Your guide to using new media

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1 Your guide to using new media A comprehensive guide for the charity and voluntary sector with tips on how to make the most of new, low cost communication tools such as social media and marketing. This guide is a summary of the main points and recommendations delivered by Media Matters in partnership with the PCVS building or the future project November 2012 April

2 What do we mean by new media? The Internet has opened up new channels of communication, starting with websites. Your website is now a shop window, regardless of your cause as it s the first place that volunteers, potential clients and partners will look. Generally a website is among the most useful tools that you can have. Next there is a range of other communication channels that rely on the Internet to work, such as: Social media (including blogs) Online news services s Because we don t always use them ourselves, it s easy to dismiss platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and . The truth is that more people than we think are already there shown below by numbers of users across the world in June 2013: The single best thing that these media have in common is that they re all low cost or FREE to use. There are now two good reasons to take a fresh look at online marketing: 1. Your target audience is using social media and 2. It s low cost or FREE to set up Let s get started! 2

3 Social media Each of the next few pages will remind you how to get started, what to do once you have and tips for success. Social media (that s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, blogging and other social networks) have some unique features in common: Enabling people to share content with each other Providing a place to discuss or have a conversation Instantly upload news and information Get feedback They are populated by users which means that everybody publishes content We will explore each of the social media options below and take a closer look at marketing and blogging. 3

4 Facebook Quick facts 1.1 billion registered users worldwide in March It was launched in 2004 You have to register before using the site, but it s free Users have to be over 13 to register You can set up personal profiles, groups and business pages all for free Top reasons to use Facebook to reach your target audiences Easy to broadcast a message One of the top 5 most visited websites Connects with other social media Can be easier to update than your own website Good if you have lots of content Reasons not to use Facebook There is nobody to take full admin responsibility You re unable to update it regularly There s not enough time to manage comments and feedback You don t have enough to talk about How to use Facebook 1. Go to 4

5 2. For a not for profit group or organisation its best to set up a business page or a group to avoid using your personal Facebook profile in connection with your cause. The instructions below are for setting up a page, which is public. 3. Next, go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create/ and you ll end up with a selection of options. You don t need to be logged in to do this bit. You ll see an option for cause or community. Choose this one. Business Page or Group? A Page is good for profile and awareness and is PUBLIC at all times. This means it s found in search Groups are good for sharing around a common cause and can be public (anyone can join and see the group) or private (not found in search and members have to be accepted). It s sometimes useful to do both 4. You ll be asked to sign in or create a business account next. It s fine to pick either they re both free. Tying it to your personal profile just means you ll have access to it from there as an admin. It doesn t mean that your personal profile becomes public. 5. Once you re logged in you ll be guided through a series of steps to set up Page until you arrive here: 5

6 6. Populating your page is really simple. Add some basic details such as a cover image, profile picture and information about your cause. 7. You should end up with something that looks like this: 8. As the person that has set up the Facebook Page you are the main administrator. Use the edit Page button when you re logged in to set up new administrators and change settings for what is shown on the page. 9. Generally it s good to have a business page open to receive comments and feedback, as this is the nature of successful social media. 10. Do keep an eye on your page so that if you do receive comments or feedback you can respond to them. What to say Post information about events, both in the posting box and using the events apps that Facebook provides for free. Add news, information about what s going on with your group or cause or share links to other information on the Internet that is relevant to your organisation and your audience. Respond to comments and provide help. 6

7 Use the offer, event + link (see the picture just above) to run polls too. If you use Just Giving or similar services to fundraise, see if there s an App you can add to Facebook to make it easy for visitor to donate when they visit your Page. 7

8 Twitter Quick facts 500 million users worldwide June 2013 It s described as micro-blogging You can post only 140 characters or less each time you tweet Twitter lets you follow people and be followed It is highly effective as a news medium news breaks first on Twitter today It s also the place to look for what s trending? and is PUBLIC Top reasons to use Twitter It s great for sharing news stories Also good for linking to blogs and website content the link you post is automatically shortened Quickly point people to event information Join discussions with others in your sector Reasons not use Twitter There s not enough to say Nobody is available to write the posts in an appropriate way (representing your group or organisation). You cannot keep it going How much time do I need for Twitter? Ideally to be active you should be tweeting to three times a day, certainly at least once if you can manage it. Allow extra time to research things to say and join conversations. This will usually take around a half hour each day that you post in total. How to use Twitter 1. Go to 8

