Note from Beth: “Measuring the Networked Nonprofit” is getting a lot of good feedback as people read and apply the ideas in the book. One of the key messages in the book is that nonprofits should not start with the tools and data, but start to clearly define success and their audience. By doing so, they will understand the few data points and the tools needed to collect that data to figure out if they have been successful! In the book, we avoid talking about specific tools because they change so fast and new ones appear almost daily. We talk about finding the right tool for the data collection job and tools come in three different categories: analytics tools, content analysis, and surveys. Analytics tools like the ones described below are good for measuring actions and engagement.
Three Analytics Tools to Gauge Your Social Audience’s PulseGuest Blog by Ritu Sharma, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Social Media for Nonprofits
Just like many of the nonprofits and other loyal readers of Beth’s Blog out there, we at Social Media for Nonprofits were excited for the recent release of Beth’s new book, Measuring the Networked Nonprofit: Using Data for Social Change.
In line with its focus on turning data into knowledge through powerful, insightful measurement and analytics of social media efforts, we wanted to share three simple tips and resources that nonprofits can put to work.
All of these platforms have been profiled at our recent Social Media for Nonprofits conferences, which is about to produce its final US program of the year in Seattle on 11/5, before we head to New Delhi on December 5, and then back to New York City, Silicon Valley, Vancouver, plus most other major US markets in 2013.
1 – Get to Know Your Audience
Want to know what makes your online audience tick? Then check out Simply Measured. In particular, their free reports give you your social audience’s pulse on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and other platforms. There’s a gold mine of intelligence presented in their 8-10 insightful, colorful analysis tools. Learn who your followers are, what issues they care about, which posts are firing up your base, and what types of content are gaining steam and going viral.
2 – Make Your Website Shine
How can you make your web footprint work for you and complement your social strategy? Nonprofits get free access to Google Analytics, a robust tool that tracks what turns your audience on or off when they land on your site. This tool highlights the behaviors that are most important to understand, including where your audience came from, what content they looked at, how long they stuck around, where you lost them, and to what extent your base engaged with your content.
3 – Monitor Social Conversations
Discover a social treasure of other cause-driven folks like you connecting with likeminded professionals, sharing content, and tracking followers by analyzing your nonprofit’s social media presence. Keep an eye on all your social conversations, wherever they take place, with Sprout Social (think HootSuite on steroids). Nonprofits can save 50% on this low-cost tool, which gives you the ability to engage with your base, strategically search for better followers, identify posts that get superb traction, and of courser, schedule your posts in advance. *Note: Pre-scheduling posts should only be used for Twitter and LinkedIn posts, but Facebook de-prioritizes posts scheduled via third parties, so that’s a no-no. Thankfully, you can now pre-schedule posts on Facebook itself.
We hope you decide to take advantage of these powerful tools, and that you join us at any of the upcoming Social Media for Nonprofits conferences around the world for more insights, tips, and tools. Come see great speakers like everyone’s favorite, Beth Kanter, plus Guy Kawasaki and senior leaders from leading social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+, plus nonprofit executives from National Geographic, American Red Cross, Greenpeace, Kiva.org, Story of Stuff, DonorsChoose, and charity:water. To ensure broad accessibility, we keep conference registration fees down to about $100, including breakfast, lunch, and access to the full-day program, plus there are always scholarships available for smaller nonprofits.
Ritu Sharma serves as Co-Founder and Executive Director of Social Media for Nonprofits. Under her leadership the world’s only series dedicated to social media for social good has earned a 92% approval rating from over 2,500 nonprofit leaders across the country. She is a public speaker, consultant, and event planner and heads up programming, marketing, and event logistics for the series. Previously, she produced Our Social Times and Influence People’s North American Social Media Marketing and Monitoring conference series and started a web development and social media business, which leveraged an international team of programmers and designers across India, Romania, and the US.