Yesterday was the 3rd annual Women Who Tech Telesummit, bringing together over 600 women (and men) from for-profit and nonprofit organizations and technology start, connecting developers and techies with those new to the field, igniting conversations and long-term collaborations. I have always been proud to support WWT both during the telesummit and during the rest of the year with other offline meetups, online content, and more. I was thrilled to get to participate again this year, and led a session with two amazingly smart and talented women: Shana Glickfield, The Beekeeper Group, and Jessica Bosanko, M+R Strategic Services.
Tools and Apps to Energize Your Base
Want to build a powerful movement online? You need two key ingredients – people and tools to connect and engage with them. From “texting” to location based apps like FourSquare this panel will give you the nuts and bolts of the latest apps and tools organizations can use to effectively moblize and energize people online.
My slides covered the tools and apps for the back stage side of energizing your community. Having tools in place to help you monitor, measure, and evaluate your work in real time will help you be more successful with your campaign, better engage with the community, and make more lasting change in the long run. Since my slides are mostly screen shots, I’ve shared a bit of context below.
Google Analytics – http://www.google.com/analytics/
Whether you have a blog, website, or even multiple, you can use Google Analytics to really drill down into the data and understand how people are visiting and using your site. Some things I recommend watching for:
- Don’t only pay attention to what people are doing on your site, but watch where traffic is coming from! Whether you are running a campaign, trying out a new social media platform or anything else, monitoring which places are sending in the most traffic can help you focus attention to the best places.
- Use different links on different sites to see what really gets people clicking through.
- Watch for long-term trends, not just what is popular that week or month. For example, if your home page and contribute pages are the highest visited pages consistently, and then one month there is another page that makes it to the top above those, you know something interesting is going on.
- Tip: You can also get Google Analytics for your Facebook Page!
These analytics are part of having a Facebook Page. While they aren’t the most comprehensive of reports, there is no point in ignoring free metrics! Pay attention to the “change” in weekly numbers and measure it against activities or messages you were pushing that week.
URL Shorteners – http://bit.ly
There are various URL shorteners out there, but Bitly is one of the most commonly used (I use it!). There are stats built into the tool for the number of clicks and so on, but if you are measuring site traffic already it shouldn’t be new that regard. What is actually of interest is:
- Who is doing the clicking? Check out who is actually clicking on the links you share to identify passionate and interested people who you could engage on a deeper level (invite them to help share your message in other ways and so on).
- Create easy to reuse links. This is great for use in your Twitter messages but also in emails or even text messages. Plus, remember to make them something that even your followers/supporters will remember and can reuse!
- Don’t just look at how many clicks you get, but pay attention to when people are clicking. Your interested followers may actually be checking twitter during their lunch break, or in the evening, and not when you’re at work at posting!
Nutshell Mail – http://nutshellmail.com/
Do you prefer getting your infomration in email? If you do, check out Nutshell Mail for reports on your various social media presences.
Google Alerts – http://www.google.com/alerts
Google Alerts is one of my absolute favorite tools. It’s free, you can set up as many of them as you like, and you can choose to get roundups or individual alerts as well as subscribe via email or RSS. Here are a few ways you can take advantage of Google Alerts:
- Be sure to set up alerts for your organization name, project or program names, and key staff people (any one that may be quoted or referenced in association with your work).
- Subscribe via RSS in a reader to cut down on emails.
- Prefer email but want to be sure multiple people on staff get updates? Subscribe with an email address like comms@ or another address that forwards to or can be accessed by multiple staff members.
I recommend using a tool like Netvibes because it allows you to have a public and/or private dashboard, and is easy to use and customize. Dashboards or RSS Readers rely heavily on RSS, or Really Simple Syndication. If you are new to RSS, here’s a great video to explain it! You can see an example of a dashboard by visiting my public Nonprofit Tech Dashboard. I’ve also set up a step-by-step guide to creating your own dashboard.
Community Mapping helps you identify not just the various segments of your audience, but also create a clear picture of which tools/platforms are associated with those groups and which messages are best to target where. To get started, first brainstorm and identify the various groups or segments of your community. This may be other organizations/partners, donors, volunteers, fundraisers, event attendees, etc. Then, for each group, create a chart with 4 columns and identify:
- Their goal: why do they engage with you
- Your goal: why do you engage with them
- Tools: which platforms and tools do they commonly use for online engagement (don’t forget to include your website if they are visitors/donors/engaged there)
- Action: The action or connection that ties it together
There may be just 1 item, or goal, that is listed or there may be 50! Some groups have many different reasons or pieces of communication that they want to share with you and you to them, and some may be very simple and straightforward.
At the end of the mapping exercise, you can write an overall goal, like connecting offline, or fundraising, or maybe advocating on important issues, and the main platforms where it takes place. You now have a deep understanding and chart of the kinds of engagement for all your community groups, but you always have very high level information you can easily share with your director or other key staff that identifies a group with the core goal for engagement and platform/s where it takes place.
After three presentations in such a short amount of time there was going to certainly be questions. We tried to address many on the webinar, but I have no doubt there are more out there. Here are a few questions that were asked during the session and answered via chat:
Was mGive included in the mobile report from M+R?
Yes, there are a couple case studies included in the report of organizations using mGive.
What is the cost of adding text messaging?
Prices vary by platform/provider and what you are trying to do. There are even free options but they include advertising and possible other limitations. The best place to look for information on prices and options and even case studies is MobileActive.
How do you find time for so many tools?
Most tools allow you the option to cross post to other social media platforms – this can help save time so that you can post a message in one place and have it pushed across the web!
What about risk management issues around geo-social tools?
The best practice with geo-social tools is to practice “checking-out” and not “checking-in” which means to tag yourself at a location as you are leaving, and not necessarily when you show up.
How do you find a developer to build an app?
A great place to start is MobileActive!
How do you know an “influencer?”
In my opinion, an influencer isn’t just someone with a lot of followers but is someone that is passionate and dedicated to making an influence. It can be much more helpful to have someone advocating on your behalf that is willing to ultimately show up at your event or bring others into your work than someone who tweets your message once and is otherwise never connected.
Have any other questions or tips you want to add? Would love to hear about your favorite highlights from other WWT sessions as well!
Thanks again to Allyson Kapin and the Women Who Tech team, as well as all those at NTEN who made the webinars happen! 🙂