It’s all in your hashtag

There’s probably no easier way to tell a digital native from a digital naïve than their ability to use the hashtag. Trying to use hashtags when you don’t understand them sounds as natural as cursing in another language.

Whether it’s during Q&A at social media events, in the comment sections of other posts, or in emails, I’ve fielded a lot of questions about how to use hashtags in social media.

Wikipedia defines the #hashtag as:

Using hashtags to categorize Tweets by keyword: People use the hashtag symbol # before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces) in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter Search. Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message shows you all other Tweets marked with that keyword.

Why use a #hashtag?

There are a number of reasons why you want to use hashtags in social media.

Hashtags help you get found by your target audience. Many people do research by searching on specific hashtags. By using the hashtags that are of interest to your ideal customer, you can increase the chances of being found.

Hashtags improve your clickthrough rates. According to research from Buddy Media, tweets with hashtags receive twice as much engagement as those that don’t. Put another way, you can double your engagement and increase clickthrough rates by including hashtags. Interestingly, there does seem to be an upper limit. Tweets with more than two hashtags saw engagement drop by 17%. Perhaps because too many hashtags look spammy. This research is for Twitter; there doesn’t seem to be the same bias on Instagram.

Hashtags are great for research. If you are doing research, it’s easy to find great, relevant content by search on specific hashtags. I’ve found that tweets with hashtags are generally more focused on a topic than a tweet that just mentions the phrase.

Hashtags become links to search queries. So, while someone might click your hashtag and take them to a search query, at the same time, that search is garnering a lot more views, and will lead more people to see your post.

Hashtags can be used for humor. The hashtag is the social media equivalent of the aside or rimshot. While this may not help you get found in social media, it can certainly show your personality and help engage (or repel) your audience.

The dangers of hashtags

Hashtags have been known to get some brands into trouble.

Look before you leap. It’s a common tactic to piggy-back on trending hashtags to gain visibility in social media.

Recently, DiGiorno Pizza jumped on the hashtag #WhyIStayed, not realizing that it was being used to discuss domestic abuse.

#WhyIStayed

While they did a good job of apologizing profusely, there’s no denying damage was done to their brand. That’s just one of hundreds of examples of brands not looking before they leap when it comes to trending topics.

Going too broad with hashtags. While a broad hashtag may seem like casting a wide net, chances are broad terms will either not be searched on, or your tweet will be lost in the shuffle.

So here is a handy tool…

The hashtag generator. Before you click the link, here are the benefits of using the generator: whatever hashtag you throw at it, it will show if a hashtag is already in use, by who and can show you the conversation thread to follow. It also shows you alternatives or related hashtags you could consider to use. So if you want to generate an effective hashtag quicker – and be fairly sure that you are not navigating into rocky waters, give the hashtag generator a go.

 


Some more interesting articles on hashtags by Mashable and Takeflyte

 

A fundraising success checklist for nonprofits

 This is a pretty comprehensive list of fundraising success checklist for nonprofits. If you’d like any help. tips or advice, do get in touch

Mobile and Social Fundraising Strategic Plan

  • Conduct an online communications and fundraising audit.
  • Organize a meeting to ensure organizational buy-in.
  • Write a mobile and social fundraising strategic plan.
  • Create a budget.
  • Create a system to track and report on success.
  • Implement your strategic plan.

Websites

  • Decide whether to launch a new responsively designed website, to mobile-optimize your current site, or launch a separate mobile website.
  • Select a Content Management System (CMS) and hosting service.
  • Hire a website and graphic designer.
  • Write content and secure photos for all website pages.
  • Launch a blog inside your website.
  • Prominently feature a “Donate” button and social network icons on your home page and every page of your website and blog.
  • Add an e-newsletter subscription form to your home page and every page of your website and blog.
  • Add social sharing and comment functionality.
  • Select a website and blog analytics service.
  • Get master copies of Photoshop files for all website and blog graphics from your designer.
  • Configure your website and blog for search engine optimization (SEO).
  • Test your website on multiple mobile devices before launch.
  • Follow and study the World Wildlife Fund, Sex, Etc., Mercy Corps, Malaria No More, andBest Friends Animal Society.

