When Face-to-Face Is Better Than Technology at Selling More Underwriting

sales strategy, Corporate Support, social media, prospecting

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How you conduct business, whether you are an owner, operator, manager, or sales executive, has become increasingly dependent on social media, but are we beginning to depend on it so much that we don't communicate productively?

I believe that with our increasing world of transparency and connectivity, it's important to recognize how social media can help our professional brands, digital marketing strategy, new business development, and client relations. But are we forgetting or neglecting the power of human interaction within the sales process?

Here's how to tell if you're using social media to effectively socialize with prospects and clients.

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How to Use Social Selling to Boost Credibility and Strengthen Your Station's Brand

sales strategy, Corporate Support, social media, prospecting

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Social selling is a powerful part of the approach in our now-transparent sales landscape. I feel every salesperson should embrace LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Facebook, as they plan to approach and attempt to engage with new business prospects. Whether you choose to use paid services or navigate social media on your own, it’s a platform where you can earn trust and establish credibility with your very best prospects. It’s also a platform that, if used incorrectly, could damage your credibility with your very best prospects. OUCH!

It’s the potential to damage credibility that I have found to deter some sellers from using social selling, so here are three things you can do to ensure you’re using social selling to strengthen your personal brand and not damage it: 

1. Think about your audience.

It’s not uncommon to use social media for selling, but it’s also not uncommon to use social media for job-searching. Considering many prospects will search a potential vendor or a salesperson online before deciding to engage, what they see on your profile is perceived as what they’ll likely get. It’s a fine line between selling yourself to potential employers or selling yourself to prospects. If your profile reads like a resume, it can be a high turn-off to prospects viewing your profile.

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Why We Love Using Social Media to Lift Underwriting Sales (And Why You Should Too!)

Corporate Support, social media

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Kathy Agosta is Corporate Sposorship Director at Michigan Radio

As a statewide public radio service, it's a constant challenge to stay engaged with all of our clients. We know that face-to-face contact is always the best, but we can only afford so many hours a day of traveling between appointments. Finding better ways to stay connected with our clients is always a top priority.
Observing how other professional and consultancy services use the internet to promote themselves, we decided to create an internet-based “branding campaign” for Michigan Radio Corporate Sponsorship. Our prime focus would be to reinforce our client connections, and also raise visibility of corporate sponsorship throughout the broader business community.

First Things First

Before going public we needed to get our house in order. We revamped our corporate sponsorship web pages to be more accessible and relevant to our clients. We redesigned our media kit to mirror and expand on what we had on our website. We also introduced a weekly blog feature on topics related to sponsorship and marketing to provide fresh content that would generate return visits to our site.

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How to Use Social Media Engagement During Drives to Earn More Gifts

Membership, Social/Mobile, pledge drive, social media

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Public radio and TV stations have been early adopters of social media since the days of Myspace. The ability to donate online was launched in 1999 and it has taken almost two decades for donors to trust the technology. It took just half that time for your donors to embrace social media. If you have a been a skeptic of the power of social media for online fundraising, that may have been a somewhat wise instinct, but today there is no doubt that the futures of online giving and social media are deeply entwined. In fact, 43% of Millennials, 24% of Gen Xers, and 21% of Baby Boomers cite social media as the communication tool that most often inspires them to give online (Nonprofit Tech for Good, 2016).

What has remained elusive, however, is social media’s power to convert passive online supporters into active online donors. The fact is, your station must be good at using social media in order to convert your social audience into online donors. 

Central to multichannel communications is the concept that well-written, visually compelling, and creative content emailed, posted, and shared at the right time and at the right intervals is the secret to successfully converting a passive supporter into an active donor.

Greater Public members can access our full Social Media Playbook for On-Air Drives, including instructions on how to develop a comprehensive content strategy, refine your landing page, create effective graphics, and map out your before/during/after-pledge action plan.

And read on for the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram best practices that will instantly improve your social media campaigns during pledge drives.

