Tag Archives: social media for social good

#GivingTuesday Essentials: Thunderclap.it

Have you ever posted a funny and informative tweet that you thought deserved more attention? As a marketer, there’s nothing more frustrating than creating great content but nobody seeing it. Thunderclap aims to change that.

Screenshot of Thunderclap.it website

Screenshot of Thunderclap.it website

I’m sorry… Thunder what?

Thunderclap.it is a new crowd-sourcing website that lets supporters of a cause pledge to share a message at a certain time, thereby boosting the audience of the message by substantially. Users can opt to share the predetermined message on their personal Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr accounts.  It’s been described as an “online flash mob” as it allows you to reach users that you wouldn’t usually be able to. It’s important to note that when you sign up to use Thunderclap, you’re authorising the app to share a single message on your behalf. After the campaign is over, Thunderclap promises that they won’t post again from your account.

Thunderclap is open to use for non profits, government agencies, individuals, and anything in between. The British Labour Party has already taken advantage of it, and reported that thanks to Thunderclap their message reached the feed of 4.5 million people. And they’re not the only ones taking advantage of this awesome new tool.

How do I use Thunderclap.it?

Set up Thunderclap CampaignIn order to create a Thunderclap account you need a Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr account to connect it with. When you log in, you’ll be directed to a dashboard that will give you an overview of your scheduled Thunderclaps. To start a new Thunderclap go to the top right hand corner of the screen and click “Start a new Thunderclap.” That will direct you to the next screen where you’ll be able to fill out a name, category, message, and photo. The “message” is what your followers are going to tweet out, so I would suggest using a few hashtags and keeping it short incase anyone wants to add a message before the tweet. You can see what your message looks like in the top right hand corner (red circle) and personalise it to make sure it looks just right.

Thunderclap.it Set Up

You also might want to personalise the picture you use, the way that #AIDSFreeGen did on their Thunderclap.it profile, and share the same picture across multiple social media platforms to add some consistency to your campaign. To get an idea of what sort of message you should use, take a look at some of these successful campaigns that are running right now:

Campaigns are typically authorised between 1-3 days, the entire website is free (unless you want to use Thunderclap.it Pro for $500 per campaign) and it’s really easy to use. If you haven’t already set up a campaign for #GivingTuesday, I would highly suggest doing so.

Update Your Cause

Taken from Thunderclap.it blog

Another really cool part of Thunderclap is the option to create updates for your followers. You can do in the “Project Update” tab under the “My Thunderclaps” section of your admin page. Supporters love staying up to date and to see how they’re making a difference in your campaign, every before it’s over. Also, saying “thank you” never hurt anyone! Thank your supporters for their support up until this point, or thank them after the campaign is over.

How do I market Thunderclap?

You’re in luck: Thunderclap.it has a guide on how to promote and run a successful Thunderclap campaign. The guide includes how to optimise your campaign, marketing templates, and much more. Here’s a quick summary of the guide:

  • Keep your message short and sweet (I support meaningful volunteer experiences #teamunitedplanet)
  • Set a deadline of 2-3 weeks.
  • Thunderclap suggest promoting through email, embedded website, twitter, Facebook, tumblr, and youtube.
    • Make sure to have a clear call to action and to specify that you want them to join through Thunderclap (not just “like” your Facebook status)
  • Use “Updates” to rally support for your campaign and/or to update supporters on your campaign’s progress.

If I had some suggestions it would be to advertise on Pinterest, possibly have a countdown going on your Instagram, and to blog about what Thunderclap is so that your supporters know what’s going on. I know the Thunderclap guide mentioned that in your email marketing you should include a brief paragraph about what the website is, but I would personally link to a blog post that goes into detail about the site. It generally makes people uncomfortable to “link” their personal accounts to outside sources, and the idea of a new website posting on “their behalf” is a bit scary. I’m always terrified that a service is going to take advantage of my Twitter account and post crazy spam messages!