Email Communications

  • Select an email communication software.
  • Design e-newsletter and email fundraising appeal banner images.
  • Design e-newsletter and email fundraising appeal templates that are mobile compatible.
  • Prominently feature a donate button and social network icons in your e-newsletter and email fundraising appeals.
  • Get master copies of Photoshop files for all e-newsletter graphics from your designer.
  • Add social sharing functionality.
  • Create campaign-specific landing pages for email fundraising campaigns.
  • Create an e-newsletter subscribe page on your website for effective promotion on social networks.
  • Create an e-newsletter subscribe graphic to better promote your e-newsletter on social networks.
  • Experiment with online contests to build your email list.
  • Follow and study UNICEF, SOS Children’s Villages, ONE Campaign, National Park Foundation, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Online Fundraising

  • Select a Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) system.
  • Select an online fundraising software that is mobile compatible.
  • Create a donate page on your website and ensure that the donation process occurs on one page.
  • Set default donation amounts.
  • Add an optional mobile alert opt-in field, if applicable.
  • Add charity rating graphics.
  • Include program versus operating expense graphics.
  • Write and add giving impact statements.
  • Include tribute giving as an option on your donate page.
  • Create a separate donate page for tribute giving for effective promotion in email communications and mobile and social media.
  • Design promotional graphics for your tribute giving campaign for your website, blog, email communications, and social networks.
  • Create an ad for your tribute giving campaign for print materials.
  • Include monthly giving as an option on your donate page.
  • Create a separate donate page for monthly giving for effective promotion in email communications and mobile and social media.
  • Design promotional graphics for your monthly giving campaign for your website, blog, email communications, and social networks.
  • Create an ad for your monthly giving campaign for print materials.
  • Design a “Donate Monthly” button for your monthly giving campaign and add it to your website and blog.
  • Create a system to thank your monthly donors on a regular basis.
  • Ensure that your thank-you landing page includes social network icons, social sharing functionality, and a thank-you video or slideshow.
  • Ensure that your thank-you follow-up email is custom-branded and includes social network icons, social sharing functionality, and a thank-you video or slideshow.
  • Create a “More Ways to Give” page.
  • Create an annual thank-you and program achievement infographic or presentation and include it in your donor thank-you communications.
  • Add your tribute giving and monthly giving campaigns to your “More Ways to Give” page.
  • Follow and study Partners in Health, Feeding America, American Cancer Society, African Wildlife Foundation, and charity: water.

Social Fundraising

  • Select a social fundraising software.
  • Create a fundraising guide for your fundraisers.
  • Offer contests that reward fundraisers who raise the most funds during the campaign.
  • Create an email list solely for fundraisers, and throughout the year keep them updated on the causes that they raised money for.
  • Create a mobile list for fundraisers and occasionally text them fundraising tips and event updates.
  • Design promotional graphics for your social fundraising campaign for your website, blog, email communications, and social networks.
  • Create an ad for your social fundraising campaign for print materials.
  • Design a “Fundraise” button for your social fundraising campaign and add it to your website and blog.
  • Add your social giving campaign to your “More Ways to Give” page.
  • Send follow-up thank-you emails to social fundraising campaign donors with your nonprofit’s branding and social network icons.
  • Send follow-up campaign update emails.

Crowdfunding

  • Select a crowdfunding software.
  • Write your project summary and set up your crowdfunding campaign(s).
  • Donate to your own crowdfunding campaign before launch.
  • Design promotional graphics for your crowdfunding campaign for your website, blog, email communications, and social networks.
  • Create an ad for your crowdfunding campaign for print materials.
  • Add your crowdfunding campaigns to your “More Ways to Give” page.
  • Send follow-up thank-you emails to crowdfunders with your nonprofit’s branding and social network icons.

Mobile Fundraising

  • Select a text-to-give software.
  • Launch a mobile alert campaign.
  • Add a mobile alert subscription form to your home page and every page of your website and blog.
  • Add a mobile alert icon to your website, blog, and e-newsletter and email fundraising appeal templates in proximity to your social networks icons.
  • Add your text-to-give campaign to your “More Ways to Give” page.
  • Create text-to-give and mobile alert promotional graphics for your website, blog, email communications, and social networks.
  • Create ads for your text-to-give and mobile alert campaigns for print materials.
  • Sign up for Google for Nonprofits and Google Wallet.
  • Follow and study the National Wildlife Federation, Humane Society of the United States,Human Rights Campaign, Greenpeace, and the American Red Cross.

