There are now more cell phones than toothbrushes, and as of 2013, smartphones surpassed regular phone sales. But what are the implications for your nonprofit, and how can you craft a mobile impact strategy to advance your programs, fundraising, and work overall?
Darian Rodriguez Heyman recently joined us a for a webinar in which he provided a quick, effective, and practical primer on all aspects of mobile for good: its applications for nonprofits; how to effectively launch your mobile presence; and tips and tools for implementation.
In case you missed it, you can watch the replay here:
Steven: “Mobile Impact 101: Taking Your Cause Mobile” and my name is Steven Shattuck I’m the VP of Marketing here at Bloomerang, and I’ll be moderating todays discussion. Just a couple of house cleaning items before we get started just so everyone knows, I will be recording this webinar so if you have to bounce early, or want to review the content you will be able to do that later. Look for an e-mail later this afternoon from me with the slides and the full recording, you should receive that within a couple of hours of the conclusion of this webinar. So I want to go ahead and introduce our guest today. We’re really excited to have Darian Rodriguez Heyman here, great to have you Darian. Thanks for taking an hour or so out of your day to be here with us.
Darian: My pleasure, thanks for having me.
Steven: And for those of you who don’t know Darian, he’s the former executive director of the Craigslist Foundation. He’s also a co-founder of Social Media for Nonprofits, that’s a really great group that puts on a lot of events here nationwide. It’s the only conference series devoted to social media for social good, and he’s also the best selling author of “Nonprofit Management 101”, and Darian currently serves as Co-Founder and Chief Development Officer of BetterWorld Wireless, which serves U.S. nonprofits with calling, texting, and data plans powered by Sprint. They actually have a really cool program where they donate a free phone or tablet to women and girls in need for every customer they have. So I think he’s going to talk a little bit more about that program later.
So it’s very cool to have Darian here. Darian is going to run through his presentation for the next 30 to 40 minutes, and he has agreed to take questions as we go along. So if you have any questions about mobile impact, or mobile fund raising, anything you want to know, or perhaps like clarified from his presentation, please feel free to send any questions there in the chat box there on your screen. I’ll see those, Darian will see those, he will answer some things as we go along and if we have any time left at the end we will certainly do a more formal Q&A there as well.
So, Darian I’m not going to take any more time away from you, why don’t you go ahead and get us started?
Darian: Great, thanks so much Steven. Thanks for the folks at Bloomerang for agreeing to host this webinar. We do have a lot of content to get through, so we are going to use up the full hour but as you just heard I will be taking questions throughout. So if, at any point, anything I say is not completely clear or if you have any questions whatsoever, feel free to put those in the chat box and I’ll integrate those throughout the presentation.
I’m really excited to be with you today. You heard a little bit about my background and I’m not really going to talk too much about my company and what we’re up to. I’ll mention it briefly later, but what we’re really here today to talk about are a couple of different things.
So I’m going to start out todays program just briefly giving an overview of why mobile is a big deal and why it really represents a huge opportunity for nonprofits in particular and what the benefits are of taking your cause mobile. I’m not really going to spend too much time on that, specifically because you probably wouldn’t be on this webinar if you didn’t already know there was a huge opportunity. So we’re really not going to spend a lot of time on that front, but I will quickly contextualize the opportunity here.
Where we’re really going to spend the bulk of our time is the how-to. It’s really the okay, great, I want to take my cause mobile. Our nonprofit is looking to raise funds online or reach constituents, whatever the case may be, and how do I actually do that? How do we get our efforts off the ground and what are some tips and tools especially free or low cost ones that you can benefit from as you’re looking to move your efforts forward? If that sounds good, we’ll get started and Shortley I’m glad you worked out your sound issues. The gang’s all here.
First of all, what’s the big deal? Why is everybody starting to talk about mobile, just the way they talked about social media, Twitter, and Facebook a couple of years back?
As you heard in my intro, after moving on from the Craigslist Foundation where I started the “Nonprofit Boot Camp”, and writing a book, I launched a conference series called “Social Media for Nonprofits” and I think there’s a lot of parallels. “Social Media for Nonprofits” is the only conference series in the country focused on social media for social good. When we launched that four or five years ago, everyone was asking, “What’s the big deal? Why do I keep hearing about Facebook and Twitter?” They were more basic questions and now what we’re seeing is we’re past that point and now it’s much more about the implementation and it’s about maximizing the platform.
“Hey I’ve got 20,000 followers on Facebook, so what, how do I get them engaged? How do I get them to donate?” etc. So I’m going to be covering both of those, what’s the big deal and how to put it to work.
Why mobile? Well first of all, one of the things we like to say about social media is you need to meet your constituents where they’re at. Where they’re at is on Facebook and Twitter and where they’re at is increasingly on their mobiles, And those are not mutually exclusive by the way. A lot of the time that people spend on their mobile devices, about a third is spent on social media.
