Posts tagged social media

Nonprofit Social Media Superstars Put in the Time to Earn Followers

Social media is the marketing activity nonprofits say they need help with most, according to a free report from Constant Contact called the Nonprofit Pulse Report. More than 57% of the 307 respondents said they needed help with social media, followed by 36% with email marketing, and 35% with their nonprofit websites.

Not surprisingly, 88% of respondents said they found Facebook the most effective channel for their cause marketing followed dismally by 5% who preferred Twitter. For great Facebook fan page examples look at the American Red Cross with 511,000 fans and The Humane Society of the United States with 1.4 million fans.


puppy Nonprofit Social Media Superstars Put in the Time to Earn Followers


Read Up and Invest Time into Your Multi Channel Efforts

Nonprofits who have read Heather Mansfield’s How to Guide for Using Social Media for Social Good say it’s worth the $22. Heather gives 149 tools and resources, a case study of how a nonprofit book tour earned an organization $17,000, and other lessons she’s learned during her 15 years helping nonprofits and 15,000 hours using social media.

social Nonprofit Social Media Superstars Put in the Time to Earn Followers



The Nonprofit Pulse Report details that nonprofits are spending 36% of their time and 18% of their budgets on marketing. It doesn’t break out what amount of that time and money is spent on social media. However, another report, How Small Businesses and Nonprofits can Master Online Marketing, states that effective social media outreach takes at least 25 hours of staff time per week, according to company behind the report, Ditch Digital Dabbling. The survey also outlines the online marketing tactics that work best and highlights new revelations, including the fact that “Power Users” rate only five social media tools as very effective.

I think both Mansfield and Ditch Digital Dabbling’s staff would agree that Mark Hanis, the founder behind the Genocide Intervention Network, has put in the time and wisely leveraged social media.

Hanis’ Facebook campaign raised $250,000 in 2005, according to nonprofit blogger Beth Kanter. Kanter said that Hanis used Salesforce as its contact management system to track interactions and help land a very large donor. “The relationship starts online, but the “ask” happens offline, perhaps on the phone or face-to-face,” says Kanter.

How much time is your nonprofit spending on social media? If you need guidance, download the reports in this blog or contact us. The return is worth the work according to Social Media Today who says a charity can raise $100,000 or more on Facebook if they dedicate the budget and staff to the task. Imagine what lift you’d get adding variable printing to the integrated marketing mix, too.


Social Media Goals – What are yours and who is responsible?

Social Media1 250x257 Social Media Goals – What are yours and who is responsible?A recent survey by Ragan/NASDA QMX Corporate Solutions reported that 65% of organizations add social media duties on top of all the other duties an individual already holds. 27% have a social media team and 3% outsource their social media efforts.

Other important findings:

  • 69% are dissatisfied or only “somewhat satisfied” with how they measure social media. Only 31% are satisfied or very satisfied. And many say they lack the time to track data or aren’t even sure what to measure.
  • Only 28% saw their budget increase this year, while 69% stayed the same. Prospects were only slightly better for 2013 with 62% of budgets remaining static.
  • 23% describe themselves as “newbies.”
  • Facebook is by far the most popular platform with 91% of respondents maintaining a page there. Twitter follows closely with 88%, and 69% use LinkedIn.
  • “Ownership” of social media is murky, and the question may even become passé as numerous departments within organizations jump in. 70% of respondents say marketing is involved with 69% reporting that public relations played a role. Corporate communications trailed with 49%.

As we all continue to “figure out” what type of goals are appropriate for monitoring the social media investment, 87% of respondents indicated that their goal is brand awareness, 62% indicate increasing web traffic and 40% of the companies surveyed indicate that an increase in sales was one of their social media goals.

This survey points to the continued efforts around “how to monetize social media.”


Raise Your Optimism by Preparing a Content Marketing Plan

83252675 250x166 Raise Your Optimism by Preparing a Content Marketing PlanBusinesses of all sizes are posting content, but few have a content marketing plan. Why research, interview, write, edit and post, if you do not have a clear path where your blogs will take you and bring back leads, sales or deals in return?

