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Nonprofit Marketing St. Louis

nonprofit marketing social media cheat sheet 2016

My Social Media Cheat Sheet for Nonprofit Marketing

By Danni Eickenhorst, Marketing Consultant

Today, I’m preparing to speak in front of a UN of sorts – the global gathering of missionaries and representatives of Lutheran Hour Ministries. The group will be gathering today to focus on how to better tell their story as a nonprofit with scores of representatives living in so many areas of the world.

In preparation for the event, I updated my handy-dandy social media cheat sheet that I often give to nonprofits and other organizations that have people in far-flung places contributing content for one central purpose. I recall my days at The Salvation Army, working to coordinate the branding and content of many different locations that all had their own Facebook pages and accounts – and remember what a struggle it could be to manage both the strategic mission and message – let alone the performance of the content.

So, today, I wanted to share a quick checklist that often share with friends, clients and colleagues in this situation – and NO, you don’t have to sign up for my email list to get it. Just be sure to share it with your friends that can use it!

Do you have more tips I should add to the list? Comment below! Share the wealth of your knowledge and experience so that others can grow with you.

Best of Luck!

D


 

Facebook Tips

Need More Engagement (Likes, Shares, Comments)?

  1. Experiment with shorter posts versus longer posts to see which resonates with your audience.
  2. Use hashtags but use them sparingly. They can garner you up to 60% more activity on Facebook – but only use 1-2.
  3. Posts that contain images get an average of 37% more engagement than text-only posts.
  4. Take advantage of the new slideshow tool within Facebook to create videos quickly – and to boost engagement.
  5. Ask questions. This can bump the activity on a post by 23%. Tip: Have employees and volunteers start the responses and engagement to get the ball rolling.
  6. Get your employees and volunteers to engage daily on pages.
  7. Pages see the most engagement for posts that are happy, hopeful and upbeat on Fridays. In fact, you can see up to a 10% boost by sharing these on Fridays 1:00 to 4:00 pm.
  8. Best times & days vary by page & audience, but statistically, these might be best for Facebook:
    1. 12:00 – 1:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays
    2. 3:00 – 4:00 pm on Wednesdays
    3. 1:00 – 4:00 pm on Thursdays and Fridays

Want to Grow Your Audience?

  1. Determine who you want to reach and develop a targeted ad campaign in Facebook targeting that exact person.
  2. Get your employees and volunteers to engage daily on pages, to share posts periodically.

Twitter Tips

  1. Make friends. Get into conversations with local advocates. Watch local hashtags. Be conversational. Retweet these friends and they’ll be more likely to do the same.
  2. Use hashtags.
  3. Try tools like Crowdfire to help you find targeted followers. These tools can check the followers of your strongest “competitors” (or “complimentitors”!) showing you who to focus on engaging with first. If you use Crowdfire, identify your strongest competitors on Twitter and then use the “Copy Followers” tool.
  4. Promote blog content on your Twitter feed and vice versa – embed tweets in your blog to get people to discover the unique content you have available on Twitter.
  5. Participate in live Twitter chats.
  6. Best times & days vary by page & audience, but statistically, these might be best:
    1. 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm Monday through Friday
    2. 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Wednesdays

Instagram Tips

  1. Use hashtags. Try “Tags for Likes” app on smartphones to find most popular hashtags for a given category. When adding hashtags, use synonyms or related words if appropriate. (i.e. #laptop, #tablet)
  2. Far and away, Instagram is a visual storytelling platform. Mix photos and videos – come up with creative ways to tell stories, parables, anything that gets out your core message.
  3. Instagram’s Explore feature allows you to find trending hashtags such as #LoveWins, #FullMoon, etc. These are timely and will get higher engagement.
  4. Add a strategic link in the bio to take people to the place where you can measure engagement or success.
  5. Cross-promote other community partners that are active on Instagram by tagging them in the post or “checking in” at their location when you post.
  6. Use Canva (now on mobile too!) to create branded quotes and images that reflect your brand and make it memorable. Aiming to bolster a specific hashtag? Embed it as a watermark on your picture.
  7. Best times & days vary by page & audience, but statistically, anytime Monday through Thursday except 3:00 to 4:00 pm seems to work well on Instagram.
  8. Quotes and inspirational content perform well on Instagram.

Are you in need of training or hands-on social and digital marketing support for your nonprofit? Reach out to our team at Blank Page Consulting. We manage nonprofit marketing campaigns, work to train their in-house teams to execute on marketing, and help them achieve their mission through their marketing. Click here to contact us.

social entrepreneur nonprofit marketing

One donation can impact nonprofits & small businesses for YEARS

By Danni Eickenhorst

social entrepreneur nonprofit marketingFor years, I’ve been looking for a sustainable way to serve businesses and nonprofits with my time and talent without negatively impacting my family and growing business. More than that, I wanted a way to help these organizations grow for YEARS to come.