So, you know, this is increasingly a large chunk of time that people are spending, and that’s where their eyeballs are and if you want to talk to them, if you want to reach these folks, then mobile is defiantly a crucial part of your strategy. You know the other thing, just to give quick context to how pervasive mobile is, not only here in the U.S., but internationally, is that more people have access to a mobile phone to a toothbrush. More people in the world have access to a mobile phone than a toilet.
These are some of the most basic tools that we’re used to using and the mobile phone is even more ubiquitous. So it is literally the most popular tool in human history, in terms of how quickly it evolved and how quickly it’s reached a huge huge number of people, in fact in the billions. Not only has it reached these billions of people, but especially here in the U.S., we are absolutely addicted to our mobile phones. Most folks can not go one hour without checking their smartphone. They sleep with their smartphones and their phones within arms reach of them. So this is a tool that is literally connected to people at their hip.
We’re also seeing that more and more people are using these mobile devices to access the Internet. As of last year here in the U.S., smartphone sales overtook feature phones, the regular kind of old school phones. More and more people have smartphones, especially the youth. About 80% of youth in this country have mobile phones, working professionals that are under 35. If you look at overall Internet traffic, this year is the year that mobile Internet usage is expected to overtake desktop usage. People are using these devices to access the Internet and access your website, most nonprofits, from the data I’ve seen, most nonprofits even today without knowing it, about 30% of their website traffic is coming through mobile.
So this is the way people are already accessing your website and your content and if you don’t meet them where they’re at and if you don’t present your message in an appropriate format, then you are going to lose them and they are not going to come back. That’s kind of the top line, but we’ll get more into it.
One other point I just wanted to make here, is if you look at the data in terms of how much data traffic we’re seeing through mobile devices, this is the typical quintessential Silicon Valley hockey stick curve. I mean the numbers are going up and up and up by 50% a year. People are now accessing videos through their phones and photos, and they’re using more and more bandwidth. They’re surfing around and they’re getting more and more comfortable using their mobile phone to access the Internet and to make donations and e-commerce.
Just like social media, mobile is a tool. And the point is, you don’t use a tool for a tool’s sake, you use a tool to achieve something. Just like social media, mobile is a Swiss Army knife. It can be used for pretty much anything that your nonprofit may want to accomplish. It can be used for fund raising, to get new dollars in the door from new constituents that maybe you wouldn’t have reached otherwise. Or more effectively raising money from your existing supporters. It can be used for advocacy for connecting people to or to take some kind of social action and mobilize your base. It can certainly be used for marketing and amplifying your ability to communicate your message to the masses.
You can use it to recruit and also to manage volunteers and board members, really exciting opportunities there. Then finally, at the big picture bucket level, you can use it took create incredible efficiencies within your organization to reach people that is automated, in a way that enables you to achieve your programmatic goals much more efficiently. So again, it’s a Swiss Army knife that can be used for just about anything.
But let’s start diving into exactly how to leverage it, and one of the things I want to start out with saying is in order to take a step forward and really embrace mobile, first we need to take a step back, before we can take that leap ahead.
The first thing that I want to share, as we look at how to get your mobile efforts off the ground, how to take your cause mobile, is the of planning for success. So like I said, it’s a tool, it’s a Swiss Army knife, it can be used for just about anything. So the first question your nonprofit should be asking before you engage in mobile, and if you’re already started it’s okay to take a step buy and ask and answer this question. What does success look like? Or what are we trying to achieve here? So what we’ve done at BetterWorld Wireless is we’ve created this mobile matrix and aside from everybody getting e-mailed out a copy of the full presentation. If you want just the matrix, you can go ahead and tweet at me down here, use my Twitter handle, or you can also shoot me an e-mail, I’ll have my personal e-mail and mobile phone, of course, at the end of the workshop.
The point is what the mobile matrix does, it’s a very simple tool. As a recovering executive director I know what it’s like to be over capacity under resource, have a lot of stuff going on. So everything I look to share with nonprofit leaders like yourself is not about inspiring you, it’s about inspiring you to action. What can you do differently when you leave this workshop today, to be more efficient and more effective at serving your community? How can you do that in a way that’s not going to add more to your plate? You’re all really busy, I know it.
So this is a really simple tool it would literally take you and your team maybe 20 minutes to spend some time on this. Maybe a little bit more.
The question you’re asking is why are we messing with mobile? What are we trying to achieve here? So if you look at just comparing your different constituents you’re trying to reach with the different possible goals, and this is kind of a common denominator that is appropriate for most nonprofits but maybe you want to tweak it a little bit. Maybe you don’t have volunteers, maybe you don’t have staff. Whatever the case may be. But the point is, how can we raise more money from our donors? How can we more efficiently reach and serve our volunteers? How do we more effectively communicate with out staff? Hey we’re looking to better serve our clients in mobile.
