Top 5 Reasons Your Nonprofit Will Fail Absent Inbound Marketing

SplaininToDo 8x6 300x197 Top 5 Reasons Your Nonprofit Will Fail Absent Inbound Marketing

I’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do!

Earlier this year I posted on the ONE big thing nonprofits absolutely must do in 2014: Adopt an integrated (fundraising combined with communications – no more silos, please!) inbound marketing strategy.

Well… it seems like a lot of folks didn’t know what I meant.  Or if they did know, they had a whole bunch of reasons why they thought they couldn’t or shouldn’t do it.

Apparently I have some ‘splainin’ to do!Continue Reading

Declare Your Independence Day – Information Overload Be Gone!

Informationoverloaditis.

4th of july dog overloaded 257x300 Declare Your Independence Day – Information Overload Be Gone!

Feeling a bit overloaded?

It’s the new plague. And a highly contagious epidemic, from which no one is immune.

Are you showing any symptoms? I feel like:

  • I’m working all the time, but not getting that much accomplished.
  • I’m working on 10 projects at once, but none get finished.
  • My ‘to-do’ list never gets completed.
  • I’m in meetings all day and don’t have time to work.
  • I bring my laptop to meetings and pretend to take notes while surfing the web.
  • I’m answering email all day and don’t have time to work.
  • I answer email during conference calls and in meetings.
  • I have less and less time to plan, not to mention free time.
  • I have less and less time to learn, not to mention creative time.
  • I can never get to things quickly enough.
  • I sit down at my computer and end up doing something different than I planned.
  • I am eating lunch at my desk, mired in my virtual inbox.
  • I make calls while driving, and even send the occasional text, even though I know I shouldn’t.

If you checked off three or more, you’ve got the disease. 8 or more and we need to rush you to an unplugged vacation. All of the above and you need a sabbatical!Continue Reading

6 Things Matchmakers Can Teach Fundraisers in an Era of Digital Darwinism

Philanthropy; Not Fundraising

Matchmaker make me a match 6 Things Matchmakers Can Teach Fundraisers in an Era of Digital Darwinism

Matchmaker make me a match

In many ways, what’s new is old and what’s old is new.  I read a lot of Brian Solis who speaks persuasively about The End of Business as Usual in an era where technology is advancing more rapidly than our ability to adapt. Yet we must adapt, or die. How do we do this, and what does this mean for fundraisers? I found food for thought in Solis’ recent article, The 9 Laws of Affinity in an Era of Digital Darwinism.

Rapid change can be dizzying. Ground yourself by remembering that though technology has changed, people have not. We have the same drives… needs… yearnings as prehistoric tribes.  It’s not just about survival. Darwin wrote about survival of the most empathic. We long for connection and meaning. In other words, it’s not just about the “fittest” but about the “fitting.”  Philanthropy provides that “fit opportunity” in spades (or, more aptly, in hearts).Continue Reading

April Fools Day is Coming: Is Your Nonprofit’s Social Media Ready?

joker April Fools Day is Coming: Is Your Nonprofit’s Social Media Ready?

Are you just fooling around?

If any of the following apply to you, your nonprofit is not ready for the 21st century. The cure? Read Monday’s post to get serious and avoid being pranked — or spanked! — for failing to embrace the fact that we’re all social businesses now. Truly, it’s time to get serious (just not today; for now, have a little fun, a super good week-end and… get determined after April 1st). Let’s get in the spirit!

Do you:Continue Reading

How Google Works for Your Nonprofit Blog -Easy SEO and Search – S.S.T.S. Series Part IV

Search e1362685226251 How Google Works for Your Nonprofit Blog  Easy SEO and Search   S.S.T.S. Series Part IVIn Part I: Share, Part II: Shareable  and Part III: Talk of this S.S.S.T. Series we covered the importance of sharing your blog, making it shareable by others and getting folks to talk about you with their online networks.  But there’s one important component of your super-sonic blog promotion strategy that we’ve missed.  Here it is:

SEARCH

Let’s begin with why it’s important to talk about search. Because you want more readers for your blog, right? Well, the people who are your friends, plus the people who are their friends, are not all the people in the world.  They’re not even all the people who may be interested in what you do!  Search is how most people find you.  Search is the most common online activity after email, and that fact cuts across generations.Continue Reading

6 Ways to Get Others to Promote Your Nonprofit Blog for You: Happy Talk – S.S.T.S. Series, Part IIIb

Word of Mouth Infographic 6 Ways to Get Others to Promote Your Nonprofit Blog for You: Happy Talk – S.S.T.S. Series, Part IIIb

Let the happy talking about you begin!

Talking is what builds your reputation and develops relationships with those who share the values your organization enacts. Talking is central to your blog – and entire social media – strategy. So… let’s talk!

In the first part of this two-part post about how to get others to promote your blog we discussed how to find your natural “sharers” – those folks willing to be spokespersons on your behalf, whether they be influencers or advocates.  Today we’re going to talk about how to get these boosters to spread your good word through digital word-of-mouth.

6 TIPS FOR GETTING YOUR TALKERS TALKING:Continue Reading

Why the Human Dimension is Key to Social Business Success

Human dimension Why the Human Dimension is Key to Social Business SuccessWe’re really hung up on technology these days. And jargon. We use terms like “social media” to describe a range of practices – from digital communications to any form of customer-centered marketing that embraces the ways in which people interact, inform themselves, form communities and co-create within the current zeitgeist.  Then we mix it up with terms like “social business,” tending to again describe a range of meanings – from…. social enterprise to digital business to social ecosystem to social sales.

