Tag Archives: social media marketing

Bird-Watching: It’s Not Your Grandmother’s Hobby Anymore

23 May

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Audubon Society has long been known for its older generation of bird watchers – you probably are familiar with the organization because of your grandparents’ involvement. But today, The Audubon Society is after the elusive ‘young birder’, someone who breaks the traditional ‘senior’ mold. The ideal candidate? Twenty- and thirty-somethings with a penchant toward nature. And believe it or not, they’re out there and they’re getting connected.

And just how do they intend to capture this new demographic? How else? Well, social media, of course. Technology is the future of the organization. They’ve already tested out their new strategies with their California chapter by inviting members and non-members alike to attend  Audubon-sponsored events. For just one event, they had over 300 responses. “…[N]ew birders and their technology are welcome. Organizations need to keep appealing to new generations to stay relevant,” says Garry George of California Audubon.Young birders also bring new opportunities to an organization that has always catered to an older generation. For instance, birders can download apps to their mobile devices which allow them to identify bird species as well as examples of bird calls.

Now it’s easier than ever to keep track of Audubon events, information and updates by following their Twitter feed: @audubonsociety. If you want more, you can also connect with other enthusiasts on the National Audubon Society’s facebook page. Be part of the conversation or sit back and be informed. 

Their ultimate goal is to connect people with similar interests to the beautiful world around them. “This isn’t your grandmother’s Audubon anymore,” says Audubon President, David Yarnold.1

*Logo courtesy of Audubon.org.

1 NPR’s Marketplace


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GAP’s Branding Blunder
Success in China: KFC
Coffee, Wii Bowling, Yoga and…Banking?


10 Jan

Monday, January 10, 2011

What is the one thing that all non-profits have in common? They all need money to fund mission-enhancement projects. And how do they acquire this lifeblood? There are thousands of non-profit organizations across the country that do all kinds of amazing work. They’re also vying for people to help. So where do you go for volunteer recruitment? How can you reach new donors?

Expand your search through “FANGELISM” of course.

The principle of “fangelism” is very simple really. But it’s implementation must be well-thought and seamless. The idea is: Existing volunteers and constituents – who already have a passion for the cause – engage people, initiate conversation and, ultimately, ignite excitement and promote action.

“They turn strangers into friends. They turn friends into volunteers.
They then do the most important job – Turn your volunteers into advocates for your mission.”*

This could take many forms. It used to be by way of traditional word-of-mouth promotion – friends telling friends telling friends…well, you get the idea. Word-of-mouth has evolved into the use of social media networks making it super viral and immediately accessible. I call it “E-fangelism“.

How do you create a successful e-fangelist?

Well, not all of this is totally in your hands. You might already have e-fangelists in the social-network sphere that you don’t know about. But what you can do is offer ways to coach and encourage your fan base. You want to make them feel that they have freedom in disseminating the message, but ensure that they do it with tact.

1. Confirm the core group of efangelists. Gather your development team and discuss which volunteers you would like to approach. These should be trusted volunteers who have a history of helping toward mission delivery and development goals. Create a list of best practices and guidelines for success. (Note: These will vary from organization to organization because expectations and goals are distinct.) Familiarize yourself with the platforms available to you: Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Flickr, Foursquare, etc. You don’t have to be an expert in the various functions, but you ultimately want to know how each network can work for you.
2. Approach the volunteers and inquire about their interest in helping. Make sure they are aware of the full commitment.
3. Host a training session emphasizing key terms and concepts. Make sure they know the mission explicitly. Be prepared to do a tutorial for each social networking platform for new users.
4. Maintain regular communication with your team in order to circulate important messages and updates, offer encouragement and send reminders. (Tip: You will want to “monitor” new followers so you can follow up with them and, ideally, turn them into e-fangelists also. The key is to stay involved! Or if that’s not a feasible option because of time constraints, consider appointing a volunteer to serve as coordinator to organize the activities.)
5. Track your progress using features such as TweetReach.com and Facebook’s built-in insights attributes.
6. Tip: Always thank your advocates!! It goes a long way to hear that your work is appreciated. They will reciprocate by working harder.

What are the benefits?

1. The internet is more wide-reaching than traditional direct mail pieces. Most people in America participate in social media in some capacity. In fact, Facebook has more visits per week than Google in the United States.** You can reach more people in a shorter amount of time.
2. Volunteers can help do some of the work you’ve been wanting to do, but haven’t had time to commit to. You likely have many projects going on at once. They have one mission, one project to which they can devote their time and energy. A wider network of people doing one job should result in greater outcomes.
3. It’s legitimate “advertising”. E-fanglism is volunteers vouching for your successful programs. People value the opinions of friends and peers over the persuading of advertising from the source.
4. The message you communicate is immediate. And, therefore, you’ll be able to measure your return on investment (ROI) instantly.

You already have the most amazing, fervent sales team. Now, with a little coaching and encouragement, you can expand that network and continue to grow. If you’d like to know more about implementing e-fangelism into your development plan and for more tips, please contact me at 610.393.4430 or LRDConsulting@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you.


*adapted from Seth Godin’s concept
**Hitwise blog


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