Facebook Best Practices

The truth is, no one knows exactly what the magic number is for how often to post on Facebook based on the size of your following. The News Feed algorithm makes Facebook the most difficult social network for which to define best practices. What works on the 14 national NPR and PBS Facebook Pages most likely will not work for small stations with 25,000 followers or less, but the data reflects that even pages with more than 100,000 followers that post twice daily perform much better in reach and engagement, on average, than those that post multiple times daily.

If your posts receive very little engagement (1 reaction per 1,000 followers), then you are either posting too often and thus very few of your followers are seeing your posts, or you are posting the wrong kind of content.

Post twice daily.

On average, you can expect your first Facebook post within a 24-hour period to reach 3-8% of your followers. After that, reach generally declines with each subsequent post.

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How to Use Email as Your #1 Online Fundraising Tool

Social/Mobile, social media, digital revenue, email

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In the nonprofit sector as a whole, more online donations come from a click in an e-newsletter than from any other source. This is due in part to the fact that nonprofits are getting better at building their lists. But it’s also due to the sustained and growing use of email as an essential medium.

Email is not dead.

Global use of email is growing rapidly. The number of people using the internet worldwide is going to double in the next four years. This means more people getting online, more people signing up for social networks, and more people signing up for email accounts.

There are currently 4.4 billion email accounts worldwide and that number is expected to grow to 6.6 billion by 2019. This will bring the global adoption rate of email to 92%.

We have been eulogizing email for the last decade and let me tell you, this data shows us that email is the most important tool that you can use in online fundraising.

Given these statistics, I’m also perplexed by public media’s relatively low use of email fundraising compared with other organizations in the nonprofit sector. It’s often very difficult to find an e-newsletter subscribe option on public media websites. And the volume of e-newsletters from many stations seems to be low or non-existent, except during a member drive. This suggests an area of great opportunity.

Of course, you do need to know how to use email. 

Email is changing.

55% of email opens are now happening on a mobile device and more than half of traffic to NPR.org is mobile. Your email design simply has to be mobile compatible.

The term “e-newsletter” came from a time when print newsletters were being duplicated to send via email. Email publications are not print publications. Today, it’s better to think of your e-newsletter as an email bulletin.

Send shorter emails, more frequently.

Instead of taking the 20 stories you would have put in a paper publication and sending those out once every three months, you should send fewer stories, and send them more frequently. Send three stories every two weeks, for example. Or create a weekly update of the most important news happening in your station and local community.


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More Social Media Strategy for Stations From Heather Mansfield

facebook, linkedin, instagram, Membership, Social/Mobile, social media, twitter

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Heather Mansfield of Nonprofit Tech for Good recently hosted a social media Q&A with Greater Public. (Members can always view the full webinar on-demand.) Heather offered station tips on Facebook-sponsored content, how often to post to Facebook, and how to set engagement benchmarks for social media platforms.

Greater Public members can register for Heather's next social media Q&A, scheduled for May 4.

Q: How helpful are Facebook-sponsored posts?

A: It's getting more difficult to apply best practices across all sectors and brands because Facebook changes its algorithm all the time. But I will say that I am very lukewarm on Facebook advertising unless you have thousands of dollars, the right ads, and plenty of time to invest.

Here's why.

I started buying Facebook advertising two months ago. My practice had been to post something visual every two days and I'd get 10,000-15,000 people reached. It was a reliable rhythm.

Then a client gave me $250 to experiment with Facebook ads. I'd pay $50 for a sponsored post and it would hit a 25,000 reach. But next thing I know, all of my non-sponsored posts are reaching just over 1,000. During the two or three weeks following my sponsored posts, my reach dropped by 90%. These are the lowest numbers I've had since I began using Facebook! I don't find it any coincidence that my numbers started dropping significantly from the moment I started purchasing advertising.

In fact, I was experimenting on other platforms too. I had a $1,000 budget to experiment with advertising across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, and I have to say it was the worst $1,000 I've ever spent in the 10 years that I've been using social media. My best guess is that they want to get you hooked on advertising by plummeting your reach when you're not paying to sponsor the content.

