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November 14, 2018 @ 7:30 am - 9:00 am
First things first—a huge thank you to this year’s participants of our 2018 LIVE Social Media Non-Profit Audit: The YMCA of Dane County and Clean Wisconsin. We like to acknowledge that it takes a lot of courage to put your organization’s social media and digital marketing efforts in the public spotlight for this event. It’s truly appreciated and we hope you took away valuable insights to keep moving all of your amazing efforts forward.
How can non-profits promote their brand without spending a fortune?
Three top-notch digital marketers shared tangible advice and tactics at a LIVE social media audit at the November Social Media Breakfast presentation. The YMCA of Dane County and Clean Wisconsin were the beneficiaries, but the panel’s insights can help any business looking to build their brand without a big budget.
The panelists included:
Ron Giordan: Owner of SynRG Marketing and Co-Founder of Gio’s Garden. At SynRG, Ron focuses on website and social content strategy and social media advertising. In 2009, Ron and his wife formed a nonprofit board and began raising money for what is now Gio’s Garden, a therapeutic respite care center for special needs families. It is named after their 13-year-old son, Giovanni. Gio’s Garden serves 70 families and has provided more than 10,000 hours of respite care since opening in 2012.
Danika Laine: Communications director for River Alliance of Wisconsin, a statewide non-profit that empowers Wisconsinites to protect the state we love. Danika also freelances for the collaborative storytelling project Love Wisconsin. She started an international kindness project with the help of social media and strangers—learn more at fortheonewhofindsme.com.
Candy Phelps: Founder of Bizzy Bizzy, an experiential marketing agency and creator of the 1-Day Website and 1-Day Branding. Candy has nearly 15 years of experience in design, content marketing and web design. She is also a speaker and the author of “Grow Your SEO: Search Engine Optimization Concepts Even Your Grandma Could Understand.”
Participants attended the presentation in Madison at the Lussier Family West YMCA.
YMCA of Dane County Kicks of SMBMad’s LIVE Non-Profit Audit
The YMCA of Dane County is a mission-based organization that is dedicated to building healthy, confident, connected, and secure children, adults, families and communities. With a focus on Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility, the YMCA provides services and programs for people who may otherwise not be able to afford them. The organization’s rich mission and diverse people offer many stories to tell. Unfortunately, like many non-profit’s, communications and marketing initiatives have to be done on a shoestring budget.
“Four of us handle fundraising, communications, and social media,” said Jen Kruel, Vice President of Mission Advancement at YMCA of Dane County.
Social Media and Website Recommendations From Our Gurus
Panelist and website pro, Candy, commented that the YMCA’s website offers a strong brand with great visuals. She praised the extensive content, mentioning that more words on a webpage actually helps with search engine optimization—which helps people find your website via a keyword search on Google, for example.
However, there’s always room for improvement. Below are her website recommendations for YMCA, as well as other organizations struggling to make the most of Google’s algorithm:
- Websites need to be mobile friendly, and it’s especially important for local businesses looking to be found
- Rework donation forms so they’re easier to use
- Take advantage of blog/news sections on your website to add fresh content weekly or monthly
Danika praised the YMCA for its Facebook images that exemplify its mission and successes. The social media team can take this channel to the next level with the following tactics:
- Consider using the Videorama editing app to create quick video testimonials
- Plan targeted ad campaigns for the following: New Year’s fitness resolutions, summer camps, and school’s out
Ron gave kudos to the YMCA for its good promotional activity and number of posts on Instagram. He suggested the following:
- Use more hashtags
- Don’t be afraid to have followers who aren’t from the area
- Consider a business account and check metrics
The digital experts on our panel also suggested:
- Merging current Facebook pages into location pages under the main YMCA page. The homepage would link to separate pages for each YMCA location in Dane County.
- Creating Facebook groups for separate camps, which may encourage more online comments from camp attendees and their parents.
- Asking YMCA members and supporters for positive reviews. Promote this interaction by putting out an iPad on the front desk at each location and encouraging visitors to comment.
Next Up, Clean Wisconsin’s and Their Social Media Challenges
Clean Wisconsin was formed on Earth Day in 1970. Its mission is “to protect & preserve Wisconsin’s clean water, clean air, and natural heritage.”
Communications Manager, Jon Drewsen, works with lawyers, scientists, and advocates to promote its vision.
Social Media Questions and Recommendations
How often should you post on Facebook?
Ron praised Clean Wisconsin for the number of posts on Facebook. but suggested spacing them out a bit. He offered the following ideas:
- Spend $50 a month boosting content.
- Create audiences using pixelyoursite.com and Facebook Custom Audiences via Facebook Ads Manager—which is part of Facebook Business Manager. If you don’t have a Facebook Ads Manager accounts, set it up at business.facebook.com.
- Follow a content calendar.
What Facebook metrics should you use?
- For engagement, Ron suggests comparing engagement with the number of followers to get an engagement rate. Try to hit 5%, which Ron admits is a difficult engagement rate to reach for many businesses and social media marketers.
- For reach, look at the daily reach and monthly reach in page data. Which posts lived longer in users feeds?
- For Instagram, use motivational environmental quotes.
Candy recommended adding more content to the homepage with keywords and a newsletter signup to improve search engine optimization. She also promoted use of brand guidelines for consistency.
Follow this Advice to Build Your Brand
The panelists offered similar advice to both organizations regarding security and homepage goals.
The YMCA and Clean Wisconsin seek donations. Candy suggested they use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificates on their websites. These certificates establish an encrypted connection between a user’s computer and a server or website.
Don’t miss out on contributions because donors have security concerns.
Danika asked both organizations to view their website’s homepage from their users’ perspective. How can you make it easier for visitors to accomplish their goals?
She asked, “Who are your top three user groups and their top tasks to accomplish on the homepage?”
Danika suggested that the YMCA and Clean Wisconsin use LinkedIn to spread their mission and obtain supporters.
The Social Media Breakfast Board will provide follow up to the two non-profits as they work to implement changes.
Thanks to Candy, Danika and Ron for offering valuable advice at our Live Social Media Audit. Your comments will help the YMCA of Dane County and Clean Wisconsin and other organizations.
Check out the Complete Social Media Audit
(Download the complete presentation for a listing of more social media recommendations.)
See you Dec. 19 for our annual holiday party at the Brink Lounge.
This post was written by Leslie Blaize on behalf of Winbound, a content marketing firm. Winbound provides an all-in-one content marketing and conversion optimization package specifically designed for small marketing departments.