Here at Social Driver we love technology and exploring the latest trends and how they could be used to benefit our customers. To make sure we’re keeping up with the latest technology, our company meets every Tuesday to talk about “Hot Topics.”
The most recent tech trend to catch our eye is Vine. Vine is a new app that allows iPhone users (sorry Droid lovers) to turn photos into short videos and share with their friends. The videos, similar in style to animated GIFs, range from funny art to advertising. Now that Vine has been around for a couple weeks, organizations are getting in on the action and posting fun videos with Vine as a new way to share content with their audience.
Could this new trend be used for your organization? Here are some things to consider when evaluating whether to use Vine to connect with your organization’s audience:
1) Are most of your audience members actively using Twitter? – Vine was developed by a Twitter-owned company and currently can only be shared over Twitter feeds, not on Facebook. If your audience is actively engaging others through Twitter, Vine could be a great option for connecting with them.
2) How concise is the message you want to deliver? – Vine videos are only 6 seconds long which means you have to get your message across within the blink of an eye. This still leaves time for making an impression, but it must be thought out and intentional.
3) How much time can you commit to planning and execution? – Even though the videos are short, the impact can be lasting. You should plan your Vine content and message just as you would messages communicated through other means of social media. There should be an obvious message and call to action for viewers of your Vine videos
If you decide to explore marketing with Vine we’d love to see your videos in the comments below! Feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com if you would like information on how we could help your organization use technology to reach your target audience.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel at an event for the Public Relations Society of America – National Capital Chapter (@prsa, @prsa_ncc). We fielded some fantastic questions from the audience, and many asked how many social media channels, tools, or platforms is the right number to use.
I reused a very appropriate analogy I heard last year (more about that later). Have you ever been to a house party, where everyone ends up crowding around in the kitchen, while the host tries to herd folks out to the living room, where the cupcakes and comfy couches are? You have to decide what type of host you want to be – the ones who tries to interrupt good conversations and push people into the other room, or the one who goes with the flow and remembers that the point of the party is to have a good time, not to show off the new furniture.
When it comes to reaching your audience online, you need to figure out where they are, not where you want them to be. That probably means:
So what’s the right social media channel, tool or platform for your organization? The answer is, find out where and how your audience is spending time, and go to them. So go ahead, grab that tray of cupcakes and take it into the kitchen. Your audience, and your sanity, will thank you.
I’ve taken the liberty of appropriating and modifying the kitchen analogy from the very insightful Mary Nahorniak (@maryvale), Social Media Editor at USA Today, who spoke at the “Get It Online” lunch discussion group I host at The National Press Club (@pressclubdc). She probably tells it better than I do!
At Social Driver, we like to think a lot about the future, but sometimes it’s fun to look back at the past and see just how far we’ve come. This infographic shows the state of our union 100 years ago compared to today. What do you think we’ll see in the next 100 years?
We know that women love using technology, but do they love creating the technology that they use? On average women tweet, like, share, and pin far more frequently than men and are quicker to adopt new digital products and services. Across all ages groups, women interact online more than men, yet only 5 to 20 percent of software developers in the US are women.
The ratio seems to remain the same, or even dwindle, as you look at other careers in tech. In 2010 only approximately 7 percent of investments backed by the successful incubator, Y Combinator, were led by women. Yet, statistics show that a more gender diverse company returns higher gains, up to 30%, from IPO. Startups led by females generate higher revenues per investment dollar than startups led by males.
Where is the disconnect? Is this trend changing?
In recent years, we’ve seen an emphasis on closing the gender gap in tech. In the early 2000s, the focus was closing the gender gap to create a better office culture, but now technology companies are realizing that having women in leadership roles actually benefits revenue. Shocking right? Who would’ve guessed that having women leaders in businesses whose largest population of engaged consumers is women would actually be financially beneficial.