Today, I finally share with you my grand plan to help nonprofit organizations fundraise and achieve their missions more effectively – and how I hope to support growing small business owners as they labor to create something of their very own. I wanted to share my plan with you, appropriately, on Giving Tuesday.

In the last 2 years, Blank Page Consulting has donated over 300 hours of free marketing services to nonprofits and small businesses in the St. Louis region. We’ve done this through consulting, classes, hands-on marketing help, and website/SEO support. In addition to those hours, we’ve discounted more than 500 hours of marketing work for those who could afford to pay for assistance.

As a small business, every hour is precious, and every hour that we give away is a gamble for our own stability and growth, but as a company with a team of people who have a heart for service and for our community, we have all felt compelled to find a way to help more people.

Step 1. Create a marketing education course that makes sense for small businesses & nonprofits

This fall, I took several weeks out of the office (thanks to an amazing team that held down the fort in my absence!) to develop the first of several online marketing courses, “Small Business Marketing Strategies,” a part of Universal Marketing Theory. This class offers small businesses an affordable opportunity to strengthen their strategy, when paying a consultant isn’t feasible. (Click here for details.)

Step 2. Seek out those who need help.

We already knew several organizations we wanted to help – those that came to us asking for support and guidance when we were maxed out on pro bono hours – but we wanted to find a way to connect with MORE people that were seeking support. In early November, we launched our signup for businesses and nonprofits seeking pro-bono marketing support through our small business marketing strategies class. Immediately, businesses started requesting support. (You can too – right HERE)

Step 3. Launch our scholarship program!

Today, we’re sharing our social entrepreneurship initiative – a scholarship program for organizations in need of marketing education support

We developed “Small Business Marketing Strategies,” a short course for small businesses owners that is an affordable and effective option for small business owners that can’t afford professional marketing help. Please consider gifting a class to an entrepreneur you know, or one of the many on our donation request list.

Our course is normally $199.00 for all 6 weeks of classes that will help them develop and execute a BULLETPROOF marketing strategy to grow a sustainable business. We are discounting this by $50.00 and will donate one course to a small business for every $149.00 that we raise.

Please consider donating what you can afford – and even consider a sustaining donation that allows us to award these free classes on a regular basis. With our recipients’ approval, we will publish the names of the organizations that we help, so that you can see where your donation is going.

Please note: Blank Page Consulting is a for-profit entity, and does not have not-for-profit status, therefore, no donations to this effort will be tax deductible. We are a socially-focused small business, hoping to do some good and support other growing businesses. Have questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out at info@blankpagestl.com.

 

INFLUENCER FUNDRAISING SOCIAL MEDIA TOOL

Powerful social media fundraising tool

simple graphic salvation army cereal drive fundraising social media

The simple social media tracking tool that helped my team raise $15,000 in just a few days!

By Danni Eickenhorst

A few years ago, I did extensive work with a national nonprofit, The Salvation Army, helping them get their hands around social media as a part of their marketing strategy.

In one instance, we had a particularly successful social media campaign, thanks to some long-term strategy planning that came to bear fruit over the course of one week.

Here’s what happened

One food pantry location in Missouri saw a tenfold increase in need, going from feeding 50 families each month to 600 families per month in a one year period. While experiencing such a significant increase in need, they also suffered an 80% decrease in food commodities, which they depended on from the USDA and other government sources. The pantry reached out to me with an urgent need for nutrient-rich food items.

cerealdrive captain paul ferguson salvation army social media fundraising

Captain Paul Ferguson stands with 2 of 15-16 pallets of cereal raised through social media campaign #CerealDrive.

Here’s how I did it

I worked with their staff to determine the need. We made an ask for cereal, as it packs many nutrients in one simple meal and is rarely donated because of its high cost when compared to canned goods.

I launched a collaborative strategic social media with local influencers that garnered major media attention to fulfill this need, which I executed that same day. Over a 4-day period in March of 2012, the campaign raised more than $15,000 and 16 pallets of cereal for Salvation Army food pantries in St. Charles County.

How you can replicate this success

This list of influencers was something that I built over several months managing their social media and marketing strategy. I took note of various influencers and the topics they were passionate about. When an opportunity for them to assist in this area came about, I reached out to them by direct message on Twitter AND via email. The tool that I used was literally a piece of paper written on in Sharpie, tacked up on my desk. On that paper, I listed influencers under each area we worked in.

For The Salvation Army, it was areas like food insecurity, homelessness, holiday support, youth programs, etc.

My version of this for my company today includes our three areas of service – marketing, business consulting, and accounting.

You can adapt this super simple strategy to your business by identifying your core area of business, then printing off as many copies of the guide as you need to cover them. Subscribe below to get the simple influencer worksheet!

Tack it up on your wall, pull our your sharpie and get to work!