I have read some case studies that indicate that large-scale experimentation is worth it. For example, the African Wildlife Foundation spent $50,000 on Facebook advertising, which they were able to turn into about $120,000 in donations. But most nonprofits I know can't make a $50,000 investment in Facebook advertising. And, in my own little thrifty world, sponsored posts have only diminished my overall reach and engagement.

Q: All of our Facebook posts have visual elements, yet we only reach about 500 users, or occasionally 1,500. We post three or four times daily. Any advice?

A: I know from studying Facebook that 1,500 reached means about 10% of that actually saw the post. What reach actually means is that it was published to the news feed of 1,500 people. But if it was published to someone's newsfeed at 8:00 a.m. and that person didn't log on until four hours later and didn't bother to scroll down, then they didn't actually see it. I don't pay a lot of attention to these reach numbers unless I see a drastic increase or decrease. Then I can ask what was going on to cause the change? That helps me learn what type of content sparks interest in my audience.

But you may want to rethink your strategy of posting three or four times a day. What I've learned from my own habits is that if I post at 9:00 a.m. and reach 5,000 people, my post at 3:00 p.m. that same day will have many fewer views. There's something in the Facebook algorithm that knows you've posted twice in 24 hours and demotes your posts because you're generating a lot of content.

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Five Secrets to Marketing Events to Millennials

event sponsorship, Corporate Support, social media, marketing

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Guest post by Bruce Erley, APR, CFEE

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5 Things Every Public Radio & TV Station Should Know About #GivingTuesday

Membership, social media, #GivingTuesday, calendar year-end

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#GivingTuesday this year will be on December 1, 2015 – the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. Since its inception in 2012, it’s quickly become a nationwide effort to connect people’s spirit of giving directly to nonprofits during the holiday season. #GivingTuesday was originated by the 92nd Street Y in New York City. The event has harnessed the power of social media and now includes 30,000+ registered partners in 68 countries. Online donations on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving have increased 470% since 2012.

“The main attraction for me, and I hope other stations, is that #GivingTuesday is a thing in itself that we're just joining up with,” explained Jill Shepherd, director of membership at WBEZ. “Our main message for 2015 is (roughly): ‘Celebrate #GivingTuesday! WBEZ is a participating nonprofit, and you can help #ILGive and #GivingTuesday reach amazing fundraising goals by donating to WBEZ.’"

"That's an unusual message that doesn't apply at any other time of the year," she adds, "so I want to make sure we get the most out of it while we can. Plus, it's very community-based, so it leaves a lot of room for mission-type messaging, which is ideal early in the campaign/month.”

So is it too late to get in on the action? Yes and no. You can pull together some elements quickly, like e-appeals, on-air mentions and social media posts. But it's also worth executing a more strongly-planned effort. Give it a try and join a number of other stations that have now strategies to harness the generosity of donors and bring awareness to the service they provide in their communities.

Here are five things to get you started:


1. Make the Most of Resources at givingtuesday.org

The #GivingTuesday site lets you register your station, download graphics, obtain training, and access all of the information you need to have a successful campaign.

Since #GivingTuesday’s success has largely been online, your plan should focus on email and social media strategies. Public media does have the advantage of being on-air, so adding some spots on that day would be beneficial.

In 2014 Indiana Public Radio and WIPB-TV instituted their first #GivingTuesday campaign. They obtained permission to customize video from givingtuesday.org for their own TV and radio spots. They also heavily utilized the #GivingTuesday social media toolkit and planning guides. IPR raised $1,940 in donations for radio and $380 for TV. They were pleased with this as a start.

[audio mp3="http://blog.greaterpublic.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Giving-Tuesday-2014_-Indiana-Public-Radio-Sean-Ashcraft-producer.mp3"][/audio]


2. Test a New Strategy

#GivingTuesday is an opportunity to try out some new tactics at your station. Ever heard of Thunderclap? It's a "crowdspeaking" platform through which users donate their social reach to help promote causes. Greater Public's social/mobile expert Heather Mansfield suggests trying this out, along with many other tools, when building a cause awareness day to benefit your station.