With only half of small businesses achieving profit growth, according to the study below, doesn’t it make sense to craft a plan to turn your content into dollars in 2013?

Other key findings:

  • 50% of small businesses reported profit growth in 2012.
  • 44% say they are now both stronger and more determined to succeed than ever.
  • 38% say the weak economy has spurred them to work more efficiently.
  • 27% say they asked for outside help to solve a business problem in 2012.

SOURCE: Findings are from a survey of 500 US small business owners and managers, conducted by Hiscox in third quarter of 2012.


Content Marketing Plan Musts

Writing a content marketing plan forces everyone to clarify what they want prospects, visitors and loyal patrons to do.  Here is an abbreviated list of questions to answer, pulled from 50 Smart Ways to Craft a Social Media Content Marketing Plan written by Amanda Nelson of Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

  1. Set your goals and objectives (what do you wish to achieve and how)
  2. How will you measure your results and make adjustments?
  3. Where are your prospects, visitors, and patrons currently getting info about your niche in the area?
  4. What problems are your customers having when they come to you?
  5. What are your customers and prospects saying on Twitter and in News Groups?
  6. Which formats generate the best responses last year? (short post, long post, video, audio)
  7. What is working for your competition?
  8. Are you creating two-way communication and if not how can you in 2013?
  9. Is your content being shared?
  10. Is your content generating comments?
  11. Are other sites linking to your content? If not how can you make this happen?
  12. Are your keywords driving organic visits to your blog? If not, revisit and revise.
  13. What steps are you doing to promote your content?
  14. Are you posting 1-25 times a week? How can you increase quality postings?

Do you have a content marketing plan? According to Brendan Egan, CEO of Simple SEO Group, companies that blog more, make more. Egan challenged himself to posting two 575-word blogs a week consistently for five months to learn if increasing his posting schedule over a steady basis would bear fruit. It did.

Egan said his company’s website traffic, inquiries and new clients all increased as a result with no changes in any other variables.

So what’s your plan? It has to be more than increasing posts and sticking to a regular schedule. You really need to determine how your blogging content fits into your bigger marketing plan and creates value to your customers and two-way conversations.

Take 20 minutes to view Coca Cola’s content marketing plan called Coca Cola Content 2020 and you’ll realize your “plan” may need more meat to help you meet your long-term strategic goals. Coca Cola aims to make the world a better place, to live and dominate the beverage category through content marketing and story telling. How about you?

Which Ford Fiesta Launch Scored Better?

car, marketing, competition, raceTwo countries. One car. When Ford launched its Fiesta sub-compact car last year in Canada and the U.S., which country executed the best marketing campaign?

The Canadians built their campaign around the theme, “The Little Car that Could.” The Americans produced a multi-channel campaign touting the slogan, “It’s a pretty big deal,” backed up by a powerful social media pre-launch campaign.


CANADA:  The Little Car that Could

To build interest, the Canadians sent out eight Fiesta cars to tour major Canadian cities prior to implementing a direct mail campaign. Then Ford Canada sent out a series of emails about winning a Ford Fiesta, which generated 84,000 leads (73,500 were net new leads for Ford). [1]

Trying to build on the excitement that Ford Fiesta was a vehicle for creating extra special moments not just a small car, Ford Canada kicked off a direct mail campaign targeting 30 to 45 year old urbanites.

In an effort to grab their attention, an oversized slide-out direct mail piece was created. The format allowed Ford Canada to include lots of graphs and information, including a head-to-head comparison chart of Ford Fiesta against the competition and emphasizing the great gas mileage of 40 mpg.

The entire campaign centered on driving home three benefits (1) design, (2) technology and (3) performance.

The Canadian Ford slide/sleeve brochure was personalized and variably printed to show prospects their specific mileage based on their geographic location and the mileage in that area.

A one-time mailing of 101,000 pieces was sent out across the country with selected prospects being offered a $500 purchase or lease offer.