Whatever the case may be, you kind of walk through each of these boxes in the matrix and you can either just put an X in the ones that are a high priority for you, or, in an ideal world, you would but a number in there. One through five, where one is a top priority and five is a nice to have. And if it’s blank, it’s not a priority at all. Right? That way you can say “All right, lets start with the ones. The most important thing for us is raising more money from our donors or more effectively communicating with the public.” Whatever the case may be.
Once you know what you’re trying to achieve with this tool, then all these other tips that I’m sharing with you today are going to be in context because they are all tools and tips to helping you achieve your goals. So the point is everything that I’m going to share for the rest of the workshop today is all about “Form follows function”. What is the function you want to use this tool for? All of the tools I share will be in context.
The other thing I want to say very quickly before I get started is I’m going to share a lot of best practices, these are things that are not commonly known, and certainly not commonly implemented by nonprofits because it is very early in the space so it’s a great opportunity for your nonprofit to standout. But especially when then tools become more common and more widely spread, the importance of being creative, and cutting through the clutter is only going to rise.
Even for now there is a great opportunity for your nonprofit to not only take the best practices and tips and tools I’m going to share today, but to go ahead and be creative. Look at what assets, what resources do you have? Well, if you’re like the Marine Mammal Center, here in the San Francisco Bay area where I am based, they are saving seals and whales and dolphins and what have you, and they have all these sounds. All these recorded audio clips of all these different animals. What they did is they turned those sounds into ringtones, they gave them away for free as a mechanism to have a viral campaign. To put something out there that people would likely share on their behalf so the message can really get out far and wide and they could can engage these people and interact with them on an ongoing basis. Not to mention every time these people’s phones ring now, they are going to think of the Marine Mammal Center. So a really great way to advance their mission in a creative way and in a low cost way that doesn’t cost their constituents anything.
All right so let’s get into it. Things in particular that I want to share as we get into how to get your mobile efforts of the ground, how to take your cause mobile are a couple of different things. Again, feel free to chime in with questions at any point. So a few different areas we want to cover here, we’re going to start out with mobile websites and really looking at the ins and outs of taking your current online presence, mobile. I’m also going to talk about Text to Donate, you’ve probably heard a lot about it since the super bowl and the Haiti earthquake, etc. We’re going to look at mobile applications and designing a mobile app for your nonprofit, and we will get started by comparing the difference between mobile websites and mobile apps.
We’re also going to look at social media integration. How can you take the effort that you’re doing in the mobile environment and integrate those into social media so it all feeds off one another? We’ll talk briefly about staffing, from an HR standpoint, how should you be thinking about how to effectively staff your mobile efforts. Finally look a little bit about analytics and optimization so you can use data to get a very clear sense of how people are responding to your mobile efforts.
All right, so let’s get started. Now first off, again, lets look at this very important question of, “Should my nonprofit be investing resources into making our website mobile friendly or making a full blown mobile website, or should we be focused on developing a mobile app?” I actually just wrote a blog for Beth Kanter, I’ll put her. . . Bethkanter.org . . . So I just wrote a blog for her on this exact topic, it’s also posted on the Huffington Post. But the point is, the punchline of my article, if you’re a busy executive director and don’t have the time to read it, is pretty much in every scenario I could imagine is first and foremost you’ve got to be making sure your website is mobile friendly.
The reason I say step one is always making your website mobile friendly is that because I mentioned before, on average, about 30% of your website traffic today is coming to you from mobile devices. So you want to make sure those people have a good experience. That is the first step you should be taking. Then and only then should you be looking at making a full blown mobile website or developing a mobile app.
When you get to that point there’s a couple of different considerations. Your mobile website will be accessible by anyone that has access to a browser, that does mean they’re going to need an Internet connection or a wifi connection. So if you’re in a rural area, that may be an issue. The interface for your mobile website is going to be relatively static, it’s kind of like a website, and you’re going to have some features that you can integrate, especially from a fund raising standpoint, and I’ll get to that in a second, but there are some limitations.
From a speed standpoint, websites are going to be pretty fast depending upon the Internet connection, not quite as fast as the mobile app. But most importantly it’s very inexpensive to develop, and if your website is based on a CMS platform like something like WordPress then often times the mobile friendly features are already baked in there. So you may not even need to do anything, and finally you don’t need to deal with getting your website approved, or dealing with the App Stores which you may need to do if you’re looking to get your app in the Apple App Store or the Android App Store.
Now if we compare that to what it’s like to build and then market an app. First off, once someone downloads your app, it’s really fast to access their complete functionality, they don’t need an Internet connection, but the first thing I said is “Once someone downloads your app”. So you absolutely cannot even consider developing a mobile application for your cause, without first taking into account and budgeting for and allocating resources for, how to actually get that application into people’s phones, into their devices.