Numerous groups have emerged to help provide resources and ammunition to the movement. Hackbright Academy is a 10 week programming fellowship in Silicon Valley exclusively for women. Rails Girls is an international movement promoting innovation with female entrepreneurs and developers through Ruby on Rails. Astia is an organization founded in 1999 whose mission is to propel women’s success as entrepreneurs and leaders.
Is the emphasis working? I think yes. We see a growing movement for women to contribute in the tech space. Female targeted groups are bringing access to technology and putting resources in front of female entrepreneurs and developers. Female leaders, like Marissa Mayer, are increasing visibility for women in tech. Female led startups like Popvox, Code for America, and CakeHealth are paving the way for women to create their own space in the tech industry while providing solutions that help everyone. But the fight is not over and we need to keep talking about women in tech.
Are you a female in tech? Do you think the gender gap is closing? What resources have you used to help launch your tech career? Let us know in the comments below.
Relationship management is the key to creating and sustaining success between a nonprofit and its constituents. It is critical to understand how much your organization has raised, who is donating funds, and how the organization can maintain these relationships and create new ones through various campaigns. Along with having a defined digital strategy, nonprofits can improve their organization’s constituent relationships with a Customer Relationship Manager, or CRM.
In this article we’ll take a look at some of the best CRMs and how they can work for your nonprofit.
Blue State Digital’s BSD Tools can support you with anything from engaging target audiences to executing calls to action. The company’s suite of fundraising tools uses innovation and experience to reach organization targets. Among the many unique features in BSD Tools is The Mailer which can segment and target specific audience groups for email campaigns based on a list of variables including past actions and demographics. BSD Tools also includes Canvass, a way to effectively track and manage all your organization’s offline outreach.
NeonCRM provides numerous options that are very reasonably priced for systems of all constituent sizes, from 500 records to over 500,000. NeonCRM is an All-in-One solution that allows tracking of fundraising, membership, event registration, online store purchases, email communications, and volunteers within one system. The integrated online forms also make it easy for donors to set up recurrent payment schedules and see the impact they’re making in real-time with real-time payment processing.
Ideal For: Nonprofits looking for a user-friendly, one-stop-shop for their organization’s needs.
Salsa’s platform provides options that are not only great for tracking the bottom line, but for organizing data that’s crucial to growing your organization. Salsa offers different pricing options based on the number of campaign managers using the product. Some unique features with Salsa include access to Salsa Commons, a network of over 100 partners committed to helping you succeed, and options to add and manage organization chapters.
Ideal For: Nonprofits looking to track and organize fundraising and donor data, as well as better organize communication at every level within the organization.
DonorPerfect is a widely used CRM that can either be installed as software on your computer or accessed online from anywhere, even your mobile devices. DonorPerfect’s system allows anyone within your organization to track and organize constituents. The DonorPerfect CRM comes with over 100 reporting options, or options to create your own reports, so any metrics your organization could need are right at your fingertips.
Ideal For: Medium to large nonprofits wanting an extremely customizable product to work alongside your organization’s accounting software.
For organizations with a large constituent base, Convio Luminate provides a robust system, accessible from anywhere, that can be used by everyone involved in fundraising for your organization. Some key attributes for Convio Luminate include tons of customizable application add-ons, and TeamRaiser. TeamRaiser is an online application through Luminate which mobilizes and engages peer-to-peer fundraisers.
Ideal For: Large nonprofits seeking an enterprise level, customizable CRM to manage large and expanding amounts of data.
Salesforce’s Foundation CRM system for nonprofits is a cloud-based system with up to the minute reports, real-time tracking, and analytics. The CRM platform for Salesforce provides scalability to grow with your members and donors. Your organization can also customize your CRM with specifically designed and developed apps for the Salesforce platform.
Ideal For: Medium to large nonprofits analyzing large amounts of constituent data who want to pick and choose specific CRM features to meet the organizations needs.
