Online Communications Best Practices. Amanda Flick Marketing and Communications Specialist, The Nonprofit Partnership

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1 Online Communications Best Practices Amanda Flick Marketing and Communications Specialist, The Nonprofit Partnership

2 Writing for the Web Answer readers questions Google and bing are popular because people are searching for answers to questions they have FAQ page is popular because it directly answers their questions Website content should be focused on the needs and interests of your visitors. Always write with your audience in mind.

3 Writing for the Web Write in chunks Each page and each paragraph should be about one specific thing Organize text into small, manageable chunks of information Chunking makes your site easier to skim, which is how most people read online

4 Writing for the Web Cut everything back Shorter and tighter writing than what you d do for publication on paper Cut your print text in half when putting it online Shoot for 4-8 word headlines and sentences no more than 20 words Paragraphs should be limited to 6 sentences and articles to 500 words

5 Writing for the Web Make it easy for visitors to act People want to take action when they visit your website, Facebook page, etc. and expect those actions to be easy and time-saving vs. doing it in person or over the phone Example: If you run a Meals on Wheels program, visitors may want to apply for meal delivery and complete forms to volunteer online.

6 Writing for the Web Don t forget SEO Choose a meaningful title for your page, 2-4 words is ideal Make sure your opening paragraph is descriptive of the information contained on that page Use focused, structured, usable content with links

7 Writing for the Web Think of it as a conversation This isn t the place for formal language, be conversational DON T use text language Ask questions, provide discussion topics Don t be afraid to ask your advocates to plant conversation starters

8 Writing for the Web -Storytelling Don t throw the story into the middle of an article where it doesn t fit Put the story on its own column or callout box Let the story support the fact-based article and vice versa, but don t meld them into one Use videos and photos whenever possible people like to see people

9 Websites

10 Website Tips Quick Fixes newsletter sign-up box Use headlines and subheads on every page Registration forms for events

11 Website Tips Quick Fixes Social media buttons Links to other meaningful/relevant sites Wish lists

12 Great Socially Engaging Websites Not For Sale Campaign National Peace Corps Association International Development Exchange Conservation International

13 Social Media

14 Social Media Tips Pick the right networks don t just pick based on size, other communities may be smaller, but more relevant and effective Find an expert Be prepared to lose control you can t vet every word from every person who wants to follow your page and comment on your posts, that s OK!

15 Social Media Tips Know who is pretending to be you reach out to that person, see if they d be willing to be a featured contributor on your page Make a good first impression-stock your page BEFORE you launch it Post your edgiest, most viral content-hint: photos and videos go further than text only posts LISTEN FIRST!

16 Social Media Tips It s about sharing and discussing, not broadcasting Be transparent Who is responsible, there should be someone assigned Use management tools HootSuite and Facebook Post Scheduler Research what your favorite organizations are doing

17 Social Media Tips Learn about Twitter s hope140 program Publicize volunteer opportunities Share photos and videos ASPCA asks followers to share photos and videos of their rescue animals Use Facebook Questions to poll followers for their opinions Apply to set up YouTube through their nonprofit program

18 Social Media Tips Encourage your org s supporters to post responses to your videos Use QR codes to direct mobile users to unique content and information great for brochures and business cards Read social media and tech blogs regularly, subscribe to their e-newsletters Measure everything Don t be afraid to play around

19 Social Media Resources CharityHowTo DIOSA Communications Heather Mansfield John Haydon, Inbound Zombie Mashable Social Media channel Non-Profits on Facebook Nonprofit Facebook Guy Nonprofit Webinars SmartBrief on Social Media Social Media Examiner- Michael Stelzner

20 Social Media Facebook Examples Livestrong Susan G. Komen for the Cure Oxfam America (Red)

21 Social Media Video Examples charity: water note overlay w/ call to action Room to Read visually stunning photographs w/ voice over Repower America classic video advocacy SocialBrite mashup using interesting visual transitions

22 Social Media Misc. Examples

23 Social Media Misc. Examples Twitter: UNICEF Donors Choose DoSomething Doctors Without Borders

24 Social Media Tips Page Apps Some useful apps: Causes fundraising Fundrazr integrates with PayPal TabSite create custom tabs for your Page Twitter when you Tweet, it automatically posts to your Page Wufoo forms builder YouTube Box pulls content from your channel to your Page

25 E-Newsletters

26 Keep the design simple E-Newsletter Tips Too much content can be a visual and mental distraction Single column, black text on white, subtle background color/design with a BRANDED, bright, colorful header Keep paragraphs short, color links, and use bold headlines People are busy, make it easy to find and comprehend the most important info in the newsletter They should be able to digest the gist of the piece within 5-10 seconds and understand what they should click on, act on, etc.

27 E-Newsletter Example

28 E-Newsletter Example

29 E-Newsletter Tips Publish e-newsletters that are 500 words or less and focus on 1-3 stories Too much info will overwhelm your readers, keep it short Know the CAN-Spam Act People MUST opt-in to receive your newsletter You must also have clear, simple unsubscribe instructions Always include the snail mail address

30 E-Newsletter Tips Add a Donate Now button Add social networking icons Add an e-news subscribe form to your Facebook page (i.e. Wufoo) Ask people to subscribe to your e-newsletter via Tweets and status updates Keep subject lines short

31 Calls to action and social media buttons E-Newsletter Example

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