If you don’t have a strategy around that, if it’s a, you know, “We’ll build it and they will come”, then most likely you are going to fail. So you definitely need to take that into consideration when you’re planning your efforts. You can have a very interactive interface and also you can integrate certain phone features with the mobile website, you can integrate GPS sometimes, but with an app you can integrate the phone, you can integrate a lot of other things as well.
Like I said it’s also really fast because it doesn’t rely on an Internet connection. Apps can be pretty pricey, you’re generally going to wind up spending at least about $20,000. If you happen to have a great intern or an offshore resource or someone that’s a board member that can do this pro-bono, that’s great. But typically you are going to budget pretty significantly for the development of the app and also for the marketing of it. You’re also going to need a strategy around getting it approved. So you’ll most likely want to get your app featured in the Apple App Store and the Google Android Store. There is a process there, so you want to plan for that, you want to look into that, and any special favors you can call in, you’re going to want to plan on those.
If you’re just planning on having people download it through your website or an event, then it’s not as big of a deal, but in general, you’re going to want to think about that.
So lets get into the mobile website more deeply. Now a couple of points that I want to make here. First of all I already mentioned this earlier, but as of last year in the U.S. there were more smartphone sales than regular phones. So more and more people have a device that will enable them to access your website in a rich way. At the same time. it’s a pretty small screen.
The first step that you’re going to want to do, and I’ll cover some tools for doing this in a little bit, but you’re going to want to use a tool like Google Analytics, which you can download for free and access through Google. Let me put that in here, and I’ll have this URL up later. But the point is you’re going to want to use a tool to find out, “Are we a typical nonprofit? Is 30% of our web traffic coming from mobile devices or is it 70%, because we’re working with mostly youth? Or is it 15% because we’re working mostly with the elderly population.”
Whatever the case may be, step one is figuring out what percentage of your traffic is coming to your site from mobile just because that is a very helpful number to know. . . . Sorry, I just wanted to . . . So that you can know how big of a priority this is.
Now step two, once you know what percentage of your mobile traffic is coming to you from mobile, step two is really to get your website to be responsive. When we use the term “responsive” in mobile design, what we’re talking about a little bit of technology that can detect what size screen, what kind of device someone is accessing your website from, and that way if it’s a laptop or desktop versus a tablet versus a phone, they’re going to see slightly different versions of the website that are going to be optimized for their screen. So making your website responsive is really important and you may want to give them access to the full website through a link if they are just on a pared down version with some streamlined functionality.
You’re also going to want to know, as I mentioned earlier, you have to meet people with an app and the fact of the matter is the party has already started. There’s over 30% of your web traffic most likely is coming to you from mobile, so meeting your audience there and making sure they have a great experience, has to be a top priority.
Finally whether it’s social media, whether it’s your direct mail campaign, whether it’s your events, the messaging, the imagery you’re going to be want to use on your mobile website should absolutely integrate with your messaging and your imagery across platforms. All the data that we’ve ever seen here, whether it’s looking at when we do social media, does that cannibalize our direct mail campaign? No, the answer is any time you add another tool into the tool box, it makes everything more effective. If you start doing work with mobile, it’s going to make your direct mail and your social media campaigns more effective. Everything feeds off one another.
Now as I mentioned before, part of the good news about a mobile website is that it can be accessible through any browser, anyone who has an Internet connection with a browser can look at your mobile website. From a fund raising standpoint, what is exciting, it’s just like having a donate page on your regular website. You can collect donations in real time and get immediate access to that cash, and people can sign up for your monthly sustaining club where they make automatically recurring gifts. You can also integrate all this data from a donor standpoint into your CRM, your Constituent Relationship Management platform. That is basically the database that is going to help you manage your contacts. Let’s see, I’m sending out link right now for the Salesforce.com Foundation, they are one of the leading CRM platforms, in fact they give 10 free licenses to nonprofits. They’re very generous with that, so you may want to take a look at that if you don’t already have a CRM platform in place. But either way the point is you can integrate your donor information into your overarching contact database.
You can also integrate certain functionality, like I mentioned GPS, so if you’re a food bank and you have difference offices around the city, people can find out what’s closest to them. Finally mobile websites kind of go together like peanut butter and jelly with QR codes, and those are those funky little square things like the one on the screen here that you see every once in a while. What that is, is basically a code that you can scan it with your smartphone, you can download a scanner for free, and then it will take you to a particular web page, to a site, which would most likely be your mobile site.
So if you do a big event or an annual gala and you now launched a mobile site so having the QR code up there, you can create these for free, and even put your logo in the middle of it, having a big QR code as people walk into the event and say “Hey check out our mobile site” is a great way to start generating traffic.
Now just to give an example of one specific nonprofit, November is the group that raises money for prostate cancer every November with guys growing out their mustaches. They are just releasing their new data now. This came from the Network for Good and PayPal mobile study and the new version is just coming out for this year. But even looking a year ago between 2011 and 2012, November saw about 50% increase in their mobile visits and their page views. So we are seeing a huge growth curve and this very much echoes that overarching growth of data for mobile. More and more people are moving into this environment.