Need more help figuring out which solution is right for you? Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Startups had a great year in 2012 but 2013 is looking even better. The most successful startups this year are bringing innovation to mainstream industries in need of disruption. Here’s the startups you should be watching in 2013:
Crowdtilt is the easiest way to collect, fundraise, or pool money with your group… for anything! With Crowdtilt you can easily bring your friends together to pitch in for something as small as a birthday present, football tailgate, drinks for a party, all the way to something as big as a community project or a large fundraiser for the Red Cross. The best part is that nobody gets charged until everybody has committed to pay.
Fab is changing the way people discover and connect with greatly designed products. On Cyber Monday 2012 the company sold $1.3million worth of products and recently launched in the UK. They’re in for a great year and leading the way in a changing e-commerce atmosphere.
Getaround is shaking up the transportation industry and solving car overpopulation. The company is bringing carsharing to everyone in a safe and fun environment. You simply log-on, rent a car from someone nearby, and get going. With a recent expansion to Chicago they’re making their way into a city near you soon!
LendUp is bringing tech innovation to payday loans. LendUp provides a simple online or mobile loan application and grant process along with ways to earn Trust Rewards. The Trust Rewards aim help customers rebuild credit and reach long-term financial wellbeing.
Coursera is a social entrepreneurship company that partners with the top universities in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free. The company envisions a future where the top universities are educating not only thousands of students, but millions. With Coursera adding top-notch universities daily to their course list in the US and internationally it is on its way to being a global education leader. The company also recently announced it will be partnering with the American Council on Education to eventually offer college transfer credit for some courses.
Sherpaa helps companies optimize health coverage plans and then provides them with around the clock email and phone access to their network of friendly, tech-savvy doctors. Since launching in NYC this past year, they’ve saved companies from Tumblr to Skillshare thousands in unnecessary health fees, optimizing their insurance plans and advising on healthcare usage to ensure dollars are spent wisely. Companies that use Sherpaa pay a minimal monthly fee and end up saving many times that in health costs, creating for a service that pays for itself. Innovation in healthcare has come at last.
Google Analytics Tells You What Happened, KISSmetrics Tells You Who Did It. Instead of vanity metrics such as bounce rates or time on site, KISSmetrics focuses on people tracking. People tracking enables KISSMetrics to impact your business in a positive way by showing metrics that other analytics solutions can’t, such as: true conversion rates, lifetime value of customers, how users engage with your website or app over time through a co-hort, and even churn data.
With participation ever increasing in adult sport leagues the headache from managing leagues and teams is also increasing. RecBob is harnessing the power of social networking and back-end smarts to change the way team members interact off the field. RecBob is an app that manages adult rec sports teams, making them easy, fun and more social. He sends game reminders, collects payments, tracks who’s in and who’s out on game day and finds subs as needed so rosters are always full!
Platfora is making big data relevant and usable. The company’s platform transforms raw data in Hadoop into interactive, in-memory business intelligence with none of the IT friction or complexity of existing approaches. Platfora allows business professionals access raw data that has been previously hidden in data warehouses.
Sponsorfied brings brands and opportunities together through specially designed software. The company launched in August 2012 and has already facilitated 200 sponsorship deals. Sponsorfied is looking to do for sponsorship what Google did for targeted adds.
What tech startups are you most excited for in 2013?
At a recent Social Driver's Ed, Adam Gerber, a Senior Associate from M+R Strategic Services, discussed Facebook's promoted posts. He talked about how this tool has worked for some of his clients, sharing a step-by-step process of how to use the tool, what it does, who it reaches, and how much exposure your business could potentially receive for relatively low cost. Check back later for the video, but in the meantime we want to give you three takeaways from his experience with Facebook promoted posts:
Do not worry about slick infographics or a polished image-shares. The best images are the ones that capture your organization's goal in the most authentic way possible. All you need is a camera, a piece of paper, and a marker. Photograph a colleague holding the paper with your key ask handwritten out and sa
ve yourself the photoshopping.
If you can wrangle $10-20 bucks, then you have the budget for a couple great experiments with your promoted posts. Most people will never visit your Facebook timeline and will only see your posts in their own newsfeed so the risk of re-running similar posts is minimal. Try two variations on your call-to-action on the same day and see which wins.