9 2. Set up an account following the new to Twitter instructions highlighted above. You re probably best setting up a case or organisation name for your profile, rather than an individual s name. Then you can use this to represent your group. 3. Once you re in you ll be invited to follow well-known profiles to get started. You can always get rid of these later. 4. When you re logged in, go to the top right to edit your settings by clicking the wheel and selecting settings. From here you can add a cover image, profile picture and some text to describe your organisation. Mention You and others can mention somebody else s identity in your Tweets by preceding it with symbol, e.g for following me. Retweet When you see a Tweet by another user that you want to share, click Retweet below it to forward it to your followers instantly. 5. Start by following first by searching for people and organisations using the search box and you can do this as long as you like until you want to post anything. 6. When you re ready, start to tweet messages and you will collect followers interested in your cause. Message If you want to privately Tweet to a particular user who's already following you, start your Tweet with DM or D to direct-message them, eg: what is your order number? Hashtag Add # to words in your Tweets to categorize them for others eg: Join us at our charity event #CharityEvent2013. Hashtags become a theme for your Tweet when you use them. Users can then click on a hashtag to see other similarly-themed tweets. What to say Twitter is best for news so quick tweets about what is happening, or linking to other pages on the Internet to discuss what s happening. If you sell products, merchandise or any goods to raise funds, Twitter is a good place to promote them. 9

10 Use hashtags to join in conversations about topics that matter to your cause and to follow other discussions. For example Oxfam uses the hashtag #ChimeforChange for one of its campaigns and others then adopt this to unite the discussion. Retweet, reply and follow as much as you can with other profiles and tweets that complement your cause. Twitter is all about joining the coversation. 10

11 LinkedIn Quick facts There were 200 million register users worldwide in January 2013 LinkedIn is a Business Social network People use it to connect with other people in business Most often used as an individual account but you can have a business profile too It is a networking tool It s highly optimised which means that a LinkedIn profile is likely to appear higher in search results than other web pages Top reasons to use LinkedIn There are groups that are talking about not for profit and possibly your cause use them to learn and share Meet like minded people who may want to support or volunteer Company pages allow you to have a profile for your organisation in front of lots of business people Reasons not to use LinkedIn If business people are not at all relevant to your cause How to use LinkedIn 1. Go to 2. If you don t have one already set up a personal profile as you will need this to do anything on LinkedIn How much time do I need for LinkedIn? Allow around two to three hours a month minimum or half an hour a week to keep on top of your profile, make connections, post updates and participate in groups. 11

12 3. Setting up your personal profile means that you have the opportunity to connect with potential volunteers, sponsors and fundraisers. Make sure you add plenty of detail about your cause and your role. 4. Decide who fits your strategy (sector, expertise, client, partner, supplier) 5. Do you have the right to ask to connect to this person? Always provide a reason to connect and be polite or archive when declining 6. Add your organisation as a Company page: 7. Join groups related to your cause. There are more than groups in LinkedIn, simply click join this group when you find one you like. This increases chances of you finding people outside of your network to connect with. What to say Use the update box that s part of your profile to share news with your LinkedIn connections. This audience is likely to be different from those that you follow or are followed by in other social networks as it s business-focused. 12

13 YouTube More than 4 billion views a day (June 2013) Free to set up an account Video quality does not have to be professional 2nd largest search engine Can add impact to your message Top reasons to use YouTube Great visual content Quality does not need to be high Can embed on your website Search engines love video Reasons not use YouTube No real visual content Need equipment Content may need permission if featuring children Copyright How to use YouTube 1. Go to YouTube 2. Set up an account, preferably with your organisation name rather than your own. As Google owns YouTube you ll need a Google account to do this, which you may already have. To set up a new one you can create a gmail address and start from scratch but do pick a name for the account that represents your organisation as it will be set. Go to the top right hand corner of YouTube and select create account to get started. How much time do I need for YouTube? Once you ve set up your account, which might take an hour or so you can update and add video as and when you have content. There is no hard and fast rule but it goes without saying that more videos provide a better experience for your visitors. 13

14 3. Once you ve set up your account you can customise your channel. Go to your username on the top right of the screen and click. The drop down menu will include the option my channel. Click here to go through to your channel and to see options to customise it, following the add channel art link. 4. Upload your videos to your channel and follow the options to feature specify videos in the order that you d like. Below is a nice example of how this can be done. 14

