Month: September 2015

Can periscope help your brand?

Periscope a live video streaming app for iOS and Android. Twitter purchased the app from its creators Kayvon Beykpour and Joe Bernstein for a reported $100 million dollars in March of 2015. Twitter re-released the app in May and in the few short months since launched it has grown to over 15 million users. In the Vlog below I talk about why I think periscope can help you businesses or nonprofits brand:

Fundraising in Uncertain Times

In Alberta Oil and Gas is a big driver in the local economy. Some Albertan’s don’t like to admit this but if the price of oil is low (which it is now) it has a strong impact on our local economy. As NPO leaders we know ultimately this has an impact on our fundraising so we need to be prepared to take corrective and purposeful action. This short video speaks to a couple of strategies your small charity can use to respond in an economic crisis.

Using Twitter to promote your Fundraising Events

If you’ve read my blog at all -you will know I think social media can be a powerful tool to promote a charity’s mission, educate users or other possible stakeholders. I do strongly believe that most of your posts should not be about fundraising events or asking people for money. Now you may argue that to deliver your charity’s mission you need money so of course you are going  to use every means at your disposal to ask for money.

Well I too think social media is a vehicle to ask for donations but I do think out of 10 posts on social media 8 or 9 should not be about asking for money but instead talking about what you are doing with that money. With all that said -we have a little way we use twitter to promote one of our fundraising event. This weekend is the 9th year we have held the Rock the House Run. On our website this is how we describe the event:

Rock the House Run 2015 – Ronald McDonald House

Rock the House Run™ is one of Calgary’s biggest runs. With entertainment along the entire route, you never know what might be around the next corner!

In its ninth year, over 1,500 runners and walkers will come out to participate in the 10K and 5K run, 5K walk or the 1K McDonald’s Go Active walk for kids.

A few years back we were just starting to use twitter and we thought social media might be one more way to market the event. We came up with the idea of deploying a “Stweet Team” based on a twist of the “Street Teams” some charities would employ to deliver service. So here was the  idea -we would reach out to some of our local twitter influencers and ask them to promote the event on their twitter account and use a common hashtag #RocktheHouseRun . We also asked the team to come to the event and live tweet and tweet pictures of the event all along the route. The first year was a great success with the hashtag and our twitter handle trending in Calgary and Red Deer. The next year we were able to trend across Canada. Needless to say the Stweet Team has become a permanent fixture at our event and a way we get to share the fun -with all of our social media followers whether they can make it to Calgary on the day of the event or not.

Using Periscope to promote your Fundraising Events

Periscope was launched at the end of March this year. Shortly after Twitter acquired the app and re-released it in May. So it is safe to say that it is a pretty new platform. I am not sure a lot of charities will be jumping on the periscope band wagon right away but I think the platform does have some unique offerings for the sector. Incidentally when twitter bought the platform it was for a rumored $100 million. So the folks who run Twitter must have seen a lot of potential in the platform. When the app and platform launched a lot of the press was about the ability to live stream to the world. That sounds pretty impressive, but I am not sure if the whole world is paying attention to my “scopes” as periscopers call them. I have a decent twitter following so the platform was immediately interesting to me as you can automatically tweet out a link to your periscope broadcasts. For an organization like ours where we do a lot of events in the Houses for our families- it does give you the ability to broadcast what you are doing in real time. The thing I like about the format is scopes are in real time, so viewers are a little more accepting of rough or unedited content. Sometimes overly produced video gives the impression to stakeholders that you are spending a lot of money – probably donated money. The link below is a scope I did yesterday. I am going to warn you-shot this with my phone and seemed to have some kind of gunk on the lens- so this one is really rough. However I wanted to be able something unique or special to my twitter and periscope followers. All in all in promotes one of our biggest fundraising events. But if you follow my social media and watch the broadcast- you get something special- a discount on registration. By the way if you click the link you will see something else I love about periscope. The app will automatically download to your photos file on your iPhone or iPad. Periscope broadcasts disappear within 24 hours but with this feature you can load the videos you want to keep to your you tube (or your charities you tube) channel.

Can Periscope Help Your Charity?

Periscope launched only a few months ago. Typically there is a stage when the pioneers and the early adopters jump on board. With the rapid growth of periscope users or “scopes”, has the channel jumped past the early adopter stage and is it moving to the mainstream. If it is, how can your charity benefit from this medium or do you have the resources to make periscope a valuable piece of your nonprofits marketing umbrella.

How much should we post on our social media about our need for donations?

It is often challenging for a charity that is just beginning to use social media channels. What do you post about? As developing content for these channels feels new or foreign to us we resort to talking about what we know- one that we need money and two one of the ways we raise money, our fundraising events. As organizations that rely on donations to be able to deliver our mission we do have a need to draw awareness to the fact that we need donations- or that we need people to attend our events so we raise money. However if this is all we talk about on our social media posts. our followers will quickly become disengaged. The video below talks about the 80/20 rule or the 90/10 rule so that we can keep our supporters and followers interested and engaged:.

Live From New York its Blackfalds Alberta

We love and need our donors, but nothing resonates with our supporters like kids helping kids. Here is follow up on 5 year old Haylen’s efforts to raise money for sick children. It is a great story but truth be told it is also a great story about the power of social media. It is a good lesson for small charities not to underestimate how they might use digital platforms or social media to get their message out.

Kids Helping Other Kids

Working for a charity is pretty great because you get to help other people. Another great thing about working for a charity is you get to witness every kind of human generosity possible. These situations tend to give you a “glass is half full” perspective of the world. Clearly some of the stories that resonate best with people in general are when children start to think about and act in ways that are very generous. You have to think what kind of great parents are able to raise really generous children. Here is a quick video update on 5 year old Haylen’s efforts to raise money for children at Ronald McDonald House.