Organizations that are reliant upon gifts and donations to support their mission reflect on successful and unsuccessful campaigns as they plan for the upcoming year. Taking a look at your efforts this past year, what worked? Was it a new event or messaging? An uplifting or participant spotlight? Finding the right message and platform to kick-off and continue fundraising is a delicate balance and for many organizations, “Giving Tuesday”, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, may seem like a slamdunk due to its growing exposure year-after-year. But, could the growing exposure of Giving Tuesday be hurting your nonprofit’s efforts and diminishing your message?
History of Giving Tuesday
Giving Tuesday dates back to 2012 and is fueled by the growth and reach of social media.
"Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. Since 2012, people from all over the world have given over $1 Billion to causes on #GivingTuesday. #GivingTuesday has become a movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy with events throughout the year and a growing catalog of resources."
With over $1 billion raised, it is difficult to login to any social platform during the month of November and not see #GivingTuesday. But what if you had a campaign day that was strictly about your organization and mission and directly targeted at your audience and donors? Creating a day of giving campaign, that is standalone from Giving Tuesday, ensures your messaging and stories aren’t getting lost amongst the millions of other messages being published.
Key Components of a Successful Giving Day Campaign
Some key components that should be included in your campaign include goal setting, a content calendar for planning out social media messaging, and custom graphics and media, that is attention-grabbing and compelling. It may seem like the obvious first step, but having a specific goal (funds, volunteers, new participants) sets you on the path towards telling a complete story and attracting others to take action for your cause.
Planning a content calendar ensures you’re reaching the specific demographics on that particular social media platform. If your Facebook audience is middle-aged, posting messages that are targeted towards the young participants, isn’t going to have the same impact.
Lastly, branded graphics and media are what is going to get individuals to stop scrolling, read, and take action. Whether you are asking for donations, volunteers, or recruiting new participants, having branded graphics and media, including videos, hashtags, and pictures, creates a cohesive campaign that tells the story across different platforms and audiences.
Build Relationships with Donors
Taking the time to create a separate day of giving campaign will reduce the likeness of your message being missed or crowded out. Craft thoughtful messaging, engaging media, and a strategic timeline to tell a more convincing story in comparison with multiple rushed messages using the hashtag #GivingTuesday. The most profitable giving day campaigns require a calculated campaign plan highlighting your organization’s unique strengths and offerings. Find new donors, strengthen relationships with current donors, and gain exposure for your fundraising efforts to further the mission!
We’ve established that the internet isn’t just a fad and social media continues to grow with new social media channels and an increase in users. With nearly 3 billion active social media users around the world, it’s impossible to keep up with all of the conversations happening online on your own, even when you are active within your industry and your business. But what if you had the ability to gain consumer insights by tracking and analyzing conversations happening online specific to your business?
What is Social Listening?
Our partners at Sprout Social define social listening as, “the process of tracking conversations around specific topics, keywords, phrases, brands or industries, and leveraging your insights to discover opportunities or create content for those audiences.”
The social listening tool offers businesses the opportunity to monitor, analyze, and listen to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, Google+, Reddit, blogs, forums and news sites for conversations happening online about your business, brand, or specific keywords. That being said, the insights gained go far beyond researching hashtags and manually scrolling through news feeds to gather data.
How Can Your Business Benefit from Social Listening?
Social listening has the ability to advance your business and inform your overall marketing strategy. Broadly speaking, social listening offers a competitive advantage over others in your industry by monitoring and analyzing keywords relevant to your business.
This data allows for a comprehensive, high-level analysis of trends in your industry to help you make macro-level decisions. Having a deeper understanding of industry trends, social listening will help in developing hashtags to use with your social media content as a way to amplify your message reach.
Beyond tracking specific keywords, social listening also has the ability to track customer sentiment and attitude towards your brand, identify influencers within your industry, and inform pay-per-click (PPC) marketing. These insights demonstrate how you can shift and allocate advertising dollars based upon the conversations occurring online. The segmented data can be filtered and sorted in countless ways, including but not limited to geography, demographics, channels, sentiment, and more.
Why is Social Listening Important?
Social listening impacts your social media strategy as well as your overall search engine marketing initiatives. The strategic data delivers insights about your brand, competitors, engaging content, people driving the conversation online. Taking this data to drive your content strategy to answer the questions that your consumers are asking or redirecting valuable dollars to a specific demographic is critical to being adaptive.