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10 Facebook Tips for Public Radio & Television

facebook, Social/Mobile, social media, marketing

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1. Use the 80/20 rule of content to marketing.

That means that for every five posts you post on Facebook, four of them need to be focused on your content. Then the fifth post can be a strategic call to action like “become a member," "watch our program," "download our app,” etc. Don't overwhelm your feed with 90-95% content. Missing those calls to action means you're not getting the full benefit of Facebook. But remember...

2. Don't post too often to Facebook.

People assume that if you have 100 fans, all 100 get your content in the news feed. That’s not how Facebook works, nor has Facebook ever worked that way.

Facebook's feed algorithm decides which stories appear in each user's newsfeed. About five years ago, 30% - that's three out of every 10 of your fans - actually got your post in their news feed. Facebook does this to try to weed out spam. When you post more frequently, Facebook decreases the visibility of your post.Let's say you make the first post of the day at 9:00 a.m. If you post again at 11:00 a.m. Facebook is likely to decrease your score by half. Another post in the afternoon? Your score might be at 1%. Now, if you have 100,000 fans, it's probably worth posting several times a day because you'll still reach 1000 people with your lowest-visibility post. But if you have 5000 fans, all of those posts aren't worth the effort.

One study looked at 1.1 million Facebook pages and determined that posting every other day had the strongest correlation to growth of "likes" and net fan growth rate. The number one reason why people will unlike your organization is because they’re seeing you in their feed all the time. Aim to post no more than 3-5 times per week.

If you're posting more frequently, try using your spare time to check out other social media like Instagram or Snapchat.


3. Try posting photos instead of links.

Photos get four times the engagement that links do. So, if your station's Facebook page has fewer than 100,000 likes, consider posting some of your links as photos instead. Here's how to do that, using a news article as an example:

  • Find an image to represent your news article. It can be from the article itself or elsewhere. Save the image.
  • Write the title of the your article in the body of the update. Add the link to your news article using a link-shortener like Bitly. (Don't forget to use a colon between the title and the link).
  • Click the photo icon to upload the photo you saved earlier.
  • Click publish.

Facebook will register your update as a photo instead of a link and will add your photo to the photos tab. Try this as an experiment, but don't start posting all of your links as photos. Mix it up.

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Nine Must-Know Best Practices for Distributing Your Station’s Content on Social Networks

facebook, linkedin, instagram, Social/Mobile, social media, twitter, marketing

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The Internet is at a tipping point. It’s estimated that by late 2014 or early 2015 the majority of adults will get their information from social networks rather than search engines and that social networks will become the primary source of referral traffic to your website and blog. Any doubts that social networks aren’t powerful or don’t need to be prioritized in your online communications and fundraising campaigns can now be put to rest. The sooner you can master content distribution on social networks, the more likely (and faster) your fundraising and content strategies will result in success. Nonprofits have been experimenting with mobile and social networks for years. Sadly many of them do not fully understand how social networks are different from traditional online communications and fundraising, and consequently nonprofits are making many mistakes that are hampering their success.

The effective use of social networks is a skill not to be underestimated. Each mobile and social network has its own unique tool set and etiquette, and only the most observant new media managers have learned what makes each social network unique and then adapted that knowledge to their content strategy. There are universal best practices that can be applied to all social networks. To avoid being repetitive by listing these best practices in each of the chapters dedicated to social networks, those universal best practices are:

1. Prioritize storytelling over marketing.

The five content approaches of success, urgency, statistics, quotes, and humor should be interwoven throughout your social network strategy. Increasingly, donors and supporters follow causes on social networks. If you make storytelling a higher priority than marketing, then over time your nonprofit’s brand becomes synonymous with the cause(s) you advocate.. In practice, for every five status updates, posts, or tweets, four should be related to storytelling (through blogs, website articles, video, photos, stats, and quotes), while only one should be a direct ask such as a marketing or fundraising pitch. The only exception is in crisis situations where urgent calls to action require mobilizing your social networking communities to donate, volunteer, or participate in advocacy campaigns.

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