As a result the Fiesta became their number one selling car domestically in Canada and boasted $1 million in incremental sales and the ROI for this campaign was 224%.

 Which Ford Fiesta Launch Scored Better?

AMERICA:  It’s a Pretty Big Deal

Before spending one dollar on traditional marketing, Ford Motor Company America initiated a social media campaign named the Ford Fiesta Movement. Out of 4,000 applicants, 100 individuals with significant social clout were chosen to blog, tweet, and YouTube about the Ford Fiesta six months before the 2011 launch. [2] The applicants’ YouTube video posts alone generated 640,000 views.

According to social media blogger Jeff Bullas [3], the results of the Ford Fiesta Movement were as follows:

  • 11 million Social Networking impressions
  • 5 million engagements on social networks (people sharing and receiving)
  • 11,000 videos posted
  • 15,000 tweets (not including retweets)
  • 13,000 photos
  • 50,000 hand raisers who have seen the product in person or on a video who said that they want to know more about it the Ford Fiesta

Then Ford launched It’s a Pretty Big Deal television campaign with all the bells, whistles, street performers and confetti. The commercial first aired on American Idol.

According to a Dec. 10, 2011 reported, Ford Fiesta was in 4th place in the U.S. with approximately3,473 sales. In a March 2011 Green Cars Report [4], Ford Fiesta sold 6,700 units in the U.S. in February 2011. By year-end 2011, Ford Motor Company sold a total of 69,000 Ford Fiestas in the U.S . [5]


So Who Won?

Based on the figure of $1 billion in sales, Canadians sold 76,923 cars at $13,000 a car and Americans 69,000 cars. So the Canadians win by sales. Unfortunately I don’t have the budgets each agency spent to achieve these sales but based on research I suspect the American agency far outspent the Canadians based on TV program placement.  The results are also impressive considering that the size of the Canadian market is much smaller when compared to the U.S. market.

The moral of this marketing launch story, is a variable data direct mail piece backed by a simple car tour can result in more sales for less marketing spend than a social media, TV, radio campaign with twice the agency billable and hard costs, but not twice the results.


[1] May 2012

[2], April 7, 2009

[3], Feb. 18, 2010

[4] Green Cars Report, March 7, 2011

[5] Forbes, May 2, 2012

Study Confirms Direct Mail and Email Remain Preferred Channels

direct mail, mail, social, media

Results from study reveal why receiving “properly executed” direct mail still brings smiles to recipients and results to your company.

Social and mobile media are fast, popular and fairly inexpensive marketing channels, but your customers say they’re not keen on receiving marketing messages via these channels, according to the latest Marketing-GAP report by UK’s fast-MAP.

According to the 2012 GAP report, fewer than 2% of people are “happy” to get marketing messages via text messaging and social media. In fact, marketers continue to “massively overestimate” the popularity of these channels.

Before you plan another Twitter, Facebook, SMS or mobile media campaign, check out these additional findings from the eighth annual survey.

  • Eight out of 10 participants open direct mail. The percentage of consumers surveyed who open direct mail is 80%, a little above 2010 levels. A third (34%) state they open all direct mail, 45% only open messages from companies they use and 20% say they don’t open direct mailing.
  • Marketers underestimate the number of people who open mail. This year, marketers thought 24% of households would open all mail — 10% less than what consumers reported.
  • The top reasons consumers open their direct mail: it is from a known company/brand (55%), it is personalized (51%) and an interest in the product or service being promoted (44%). Marketers correctly identified the top five mail-opening criteria, but significantly underestimate the importance of a personal address while over-estimating the importance of criteria such as the package, its design, the look of the envelope and color.
  • SMS messaging and social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, doubled in popularity over the past year–from 1% to 2%–as a means to receive marketing messages. Regardless, these numbers remain proportionally low compared to traditional means. While approximately 3 in 10 people “are happy to receive” marketing information by mail and email, overall fewer than 1 in 50 welcome contacts via the newer digital media, such as text messaging and social media.