Being able to take the temperature of your brand health allows you to further develop your business’ social strategy, campaigns, and overall customer reach. With all this consumer research, social listening ultimately gives you the tools you need to develop and drive an effective content strategy to optimize consumer reach and propel your business towards a successful future.
Maddy Martin, Smith.ai
Many attorneys grow their law practices through referrals. Typically, referrals come from individuals (non-competing attorneys, financial advisors, friends, family, and other community or networking group members) who know you well, so the lead quality is very high, and whether an engagement begins is largely a matter of cost and availability, rather than fit. The problem is, referrals are unpredictable, and don’t offer a path to consistent growth for your firm.
To drive more reliable growth, attorneys now know they need to tap other marketing and advertising channels, like paid search ads and high-quality content that drives organic website visitors.
But even the best marketing agency only delivers leads; conversion is still on you. In order to convert leads, you need to make contact with them — and quickly. According to the 2017 Clio Legal Trends Report, 2 out of 3 potential clients say their decision to hire is most influenced by an attorney’s response time to their first call or email. Wait to respond, and they’re likely to have already engaged another attorney.
The problem here — especially if you’re in a solo or small firm — is your day is booked up with meetings, court appearances, billing tasks, and admin chores. You’re lawyering and you’re laboring. There’s no time for interruptions from new clients. Most lawyers already only spend 1.9 hours on billable work each day— there’s no room to cut that even shorter.
The way to consistently grow your client base and achieve better marketing return on investment (ROI) is to outsource and automate your responsiveness and lead capture.
Here are my top 5 recommendations to do so:
1. Engage Web Leads Via Live Chat
There’s no better way to initiate contact with a website visitor than with live web chat. U.S.-based receptionists can passively or proactively engage visitors, answer basic questions, and ask screening questions to separate the good leads from the bad. Once a good lead is identified based on your criteria, that person can immediately be offered a call-back or scheduled consultation to help secure that conversion. Being responsive directly on your website directly reduces cold calls and emails, and reduces the number of new “contact form” completions that come through without any prior screening. You’ll waste less time when you do get on that first phone call with these pre-screened leads.
3. Book Consultations with "Gated" Online Scheduling
If a web visitor completes the intake form and has a strong feeling after learning more about your firm that their needs match your practice areas, the next critical action is to schedule a consultation, which is typically a phone call.
Online scheduling apps like Acuity, Appointy, and ScheduleOnce make it easy to book consultations, but my main advice here is to not make it too easy, because the last thing you want is lots of calls booked without your involvement that result in wasted time with bad leads.
Employ one or more of these three tactics to reduce no-shows and cancellations, and better ensure your time will be spent with qualified potential clients:
Justie Nicol of Nicol Law Offices makes it crystal clear what you need to do to get on her calendar, successfully “gatekeeping” her free 30-minute consultations:
Pro Tip: While most online scheduling apps are very inexpensive, often just $5-30/month, check out Calendly for a free solution. It only supports one calendar type at a time, but that’s often sufficient for a solo attorney who’s just getting started or on a tight budget.
4. Follow Up with High-Conversion Emails
Not every web lead will be convinced enough that your firm is the right fit to book a consultation on the spot, so increase the likelihood they will convert soon by following up via phone and also high-conversion emails. These emails, often called “lead nurturing” emails can be set up in your email or marketing automation software to “drip” into their inbox at a set cadence, and can include content that builds trust and interest in your firm, aimed at converting them to a client.
You can include basic FAQ, client testimonials, links to schedule a consultation, and advice pertinent to the practice area they best match with (which you will know from their selection on your “contact us” form or the receptionist’s notes from their initial phone call).
In every email, make sure you include a call to action (CTA) that prompts them to take the desired action. If possible, highlight this CTA by making it a phrase on a button-looking image, such as “book a free consultation” or “schedule a call with me,” like this:
5. Refer & Monetize Your Bad Leads
Now, what about the leads who aren’t qualified? We all know web visitors don’t always read before reaching out. Maybe someone needs a criminal defense attorney but reached your family law office’s website. Don’t just hang up or disconnect the web chat. You can refer them to other firms you recommend and earn a sizeable fee (based on your local bar association’s rules). At the very least, even if there’s no money in it, you build good will for yourself and your firm.