Facebook wants to show your posts to people who will engage with it. Oddly enough, many of those people live in Asia where Facebook has high penetration and but little original content. That means that, unless you target your post to the United States only, you're going to get a lot of unexpected international comments, likes, and shares. It may boost your ego to see that level of engagement, but unless it contributes to your business goals, they're just a waste of money.
As technology evolves more and more quickly, we can only wonder if older media will soon go extinct. Some already believe “print is dead” while others feel that print just needs to evolve into something more. Social Driver’s Devon Hopkins had the opportunity to speak with J. Ford Huffman, a man of many talents – editor, designer, writer, and artist. Huffman offered some wonderful insight into the challenges print faces and how print has the ability to conquer them.
Huffman recalls his commute on the metro to the Social Driver office where he noticed a fair amount of people around him reading a daily express paper. This paper still holds value because it is free, convenient, and easy to read. If you consider a college campus, daily college newspapers are very popular with students for the same reasons.
Huffman states, “if you had good content and you're in the right place at the right time and the right market, people will look at you and read you.” He puts a lot of emphasis on content.
Huffman still receives print magazines in the mail and enjoys them. You can read the news on your iPad, but you can't quite snuggle up with your iPad like you can a good magazine. And you can't replace your iPad, in the same ways you can replace a lost newspaper.
Maybe others are thinking this way too. Personally, I do not own an iPad and, I too, enjoy reading magazines while snuggled up on the couch. Huffman claims, ”I think print has been asleep for a while … and that people are beginning to understand that you can have both and maybe you even need both.”
Huffman explains this as the real problem, as opposed to whether or not “print is dead.” If anything, Huffman argues that the “print is dead” comments should send strong warnings to content suppliers and newspapers that they are not providing the quality content that their market wants.
Huffman says, “if the reader spots a hole, a missing part of a story, that makes the whole ne
wsroom look like it doesn't know it's content.. It needs the same content everywhere.” Readers should not spot a hole in any content at any time. Each news source must have someone with institutional knowledge to review the context before a crucial opportunity is missed.
He adds, “If you print an awesome graphic in the newspaper.. do not miss your opportunity to add a reference to where readers can find it on the Web. If you have an intriguing article in the middle of the newspaper that has the potential to be popular.. do not miss your opportunity to reference that on the front cover.”
Huffman says we need to be alert to tie-ins and put all the same content on every platform, leaning towards responsive design.
Huffman claims that if he were working in a newsroom he would be looking at digital agencies and talking with digital agencies to learn from them and share with them. Both newsrooms and digital agencies are huge content producers and should be offering ideas to one another regarding how they produce content. He says, “we need to get over that fear that it's all competitive and we can't share information… we need to build on each other.”
We need to make connections and share. Huffman says, “I think there is room for both print and digital. The smart thing is to figure out what works best on different medium.”
Huffman thinks we should take the opportunity to learn how to utilize every form and platform of media. Exposing yourself or your business to new things just might do the trick. Learning from a magazine that you have no interest in, talking to a new person at a cocktail party instead of the usual few people.
By looking around and sharing with others, we can develop new content and have a better understanding of how to utilize it. After that, importance lies on the fact that high quality work is produced with correct spelling, information, timeliness, superior images, and great content.
No matter who it is for, we have to work hard and be careful with the information we are giving out.
So what do you think? Is print media dead, dying, or drifting?
There is so much news buzzing around about Princess Kate Middleton and her pregnancy. Her time spent in the hospital must be far from enjoyable and we feel for her… how boring! So, we decided to create a list of the top 15 apps that Kate should download for information, entertainment, and planning for the arrival of her baby.
Now that Kate and Wills are expanding their family, they need to start searching for a new home. This app is the Zillow for Royal families. I can't think of a better app for a Princess! With this app, Kate can search high and low for the most beautiful castles, learning about historic architecture, ancient ruins, and fortress origins, all while potentially picking out a new home!