Join us later this week when we reveal the other half of the study, which provides you with possible reasons your direct mail campaigns may or may not be pulling the numbers you desire.

About: Conducted in August 2012. fast.Map partnered with The Institute of Promotional Marketing and The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM). The research was sponsored by the Royal Mail. The consumer panel comprised 1,140 adults recruited from the 30,000 fast.MAP wholly-owned, closed panel whose profile echoes that of the UK’s population profile in age and gender.  Only people who are both mail and internet responsive were selected for the panel. The marketers panel comprised 353 marketers, drawn from the fast.MAP marketing professionals’ panel and the IPM and IDM’s membership.

Source:, 2012 fast.Map Marketing GAP report, accessed October 10, 2012.


Blend On and Offline Media For Optimum Results

blender, multichannel, cross channel, When it comes to marketing and branding, make sure not to forget the traditional methods that have worked for decades. Some customers still prefer the tactile experience of reading a direct mail postcard or printed piece. The more places you advertise and promote your business to your targeted audiences, the better your exposure and marketing penetration. Here are statistics and brand experts’ thoughts about blending social with traditional media.

  • Consumers are 50 percent more likely to buy or use a product when TV ads work together with Internet marketing. Source: ATKearney
  • Enhance your print advertising and direct mail campaigns, socially, by using QR Codes® to track how people are getting to your website. By using trackable URLs in social media posts, you can gain firm idea of your user entry points to your website.
  • Social media marketing and traditional marketing go hand in hand and should be blended, according to D. William Jones, social media enthusiast at By using social media exclusively and ignoring traditional media, you risk killing your market reach. 35 percent of US consumers still get their news offline. Advertising, TV, and direct mail are still extremely important and valuable.
  • Talk to your customers about how they want to be talked to. For some that will be via social media and for others that will be through traditional media. Many nonprofits such as Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Harvesters send their volunteers donor receipts through either the mail or email based on preference.
  • Nearly one in five smartphone users makes a purchase after scanning a QR Code®. Source: Print in the Mix
  • When consumers were asked about the acceptable channel for marketers to contact them, direct mail is the only channel where an unsolicited message isn’t viewed as inappropriate. In fact, it is preferred. Source: Print in the Mix
  • Nothing can beat the speed of response of a post on Facebook or Twitter, which makes these social channels ideal for responding to a crisis situation or angry customer. However, nothing beats the credibility and professional recognition of traditional media, which makes it ideal for branding and product believability.

“Our research into marketing-inspired purchase behavior illustrates that we live in a multi-channel world where brands that can execute campaigns across both mass and direct media will have a distinct advantage over their less coordinated competition. Today’s consumers are cross-channel communicators, and they’re ready to reward those brands that abide by the unique rules that govern each channel.” – Exact Target

What channels do you find mix for the best results?


*QR Code is a registered trademark of Denso Wave.

Will Marketers Get Their Ears Pinned back with Pinterest? A brief lesson in copyright ownership.

Pinterest, Pin it, copyrightIf you are using Pinterest for business purposes, consider the ramifications. There are copyright laws that apply to all pins.

While many companies and artists ignore copyright violations, the companies or individuals that sue usually win. Copyright violations can be quite costly, running from $750 upwards to $150,000. One website owner recently paid $4,000 in damages for using a $10 stock photo without permission even though they removed the photo promptly after receiving a takedown notice. (Source:  Is Pinterest a Haven for Copyright Violations,

If you’re on the fence about using Pinterest as a promotional strategy for your business, know that the only fool-proof way to build boards is with original content and photos your company owns or has gained written approval to use.


Pinterest’s Terms of Use

Pinterest’s terms of use clearly state that anything you post is yours to use exclusively or that you have obtained the rights or license to use it.

