Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Word of mouse: 10 ways to master nonprofit guerrilla social media

My guest blogger today is colleague Chris Forbes, co-author of Guerrilla Marketing for Nonprofits. Chris and I met in the virtual world several years ago when he reviewed my two publicity books on his blog. I'm now happy to reciprocate, putting a spotlight on his book (I like it so much that I provided a "blurb" that appears on the inside).

Chris writes here about social media for nonprofits, but his ideas can apply to small businesses, solo-preneurs, authors, and others. Here's what he has to say:

Guerrilla marketers know a good deal when they see one. And social media is a very good deal for guerrillas because they focus on reaching individuals instead merely selling their ideas to markets. With a little time, energy, and imagination, nonprofit guerrillas deepen their relationships with their clients and supporters and increase the frequency of exposure of their message to the people they want to reach by using social media. To get the most out of social media, it is important to make strategic use with a plan. Below are 10 ways your organization can master the use of social media.
  1. Message: In order for your message to have any impact for your cause, it has to contain your message. A funny or interesting video, even if it becomes a very popular online phenomenon, is useless to your nonprofit if it doesn’t get people to take action.
  2. Meme: The message of your viral outreach needs to be easy to grasp without explanation and easy to pass on to others.
  3. Meeting: Find the media that your target audience likes to use and go where the people are. Media researchers estimate 60 percent of adults belong to a social network, but most only belong to one. Spread your virus in a variety of networks.
  4. Manage: Funnel the contacts you make in social media toward your Web site or blog. Make your Web site the second tier of your social media strategy. The third tier is when people register with your site. Mobilize the people who sign up on your site to take action and help spread the message.
  5. Material: Give people the content they need to pass along your viral marketing. Provide assets for your audience to make their own videos, allow them to put their picture in an e-card, do anything that helps to put themselves into the story line and send to their contacts.
  6. Mobilize: Make it easy to pass your content through word-of-mouse. Choose the video tools that allow you to embed your videos directly into Facebook, blogs, etc. Social bookmark tabs need to post you link and teaser copy into other sites.
  7. Medium: Make your content a good match for the medium. Long videos will not be watched as much as shorter ones. Break up paragraphs in articles and write lead sentences remembering they may also serve as the teaser copy for the links when they are visible on other sites.
  8. Marketing: Your content needs to have links back to your sites and copy that promotes your organization. Don’t leave the “More Info” section blank; include good copy using your key words and links.
  9. Metrics: Watch the statistics. Check not only how many people view, forward, or tweet your content, but track how many click through and take the next step with your message, too.
  10. Momentum: Start the ball rolling by forwarding your content to the networks of your intended target. Leave room in tweets for people to “re-tweet” (RT). Prime the commenting by starting the first comment on links and posts you put in other networks. Push your virus into new networks until it takes off on its own.
What's the most effective social media tactic you've used? Why do you think it worked?

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