I hope this super simple tool works its magic for your work too!

For more insanely simple, totally doable strategies that you can use to move the need on your marketing, register for Universal Marketing Theory for Small Businesses (and nonprofits) by 11/23! Use code “smartypants” and save $50 on your registration!

>>REGISTER FOR THE CLASS NOW<<

PS – I’m a huge fan of the work of The Salvation Army. I’ve seen their impact up close. Please consider them in your giving over the holidays. 

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Summer Success! Nonprofit marketing project leaves impact

Pakt Community Center Nonprofit Marketing Ferguson Nonprofit Marketing St Louis Toni Burrows

Results from our summer nonprofit marketing project serving Pakt Community Resource Center in North St. Louis county

Pakt Community Resource Center is a nonprofit organization located in Ferguson, MO.  When our services were donated to help I Love Ferguson in 2014, we were introduced to Toni Burrows, the Executive Director of the North St. Louis County nonprofit. A bundle of energy and passion, Toni works tirelessly to serve families in need in her community. As a one-woman non-profit, she served over 12,000 people last year with the help of volunteers and board members.  

Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, its mission over the years has been to provide faith-based financial and food assistance to those in need.  In addition, Pakt offers an after school program to kids of the community as well as a summer day camp—both of which provide the children with a STEAM (STEM + Arts) curriculum, which includes a robotics program.  

At Blank Page, we work to donate 10 to 30 hours a month to nonprofits and small businesses in need of marketing help. Typically, this is given in business and marketing consultations, but this summer, we had the opportunity to do something special. We chose to give an entire summer of donated time to one non-profit – Pakt Community Resource Center.

Current graduate student and marketing intern here at Blank Page, Matthew Maurer, spent the summer working directly with Pakt on their nonprofit marketing strategy—both for their website and their social media.  Upon starting at Pakt, it was evident that there was much work to accomplish.  Both their website, www.paktcenter.org, and their Facebook page were out of date, and in need of a visual overhaul.  As such, Matthew’s first task was to get things up-to-date.  This included creating a new logo and banner for Pakt’s website along with new graphics and banners for their Facebook.

logo improvement nonprofit marketing nonprofit logo design Search Engine Optimization

After the visuals were updated, one of the aspects that are fundamental to our non profit marketing approach at Blank Page is SEO—Search Engine Optimization.  SEO entails going through each page and post on the website and optimizing it so that the pages and posts appear in search engine searches such as Google or Yahoo.  This involves researching what keywords are searched most often that are relevant to Pakt’s articles and finding a way to meaningfully incorporate said keywords into their pages and posts. Matthew worked to make fixes to their site, and to develop content to support their new keyword strategy. He went through every page and post that already existed and optimized them in order to increase traffic to the website via search engines.

nonprofit content creation pakt community center nonprofit marketing st louis marketing agency

New Content Creation  

While optimizing old content on the website is important in and of itself, the time had come to start publishing new content via both the website and social media in order to increase traffic.  During the summer, possibly the biggest ongoing event for Pakt is its summer day camp.  The summer camp provided Matthew with ample opportunities to capture and tell a variety of stories of the lives of both the summer campers and the volunteers at Pakt.  Over the course of the summer, Matthew wrote up a vast number of blogs, detailing the happenings at the summer camp, which included activities such as the robotics program, West African Dance lessons, a field trip to Camp Manitowa in Benton, IL, and more.  In addition to the blogs, Matthew took plenty of photographs—which he compiled into galleries on the website—and videos, which were uploaded to a newly created YouTube page for Pakt.

Legacy Campaign

Legacy Campaign Nonprofit Marketing St Louis Marketing AgencyAlongside telling Pakt’s story through blogs, pictures, and videos, Matthew worked with Pakt’s Executive Director, Toni Burrows, on creating something that had long been a dream of hers—a Legacy Campaign.  Five years ago, Toni Burrows came up with an idea of a Legacy Campaign where organizations and individuals could pledge an annual donation to Pakt and, in turn, be recognized on Pakt’s website.  The Legacy Campaign would provide the organization with a long-term plan for the future.  Being a non profit, Pakt relies solely on donations, grants, and gifts in kind.  Thus, having a pledge system would allow Pakt to reliably know how much money they are going to have each year in order to stay afloat and continue serving the community.  After a month or so of work on the Legacy Campaign, Toni’s vision became a reality, and the Legacy Campaign is now permanently affixed on their website.  Those who pledge an annual donation to Pakt will receive their organization or personal name on a Bronze, Silver, or Gold plaque based on their level of donation—along with a link to their website.

The Results

So, after all of this—updating the website and optimizing it, posting new content out on the website and social media, and creating and promoting the Legacy Campaign, the big question comes—how successful was all of this?  We used Google Analytics to monitor the traffic on Pakt’s website.  Over the course of the eight weeks that Matthew worked with Pakt, the website saw a huge boost in traffic compared to the eight weeks prior to Matthew coming on with Pakt.  

