The Social Media & Digital Marketing Impact from AFP Congress 2012 | Miratel Solutions

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The Social Media & Digital Marketing Impact from AFP Congress 2012

I have been exploring the impact of social media on nonprofit fundraising for quite some time and began a Social Media Series that focused on that very thing. I am always on the lookout for new and creative ways social media is being implemented and found that last week when I had the pleasure of attending Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Toronto Chapter Congress 2012 as Miratel were sponsors of the event once again. The theme this year was “collaboration, limitless together” and it set the tone for two and a half days of learning and sharing that proved to build on the success of Congress 2011. Although there were 98 sessions in various formats one could not possibly attend all of them but fortunately social media (Twitter in particular) was integrated into the event so information could be shared amongst attendees and those following @AFPToronto and the #afpcongress hash tag (which was trending in Toronto). In the spirit of this year’s theme I would like to draw on the collaboration of the many fundraising professionals who shared great social media tidbits learned at Congress 2012 in 140 characters or less.

On why social media is an important channel to integrate into engagement plans and how few nonprofits are currently doing so:

  • @amandasnow323 Canadians spend more time online than any other country! 28 million spending 45 hours a month- wow! @fiorini #afpcongress
  • @Kayleigh_Jooste Wow, only 10% of Canadian charities have a visible social media presence! @fiorini #AFPCongress
  • @jennapettinato Using social networks as a non-profit is an opportunity to create communities who care. @tonyelischer #afpcongress
  • ‏@PinkSheepTO I knew it! “The ROI of social media is that your business will still exist in 5 years.” @beatesorum #AFPCongressafp-toronto-congress-professional-fundraising

On best practices that nonprofits can use to expand their reach to donors and supporters through social media:

  • @cheriewhiteman “Digital fundraising is about sharing, relations, creativity and story telling” @beatesorum #AFPcongress
  • ‏@ashleyricher Your company’s social media personality should be your company’s corporate personality after exactly one beer. @aliceferris #afpcongress
  • @PinkSheepTO Asking your donors to share w their friends when they give works 50% of the time. No brainier! @beatesorum #AFPCongress
  • @ShehreenL Number one way to turn people off from your Social media feed is to post too many times a day, TMI and promoting/selling stuff!#afpcongress
  • ‏@claremcdowall Facebook tip – always try to post a visual with a link, shows up much better on Facebook feeds. @aliceferris #AFPCongress

Twitter had a significant presence at Congress from an impromptu Tweetup, Twitter demo by @claremcdowall and a session dedicated to Twitter:

  • @FifeHouse On Twitter – “use real voices in your interactions with people”. #afpcongress
  • @amandasnow323 Keep your tweets to 110 characters to allow room for RT, thanks for the tip @aliceferris #afpcongress #twittertips
  • @amandasnow323 The lifespan of a tweet is 1 hour – the chances of a retweet drop 97% after that unless using a well seasoned hash tag #afpcongress

Despite the power of social media it’s still important to move your online relationship with supporters offline:

  • ‏‏@cheriewhiteman Social media is part of the plan. It is not the plan #AFPcongress
  • ‏@claremcdowall Social media is great for building relationships and stewardship of donors NOT fundraising! Read it and weep fundraisers. #AFPCongress
  • @FrankieChow Storytelling channels. Don’t underestimate the power of the FaceMail. You know, talking to some one face to face! @tonyelischer #afpcongress

Why nonprofits should be looking at optimizing their online presence for mobile devices:

  • @Renrik “10% of traffic to our fundraising pages is from mobile devices.” @snotforprofit #afpcongress
  • @HollyWagg By 2013 mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common web access device worldwide. #AFPCongress

Other interesting social media facts that every fundraiser must be aware of:

  • ‏@j_olee “If your website takes more than 4 seconds to load, you’ve lost 25% of your potential donor base.” @BeateSorum #AFPcongress
  • @Renrik “Engaging customers in social media equals a 15-30% increase in sales” @snotforprofit #afpcongress
  • @PinkSheepTO Use QR code that is not thought through, a kitten dies! Email, billboard, subway??? Bad ideas. @beatesorum #AFPCongress

This years’ congress certainly delivered on providing a lot of valuable information on many areas of nonprofit fundraising leaving fundraisers recharged, invigorated and ready to tackle the challenges of 2013. If you attended Congress 2012, were there social media or digital marketing tips you learned and/or tweeted that you found useful and informative. Please ‘collaborate’ by leaving a comment.

Feel free to browse through the other posts in our Social Media Series for nonprofits which includes a series on FacebookTwitterLinkedin and Pinterest along with other related topics.


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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centreeBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraisingonline fundraisinglottery servicesdonation cagingdonation processing and other donor management services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all contact centre services and mail house operations and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.

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