Honestly, I think this is a fantastic idea. I’m not surprised at how many companies have already sign on to this, but I am surprised that I’ve yet to see a Thunderclap message on my Twitter feed. The United Nations Beyonce campaign reached 1 billion people and yet I don’t remember seeing anything about it. But maybe I’m just getting old and my memory isn’t as good as it used to be!

It’s simple, and I think it’s largely symbolic of the what the modern political activist is turning into. This is a “lazy” but powerful way to spread a message. All I have to do is sign up, authorise my accounts, and Thunderclap does the rest. It makes me feel like I’ve contributed to something, and it gives your campaign the coverage that it needs. What more could I want?

More Articles on Thunderclap

Read more about Thunderclap:

Remember to follow me on Google+ and Twitter to stay up to date on my efforts.

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Oh, The Places You’ll Go: How to use Pinterest’s new Place Pins


If MTV ever filmed a “True Life” segment about being addicted to Pinterest, I would be the perfect candidate. I’m seriously addicted. I use it to find DIY projects, recipes, outfits, and look at adorable kittens. I’m obsessed and I’m not the only one. Pinterest is the fastest-growing social network available with 53 million monthly users — and, according to this Hubspot article, has more clout when it comes to ecommerce than both Facebook and Twitter combined.

Pinterest, really?

Pinterest should be an integral part of your marketing plan. According to studies done by Hubspot, Pinterest drives 25% more sales than last year. Oh, and also, Bing (the search engine) recently announced that it will integrate Pins into Image Searches. So not only are there millions of people using the site, but it can help you create leads and customers. For more information on how to set up and use Pinterest for your non profit, check out my “Pin the Change” page.

Pinterest Place Pins? What are those?

Pinterest Places

It’s the brand spankin’ new location based feature that turns your Pinterest boards into a map. It basically allows users to give their pins locations and plot them on a map. It’s kind of like Instagram’s photo map. But why? Why would Pinterest do this? According to the announcement they made on their blog, “every day people pin about 1.5 million places, and now there are more than 750 million pins of these destinations on Pinterest.” Basically, a whole lot of people use Pinterest to share things that are travel related. If you’re still a little bit confused about what it is, Pinterest has created a page of examples to help. It seems like a really cool feature but there are a few problems.

First and foremost, they’re using Foursquare integration (vs Google Maps). This means that adding a location can be a bit of a struggle because not all venues exist on Foursquare. If you find that a location you need to use doesn’t exist, visit this Foursquare link to add a venue.  Second, it doesn’t work properly. There are still lots of glitches with the program that should have been sorted out prior to going public with it. Third, I really don’t like that you can’t toggle between map-view and the standard Pinterest view. So if you add locations to your Pinterest board, it will permanently change to look like this. 

How do I make a Pinterest place board?

Add a Place

When you log into Pinterest you’ll probably see an announcement about Pinterest Places on the top of your page. You can click through the “how-to” guide there, where Pinterest will walk you through how to set up maps, or you can just select “add a map” when you create a new board. If you want to add locations to an existing board, go to the settings and click “add a place.” It’s all a bit confusing right now because, like I said, Pinterest is bugging a bit and facing lots of technical difficulties. If you want to see some examples of companies that are already taking advantage of the new tool, and doing so without technical difficulties, check out Fodors and the University of Michigan.

I should note that a lot of people are having trouble with adding maps to existing boards. It seems the features are still a bit buggy but Pinterest reps claim they are “working on it.” If you’re having technical difficulties I would suggest submitting a complaint to Pinterest and letting them know. It’s a cool feature, or at least it will be when it works.

How can my non profit use Pinterest Places?

