I came across Matt Haughey's post This is How Social Media Really Works via a friend's blog this afternoon and it's finally got me focusing a whole mess of thoughts about Social Media that have been floating around in my brain for the last several months about strategic use of Social Media as a part of your larger communications or marketing plan.
As providers/builders/magicians of technology it is natural for our clients to come to us when they want to add new features to their websites. And while it's kind of our job to get the job done, I often find that I start out a conversation about adding "new feature x" with investigative questions about what the reasoning behind the new feature is and how it will be supported with internal resources.
One of the questions that came up in a Usability Testing Session at the NTEN Conference this week was one that our non profit clients ask us all the time: "How do we involve our board in gathering feedback?" The implicit question there, and no offense to board members here, is "How do I involve my board but not get overly swayed/pushed by their feedback?" The further implied statement is that often boards don't represent the target audiences for an organization and yet by priviledge of their positions they can really influence the website design and development process.
Smaller organizations often shy away from Usability Testing for fear of the big budgets that can be associated with it. One of the sessions I attended at the Non Profit Technology Conference today addressed this constraint and had some great suggestions for ways to incorporate usability testing on a small budget as well as some ways to simply reframe how you think about usability testing. Here's a summary of some of those ideas:
Are you a nonprofit or other self-defined "do-gooder"? Are you looking for tips and techniques on how to rock the social media stuff everyone's talking about these days?
Slate has a great article up on "The 10 cunning ways public radio stations convince you to give them money" -- as I was reading it (and listening to the fabulous audio clips that accompany the article), I reflected on how many of these same smart fundraising techniques apply to good causes everywhere.
I'm working on preparing a "How to Blog" workshop for a client this month and have been scouring the web for follow up resources to leave the workshop participants with.
Unsurprisingly, we're getting a lot of questions these days from our clients about how they can apply the online tools that helped Obama win the U.S. election. Typically clients come to us excited about one tool they thought Obama's team used particularly well, whether that's video, social media, email marketing, graphic design, or some other branch of the Obama web communications plan.
The title of this post comes from Nancy Scola, the creator of Twitter Vote Report which I blogged about last week. I just received an email from a reader, Simon Owens, who had the chance to interview Nancy along with some other folks that are using Social Media tools to engage citizens in monitoring the elections.