Strategies for online measurment and offline action

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  • Riana, Young Invincibles
High degree of online presence, not much engangment on the areas they would like
Monthly analytic reports
No print
Have a written comms plan
  • Crystal, Labor Community Strategy Center
Recently started with social media efforts (social media team for just over a year)
Weekly analytics meeting
Little-to-no print
Does not have a written comms plan
  • Yuri, Ccisco
Online presence
Lots of print and face-to-face
  • Javier, Aspiration
Weekly traffic report (blogs, social media, emails)
Developing a comms plan
No print
  • David, California Pan Ethnic Health Network
Launching a new website
Has a comms plan
Monthly analytics report
Media tracked on ad-hoc basis
Email newsletter
Twitter better than Facebook because they don’t share many photos
What to keep an eye now
  • Jocelyn, California Latinas for Reproductive justice
Handle mail list (Constant Contact)
New comms person handling social media and analytics
Trying to get more people to their events
  • Jonathan, Children’s Hunger Fund
Just listening, but how can IT best support comms needs
  • Adam, Mid-City CAN (City Heights)
One-man communications team
Basic metrics
Print newsletter
Social media
Have a comms plan

A Few Thoughts

  • Why ask about print?
  • The majority of money given is from people over 60 and given by check
  • Temper expectations regarding social media
  • Have you mapped out a (communications) ladder of engagement? (cf. fundraising ladder of engagement)
  • What are the steps to get from social media to higher mediums of engagement?
  • Examples of organizations? Surf Rider Foundation
    • = various projects to help youth
  • Do you do A/B testing?
    • E.g. what text message is going to best reach 500,000 youth? Test version A with 500 people and version B with 500 people. Whichever gets the better response is used for the remaining youth.
  • Avoid data silos - comms department needs to share analytics with the larger org
  • Comms department isn’t on the field; field workers are and should be informed
  • Do you provide translation for your website?
  • Even if it’s a single page in a variety of languages with a basic introduction, helps feel connected
  • Comms often leads with facts and figures following funding needs, but the story is the better lead

Improving Communications

  • Re-consider direct mail
  • Asking what form of communications constituents want
  • Sometimes people say they only want email (not direct mail), but then respond really well to direct mail
  • Hand-written notes, followed up by phone calls
  • Sounds like a lot of work; how to justify expense?
  • Measure what you’re doing and see what you’re wasting - replace that
  • What metrics are you tracking?
    • Separate vanity metrics (TBU - true but useless) from actionable metrics
  • Visits and time on site need to be monitored but aren’t helpful most of the time
  • Need to know more about content
  • How are you monitoring analytics across systems? What single tool can do everything?
  • None
  • Pull data from multiple systems into spreadsheets
  • See Swords to Ploughshares for an example of an org learning to listen
  • Curse of knowledge - you know something they don’t and may not be able to relate to
  • Website can lead people through something that social media can’t - a "knowledge pathway”
  • Use discreet and specific actions in social media
  • Let people share (e.g. "What are you having for dinner on Sunday night?”)
  • Don’t just pass on a social media post; *curate* it (be selective and comment on it)

  • Try experimenting with print pieces
  • E.g. Use different calls to action
  • What about save-the-date messages?

John: Probably best to send notifications when registration opens.

Crystal: Send it for a large political event; no call to action, just a light touch to “remember us?”

Make your comms campaigns easy for your staff to do

John: email is generally a lot more effective than social media

Success Stories

  • How do you get people to come to your events?
  • The web can be a real “echo chamber” - just hearing ourselves
  • How do you get your message beyond your current constituency
  • CPEHN - has used word of mouth (social media also offers a little)

Fundraising engagement

Surfrider – old cellphones victims of domestic violence

Microsteps>videos explaining why you should do it

Dosomething- discrete specific
Why bring me along

Personally, culturally

Letting people share, opinions content

Social media to email landing page with 3 newsletters – links to full newsletters

Short, concise


  • Learn from other organizations
  • Use teasers

Around the table

Adam: Curious about examples of other orgs to learn from. “Analytics are like exercise” - we know we should be doing it but…. How much time should we spend on it?

John: At least 15-20 mins/mo to collect the data, and a 1-2hr quarterly meeting

Javier: A/B testing was interesting

Jonathan: Children’s Hunger Fund volunteering good example of getting people from social media to events

Jocelyn: Also found A/B testing interesting. Leading people with personal stories, and following through with valuable information and opportunities of communication.

John: and don’t forget the significance of staff stories

David: Helping the board understand what you’re learning

Yuri: Being transparent across the organization

Crystal: Leading from social media to engagement with the website before the action

John: Give people a picture of what they’re moving toward (e.g. screenshots of your email newsletter)

Riana: Need to focus on email