Category Archives: Blogs
Advocacy = Time…and more time…and more…
The word “advocacy” may seem intimidating to some, signifying a deep commitment and hours upon hours of effort to generate long-term influence. Yes, in many cases this is true; however, the social Web has opened up a world of options that enables each and every one of us to serve as advocates around issues that we’re passionate about – without having to devote an unrealistic amount of time.
Bogus, you say? Read on.
The reality is that I completed this entire project in 2.5 hours on a rainy Sunday afternoon (sidenote: rainy weather may be nice insight into why Seattle is so chalk full of advocates). In this particular case, I had the advantage of having personally created much of the content I utilized for posts. Regardless, the curation approach was key.
I thought it would be helpful to quickly break down a few tips from my project as an example of a simple framework for online advocacy. I’d encourage you to think about how you can apply a similar approach for your own online issue advocacy or general marketing efforts.
1. Keep Your Publishing Platform Simple
I decided to use Posterous to create my 30 Reasons to Register blog but a template off WordPress.com would suffice just as well and may perform a bit better on the SEO front. Posterous affords the opportunity for people to mail in draft posts directly via email which can be part of your content plan. The big point is to not get hung up on thinking you need a self-hosted platform. Keep it simple and template away.
2. Keep Your Content Creative and Your Headlines Consistent
30 posts in a row is a lot of content. You’ve got to keep your readers engaged from the start. As with any good online content, keep it short and sweet, shareable and highly visual.
Furthermore, I would recommend creating consistency in your post headlines. This becomes particularly important when you schedule posts and set them to autopost across various social channels. Readers will grow accustomed to seeing recognizable keywords and thus be more likely to click on your link. In addition, if you’re autoposting to Twitter, try incorporating a hashtag to filter into conversation streams (example post title). Title consistency will of course also help on the SEO front as you begin to develop more buzz, making it easy for users to dig up posts in keyword searches.
3. Schedule Posts
Living on the west coast isn’t the most conducive for tapping into primetime online blog reading for the majority of the country. Luckily, scheduled posts help resolve this issue. Approximately 95% of my posts were already scheduled before April 1 ever rolled around. Scheduling is also important to creating consistency so that readers begin to anticipate when new content will appear.
4. Activate Your Social Circles
I admittedly did next to nill to pre-promote my blog but would advise a reverse strategy of building some buzz prior to launch day. There are simply too many blogs out there for you to gain readers by just publishing good posts. You need to go the extra mile and engage your online community and social networks to help spread the word. Target your Facebook status updates with mentions or invest the extra effort to actually build out an advocacy page. Target your tweets to influencers and relevant organizations while also including hashtags. Furthermore, maximize your use of good ole email to make it as easy as possible for friends, family and others to share links to your posts.
5. Measure, Measure, Measure
Particularly if you have a long-range effort in place, measure from the start. Posterous allows users to synch up Google Analytics (recognize the difference between Posterous’ stats and Google Analytics) while WordPress has a great internal stats tool. Benchmarked stats will help you test various content as well as publishing times to maximize your ongoing content planning efforts.
Feel free to drop your own suggestions below or keep me posted on your own similar online advocacy efforts!
April is National Donate Life Month and as an advocate for the issue of organ/tissue donation, I pulled together the side project below. I’ll report back at the end of the month with results and my approach but for now, feel free to follow along and help spread the word to encourage others to register as donors.
And yes, I of course found another excuse to goof around with YouTube Create:
Whoa, whoa, stop right there. I assure you that is not yet another 2010 social media trends or 2011 forecast post (those will come later). Although this blog focuses 98.9% on social media and online marketing, I simply have too many interests and hobbies not to broaden post topics a tad.
With that, here’s a list of some of my favorite personal and professional content finds from the past year. Happy holidays and safe travels to all. Cheers to a fantastic 2011!
Top 5 Favorite Professional Blogs in 2010
With changes on the world’s largest social network happening everyday, few are able to quickly and effectively communicate implications, reasoning and end-user impact. All Facebook is my daily “go to” hub for staying on top of Zuck’s vision.
I’ve always had a great amount of respect for Dave’s dedication and clear insight around the social space. Chances are you’ve come across Dave’s content in some form or another but his blog remains on top of my “must read” list each week.
Anyone who gives an inkling about effective online marketing is zeroed in on Hubspot. The crew does a fantastic job with their blog, utilizing strong visuals and outlining tactical plans for boosting traffic through smart strategy.
Whether helping PR pros land gigs through HAPPO, coordinating MN blogger conferences, or sharing valuable insight on tough topics, Arik is not only an incredible connector but a passionate stronghold in the social world.
Joe Waters does not simply know “cause marketing.” Joe helps define cause marketing. As more and more corporations and nonprofits begin to refine what it means to build mutually beneficial partnerships, Joe is helping map the pathway to success for cause marketers across the world.
Favorite New Music Blog
I love music and although a traditional first stop lands me at Pitchfork on any given day, Slowcoustic is a constant “go to” for satisfying my indie folk and lo-fi acoustic music discoveries.
Favorite New Band
Strand of Oaks
Not new, just new to me. I just really enjoy this band.
Favorite New Music Video
KEXP. Outdoor concert. Sunny summer day in Seattle. Incredible local band. ‘Nuff said.
Favorite Professional Book from 2010
The Networked Nonprofit
Simply put, it’s a great book. Fantastic strategy insight mixed with a tangible plan for helping nonprofits shift their internal dynamic for maximizing external engagement.
Favorite New Nonprofit…s
One Day’s Wages
Love the concept, motivation of the team running the show and overall impact of this organization.
Megan Gibbard runs a great organization that fills a much needed void in Seattle.
Favorite Photographer from 2010
Hands down award to Cole Rise. Guy shoots amazing, amazing stuff.
Favorite 2010 Photo Blog
I’m Just Walkin. Meet Matt. He walked across the U.S. And shot photos. Fantastic visual storytelling.
Enough about me. What about YOU? Personal/professional, I don’t care. Share links to your favorite content finds from 2010 below. Happy New Year!
Image courtesy of Jen Collins.