I do want to echo Debra’s comment here about Bloomerang being a great CRM platform as well, so that is something that is integrated into the Bloomerang platform, from a fund raising and a contact management standpoint.
The other point I want to make very quickly about the importance of making sure your website is mobile friendly, is that, when you look at the amount of time you have peoples attention for, you usually have two to three seconds before you lose someone. So you need to grab them with a hook. That’s true for your e-mails, it’s true for your website, it’s true especially for your mobile website. So you’ve only got a couple of seconds to make sure that number one, that your website loads and number two, it starts with something very compelling. If you don’t do that, then half of the people are going to leave your site and almost all of them will never return. This is with a traditional website, these data points. Imagine in a mobile environment where people are very comfortable expecting things immediately.
Now one thing that is slightly different in a mobile website than a traditional website is the way you’re going to want to present your information. For example, let’s look at a best practice around your mobile donate page. Well what you’ll see here is that, normally with your website and your donate page you’re going to want to decrease and minimize the amount of clicks that someone is going to need to make. So you’re not going to want to have them fill out one or two questions to go out to the next one and fill out two more, next one, next one, next one, etc. No. What you’re going to want to do traditionally on your website is have them fill out all that information all at once and then boom they’re done.
With mobile, that’s a bit different. Because you’re dealing with such a small screen and if someone starts scrolling down and seeing “Wow I’m only 5% of the way through this form” they may lose hope and abandon ship. So instead, what you’re going to want to do is optimize your donate page so you’re asking so only for a select few pieces of information at each turn. And getting that key information first, how much do they want to donate and what’s their e-mail? Then moving into the contact info, payment, etc. So you’re going to want to make this as, sort of, as screen friendly as possible.
Speaking of fund raising, let’s get into Text to Donate, this is an interesting opportunity and this got a huge amount of press around the Haiti earthquake because the Red Cross raised about $40 million in two days after that. Now that was due to a combination of a few things. I think they got a bunch of free advertising, but the biggest issue is the carriers waived their fees for them because of the unique nature of the crisis. Which is great but it’s also not necessarily representative of the experience that you could expect if you’re going to engage in Text to Donate. So what you should expect though, is first off, something that works really well for the donor. If you’re doing a huge event, a big festival and you’ve got thousands of people there, the ability to put something on a screen and say “Text 10 to 51222 and you’ll donate $10 and it will just get tacked onto your cell phone bill”, that’s super simple, it’s a great impulse contribution and it can be a great way to raise money in small amounts from a large number of people. Now when I say “small amounts”, typically it’s not super small because you do face a minimum of $5 to $10 dollars per donation, you also, typically, are not able to accept reoccurring gifts, so people can’t sign up and give $10 a month forever, it’s a one time thing. The other thing that’s potentially a really big downfall for Text to Donate, especially if you’re a small nonprofit that is heavily reliant on on getting easy access to the funds that you raise, is that you need to wait at least a month to see that cash. Because, if you think about it, they agree to donate $10. They have to wait till they get their bill from their provider, then they pay that bill and you get paid by AT&T or whoever, you know, BetterWorld Wireless. So it takes a little bit to get access to that cash.
Now the good news is mobile fund raising and mobile revenue for nonprofits is currently at about 5% and even that number might be a little high but it is doubling every year, compared to overall fund raising for nonprofits which is growing at 3% a year or 2% a year. So compared to 100% a year, this is a huge growth terms and the nonprofits that get out in front and own the space are going to get a big chunk of those contributions.
All right, Mobile Apps. So, let’s talk about mobile apps and, you know, as I mentioned earlier, first and foremost if you are considering developing an app, your website should be optimized first and foremost. There’s no question about that. Now once you’ve done that, we can start looking at creating applications. As I mentioned before, you need to bear in mind that part of-, in fact an integral component of your mobile app strategy-, must be how are you going to get this application into peoples devices? Is it through the App Store? Is it through your website? Is it through QR codes at the event? Whatever the case may be, there’s got to be a strategy, there have to be resources and plans around that.
By the way, really quickly about the last slide with Text to Give, and in general when we’re talking about mobile fund raising growing, Barbara asked a question about that 100% growth rate, “Is that just Text to Give or is it mobile overall?” and the answer is it is mobile overall so we are seeing a huge upsurge in mobile revues to nonprofits.
Now back to apps, bear in mind not only do you need to develop this app and get it out into the world, but you’re also going to need to develop two or three apps in an ideal scenario, now you’ll be able to look at the data and maybe it’s the case that all of the people coming to your mobile website are coming to it through an iPhone. Or all the people you’re in touch with are using Android devices. But typically you’re going to have a mix of those people, and you’re going to need to at least develop an app for Android and for Apple, sometimes also for Windows based on the data that you have about your audience. I’ll share some tools for that in just a second. But the point is, someone with an iPhone cannot download the Android app, so you’re going to need to develop multiple versions of the app, most likely. You may start with the one that’s most popular, but over time you should plan for that.
