a successful event can be easier and more fun for everyone involved.

What are your social media secrets to a successful event? Let us know in the comments!

 

The Anatomy of a Great Twitter Post

Crafting an informative and engaging piece of writing isn’t always easy. It gets even harder when you only have 140 characters to do it.

Twitter is often a medium where only the strongest survive. Understanding the make-up of a powerful tweet is important to standing out from the crowd, catching your members’ attention and providing the best content you can.

We took a look at some well-received tweets and broke down what made them successful.

Tweet #1

Great Tweet Example 1

Tweet #2

Great Tweet Example 2

Tweet #3

Great Tweet Example 3

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Great tweets are built on strong content, a desire to help improve the lives of your followers and a focus on promoting engagement. By examining those tweets that encompass these factors you can emulate them, develop a strong following and attain an even stronger return on investment.

What other factors go into making a great tweet? Let us know in the comments!

 

Which Social Media Platform Should Your Non-Profit Be On, Part 2: Four Key Questions to Ask

Last week, we gave a quick guide to determining which social media platform might be the best fit for your organization by posing a series of questions. Determining beforehand which platform will be the most beneficial for your organization is important as it takes resources and dedication to consistently follow-through on social media. With that in mind, here are four more questions every non-profit executive should be asking themselves before they decide which social media platform their organization should be active on.

What Are Your Goals?

Determining what you want to achieve with social media is probably the most crucial part of this decision. What your finish line looks like will have a huge impact on which path you take towards it.

Twitter is Perfect If: You want member/community engagement. If you want to share information and news quickly. If you want to reach out to new people.

Blogging is Perfect If: You want to be considered an expert on an issue. If you want to use lots of different media or authors. If you want to tell a story or go in-depth on issues.

Pinterest is Perfect If: You want to drive traffic to your website or other websites. If you want to appeal to your connections visually/emotionally.

LinkedIn is Perfect If: You want to give networking opportunities to your community. If you want to help your connections grow professionally. If you want to start conversations about industry-specific issues.

Facebook is Perfect If: You want to engage with members/community. If you want to share news and information. If you want to be less formal and more relatable. If you want to conduct contests.

YouTube is Perfect If: You want to expose a new side of your organization. If you want to provide your community with tutorials or learning opportunities. If you want to be a visual storyteller.

Who Is Your Audience?

It’s important to know who you’re trying to reach with your social media efforts. Connecting with the right people will help you achieve your organization’s goals much faster and more efficiently. Each platform draws a unique audience and understanding these demographics is key.

Twitter is Perfect If: Your audience is almost anyone. If you want to attract businesses and people of all demographics. If you want to make new connections and build on old ones.

Blogging is Perfect If: Your audience is people who are already interested in your cause or industry. If you want to attract those searching for information on your area of expertise.

Pinterest is Perfect If: Your audience is creative or responds to and provides visuals. If your audience are women (80% of Pinterest users are women). If your audience are members of the wider community.

LinkedIn is Perfect If: Your audience is made up of professionals from the same industry. If your audience is looking to network, gain experience and connect with similar individuals.

Facebook is Perfect If: Your audience is, once again, almost anyone. If you already have an established audience. If your audience knows to look for you.

YouTube is Perfect If: Your audience is, for the third time, almost anyone. YouTube is used by a broad demographic and its videos can be posted to other platforms.

What Does Your Organization Do?

Your organization’s identity is oftentimes tied to its cause and how its community works toward it. An organization’s identity is the key to drawing in supporters. Certain platforms showcase an organization’s identity better than others.

Twitter is Perfect If: Your organization helps members. If your organization sends out calls to action. If your organization wants to create awareness.

Blogging is Perfect If: Your organization tells stories. If your organization works towards its cause by informing people. If your organization studies ongoing issues.

Pinterest is Perfect If: Your organization invites the community to get involved. Advocates for other businesses, individuals or organizations. If your organization evokes emotion.

LinkedIn is Perfect If: Your organization helps people grow professionally or connect with educational and volunteer opportunities. If your organization advocates for an industry.