With this app, Kate and William can both bond with the baby before the big day! Whether they use an iPhone microphone or regular earphones, they can listen to the sound of the fetus' heartbeat, record it, and share it with family and friends. It brings creepiness to a whole new level.
Since the baby won't arrive for quite some time, the only available pictures for William and Kate are the ultrasound photos. In the meantime, why not jazz these up a bit. With Pimp my Ultrasound, they can add from a list of “pimp features” such as a baseball cap, world's cutest baby frame, or even a tiara (which might be the most fitting.)
To make the pregnancy even more exciting, Kate can set up a game for all of her family and friends on Baby Pool. Much like a fantasy football team, participants will compete and earn points by guessing the baby's birth stats correctly. Participants will predict topics such as baby's length, weight, birthday, and even exact time of arrival. Kate can set up a private pool, or we could all play. We basically already are, so why not earn some points in the process!
It's time for the Royal Palace to steer clear of cocktails. We bet this app will be filled with creative ideas and new twists on tasty juices and seltzers. The Royal parties are going to have to get savvy with the beverages over the next nine months, and with this app, there is no way they will run out of ideas!
We know what Kate looks like, we know what Prince William looks like.. Any takers on what the baby will look like? This app can help. All Kate has has to do is enter 21 facial traits from both her and William, then the app will configure the dominant and recessive traits, and automatically assign what traits the baby will receive from each parent. Lastly, a cartoon animated baby is illustrated to share the results with Kate.. and most likely everyone else on the Internet.
Let's face it, pregnancy changes everything. Kate can consult with this app on a daily basis to determine which foods are okay to eat and which foods to run from. Foods are broken up into categories for easy searching, so Kate can even pass her phone along to her personal chefs for easy menu planning!
Ahhhhh, peacefulness. By downloading White Noise Baby pre-baby, Kate can enjoy the soothing sounds of everything from an air conditioner and wind chimes, to the tones of a vacuum cleaner. Post-baby, when Kate needs instant entertainment for her baby, this app will turn into a rattle with fun shapes and sounds that will put the crying at ease.
Could there have been a better time for the new Snapseed release?! While in hide-out from the paparazzi, Prince William and Kate can take millions of photos of their new baby, like all new parents do. This app will let them edit the photos through enhancing colors, adding frames, and selecting filters to reach professional style. Plus, the photos can be shared in a cinch through Google+ capabilities to make sure the entire Royal family is included!
There is nothing like a trashy magazine to make the time fly. When she has time to kill, Kate can pick up an Us Weekly to stay up-to-date on the latest American gossip in Hollywood. The Royal family no longer wants to look at British tabloids anyway, so this magazine app is a perfect replacement for a Royal stress-free read.
Aside from finding out the gender of the baby, here is the next biggest question! What will Kate and William name “it?” This app will allow them to filter through thousands of names by popularity, meaning, origin, and sound. Once they find a few they like, Kate can create a favorites list of all the potentials before it's time for the final decision.
With the help of Eventbrite and sister Pippa, there's no way the Baby Shower could go wrong! Kate has two perfect opportunities to create the most royal of showers. Especially because we don't want any Royal invitations getting lost in the mail, Evenbrite makes it easy to share the shower online with everyone on the guest list. While Pippa does the planning, Kate can use the app to organize the details and see who has registered for attendance.
We all saw that Modern Family episode when Gloria, who is also pregnant, can't seem to keep up with her daily tasks of remembering what has to get done. We don't want Kate to suffer from pregnancy brain! With Remember The Milk, Kate can create to-do lists to connect to her gmail, iCal, and Twitter accounts to ensure she stays on track. When something needs to get done, Kate will get notified through all accounts, so she won't ever miss a thing.
Time for lots and lots of movie watching. Netflix makes the perfect app, especially when the TV remote is just too far out of reach. Since Kate no longer feels quite like herself, movies and TV shows will be a perfect way to spend time with her loved ones. Now that Disney signed an exclusive deal to Netflix, Kate won't have to leave the house to find her old favorites on DVD.