Now from a fund-raising standpoint, just like a mobile website and just like a regular website, the good news is with mobile websites you can take funds in real time, you can accept reoccurring gifts, and it all maps into your CRM platform whether that’s Bloomerang, Salesforce or any other platform out there. The other thing I want to quickly mention about mobile apps before we move onto social media, is this notion of planning for updates. And this is very similar to social media. Just like you don’t want to launch a Facebook page or a Twitter presence and not have a plan or commitment to keep the shelves stocked with regular content and updates. Same thing is true for your website, same thing is true for your mobile apps.
From a mobile application standpoint, aside from content updates, you may also find some bugs over time and need technical updates. So you do want to make sure you have resources in place to be able to accomplish that.
All right, let’s look at social media quickly, just a few things I want share here. First off because such a big chunk on the time that people spend on their devices is on social media, it is a huge opportunity for your nonprofit to look at integration. Now you want to make sure that the content that you’re sharing on social media is sharable via mobile. The people that are on their mobile devices are almost twice as likely to share. So you want to focus on images, you want to focus on videos, you want to focus on minimal amounts of text, on using bit.lys, the sort of link shorteners. Those are all really helpful tips.
Then, from the standpoint from the content that you’re pinning, if your nonprofit is on Pinterest, if you have a lot of imagery and you’re working with mostly women, because their audience is mostly two thirds women, you want to make sure those pinned posts are relevant to the mobile community. I will say more about that in just one second, but I just really, quickly, want to point out that 30%, about a third of all the time people spend on their tablets, on their phones, on all mobile devices is spent using social media. So people are spending a huge amount of their mobile time looking at social media. The good news is, as I mentioned, when they’re there, they are twice as likely to share. So they are very inclined to spread the word about your content.
So you know I mentioned Pinterest earlier, when the content that is shared via Pinterest gets three times the engagement and the share rates than the content that people access through desktop. The content that people see on Twitter is two thirds more likely to be retweeted, and Facebook content is 40% more engaging. Meaning that it’s that much more likely to be liked commented on and shared. So when you think about the fact that we’ve entered the attention economy, the currency in this attention economy is likes, is comments, is shares, and is retweets. Social media is a very rich environment for that as it relates to mobile. Again these people are twice as likely to share, so taking advantage of that is a huge opportunity.
So let’s talk quickly about staffing, because now we’re at the point where we know what we’re trying to achieve here, we know what the tool can be used for, and how we want to use it. We’ve got some basic tips about our mobile website, about our mobile apps and Text to Give, and we’re moving ahead with this effort, well how should we be staffing it? Well, similar to social media, even through mobile is a technology based medium, I really encourage you not to fall into the pitfall of having your technology staff oversee your mobile efforts. The same thing with your Facebook and your Twitter presence. These are marketing platforms for the most part. Whether you’re marketing it from a standpoint of advocacy or fund raising or what-have-you, depends on your goals, but you want to look at not just who is in charge of managing the tools, but who is in charge of the goals that you’re using the tools to accomplish. The development and fund raising team, the marketing team, the communications team, etc.
You also want to plan, and this could be the technology folks for those updates I mentioned. Your mobile website, the apps you’re going to want to plan to make contents to that content and to have technical updates. In an ideal world, also like social media you’re going to want to divide up the work, many hands make light work.
What we find with social media is that typical nonprofit allocates the equivalent of one quarter of one full-time person to social media, meaning ten hours a week. Not a lot of time, but the point is in an ideal world instead of having one person spend ten hours a week on your social media presence, the best practice is for you to have five people each spending two hours a week. Why is that and how does this relate to mobile? Well first off if you have five people there, number one if someone is sick or on vacation, it’s not that big of a deal, or if they quit, you have more institutional knowledge.
Number two, people don’t give to organizations, they give to people. It’s that many more individual voices and expertise around your different programs that can shine through. Now the problem is if we have five cooks in the kitchen all sending out tweets and Facebook posts and blogs and what have you, “How do I know what Steve said yesterday, what Bob is going to say tomorrow and what Jena is going to say on Friday without spending a lot of time looking through the past posts, going to talk to them etc.?”
Well the answer is you can create a very simple tool called an editorial or a content calendar and I can e-mail you a very simple template if anyone wants to reach out to me through e-mail/Twitter. But it’s a very simple spreadsheet, it’s a calendar that you can even set up in Google docs that says “Okay tomorrow at noon Steve is going to send out a tweet about our upcoming Gala” and then Thursday at 3:00 p.m. I’m going to send out a Facebook post about our need for volunteers and at Friday at 11:00 am Jean is going to send out a blog showcasing and highlighting this years keynote. Whatever the case may be, just a really simple tool that you can create at the beginning of every month laying out where are we going to be talking, what are we going to be saying, who is in charge of that, and in general, what is the message that they’re going to be getting out on their respective platform. Kind of a who, what, where, when, how.
