Social Media best practices & principles to expand your reach and amplify your message

Social Media best practices & principles to expand your reach and amplify your message

Why social media? It’s where the people are. As of August 2017, two-thirds (67%) of Americans report that they get at least some of their news on social media – with 2 in 10 doing so often, according to a new survey from Pew Research Center. Sharing your content via social media can help you reach new audiences, as well as existing supporters.

Approach social media with your campaign or non-profit organization’s end goals in mind — it can be a huge time suck if you aren’t focused on what you’re trying to accomplish! Also make sure your candidate or executive director doesn’t fall in love with vanity metrics. There are better places to put your limited organizational budget than driving up the number of Twitter followers (who aren’t in your district or don’t care about your issue). If you can’t fight the power, then at least try to focus their gaze on slightly more meaningful metrics such as engagement or reach.
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How to get started with social media

How to get started with social media

If you’re launching a new non-profit or campaign, there’s a lot that needs to be done digitally to start (more tips here on how to successfully launch your campaign or non-profit) but I wanted to talk about social media in particular, since it’s the piece that candidates — or executive directors are likely to get tunnel vision on.

Why social media? It’s where the people are. As of August 2017, two-thirds (67%) of Americans report that they get at least some of their news on social media – with 2 in 10 doing so often, according to a new survey from Pew Research Center. Sharing your content via social media can help you reach new audiences, as well as existing supporters.
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How to use Social Media to build your non-profit or campaign email list

How to use Social Media to build your non-profit or campaign email list

Here’s the very latest scoop on how you can use social media to build your email list, for both non-profits and political campaigns.

First, why move social media supporters to your email list? If people prefer to get your content on social media, why try so hard to get their email address? Two reasons – reach and control.

Three quarters of adults are connected to one or more social media platforms. Facebook is the behemoth, with all other sites clocking in at fractions of their base. But as per usual, none of these stats guarantee that users check the sites every day, or even that they will see your content if you post it right before they log on.
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Online advocacy best practices and principles to win your campaigns and change the world!

Online advocacy best practices and principles to win your campaigns and change the world!

Around the world, people are organizing and demanding change. After the 2016 election, protesting and advocacy is on the rise across the United States. How can you harness this unprecedented energy for your non-profit or political campaign to move policy and create change, while strengthening your organization? We’ll share some principles and best practices in online organizing that you can apply to your work. Note: if one of your goals is to grow your list while you’re creating this amazing change, be sure to read our guide to using effective online advocacy to grow your list for non-profits or campaigns.

First, consider that most online action does not exist in a vacuum. Online alone will rarely make the difference. Winning online campaigns usually have an offline component, even if it’s just a great petition delivery that then gets your organization some earned media coverage. Don’t neglect your offline planning in favor of purely virtual actions, or you’ll be limiting your impact.
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How to grow your list with effective online advocacy

How to grow your list with effective online advocacy

The dirty little secret is that a lot of online advocacy doesn’t necessarily accomplish anything offline AND it isn’t growing your list either. So you need to think strategically about online actions for your non-profit or campaign.

One online advocacy principle to keep in mind before starting an action is to consider whether you will likely gain as much as you will lose from natural churn – people unsubscribing, old email addresses bouncing and so on.

So how DO you make your action more effective? Here are some online advocacy best practices to follow, for non-profits and campaigns alike.
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Online fundraising best practices & principles to maximize your online donations

Online fundraising best practices & principles to maximize your online donations

The first and most important principle for online fundraising for non-profits and political campaigns: You must ask! Most people are not going to wake up this morning and think to themselves, today they should give to your campaign or organization. You need to go out and ask them to give. But this doesn’t mean you should overdo it — it’s better to send a strong fundraiser once in awhile rather than bug your most dedicated supporters every day until they tune out. But don’t go years without asking, either. (Note the rules may be a little different if you’re a campaign right before election day, where burnout is less of an issue.)
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Online fundraising for beginners

Online fundraising for beginners

How do non-profits and political campaigns get started raising money online? At PowerThru, we see that question on occasion. A digital consulting firm like ours may not make sense when you’re at the beginning, but here’s some advice to get you started with online fundraising when you’re very small. P.S. if you’re a brand new non-profit organization or political campaign, read this first: how to launch your campaign or non-profit organization successfully online.
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How to successfully build or rebuild your non-profit or campaign website

How to successfully build or rebuild your non-profit or campaign website

So your website is a disaster, or non-existent! Don’t panic, this is not uncommon at all. Even if the website was cutting edge when it was designed two or four years ago, styles change. If your website is not meeting your needs, it may be costing you supporters – or even direct donations. If the election (or year end fundraising period) is more than a few months off, it’s probably time to face the dreaded website redesign process. Or perhaps your organization or campaign is just off the ground, a splash page worked in a pinch but now you need a full site.

How do you get a beautiful new site that meets your needs, on time and on budget?

First of all, figure out your needs and your budget. Do you need a custom-crafted website, or is a template-based site good enough (or perhaps the best fit for your budget)? We have a new product, DemCampaignSites.com designed for Democratic downballot candidates that need a simple affordable website for their state legislative or municipal campaign. It’s harder to find a solution like this for non-profits, because non-profits tend to be more unique and individual than campaigns. So if you’re a non-profit, you’re probably going to need more expensive custom work, unfortunately. The more customization you need, the more developer and designer time it takes, the more it costs.

Before you enter the custom design process, one of the first things we recommend people do is read up on the latest web design trends. Some trends are backed by data that shows that certain styles perform better – but many are a matter of personal preference.
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Developing a Digital Plan

Developing a Digital Plan

It’s time to do some digital planning! Whenever I begin working with a new organization, I start by taking stock of where they’re at. I’ve walked into a campaign before to find out that email signups on the website are going nowhere! Or that fundraising is a separate system and online donors are not integrated into your mass email stream. Perhaps the campaign has an old Twitter handle from four years ago, and nobody knows the password anymore. Or somebody is squatting on the domain name of your organization because nobody renewed it. Without taking a thorough top-down look, it’s easy for things to slip through the cracks – especially if the organization or campaign has been on autopilot for awhile.

You’ll want to start by cataloguing all your digital assets, and making sure you have passwords to everything (or start reaching out to Facebook, Twitter etc. to try to get access back to old social media properties).

Here are some basic questions to ask to help build that digital inventory.
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