Facebook is Perfect If: Your organization does almost anything. If your organization connects with many stakeholders as well as the general community.

YouTube is Perfect If: Your organization engages at the grassroots level. If your organization and its community hosts or partakes in a lot of events.

What Resources Do You Have?

It’s common knowledge that non-profits have finite resources and have to use them the best way possible. All social media efforts take time, know-how and some money to be successful, but some fit into an organization’s overall strategy better than others.

Twitter is Perfect If: You have the personnel and time to invest in tweeting several times daily, comb through trends, find the right content and engage with followers.

Blogging is Perfect If: You have the time to invest in researching, writing, editing and promoting a consistent blog. If you have the money to invest in creating a decent looking page for your blog.

Pinterest is Perfect If: You have the time to search out visuals and links for pins. If you have the time to research trends on the platform. If you have the money to invest in photo taking and image making equipment and software.

LinkedIn is Perfect If: You have the time and money to write posts, check in regularly, create networking opportunities and look into paid job postings and promoted posts.

Facebook is Perfect If: You have the time to invest in posting multiple engaging posts a week, follow up with engagement and contests and maintain other features such as photo albums.

YouTube is Perfect If: You have the time, money and expertise to invest in equipment and planning, filming, editing and uploading a video or multiple videos.

What Social Media Platform You Should Be On, Part 1

Choosing the best social media platform or platforms for your organization isn’t always easy or simple. Before you decide to embark on a Twitter journey, Pinterest quest or some other social media adventure, you must first ask yourself a number of questions about your organization’s goals, audience and brand. While this takes both time and research, we thought we’d help get the ball rolling.

The following infographic is a great way to get the process started when picking an online platform for your organization. Hopefully it can get you thinking about what the various networks have to offer your organization and how it might appeal to your community of connections.

Quick Social Media Guide

Choosing the right fit for your organization takes some thinking and realizing the strengths and weaknesses of each social media platform relative to your non-profit is crucial to this process. Next week we’ll look at a few more important questions to ask yourself when starting up online. We’re looking forward to seeing you then!

Social Media Spring Cleaning for Non-profits

Do you hear that hubbub out on the street? Can you feel the warmth of the sun through the window? That’s spring calling you to celebrate its arrival! But before you run through the door, rip off your winter coat and enjoy the sweet freedom from winter’s iciness, you might want to consider doing some social media spring cleaning for your organization.

Just like a house or an office needs a cleanup every once in a while, so to do social media accounts, especially those of a non-profit or professional association.

Doing a bit of social media spring cleaning takes a little time and makes a big difference down the road. It helps you be more efficient, make a bigger impact and better plan for the future.

So get out your digital dish clothes and social media sponges, because here are a few tips for cleaning out your accounts.

Facebook

The first course of action for cleaning up your organization’s Facebook page is to review and refresh its profile. This includes changing the profile pictures, updating the ‘About’ section and adding or subtracting tabs. This updates any out of date information and gives a fresh look to the page.

It’s also useful to go back over your past event pages and delete any old ones. When people search for your organization and find old events instead, it may seem like your non-profit is unorganized and not committed to the platform. Deleting old events ensures a cleaner, sleeker look.

Twitter

Start your Twitter spring cleaning by looking through the list of accounts your organization follows and unfollow any inactive or irrelevant ones. This includes those that haven’t tweeted in far too long or have no connection to your cause, industry or audience. This will help you curate content more efficiently, engage with the followers that matter most and determine which accounts you haven’t interacted with in a while.

Take some time and update your bank of popular hashtags. Do some research and check to see which hashtags are still popular, which ones have fallen out of use and which ones have emerged as a great way to connect with members or those interested in your cause.

Pinterest

Your organization’s Pinterest account can get cluttered and inefficient if you’re not careful. That’s where a bit of spring cleaning comes in handy. Review the boards you follow and disconnect from any that are irrelevant or inactive. After that’s finished, it’s a good idea to turn your attention to your own boards. See which ones can be split into separate or new boards and which ones can be joined together. This eliminates overcrowded and redundant boards and makes things easier for current and potential followers.