Just that simple level of information is incredibly helpful and the same is true for your mobile presence. Understanding who is in charge of what, who is handling these updates, getting that content out there, communicating with donors etc. Having a team of people that are each putting in a couple hours a week instead of one person that owns this is a much better way to go. And then, Daniel, just so you know, your question about Text to Donate platforms, when we get into the tips and tools section here just in a second, I just want to talk briefly about analytics, I’ll share a a couple difference resources that you can use for that.
Now as far as analytics what I want to say here before we move to those tips and tools, and again, feel free to shoot me any other questions as we’re going through this. But from an analytics standpoint one of the key things you’re going to want to watch, and I mentioned this earlier, is what percentage of your traffic is coming from mobile? Is it 30%? Which is kind of typical, is it higher or lower? Which might make this more or less of a priority for you. To watch that over time, maybe it’s 20% today, but next month it’s 25%. Whoa, that’s a huge increase obviously more and more of our people are coming to us from mobile, why is that happening and how do we respond to those folks?
Now if you start seeing conversion rates dip, if you start seeing that instead of 5% of the people who come to our mobile site, and it just went down to 2%. Or you know, 6% of the people get to the sign the petition page and now it’s 3%, if you see some real sudden dip, you’ll want to look at what just happened there. Most likely it could be due to some kind of technology glitch that is causing your site to load more slowly and people to leave.
You can also look at the bounce rate of how many people come to the site, don’t look at more than one page, and then take off. So that’s a really key metric you’re going to want to keep your eye on.
Just real quick Poppy, so you know, we will be sharing all the slides and the recording will be sent out by our friends at Bloomerang shortly after the webinar.
Finally on the mobile analytics front, here is a quick example, oh, we got a little squishy photo of me on the bottom there, I don’t know how that got there.
But here is an example of what you would see when you look at a tool like Google Analytics which again your nonprofit can get for free through Google. I’ll share that URL again in a second, or any of the other tools out there, Google has a “Go mobile” performance report, so you can use that to look at what kinds of devices are people coming to my website through, and also what’s the percentage of traffic that is coming to me from the iPhone versus the Android devices versus Windows devices, etc. And this can inform your priorities from a development standpoint.
If it is a decision that we make to build an app, should we be building the Apple version or the Android version first? Or maybe it’s BlackBerry or who knows? And you know just as a quick aside, because Debra had a question about events, we have done, if you jut Google my name and “leveraging social media for nonprofit events”, you’ll find a few webinars I’ve done in the past. But the short answer is, she asked a question about “. . . how far in advance should you be posting your event?” Typically about four to six weeks about is when people really start responding. If you can “save the date” before then, that’s great.
Let’s get back into mobile and finally really wrap things up with the focus on the tips and on the tools. First off, you know, one of the most important things to keep in mind here is that this whole notion of “What’s in it for me?” and that is what your audience is going to be thinking about. It cannot be just about the nonprofit and about your goals, increasingly so, in the mobile environment especially if you’re dealing with millennials, there needs to be some value to them.
There needs to be beautiful photos that they enjoy looking at or stories about your impact, or information and research they couldn’t have gotten otherwise that is helpful and insightful for them that only further establishes your thought leadership. So keep that in mind as you’re structuring your mobile presence. Also bear in mind the two second rule that I mentioned, it’s true for e-mail, it’s true for mobile, for your regular website it’s about three seconds, so you have a bit more time. But either way you’re going to need to grab people with a hook right off the bat.
From a donation standpoint because you’re dealing with a very small screen on a mobile device, your mobile site should have a donate button at both the top and bottom of every page on your mobile site. In general you’re going to want to keep the calls to action to an absolute minimum. Ideally you’re really just focusing your mobile site on one thing, what is the one action that you want visitors to your site to take, and how can you orient all of the content in your mobile site around that?
Because it’s just not the right environment to get complicated, to layer in multiple types of messaging. You know photos and videos are a great way to hook people, especially in a mobile environment, they’re not as responsive to text, it’s kind of hard to read. Just one great photo or one great video is a wonderful way to rope people in.
The other thing if you’re going to have text or even with imagery and links, you’re going to want to use a lot of white space, when you have text or imagery right on top of each other it’s really hard for people to actually be able to appreciate it and internalize all the difference messages that you’re trying to get across.
Austin, as far as the mobile giving stuff by the way, there was a question around thoughts on mobile pledging versus Text to Donate, I think that Text to Donate is something that was popular for a little bit. It seems to be fading out because there is more and more functionality around mobile websites and those getting quicker. Mobile pledging from the standpoint of people just raisin their hands saying “I like what you’re up to, and I’d like to talk about a major gift or have a meeting to learn more” etc., using mobile as a tool to connect with people to try to start a conversation versus try to finish it can be very powerful.