We’re confusing the heck out of ourselves, and it’s contributing to fuzzy thinking. It doesn’t so much matter what we call it, as long as we avoid common mistakes and get buy-in from our stakeholders that’s based on tangible, perceived benefits. You say potato; I say potahto.  What we should be able to agree on is that it’s not simply a matter of technology.

Make no mistake – we’re in the midst of a digital revolution that has fundamentally altered the ways people communicate and do business. There’s been an explosion of internet connectivity in the past decade. Social media is an important tool in today’s world.  If we ignore this, we risk becoming irrelevant.  However, using social media does not ipso facto make you a “social business”.

When we apply social media with ignorance it’s not much better than ignoring it entirely. For profit businesses do this as much as nonprofits.  In fact, they could learn a lot from nonprofits about the human dimensions of success – values, relationships and people.  The very definition of philanthropy – the social benefit sector’s financial engine – is “love of humankind.”

Because of the digital revolution we’re all social businesses now, whether we accept it or not.  We must accept. We must adapt. There’s no choice. We must move beyond outbound “telling” marketing to “inbound” sharing marketing. We must source the wisdom of the crowd, and shift our focus from outcomes to value.

What Fortune 500 Community Managers Can Learn from Nonprofits about Social Business, my monthly guest post on the Windmill Networking Blog, is all about the evolution we all face. It’s about how to be more social. How to build better relationships. How to get clear on the values that connect us and our constituents.

Please check out the article, with the actionable tips and checklist, and let me know what you think.

Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Chris Beckett

5 Ways to Get your Nonprofit Blog Posts Shared on Social Media: S.S.T.S. Series Part II

photo e1362379501261 5 Ways to Get your Nonprofit Blog Posts Shared on Social Media:  S.S.T.S. Series Part IIS.S.T.S. Share. Shareable. Talk. Search.  Those are the elements required for promoting your blog.  In Part I we talked about how to create a super sonic transport system to make your blog work for you. We began with how you share.  Now we’re going to talk about how to get other folks to share on your behalf.  You want to make your posts Shareable. This is what gives ‘wings’ to your super-sonic promotion strategy.

Share and share alike. We all know this old adage.  But if you’re given an apple and no knife to cut it into pieces, it’s difficult to share.  Similarly, if you share a blog post but offer no sharing tools, it’s not likely to be shared. People who read your posts have networks.  You want to tap into them!

It’s your job to make it easy for folks to spread the good word.Continue Reading

4 Reasons Your Blog Promotion Strategy Sucks, and How to Fix It – S.S.T.S. Series, Part I

SST 4 Reasons Your Blog Promotion Strategy Sucks, and How to Fix It – S.S.T.S. Series, Part IWe’ve talked CONTENT (C.P.A. Series).   We’ve talked ENGAGEMENT (R.C.A. Series).  Now we’ve got to talk PROMOTION (S.S.T.S Series).

 S.S.T.S.  That’s the four things. You need a super sonic transport system that will enable all your brand messaging – across multiple channels – to emanate from your blog.  Yes. We’ve talked about this before.  Your blog is your content hub.  It’s the essence of you and what you do.  But it’s not something that has meaning separate from the rest of your marketing communications efforts. It won’t get you anywhere if you don’t put the wheels in motion.  And since things are fast, fast, fast these days — let’s get you in motion super sonically!

You must promote your blog. (Tweet this). I’ve just engaged in a lengthy discussion with folks in the “Marketing Professionals” group on Linkedin about what’s more important: content, engagement or promotion.  Content seems to be winning. But I just can’t agree.  Not that I don’t’ think it’s super important.  Who cares about promoting dreck?  But all three must work together.  They’re three legs of a three-legged stool; unstable if any one leg is missing. Without promotion your super-de-duper content just sits there. Dead. In. The. Water. That’s just sad.Continue Reading

8 Clues Your Nonprofit Social Media Marketing Strategy is Going Nowhere Fast

k4148348 8 Clues Your Nonprofit Social Media Marketing Strategy is Going Nowhere Fast

Yesterday I guest posted on Windmill Networking:
WARNING: 8 Clues Your Nonprofit’s Social Media Implementation and Measurement Strategy is Bogus. I encourage you to read the full post. It’s about how so many nonprofits really don’t have a clue why they’re doing social media at all.  And, if they are doing it, they may have bogus objectives and/or measurement strategies – so it’s difficult to tell whether it’s worth the investment. If you or your boss or your board wonders what the ROI is on social media — this post is for you.
There are lots of other good social media articles on the WMN blog too! If you just want the bare bones, check out the summary here.  (The full post is more informative, with links to other great resources. Promise).

8 clues you may not be optimally exercising social media for your organization:
1.  Your business objectives, measurement methods and investment in social marketing are not aligned.
2.  You don’t have an enlightened social strategy that is fully integrated with the rest of your marketing and business strategy.
3.  You aren’t measuring the right things.
4.  You aren’t tapping into the true potential of social.
5.  You aren’t investing enough to succeed.
6.  You aren’t using the right platform(s) to engage your target constituencies.
7.  You haven’t considered outsourcing as a way to be more effective.
8.  You haven’t embraced the importance of CEO visibility and engagement.
Embrace the worthiness of an investment in social media, while accepting that it’s not easy.  Peter Drucker famously said that all good ideas degenerate into hard work.  Social media. Great idea. Not free. Not child’s play. You’ve got to work it.
Borrow from all the good implementation tactics and measurement tools out there.  No one has to reinvent the wheel at this point. Participate with purpose. Engage wisely.

Get a clue!
Check out the full post with links to great resources.
And if you’ve got additional clues, please share.