15 Blogging Quick facts A web log or online journal, which is content that can be instantly, published using blogging tools or software. Blogs are often referred to in their own Internet environment known as the blogosphere. Blogs are defined as social media They have the same characteristics as other social networks 175,000 blogs are created daily (Technorati) Around 113 million blogs exist, with 7.5 million of them active (Technorati) Top reasons to blog Provides great content for other social media Show expertise Attract traffic to your website Mini website if you don t have one already Reasons not to blog Writing skills needed Must be useful Unable to maintain or update one How to blog 1. If you have a website it s ideal to have your blog on there ask whoever created your website if it s possible. If not, there are some really easy to use free options to get started. Try or 2. It s best if you can customise your blog to look like your other marketing and all of the free options will let you do this to some extent. 3. Blogging software is just like using word processors so all you need to do is write and format your text as you would in a word document. 4. To help decide on what to write, spend some time searching other blogs and reading them. There s a quick search on Google for blogs, enter your search query into Google, search and then 15

16 select the more button which appears below the search box. In there is an option to search blogs. 5. Blogs should not be about selling, they re much more effective as stories or evidence that you know about your cause or subject. Here is a good example: What to say Talk about what you know, never sell you can use other media for that including your website if you have one. Most not for profits have a strong advantage as they have stories to tell about the causes they support or opinions raising awareness of these stories. These make excellent blog content. Make sure your blog has comments enabled, as it s good to encourage feedback. You won t always get some but that s fine. How much time do I need for blogging? The best blogs are regular aim for a minimum of one each month, preferably two four a month. If you ve got lots to say blogs can be as often as daily but go at a pace to suit you. 16

17 marketing Quick facts marketing is still a popular marketing tool, which gets results so businesses continue to invest significant budgets in this medium (Source: EConsultancy Marketing Census 2012) People who receive promotional s buy (or spend) more than those who don t opens on smartphones and tablets increased 80% during the last 6 months of 2012 (Source: litmus.com) and more mobile users than ever scan s on their phone first Top reasons to use It s low cost compared to direct mail and print is easy to personalise marketing software enables tracking which means you can see how many people open your messages and click through to your website. It also tells you exactly who has performed these actions so you can follow them up. marketing allows you to tailor different messages for different people which is much more effective than blanket marketing You can add a sign up box to your website if you have one to collect addresses, meaning you get opt-ins easily It s ok to sell, promote and request donations using marketing Reasons not to use marketing You re target audience is already overloaded with spam and too much information If not done properly yours will be treated as spam too Poorly written or sent s can do your brand more damage than good How to use marketing 1. Don t try and large numbers of people using your own software (such as Microsoft Outlook or webmail such as Gmail) as you could be treated as spamming. Outgoing servers that send large numbers of messages in one batch are viewed suspiciously by incoming servers and you can end up with your address being blocked. 2. It s not expensive to use a proper sending service which has white listed servers in other words they have permission to send large batches of s and they all offer discounts or free options for not for profits. How much time do I need for marketing? s can be event specific so they go out around the time of an event but it s also a good idea to keep in regular contact with supporters. Once a month or once every two months works well. 17

18 These are all low cost and offer free trials. 3. Encourage people to sign up on your website, or using social media 4. Ask people to forward to a friend so you can spread your message further 5. Collect names but it s important to make sure they ve opted in so either by inviting people to sign up via your website or by asking their permission if you collect their address another way. Good topics for s Events, fund raising News Offers, discounts on products Providing help and advice Reminders 6. Using html (like the software described above) you can add donate buttons 7. Keep messages short and concise for best results and make sure there is a call to action. 8. Use a mix of images and text 9. Personalise every and tailor messages where possible 18

19 Dealing with negative comments and feedback Social media by its nature is public and very open. This means that what you say online can usually be seen publicly and so how you respond to comments is important. What to say Remain as open and objective as possible Inappropriate comments or posts should be removed at the earliest opportunity all social media provide options to block, remove or report inappropriate comments Make sure complaints are dealt with within an internally agreed protocol and timeframe. There are PR advantages to responding to complaints openly, this is a benefit of the public nature of social media. But do remember that what you say online tends to be public unless you have sent a direct or private message. What not to say Don t get into an argument online always take it offline by offering a phone number or safe address for them to contact. Or else private message if appropriate. Never use offensive language, even if somebody has posted comments in this manner. Make sure that whoever posts for your group or organisation is able to write in a friendly, grammatically correct style. If you are not able to do this, see if you can find somebody who can but also make sure they have enough information to answer queries correctly. Summary Social media, marketing and blogging are all great tools for charity and the voluntary sector; these FREE tools can help you reach a wider audience. You can promote your cause, your good work and your members - in turn raising awareness and potentially funds! Social media is fast moving, ever changing and ever growing in size of users and audience reach. Get started or get more involved, follow these guidelines and don t be afraid to join the social media revolution. 19

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