Then one other quick question before we wrap up the tips and tools here, is Danny was asking about in the mobile analytics looking at unique visitors and things like that, the idea here really quickly to bring that back up is that unique visitors is how many individuals came to you website in a given month and how many times did they visit? What you’re looking for after that is did they bounce? Did they come there and only look at one page and then take off immediately? Or did they surf around a bit? Then finally, did they achieve the ultimate outcome? Whether that’s thank you for donating or signing a petition or whatever the case may be.
Those are the three key metrics that you’re going to want to be looking at from an analytics standpoint using a tool like Google analytics.
Finally back to the tips and tools, well, scrolling is a major issue in a mobile environment because again, just like the donate page, people are not going to want to start scrolling down and see “Oh my God, I’ve only seen 5% of this page, there’s way too much content here” so you’re going to want to have each individual web page on your mobile site to be as minimized as possible.
Now one of the ways to do that is instead of having a bunch of links to other small pages you can have sections that kind of expand out when people click on them. That’s a really great way to do it in the mobile environment.
As far as those buttons, remember I mentioned that the donate button should be at the top and bottom of every page, and whether it’s the donate button or whether it’s any other button that’s on your page “Click here to sign the petition” or what have you those buttons should, absolutely, be at least 30 by 30 pixels and that is because otherwise it’s just too small. People feel like they have fat fingers and it’s upsetting to them and they can’t click a button and it can be really frustrating.
Similarly I talked about white space being your friend, when it comes to hyper links you’re going to want to have distance between the different links, because nothing is more frustrating than trying to click on a link for more info and going to the wrong one because there’s links on top of each other.
The mobile performance report from Google Analytics, I shared a screen shot of that just a second ago, and I’m going to share that URL in just a second. We also talked about QR codes and in particular if you’re doing a big event, a gala or a concert, QR codes are a great way to get people engaged, take them right to your website, take them right to the page to sign up for your newsletter, to donate, whatever the case may be. But a really great way to streamline that process so they don’t have to type in the URL, especially if it’s a longer url.
Then finally, in terms of the timing for sending out messages and just in general looking at the overlap between e-mail and mobile. This is a huge issue, so first of all, let me just say that, depending on the environment that you intend to communicate to people within, the timing of when you should be sending out content will vary.
When you look at e-mail to begin with, typically e-mail on a desktop device, on a laptop, the guiding principal for when you should be sending out your annual appeal, for example, is you do not want to be unread message number 48 out of 62 when someone comes back in the office Monday morning. So you want to pop up at the top of their inbox, and the best time to do that is mid-week, mid afternoon or midmorning. So Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 11:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m., factoring in what time zone your folks are in. Now that’s the best time for traditional e-mail.
What’s interesting with social media is that it’s the exact opposite of that, and I wrote a blog for Beth Canter called the “Burrito Principal” looking at this notion that you want to reach people on social media in their down time. So typically the best time to tweet, the best time to send out a Facebook post is when people are on their way into or out of work, when they’re on their lunch break eating their burrito checking their smart phone. Or, a lot of times the best time to send out the post is when the kids go to sleep if you’re working with a professional audience that might be middle aged, well you want to send out your post 9:30 to 11:00 p.m. it could be a great time to reach them. And either way you want to test out these assumptions and these best practices to see what your community actually resonates with. You can use great tools like Facebook Insights to do that.
Now from a standpoint of mobile, what’s interesting is a couple different things. First off, more and more of your people are going to be looking at the e-mails you send them through mobile devices. Right now we are up to about 50%, in fact, over 60% of e-mails today are opened on a smartphone or a tablet. A huge huge percentage, more than the majority, about half are smartphones, 55%. So you need to take this into account when you’re sending out e-mails.
What’s interesting is a couple different things. If you’re sending out a big e-mail campaign, aside from doing a test and taking a look at it on your desktop, you also want to send that test to a mobile device and make sure it looks appropriately. Because if it doesn’t more than 60% of people will basically delete it, and they’re going to be less likely to pay attention to your messages moving forward.
So you really want to make sure that your e-mails are optimized for the mobile environment. What’s interesting from a standpoint about the day of the week that you are sending out your e-mails, once you start looking at the data and you see what percentage of your audience are opening your e-mails and coming to your website through mobile versus through their desktop, that may well influence what day of the week you want to be sending out those e-mails. Because essentially in short, what this graph says is that during the week, people are using their computers, their desktops and laptops to access their e-mails. But on the weekend they kind of leave their computer at the office and they use their mobile devices to check in on their e-mail every once in a while, especially on Sundays.
So that may influence when you’re going and how you’re going to reach out to people.
So in closing let me share a couple of different resources that may be helpful. TechSoup is a phenomenal resource, the largest provider of technology to nonprofits in the world. They’ve given over $4.5 billion dollars of technologies to nonprofits in the last twenty years across 80 countries. They are our long