In this 17 slide deck, the Lukens Company explains how they promoted Teen Night Out at the Seattle Art Museum using social media. Since 2007, the museum has held thirteen Teen Night Outs with over 8,000 attendees. You’ll find that it’s a well-rounded campaign that carefully defined the target audience and used several measures of success. If you want to reach teenagers, you’ll want to check this out.
Online communications–electronic newsletters, Facebook, e-fundraising, Twitter–have become a standard for non-profit organizations but often we’re unsure if they’re effective. We can track the number of Facebook Fans or times an email has been opened, but those numbers mean little by themselves. Benchmarking is one way to measure effectiveness and progress, and one of the easiest ways to do this is by comparing your results consistently over time (for example, number of Facebook Fans on December 31, 2012 compared to December 31, 2011).
But to really see how you’re doing, you need to compare yourself to similar organizations. The American Association of Museums has developed an online benchmarking tool for comparisons across the museum field, however, it doesn’t include e-communications at this time (they’re collecting lots of data in other areas, though, so please participate). M+R Strategic Services and the Nonprofit Technology Network just released its 2012 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study as an infographic to show the highlights. These results are based on a study of 44 leading nonprofits in 2011 and among the many benchmarks are:
- 12-15% of email messages are opened, with a response rate for advocacy around 4% and for fundraising at less than 1%.
- The average one-time online gift is $62.
- For every 1,000 email subscribers, nonprofits have an average of 103 Facebook Fans and 29 Twitter Followers.
According to ComScore’s It’s A Social World report, “social networking sites now reach 82 percent of the world’s online population, representing 1.2 billion users around the world.” Even if you don’t have a Facebook page or Twitter account, some of those users are talking about your organization and a few might be complaining. How do you respond? Here are some actual postings taken from Yelp and TripAdvisor:
- “This beautiful house was recently refurbished,and the amazing details of the woodwork just shine. The tour of the interior is well worth it, despite some rather fussy docents and lots of rules.”
- “Rude pompous guides take you on way overpriced tour of Continue reading
The National Archives brought together a diverse panel of practitioners and critics of social media to discuss some of the challenges and opportunities for communication with the public in, “What’s Next in the Social Media Revolution?” at its Seventh Annual William G. McGowan Forum on Communications on Friday, November 4. A really informative (and free!) evening and for historic sites there were these particularly useful insights and recommendations:
- Social media is not just for socializing, but can inform and motivate. Alex Howard, the Government 2.0 Correspondent for O’Reilly Media, provided a quick history of social media noting that many of them are very new (Flickr, Facebook, LinkedIn, Digg launched in 2004; YouTube and Twitter in 2006) but the turning point was the Iran elections in 2009, which showed that the use of social media could have tremendous impacts on society. My advice: your organization may not have the capacity to use social media actively right now, but Continue reading
Social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and blogs, are now recognized as important tools in every communications strategy. But these seem to only add to our workload, not reduce it, because there still is a need to maintain websites and mail newsletters to reach our traditional audiences and supporters. And if you’re working with social media, how do you know it’s making a difference and really engaging your audience? Who wants to go to the trouble of tweeting and posting if no one is listening? It’s going to take a bit more work to get to the next level, but it may be worth it. Some of it is easy to adopt and just a matter of practice, others require learning a little technical jargon. Here are a couple approaches:
1. Use social media to show you are listening. Remember, social media is supposed to be a two-way dialogue (that’s the “social” part), so respond to comments (even if it’s just a, “Thanks for your comment. We’re glad you had a great time at the event.”). On Facebook and blogs, that’s very easy (most have a “reply” feature for comments) but on Twitter Continue reading