Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Posts from the new location: SearchMarketingforNonProfits.wordpress.com

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

This blog has moved

In case my readers are wondering why it's been so long since I've posted, I wanted to let you know that this blog has moved to SearchMarketingforNonprofits.wordpress.com.

You'll notice that there are great tips on the new blog, and I hope you'll check out the new location.

Friday, February 15, 2008

NonProfit using Social Media: Goodwill of Greater Washington

I’m always on the look-out for non-profits that are doing a great job of using the web to engage their customer.

In this post, I wanted to highlight Goodwill of Greater Washington, who uses a blog, a virtual runway and E-bay/MissionFish powered fashion show & auction, and a pretty cool dialogue with the vintage clothing industry to engage their customers. They promote all of this with a facebook profile, MySpace page, they joined the DC Fashionist Meetup Group.

You should spend some time watching the fashion show. It’s taking a page from Project Runway. What an innovative way to change the perception of the quality of clothing that you can find in a Goodwill Store! You can buy many of the items on Ebay, so you can buy right from your computer - supporting Goodwill’s training and work placement programs for people with disadvantages and disabilities.

How has this strategy worked for them? Months after launching the program, the effort receives more than 1000 unique visitors weekly and its shopper conversion rate is 4.5%. Even better, national media outlets like CNN, Good Morning America and the Washington Post have discovered Goodwill’s online fashion show, turning it into a national phenomenon. (from Ylan Mui, Washington Post, “Goodwill’s New Look: Cheap Can Also Be Chic,” October 29, 2007)

There are also snippets from Brendan Hurley, Goodwill’s VP of Marketing from his interview on the Diva Marketing blog that I had to share:

It was Geoff (Geoff Livingston of Livingston Communications) that taught me that we had to treat the blog just like any other product with a mission statement, logo, positioning statement, etc. Doing so has helped us stay focused and forced us to maintain product integrity so that the blog doesn’t become another blatant advertisement that will simply turn off any half educated reader. The content has value and I believe that is what keeps readers coming back.

There are valuable tidbits to learn from how Goodwill has approached using social media:

1. They realize that the blog & online fashion show are branded products that have a distinct mission and need feed, care and promotion to be succcessful.

2. They invested resources in this effort. By having an employee dedicated to managing the pieces they were able to be more successful.

3. They joined existing social groups (Meetup) within their passion to promote their mission, and are using existing tested tools (Ebay/MissionFish) to execute their strategy instead of creating something from scratch.

4. They are tracking their end results with Google Analytics to be able to highlight their success.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Silver Star! The Volunteer Center of United Way in Hartsdale, NY

I wanted to highlight another nonprofit who is uploading their photos on Flicker, the Volunteer Center of United Way in Hartsdale, NY!

They get a silver star, and they can improve their Flickr presence by:
1. Labeling all of their photos with something descriptive that uses some keywords
2. Spelling out RSVP and add their Volunteer Center's name, city and state to the comments for each photo
3. Adding "New York" and "NY" to their tags
4. Explaining why the RSVP volunteers are swing dancing. Is it a volunteer recognition event? A fundraiser?
5. Editing their Flickr profile. I'm assuming they meant to say "increase the quality and number of active volunteers in Westchester"

It's a great first effort!

Both of theses Volunteer Centers could also join the following photo groups on Flickr:
1. VolunteerNow
2. Volunteer Does a Body Good
3. Senior Volunteers

A Gold Star! Volunteer Center at United Way of Volusia-Flagler on Flickr!

I love being able to highlight non-profits who have been through my training and have applied my principles!

Today's honoree is the Volunteer Center at United Way of Volusia-Flagler, who has created a Flickr profile and has uploaded volunteering photos!

I would particularly like to draw attention to the details that they provided with their uploaded photo. They are using great keywords in their description, and a link to their site.

It's a great job, and I have two more suggestions for them:
1. Edit the title of the photo so that it reads: Martin Luther King Jr. Day (MLK Day) Project 2008
2. Add "Martin Luther King Jr. Day" (spelled out) to your tags
3. Add the photo to the existing Martin Luther King Day of Service group

But great job! Now keep an eye on your Web Analytic reports to see if Flickr shows up as a referrer of traffic to your site.

P.S. If you noticed, the Volunteer Center at United Way of Volusia-Flagler got a lot of "link love" from this post, so feel free to send me an email with how your nonprofit is using social media sites to generate traffic to your online content, and you might also be featured by me in a blog post and receive some link love of your own.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Free Online Marketing & Management Classes

I have not reviewed these classes, but wanted to pass them along in case folks find this useful.

Google Local Search Results Change

Just a heads up that Google Local has changed the number of results that it displays from 3 to 10, and based on this post from Search Engine Land your ability to ensure that your nonprofit to be displayed in that top 10 is at least in part due to positive reviews.

So for all of you managing your local search listing, I would encourage the folks you work with to create a review of your services.

For an example of what I'm talking about, type "volunteer opportunity in Chicago" into Google's search box and see what happens. The first thing you should notice is that neither Volunteer Center in Chicago is listed (so if you're reading this blog and work at those Volunteer Centers, I would register your Center). Also you'll notice that the Chicago Symphony Orchestra has 17+ reviews. Go ahead and click on the reviews link...notice that there's a "Write a Review" link at the top? This is where your volunteers and folks that you work with should go to write a recommendation about your services.

Is it worth it? Did you notice that it lands you in the #1 spot for free for "volunteer opportunity + city"? That should be a part of every Volunteer Center's "winning" keywords list, so I think it's totally worth it.