Luckily enough, I was able to create a board for United Planet that you can see here. As I’ve mentioned before, United Planet sends volunteers to locations all over the world. That means that Pinterest Places is going to be a really great tool for us to use with our Pinterest marketing. Recently I added locations to our pins to show people where you volunteer with us! I’ll also start adding locations to any other relevant boards. That’s what’s going to be key about Pinterest Places: relevancy. Don’t add Places to boards that don’t need them! Here are some ideas for your non profit:

  1. Create a Pinterest Places board to show where you currently have projects like United Planet did. This will help people discover projects that are close to them!
  2. If you sell products with your logo on them, create a board similar to Charity:Water’s and add locations to your pins.
  3. Create a board that shows where you’re volunteers are working, like Amnesty International, and add locations to make it more visual.
  4. If you have a collection of photographs that your company has published, like UNICEF, try adding locations to make your boards more interactive.
  5. The World Wildlife Fund could add locations to their “WWF together” board to show us where endangered animals are located.

Other Links

To see how other non profits are using Pinterest, check out this “group” Pinterest board filled with international non profits. If you’d like to read what other people are saying about Pinterest Places here are a few more links:

P.S. Pinterest also launched a “now-trending” tool for select businesses (Zappos and Walmart) this week. It will show users what products are getting the most love from Pinterest. I suspect this will become a powerful sales tool for e-commerce sites this season!

Remember to follow me on Google+ and Twitter to stay up to date on my efforts.

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Getting Started with Google Analytics (Part 1)

It’s end of the month, and I know that all of you are filling out your marketing spreadsheets. At least, I hope you are! If you’re not keeping track of your monthly progress (Facebook likes, Twitter followers, etc) read this article by Hubspot on using Excel to your advantage.


But monthly progress isn’t just measured in an increase of Facebook likes or Twitter followers. It can also be measured in how successful your campaigns are in directing traffic. Kind of like measuring your ROI. Google Analytics can help tell you how many people were directed to your website via Facebook or Twitter, and sometimes (through Hootsuite) which Tweets/Posts drove that traffic. Then, based on that information, you can plan your next social media campaign.

Am I making sense? Maybe an example will make this a little clearer.

As you may or may not know, I work for a small non profit based of Boston. I started working for them mid-October and my official position is “Social Media Coordinator.” I’m basically in charge of their entire social media presence. Last week, I was filling out the Hubspot spreadsheet that we use to track our social media presence and I noticed that a lot of traffic was coming from Tumblr. Hmm. How curious, I thought, since the previous Marketing Director hadn’t mentioned Tumblr at all. I immediately logged onto their Tumblr and noticed that they had a pretty sad presence on the site. So, I decided to re-vamp their profile (check it out here!) and am now actively updating their page. Within hours of using Tumblr, we received three questions in our “Ask” box asking about volunteering with us. WOW! And that’s all because I paid attention to Google Analytics.

So how can you use Google Analytics to your advantage?

First and foremost, make sure that Google Analytics is set up correctly on your website. Here’s a great video that Google put together on how to set up Analytics.


Second, use Analytics to see what social media platforms are important to your Non Profit. In order to do so, you’re going to want to go to “Acquisition” and then “Channels.” What this is going to do is show you how people are finding your website. Google breaks it down into six (or more depending on your settings) categories: organic search, direct search (typing the website directly into your browser), referral, paid search, social, and email. The one that you, as a social media marketer, are going to focus on is social. At this point, it’s best for you to make sure that you’re viewing the results from this past month. You can do so by adjusting the dates in the top right hand corner. As you know, social media is constantly changing. If you’re going to be “on top” of your platforms, it’s best to analyse month by month.


Once you click on social you’re going to see a list of social networks with the number of visits that the network has given you.

This is a great way for you to see what networks are working, what networks aren’t, and even more importantly which ones you should be using that you aren’t. Like I mentioned, it was a huge surprise to me that United Planet was popular on Tumblr. But because of Google Analytics, I was able to add Tumblr into my daily projects. Be sure to check back monthly to keep track of what platforms are driving your traffic, and to see any improvements your campaigns might have made.

ImageThird, you should definitely explore the keywords section of Google Analytics. According to this article, “Keyword research is one of the most important, valuable, and high return activities in the search marketing field.” I talked about how important it is to use the right keywords in my SEO blog post, but just to remind you: using the proper keywords can really help in your where your website ranks in a Google search.