“You represent and warrant that: (i) you either are the sole and exclusive owner of all Member Content that you make available through the Site, Application and Services or you have all rights, licenses, consents and releases that are necessary to grant to Cold Brew Labs the rights in such Member Content, as contemplated under these Terms; and (ii) neither the Member Content nor your posting, uploading, publication, submission or transmittal of the Member Content or Cold Brew Labs’ use of the Member Content (or any portion thereof) on, through or by means of the Site, Application and the Services will infringe, misappropriate or violate a third party’s patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, moral rights or other proprietary or intellectual property rights, or rights of publicity or privacy…”

Even more inhibiting, Pinterest’s terms of use also state that you are giving Pinterest permission to distribute, sublicense, and sell your posted content. Its terms go as far to give Pinterest the rights to use, copy, and adapt your content. In short this means Pinterest can replace affiliate links you’ve embedded with ones that earn money for Pinterest. (SOURCE:  GreekGeek)


Pinning for Profits Not Pleasure

Businesses are not protected by Pinterest’s terms. As a business you are on Pinterest to promote your business. Any businesses’ use of content or repining is considered marketing.

If you’re posting another artist’s image or content without permission, he or she deserves compensation according to copyright laws. Many politicians learned this lesson the hard way during the last presidential election when many played pop music that wasn’t licensed to them. The outcome was tens of thousands of dollars paid in penalties.

The safest way to use Pinterest is to post a steady stream of your own content, according to Brian Heidelberger law partner at Advertising, Marketing and Entertainment Law Practice of Winston & Strawn.

For this reason, many companies are leaving the pinning for personal users during off hour.  CMOs are carefully considering their position regarding Pinterest and many have simply decided the liability to their brand is not worth the effort.

If I’ve rained on your promotional parade or made you rethink your current pinning strategy, consider the plight of the artists, photographers, and content creators who loose revenue when their content is used without permission and goes viral.

Blogger and photographer Amy Locurto’s friend and fellow creative found that only five in 100 copies of her heart cake photo and recipe were credited back to her.

On Pinterest, once you pin, that pin becomes the rights of Pinterest and all control is lost of crediting it back to the you yet all the liability remains on your shoulders – you first pinned it you are responsible for it.

Pinterest writes:

“You acknowledge and agree that, to the maximum extent permitted by law, the entire risk arising out of your access to and use of the site, application, services and site content remains with you.”

This is why one lawyer who is also a photographer removed all her Pinterest boards. Will you do the same?


5 Ways to Get Your Social Media Campaign Rolling

marbles, ball, rolling, marketingSocial networks began on college campuses. It didn’t take long for them to become part of our daily lives. A few years later, we were connected with friends on the other side of the world. The networks then went through a commercial revolution, where companies realized their connectivity, and how many prospective customers they could reach.

The brains behind social networks realized companies would pay to place advertisements on their networks. This led to the marriage of social networks and business. That marriage led to the birth of social media marketing. Social media marketing has grown up from the awkwardness of adolescence. Gone are the days of lamenting about adolescent issues (like competition for popularity and learning who can be trusted).

Social media marketing now is into adulthood. It knows its role among its peers (print marketing, websites, etc.), is aware of its importance in society, and knows that it has expectations to live up to.

But how does all of this impact companies?

Here’s a little secret – social media has always been social. For years, many companies bypassed this unspoken principle. They simply repeated a strategy they’ve used in other forms of marketing – promoting the company, its products and services. This strategy worked for a short time on social networks.

But social media currently is undergoing a renaissance, returning to why social networks started in the first place. Social media is getting back to social.

It sounds sexy – renaissance. But to companies still trying to understand social media, it’s probably intimidating. Why should your company be more social on social media? Social media helps companies connect on a personal level to gain the trust and loyalty of their customers.

Rhetorical question alert: Does your company want more trusting, loyal customers?

The good news: A social media marketing strategy that gets your company “back to social” can be implemented with just a little time and a few tweaks to an existing social media campaign.

Here are five ways to get you started.

