Nonprofit Social Media Series: Automation, Tracking, & the Future

Before you put your plan in action, make sure you have the right tools in place to measure your success.Getting feedback on your efforts allows you to see what’s working. Seeing areas of strength and weakness allows nonprofits to adjust their approach to keep attracting donors and volunteers, without wasting energy on areas that simply do not work. Before putting any online marketing plan into action, it is absolutely essential to put the following systems in place. Doing so enables you to track your actions in almost real time and have a basis for comparison. Track your links, review your analytics, and streamline where you can!

Analytics and Feeds

Signing up for Google’s Feedburner service allows you to track subscribers to your website’s RSS feeds (to anything that can count Feed Subscribers). By allowing supporters to opt-into your blog feed, you can deliver your content to them by their preferred method, since they decide the method of delivery when signing-up. On the flip side, having a Google reader feed set up for your content creating team members allows them to have access to the hottest, most trending topics. This is great for added-value content and getting some fantastic social media karma!

Also, be sure to install Google Analytics on your website(s) also gives you a great deal of tracking data. Google Analytics is easily installed on any site and gives you valuable information on traffic and how people are behaving when they reach your site. Be sure to have some well-thought out donor funnels which guide the user where you want them to go. Adding analytics code to these pages makes it easy to track performance!

Track Links

Set up an account with Bitly and use it to shorten all your links before you share them. It can even be integrated with Twitter, Facebook, Hootsuite, WordPress, etc. you can track clicks on everything!). Tracking what you do gives valuable insight on what is working and what isn’t. Locate topics that your audience interacts with the most and create more content around those titles or topics. Using social media works great to market your blog and reviewing your tracked links ensures you are analyzing the traction you are getting to optimize future social media content.

When it comes to optimizing your site, you can use a lot of plugins to help you automate a lot of the SEO.Automate SEO

Google Webmaster Tools so that you can track keywords/errors and optimize your site. Optimizing your website to rank more highly doesn’t require extensive work, especially with a slew of great plugins that do most of the heavy lifting for you. If your website is built upon WordPress, we highly recommend installing an SEO plugin. WordPress SEO by Yoast and All in One SEO Pack are the most popular, and with good reason: they generate meta tags, improve page titles, generate XML sitemaps, play well with social media, and more. And they even integrate well with Google Analytics! Installing them takes only a few clicks and goes a long way to improving your nonprofit’s visibility in search engine results.

Measuring Data

Set up a Google Drive spreadsheet to track specific measurements on a monthly basis (i.e. hits, list size, Twitter followers, Facebook fans, etc.). Many websites and apps allow you to easily export your data into a spreadsheet, which can then be uploaded to Google Drive. You can create fields within Google Drive’s spreadsheets that will count your characters (just be sure to leave at least 10 left over for your links!)

…the Future

Things to keep an eye on for the future are emerging ways to engage and track your activities. With social media changing at break-neck speed, sometimes it can seem a little overwhelming to keep up with the trends and changes in various social channels. Just keep in mind, no matter what you try, there is no set formula for any nonprofit organization to make your social media a success. Every audience, cause, and organization is different. The best approach is to do your best to use automation for streamlining as long as it doesn’t take away your unique voice. A human touch is still the best; creative, innovative approaches to building community support for your cause will propel you further than any software or service promising to do as well as you can.

So yes, introduce services such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social, but don’t assume it will take the place of good, old fashioned relationship-building. That is the real objective to having a successful social media campaign. We do hope you got some great ideas to implement into your online social activities; if you still feel stuck and are ready for some fantastic guidance, do you and your organization a favor and set up a consult with us today!

We wish you all the best and we thank you for taking the time to read our nonprofit social media email series. Now that you know what is involved, you may feel a little overwhelmed. Not to worry, the Valeo Team is here to help! Contact us to talk more about your needs