Based on your directions and custom referral list, your phone staff or virtual receptionists can provide contact information for lawyers you recommend who are better suited to serving that potential client’s needs, with no involvement required from you after the initial process is set up.
Improve Web Lead Conversion with Smith.ai Phone & Chat Receptionists
Not all live receptionist and web chat services offer the range and quality law firms require. Smith.ai offers remote, U.S.-based professional receptionists for inbound and outbound calls, as well as website chat, powered by AI technology that enables remarkable accuracy and efficiency.
RyTech readers get $50 off their first month of either phone or web chat service with code RYTECH50. To learn more and sign up, visit https://smith.ai, call (650) 727-6484, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Maddy Martin
Maddy Martin is the head of growth and education for Smith.ai, which provides integrated phone and web chat services for small businesses, including theirvirtual receptionist & intake service, live web Chat service, and Keypad cloud phone system. She has spent the last decade growing tech startups from New York to California, and has expertise in digital marketing, small business communications, lead conversion, email marketing, SEO, and content marketing. Maddy can be reached at email@example.com, and you can also connect with her on LinkedIn.
Social media is everywhere nowadays, and it is hard to stand apart from the competition. Here are 7 quick tips to increase your following and engagement with current and potential customers.
1. Utilize a Social Media Content Calendar
The best way to keep social media posts organized is on a social media content calendar that lists the dates and times at which you will publish types of content on each channel. By planning out your posts a week or month at a time, you can make sure you do not forget important events or post duplicate content. It may seem like a large time investment upfront; however, it will save you a significant amount of time on a monthly basis, while also making it easier to coordinate campaigns and grow your reach.
2. Choose the Best Time of Day for Your Channel & Audience
The best time to post for more impressions and engagements all depends on your specific audience, but there are time slots that tend to work better depending on the social media channel. For instance, posting in the morning and late afternoon (before and after work) are great times to post on LinkedIn, whereas around noon, and in the evenings work best for Facebook. If you are on more than one social media network, remember to schedule posts at different times across each platform, so there is a greater chance of the posts being seen by a larger audience.
3. Determine the Optimum Frequency
It is important to remember to post less frequently on networks where the newsfeed is controlled by an algorithm such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and more frequently where it is more “real time” such as Twitter. Posting regularly across all channels is another important component when it comes to getting your company in front of your followers. If you post five times one week and only once the next week, your followers will forget about you in the off weeks. Moreover, inconsistent posting shows your audience that social media is not a priority and building a trusting relationship with them becomes that much more difficult.
4. Incorporate Visual Content
When you use a visual, you make it more likely that your target audience will stop and consume your content. In fact, visual content is 40 times more likely to get shared than non-visual content.
These visuals could include:
Although creating quality visuals is a time-consuming task for most businesses, the outcome is well worth the effort.
5. Maintain a Consistent Tone
Sticking with the same tone will help make your brand that much stronger as long as it matches your overall marketing efforts. However, make sure it is appropriate for the social channels you are on. It may be perfectly fine for your business to be fun and spunky on Facebook or Twitter, but if you are on LinkedIn, you need to make sure you maintain a professional appearance. The main theme to remember is to keep the same tone on each specific channel.
6. Stick to the 80/20 Content Rule
Don’t be overly promotional. Another important thing to remember is that you need to post content other than promotional material. The majority of people logging on to their social media accounts do not want to look at marketing material and will consequently get annoyed if they constantly have marketing messages in their newsfeed.
Try using the 80-20 rule as a general rule of thumb. 80% of your posts should inform, educate, or entertain your audience (while still being relevant to your brand) and Twenty percent can directly promote your brand. This shows your followers that you see them as friends and not just customers, making them more likely to engage with your content and less likely to unfollow your page.
7. Analyze & Compare Data Regularly
As with any marketing effort, you need to analyze your results constantly. Measure how effective your efforts are by looking at impressions and engagements for each post and for each social media channel. See which posts are receiving the most interaction and create similar content for future posting.
For posts that have little interaction, either cut back on similar posts or switch up the message entirely. Testing different messages is key to crafting a strong social media campaign. If you are having a hard time gaining traction with your social media marketing efforts, create a revised strategy to determine if you should switch channels or messaging to reach the audience you want to target.
Regardless of how many of these tips you follow for an optimizing a social media post, remember, the main purpose for social media is to have a one-on-one relationship with your customers...It’s about being social!