Blogs

With a bit of spring cleaning, you can raise your blog’s profile among members and others in the online community and eliminate some backlogged headaches for yourself.

Take some time to go over some older posts and update them. Write about what has changed or what hasn’t. You could always ask a quest blogger to contribute and give the issue a new perspective. Another way to update a post is to address it with different media, like an infographic or video.

Go back over your comment and weed out the spam and any inappropriate responses. This will help you keep track of which blog posts are getting the most meaningful engagement and will rid your comment section of eyesores and headaches for both yourself and those looking to contribute to the conversation.

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Social media spring cleaning isn’t always the most fun activity, especially when all your want to do is enjoy some time in the sun, but it’s necessary in order to keep clean, efficient and engaging platforms your members, staff, volunteers, etc. can use to interact with your organization.

Do you have any other social media spring cleaning tips for us? Let us know in the comments!

5 Reasons Why Non-profits Should Use Pinterest

If your non-profit or association hasn’t taken Pinterest seriously yet, it should now.

Pinterest is the fastest growing social media platform at the moment, according to a Pew Research Survey. The photo pin-up site saw a spike is users, from 15 per cent of American adults in 2012 to 21 per cent in 2013. That’s more than Facebook, more than Twitter and more than LinkedIn.

But what can Pinterest offer non-profits? Well, if we told you all the benefits the platform can bring your organization, we’d be here for a while. That’s why we looked through the maze of photos, infographics and stunning images and picked out five of the best reasons non-profits will love Pinterest.

Images evoke emotion

Emotional responses lead to a deep connection and more engagement. People are more likely to contribute, share, interact and join a cause or organization if they feel an emotional attachment. Images create this emotional response because they are not as abstract or easy to ignore as print. They put a face to a name and an image to an explanation.

Pinterest’s whole structure is based on creating, curating and sharing photos. Non-profits are made up of a community of people and thus have an almost unending source of great photos. There are also events, field work, projects and initiatives that provide opportunities for photos and great content to link to.

Pinterest drives traffic to your website

Pinterest takes regular, old links and spruces them up. Instead of words on a page linking someone to a website or blog, Pinterest displays photos that link to an organization’s pages. This drives traffic to your organization’s pages more effectively than other social media sites.

Your non-profit’s website is your organization’s online HQ. Much of the giving or membership purchases come from your website. Any traffic will help raise awareness, money and membership and Pinterest brings you lots of this beneficial traffic.

Pinterest turns history from boring to beautiful

History is an important part of any organization, especially non-profits. History gives members and contributors a shared experience. History also lends credibility to a cause or an association. Showcasing your organization’s history highlights its triumphs, the important people that were dedicated the cause and how the organization’s goals have evolved and will continue to evolve.

The only asterisk beside ‘History’ as a tool to boost engagement and interest is that many find it dry and dull. Photos help liven up history and evoke nostalgia. They take dates, numbers and anonymous names and turn them into a picture of the passion your organization has for the cause or industry.

Pinterest can highlight trips to the field

People don’t just want to read about how your organization is making a difference, they want to see it. Pinterest allows your non-profit to show contributors and members that it walks the walk.

By pinning photos showing your organization’s activities in the field and their impact, contributors and members can see your non-profit is making a concrete difference and, by being part of the effort, they can have a hand in creating this positive change.

Pinterest gives stats with flare

Stats can be a non-profits best friend. They take all sorts of information that may be crucial to your cause, contributors and members and package it into easy to comprehend numbers. But, like history, stats can be boring, dense and come across as a wall of print and percentages. Pinterest has the power to take these stats and present them into an infographic to appeal to a broader audience. Infographics are graphs that take an audience on a visually-appealing journey of an issue using statistics. Pinterest and infographics go together like good wine and cheese and can be a great way to convert an on-the-fencer into a loyal member of your organization.

Pinterest is a fast-growing social media platform that offers lots of helpful, not to mention fun, ways of engaging current and potential members and contributors for your non-profit. Do you know any organizations doing a great job on Pinterest? Let us know in the comments. And keep it social!