1. First, step back — Look at your current strategy. If you’re posting information only about your company, you’ll need new content. Some ideas for getting back to social:

-Pictures from a company social event

-Blogs about client accomplishments

-Videos of your staff doing volunteer work in your community

-Information about community social events

2. Plan — You must have a social media marketing plan that includes the who, what, when, where and why of your company. Who will your company target and who will implement the plan? What content will you post? Where will this content come from? Where will you engage with your audience? When will you post? Why are you doing social media marketing?

3. Have some fun — Just like social gatherings, social networks are built for fun. Social media is the place to shake the corporate jargon and use terms like “LOL.” Sometimes a situation will arise that requires a more serious response, but most of the time, have fun.

4. Engage — If your company only talks about itself on social media, congratulations, you’re officially on a Soap Box. Instead of telling your social media followers about your company, ask them questions, listen, and then respond. It’s a great way to get to know your followers, and it makes your company seem more personable. People buy from brands they connect with on a personal level.

5. If they don’t come to you, go to them — Social networks are filled with gatherings of people with similar interests (LinkedIn Groups, Facebook pages, etc.). If your company finds it difficult to attain social media followers, go out and get them. Begin with geographic groups based on your home city. Start conversations with your target audience where they already hang out online, and they’ll come to you online.

The social media renaissance has begun. Get your company back to social and experience the opportunities and rewards of social media marketing.


Hunter’s Association Uses Direct Mail to Target License Renewals

Hunter, Aim, TargetA trade association for hunting enthusiasts and gun manufacturers is helping states ramp up license renewals through direct mail and social media. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) gave the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation a $35,000 grant to design and mail a black and white postcard to outdoorsmen to renew their hunting licenses.

License renewals are important revenue generators for states that depend on renewal dollars to underwrite conservation efforts. So the State of New York was thrilled when its mailing received a 2.3% response rate, bringing in 777 renewals at $61.50 a license for a revenue influx of $47,786.

The Director of Industry Research and Analysis Jim Curcuruto attributes the plainness and official look of the postcards to the mailing’s success. Fancier-looking direct mail pieces are more likely to be discarded, Curcuruto says, whereas the official government looking ones they mail pulled well when measured against a control group of 331,854 license holders.


Kentucky Hunters Get the Renewal Nudge via Direct Mail

hunters, wildlife, kentuckyThe Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resource (KDFWR) put a $75,000 grant from NSSF to good use by building a Facebook page. KDFWR’s Facebook page builds a bond among hunters who enjoy a venue for posting their prize catches or kills and learning about Kentucky fish and wildlife. It doesn’t hurt that the KDFWR Facebook page incorporates sweepstakes, video and a place to renew or purchase hunting and fishing licenses.

The Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resource Facebook page went from 5,422 active users in November 2011 to 11,503 in February 2012 and is now up to 32,444 “likes” as of Memorial Day 2012. The sales of Kentucky state temporary hunter education exemption permits rose 12.9% when the social channel was added.

Facebook is a nice addition to Kentucky Wildlife’s communications channels, but direct mail has been its driving force behind its license renewals for the past 14 years, according to Michael Gray, Public Affairs Manager at FDFWR.

Gray says it mails between 300,000 and 500,000 pieces of direct mail per year to its prospects and members. The direct mail contains one call to action – renew or buy your license – that drive members to three resources to do so (1) 940 vendor sites such as Walmart (2) the state’s website or (3) a call center that handles payment processing.

Kentucky Wildlife gets a 2% to15% response rate on its direct mail with its Elk Hunt renewals always scoring in the double digits. “It’s all about cross selling and repetition,” says Gray who credits the organization’s success to sending multiple requests and cross promoting a call to action that gives recipients multiple ways to respond.

Only 20% of Kentucky Wildlife members choose to renew on its website. Adding Facebook as a social media channel gives members an additional option other than telephone and walk-in payments. Additional options only help to increase the organization’s revenues.

Both New York Game and Kentucky Department of Wildlife show cross media marketing gets the job done and the hunter out of the house and into the field or stream.


Facts and statistics from May 2012 issue of Chief Marketer