Since the whole world knows exactly which hospital Kate is staying, it must be hard for the Royal family to visit with and check on Kate. The best suggestion we came up with is Skype. With Skype, Kate can catch up with Pippa, Harry, Queen Elizabeth, along with the rest of the family to let them know how she is doing.
In all honestly, we wish Kate the safest and happiest of pregnancies. We can't wait to meet the newest member of the Royal Family!
Update: Our condolences go out to Jacintha Saldanha's family and friends.
Associations, unlike some non-profits, typically have a very clear, well-defined audience that they are trying to reach. However, they are faced with the challenge of offering content that meets the needs of a wide range of companies within their industries. We searched through hundreds of association websites to present you the 19 best examples of web design for associations.
This website is all about clean lines and bright colors with images that not only look pretty, but tell GMA’s story. It’s always best to tell your story through your constituents and that’s what this website does so well.
Too much information can often clutter a website and overwhelm the audience, yet FMI was able to separate lots of information into relevant categories to create a clean, user-friendly appearance.
The earthy scheme presented here pulls you into beautiful park scenery that you can’t help but check out. One of the first things you see is a message making viewers aware of the dangers National Parks face and a clear call to action of how we can help, which is the most important point for them to get across!
The color scheme, high quality images, and enhanced layout of this website are both functional and beautiful.
Want to see examples of great nonprofit website designs? Download our list of the 38 Best Nonprofit Websites of 2013 and be inspired!
EDRA welcomes you with an updated edge offering unique sketches instead of images. From there you will find information chronologically listed for you to learn the latest happenings of what’s going on.
With a futuristic appeal, Village Alliance created an engaging site with large images and text. When you scroll to the bottom, you will find a Village Tour that allows the user to create their own story – exploring things to do, sites to see, and places to go.
PMBA is eye catching with vibrate colors and plenty to look at. All links are easy to find, especially the quick “about” blurb as one of the first things you see, along with a list of news and events on the right, and social media feeds at the bottom.
This site combines several eye-catching features into one website with loads of great images, interactivity, clean organization, and a scrolling list of recent news and updates for the latest information.
WSWA has a very different look to it, which makes it great for separating the brand from the crowd. The interactivity with the mouse also makes things interesting as you poke around for information.
NWFA offers a fresh look with complementary colors and an interactive feature to design your very own room, allowing the user to test out different types of wood flooring in a variety of settings.
If you’re looking for engagement, this site has got it. To find what you’re looking for, you’ll need to do some clicking. But ASLA sets it up in a fun way that makes you want to click on all of the icons to see what else is hiding!
The American theme is strong in this website’s design. From there, the vast amount of information is organized into much smaller categories, creating a positive user experience complete with up to date press releases and links to all social media channels.
There’s always been something striking about gold and black, especially when combined with a great layout, rotating icons, and large images. This site immediately lured me in and made me want to explore.
This site is a beauty! The vivid image of the sunshine against the grass gets the solar point upon landing. When scrolling down, the ‘sticky note’ layout adds a nice touch without overpowering the site with information at first glance.
Real motion picture images against a fantastic color scheme make this site memorable. We like the drop-down tabs with the bars of links, as well as the checkerboard pattern of information and resources at the bottom.
This site screams exploration, representing a map and an adventure, which is exactly what the Peace Corps should be doing!
ACE took a lot of information, but categorized it in effective ways so the viewer isn’t overwhelmed at first glance. The more you scroll down, the more you’ll find, but instead of being overloaded you can easily look for a specific header to get exactly what you need.
As a health food fanatic, this site could not be more appealing! Images of produce take over the entire background with powerful facts about labor, politics, economic harm, and timeliness to ensure the most important messages are seen by the viewer.
Do you have any association in mind that didn’t make the list? Let us know! Need to talk to someone about designing a website for your association? Shoot us an email.