Mobile and Social Content Strategy

  • Write a mobile and social content strategy.
  • Create an editorial calendar.

Integrate mobile and social media into…

  • print materials.
  • news articles and press releases.
  • your blog.
  • image and infographic campaigns.
  • video.
  • online petition campaigns.
  • online contests.
  • your online store.
  • e-books and digital reports.
  • smartphone and tablet apps promotions.

Facebook

Twitter

Google+

LinkedIn

YouTube

Pinterest

Instagram

Tumblr

Real-Time Communications and Fundraising

  • Create a system to respond to breaking news and crisis situations.
  • Launch a Cause Awareness Day Campaign.
  • Experiment with live reporting from events and conferences.
  • Experiment with Storify, Share As Image, EventStagram, LiveStream, and Square, if applicable.
  • Download the Studio, Magistro, Evernote, Flipboard, and Foursquare apps, if applicable.

New Media Managers

  • Hire a skilled part- or full-time new media manager or adjust current job descriptions of current staff.
  • Ensure that volunteers and interns are trained in mobile and social media.
  • Learn photo and video editing skills.
  • Learn HTML skills.
  • Build a consistent brand across all your organization’s chapters, if applicable.
  • Build your online brand in multiple time zones, if applicable.
  • Proactively manage mobile and social media burnout.
  • Get master copies of Photoshop files for all social network custom graphics from your designer.
  • Study and mimic the mobile and social fundraising campaigns of large nonprofits similar to yours in mission and programs.

 

Mobile for Good: A How-To Fundraising Guide for Nonprofits

mobile for good look insideBased on more than 20 years of experience and 25,000+ hours spent utilizing mobile and social media, Mobile for Good: A How-To Fundraising Guide for Nonprofits is a comprehensive 256-page book packed with more than 500 best practices. Written on the premise that all communications and fundraising are now mobile and social, Mobile for Good is a step-by-step how-to guide for writing, implementing, and maintaining a mobile and social fundraising strategy for your nonprofit.

5 reasons Instagram matters, big time

This is a big statement from MDG Advertising: Instagram may be the single biggest opportunity for social media marketers next year. Can it be true? We’ve heard plenty this year from Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat, as their uses and back end business deals fluctuate, but Instagram has been the steady social platform not making too much noise. But that just might be what makes it 2016’s winner. Its consistency has made it the fastest growing platform around right now, and MDG has gathered fresh data to prove why marketers everywhere should be factoring Instagram into their budgets.

A few key takeaways from the infographic:

> The platform is already massive and it’s growing. There are 400 million active monthly users (we said active) who are liking photos to the tune of 2.5 billion per day. Over a quarter of the U.S adult population is on Instagram. They’re there and they’re engaged. What more can you ask for?

> The demographic that uses the platform the most is the money demographic. Over half of Instagram users are under 29 and 62% are teenagers. One third of U.S teens say it’s the most important social network. If you or your brand is looking to capture the aesthetically-minded youth, there is no platform more crucial for your social strategy than Instagram.

> It’s got everything marketers need to advertise to their heart’s content. There are several options for style and targeting, and the highly visual nature of Instagram content is perfect for beauty brands, fitness brands, lifestyle brands, and more to capitalise on the rush to mobile ecommerce.

And if I needed any confirmation, my teenage daughters heard about the Paris terrorist attacks before I did – via Instagram. As a medium that reaches a large audience at twitter speed, you can’t beat it.

Will you be making Instagram a priority in 2016? Check out the infographic below and judge for yourself:

 Instagram infographic

How Social Media is Used Globally #Socialography

This is a video explains just how much social media is having an impact on place, space and people around the world. Social media has allowed advances in communication, technology and navigation and has even boosted the world environmentally, economically and politically.

It is now easier than ever to follow celebrities, access technology and communicate with people who are physically situated far away. The world has become social and we have become a social media generation. There are 2. 08 billion worldwide social media accounts and that is only going to increase as time continues.

 

 

Why smart social marketers think mobile first (infographic)

Did you know that mobile users share content twice as often as desktop users? And as the social advertising market grows to a projected $11 billion by 2017, mobile users become an ever more important target. Check out this infographic for more helpful facts about why going mobile should be at the forefront of your charity’s strategy.

Social media mobile marketing infographic

Source: http://www.unifiedsocial.com/mobile-social-marketing/#~pelh9gRAMQw7jg
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