Kate Bladow shared some interesting insights in a recent series on Beth's Blog, How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media regarding the role of listening in the world of non-profit marketing. According to the non-profits with which Kate spoke, the role of listening in an organization can be the difference between engaging deeply with your constituency to achieve your org's mission and alienating them through spam or other irrelevant touch points.I'll touch upon some of the highlights of Kate's series and bring to light some of the best practices she gathered from various non-profits, but you can get more detail about the concept of listening literacy from the blog series.To begin with, Kate defines listening as "knowing what is being said online about your organization, field or issue." Basically, the act of going out into the social web - blogs, social networks, bulletin boards, Twitter, search engines - and picking out conversations relevant to your organization or cause.The value of this exercise is that you can then use the conversations you encounter to improve your programs (even negative comments are an opportunity to improve) to identify misconceptions about your organization that you can actively work to change as well as finding opportunities to engage with your constituency in a relevant and meaningful way.Some basic suggestions for beginning to listen online:Organize your listening workflow by subscribing to relevant blogs, twitter and other feeds with a free RSS reader or get aggregated bulletin board content.Set goals for your listening project.Report back to your team regularly on your findings.Identify keywords intrinsic to your organization and search for them on search engines and Twitter. Create a one-sheeter for your organization with the results to use in your marketing efforts.Keep a list of words and phrases that people use to identify your organization and customize your messaging to match how people already identify your org.Run a search engine referral report in Analytics or your AdWords account to see what users are typing in to find your org.Check out social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon or delicious to see what terms people are tagging relevant to your org's content.Check out Beth's list of free tools for listening online.
Kate Bladow is a Non-Profit Techie that works for Pro Bono Net by day and blogs at Technola by night. Beth Kanter authors Beth's Blog, How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media, contributes to various books on the subject of technology in the non-profit space and in 2009, she was named by Fast Company Magazine as one of the most influential women in technology and one of Business Week's "Voices of Innovation for Social Media."
Posted by Jessica Vaughan, Google Grants Team
"We are using Google Docs to share info with other volunteers in our neighborhood association in New Orleans. We have "Block Captains" who each compile data on infrastructure issues related to Hurricane Katrina so that we can accelerate rebuilding our homes and our lives. One person uploads the data into Google Docs regarding the issues we find (like leaks and broken catch basins, missing street signs and stop signs). The spreadsheets are then shared with other members of the association, the Water board and the City so they can view the issues and address them."
This group concludes by saying, "Google Docs makes it easy for us to enter & is the ONLY way for us to share the up-to-date data." Read this story and other use cases from students, teachers, and more on the Google Docs site. When reviewing these stories, think about ways your organization could benefit from using Google Docs and the entire suite of Google Apps for Non-Profits to better meet your mission.
At the beginning of the year, most people take time to reflect on what they've accomplished in the past year and what their goals are for the next year. New Year's Resolutions are a chance to reinvent yourself and try out new experiences.
It's also a good time for businesses to reflect on their past year and what they plan on accomplishing in 2010. At Google, we overhauled the AdWords interface and released a number of enterprise-class features in Analytics.
Take the time to reflect on your 2009. Not just the quantitative accomplishments, but the risks you took and the new strategies you tried. Did you change your focus? Did you launch a new marketing plan?
Google has some tools to help you plan for and test your new strategies in 2010.
Planning for 2010:
Posted by Lee Anne Grant, Google AdWords Team
As you likely know, Google Grants ads cannot be run on content partner sites in Google's ad network. However, the Google Grants Team is pleased to announce that we have a unique opportunity for a handful of grantees to participate in a month-long experiment to have ads for their organization shown on the Google Content Network for free. In this experiment, Googlers (Google employees) will create and manage a separate AdWords account for selected organizations to receive up to $500 worth of ad clicks on content sites in the Google Network at no cost to the organization. Note that the Googler will have full control over this separate account, creating ads and selecting keywords, and the participating grantee organization will not have access to the account or access to the Googler managing the account.
If you are interested in this opportunity, please review the requirements below.
If your organization meets these requirements and would like to be considered, please complete this form.