So, what does Google Analytics show you? The “Organic Keywords” page is a list of keywords that people are searching online to get to your website. These are the keywords that you’re going to want to use in your blog posts, on your website, in your Google adwords, and/or all over your social media.

Again, refer to my SEO blog post for more information on how to increase your websites popularity.

Pay attention to both the long term (adjust the date to explore the past year) and short term (monthly) keywords. Why is this important? It’s important to see what words people are consistently searching to get to your website, but it’s also important to track any monthly changes. For instance, United Planet (the non profit I work for) sends volunteers to 30+ countries for various projects. Naturally, our keywords mostly consist of the word/phrases “volunteer” and “volunteer abroad.” However, when I checked our Keywords for October, I noticed that a lot  of people are searching “medical volunteer abroad” and other variations of that phrase. So, I immediately informed our blogger and other members of the marketing team so that we can start creating content related to our medical trips. Do you see how that works? I’m creating content based on what people are searching. I’m giving the people what they want! And I would never have known that if I hadn’t explored our Google Analytics reports.

So, in summary:

  1. Set Google Analytics up properly
  2. Track what social media platforms are driving traffic to your website, and up your presence on them.
  3. Check your Keywords monthly and adjust your content to “give the people what they want.”

Google Analytics is an extremely powerful tool that will dramatically change how you and your marketing team design your social media presence. Be sure to check in for “part two” to learn more about how to use Google Analytics to your advantage!

P.S – I just uploaded this Google Analytics powerpoint that I created a few weeks ago. Check it out!

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You know what’s really cool? Google for Non Profits.


It’s also an absolute must for any non-profit with an active online presence.

Google launched Google for Non Profits in 2011 for non profits in America, but has recently (I think earlier this year) made it available to England and Wales. The service basically allows charities to use Google products that businesses would usually pay for for free. But more importantly they give money in advertising credit to help promote your cause through Google.

Charities that sign up for Google Non Profits are granted free access to Gmail, Google Talk, Hangouts and Drive. They also receive up to $10,000 a month in advertising credit for Google Adwords to help them reach potential donors.

That’s crazy, right? I still remember the first time I found out about it. My jaw hit the ground. I don’t think I’ve ever signed up for anything that quickly before in my life. Of course, signing up for Google for Non Profits means providing proof that you are actually a registered non-profit. I’m currently going through the process with the nonprofit I work for, United Planet, and it’s a bit of a pain.

You also gain access to the premium features of YouTube, Google Analytics, and Google Earth Outreach. And what makes it even better is that Google will take you through how to use all your new programs!

Naturally, HubSpot is already all over this. They’ve got plenty of helpful articles that will walk you through how to sign up for Google Non Profits and how to maximize your grants.

So, my question for my readers is, are you taking advantage of Google Non Profits? Is it worth signing up for?

P.S – I’ll be adding a tutorial on how to use specific Google for non profit features once I gain access to it. Stay tuned!

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My Qualifications

So you’ve stumbled across my social media blog and you’re thinking to yourself, “Well this is all fine and dandy but what qualifies this girl to give me advise on social media marketing for non profits?”

Fair enough.

You know very little about me, unless you’ve done the preliminary “Google” search and you’ve discovered that I am an avid social media user, so why should you listen to me? Well, for starters, I’m currently the social media coordinator at a small non-profit in Boston. I think that should give me a little street cred, no? I also worked for a non-profit consultant who had a client based in Peru a while back and helped them establish an online presence. Not only do I have actual experience working with non profits and social media, but I also consider myself pretty well read on the subject.

But most importantly it’s what I’m passionate about. I’m an International Relations major at Boston University, but I fell in love with social media when I moved to Boston. I obsessively check my Twitter feed and I post the best throw back thursdays. I love everything about this new form of marketing and I am so excited to explore how non profits can take full advantage of it.

So, hopefully I’ve convinced you that I’m a some what reliable source. I’m no Hubspot, but some day I will be.

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