There are two statistics that we specifically looked at: all sessions and organic traffic.  All sessions refers to anyone and everyone who comes and visits the website either by finding it in a search engine, clicking a link from another website, directly typing in the website, etc.  Organic traffic refers to sessions opened specifically from search engines.  This second statistic is important because it lets us know the success of our search engine optimization.  

Here are the results:

SEO Content Marketing Agency Results

All Sessions

As seen in the graphic, total sessions are up 54.58% for Pakt’s website, which means that more people are visiting the website than before.  In terms of unique users, that’s up 42.04%.  Sessions and users differ in that users can start more than one session by leaving the website and coming back.  Pageviews and pages per session are up 109.72% and 35.67%, respectively, meaning that people are viewing more pages on the website than they did previously.  They’re also spending 60.58% more time on the website. 

Organic Traffic

While the first graphic showcases all of the sessions, the more accurate telling of our work at Pakt is the organic traffic.  The numbers overall are a lot higher such that there were 101.30% more sessions opened, 54.19% more unique users who viewed 153.58% more pages, and spent 15.03% longer on the website. The bounce rate for organic traffic roughly remained the same while returning visitors went up nearly 20%.  

 

MARKETING ROI NONPROFIT MARKETING ROI

Marketing ROI: How One Question Changed Everything

By Danni Eickenhorst

“How much money will you raise on Twitter as a result of the things you learn at this conference?”

I bet you thought I was going to say his question led me to something drastic. Pretty cliff-hanger-y title, eh?

Well… I didn’t do anything drastic, but I created the marketing ROI training webinar below – and all credit is due to that old boss for showing me the perspective that many in management have about the purpose of social media.

I wish I was kidding when I tell you that my old boss asked me this earlier in my career – quickly followed by the ever-scary, but increasingly common “What is the ROI of this [professional development] conference?”

These questions may be short-sighted, but many of the marketing teams I am brought in to empower and consult with aren’t necessarily in a position to change the minds of the leadership and boards they report to. [That’s my job… and I promise I’m trying!]

More than anything, they need REAL tools to deliver REAL results -REAL fast.

When my director asked me these questions, I was at a real point of overwhelm and asking for organizational support to find the tools I needed to perform at a higher level. I can remember thanking him for his time and heading back to my office to what felt like an insurmountable pile of work – feeling like I’d never be effective without real support from leadership to find ways to do more with very little time.

Nonprofits and small businesses are running leaner than ever these days. Development professionals are saddled with ever-increasing fundraising goals – while small business owners find themselves in a feast-and-famine sales cycle – all because they are struggling to effectively market their work due to lack of time, support, resources – or often, all 3.

While I will continue to work to educate leadership in every organization I work with about the real values of social and digital outreach, I’m less concerned with changing their minds and more concerned with giving my peers in small business and non-profit marketing the tools they need to succeed, while achieving real marketing ROI.

I recently offered a FREE 30-minute webinar on how to achieve marketing ROI. The webinar provided actionable tips on how to create captivating content that raises funds, increases sales and builds brand loyalty. So, ask the boss for just 30 minutes – and watch the webinar below and let me know what tips you have to share in the comments!

5 easy ways you can help Go! St. Louis on #GiveSTLDay

24 hours. 250 kids.  Let’s GO!!! 

by Danni Eickenhorst

The Blank Page Marketing Team is proud to help Go St. Louis today with their #GiveSTLDay campaign on May 6, 2014! We’re working 24 straight hours to help support the Read, Right & Run Marathon!

This program works with St. Louis area school children every year to motivate them to run 26.2 miles, read 26 books and do 26 good deeds during 1 school year. The experience these kids get every year through this program is inspiring and we need your support to help fund 250 more kids TODAY on GiveSTLDay!

5 simple steps to give a life-changing experience to 250 St. Louis area kids TODAY:
You can help by doing 4 simple things:
1.) Download this ambassador kit and share our banners on your personal Facebook & Twitter pages today. We have even pre-written your Facebook & Twitter posts for you!
2.) Donate to support the Read, Right & Run Marathon in 2014-15. Our goal is to fund 250 more kids to participate! $25 funds 1 child. Donate here.
3.) Visit the Go! St. Louis Facebook page and share the post with the graphic from Great Rivers Greenway on your personal pageFor every post shared, Great Rivers Greenway will donate $1 to Go! St. Louis up to $500 today!
4.) Share this campaign on Twitter with #GoSTLKids today and Fontbonne University (@FontbonneU) will donate $1 up to $500! Find Go! St. Louis at @GoFitnessSTL!
5.) Forward this email to your friends & family and ask them to support in whatever way they can.
Thank you to all of you for supporting our work today and always!
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