Articles

  • Are You “Really” Responding to Your Online Community?

    Did you know that 83% of Facebook fans expect a response the SAME day they make an inquiry?! It’s no surprise that people have pretty short attention spans today and instant gratification is a very real thing. With that in mind, I wanted to share a few reasons why it’s SO important to respond to your social media community in a timely fashion. People really just want to be heard and by answering the comments, questions, and concerns, you are showing them that you value your community and their input.

    This advice holds true for both positive and negative feedback you get on social media. We often rush to put out the fire caused by a negative review or comment and we fail to graciously accept and respond to the positive feedback. If regular community engagement seems daunting, it may be worth looking into social media management. If you are not at that point in your nonprofit right now, here are some things you or a staff member can do to work on responding to feedback from your community.

    How to respond to positive feedback

    If you receive a compliment or any other type of positive feedback on your social media accounts, graciously respond to it! If someone shares one of your posts or tags your organization in a post, “like” the post and share it with your audience. You don’t need to share every review or testimonial, but it’s a great idea to sprinkle them throughout your social media content calendar. We all love to see positive news and it will help develop the “know, like and trust” factor for your nonprofit.

    Another great way to get more community engagement is to highlight social media followers that regularly like, comment and share your posts. Everyone loves to get a pat on the back, so give them a shout out!

    What do you do if someone leaves a negative comment or review on your social media?

    Negative reviews often cause a business or nonprofit to panic, but rather than get defensive and fire off a hasty response, it’s best to give yourself a little time to cool off before you formulate a reply. Here’s what to do:

    • Walk away from your phone, tablet or desktop for at least 10-15 minutes to give yourself some space and blow off any steam.
    • Realize that the person leaving the comment really wants to be heard, so the first step is acknowledging their feedback (no matter how crazy or unrealistic you think it is!). You don’t need to agree with them and it can be as simple as saying, “Thank you for taking the time to let us know _________. We are sorry that you’ve experienced ____________.”
    • Think about what might have happened with your nonprofit or business that might have caused them to have a negative impression and see if there’s any truth to their complaint/feedback. This will help guide your response to the situation, both on social media and in your business practices. 
    • Consider how you will try and make things right with your customer or donor. Is there something you might do that would smooth their ruffled feathers? Most often a small gesture goes a long way and can turn a critic into a loyal fan!
    • Walk back to your phone, tablet or desktop and craft a respectful reply. 

    Why this matters

    Regular community engagement on your social media channels can do wonders for growing your donor base, increasing awareness of your nonprofit’s mission and recruiting more volunteers. While community management can, at times, seem like just another item on your to-do list, it can go a LONG way in building a strong relationship with your target audience!

    If you are a woman-owned service-based business, Seaside Digital Design and Marketing LLC is happy to help you craft a social media and community engagement plan as part of your digital brand design. Schedule a free 15-minute connection call HERE.

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  • Is Your Nonprofit’s Website Optimized for Mobile Viewing?

    Mobile traffic accounts for approximately 51% of web traffic (as of the third quarter 2019), so making sure that your website is responsive is crucial to ensuring a positive user experience for all site visitors. While it’s now pretty standard for WordPress themes to be responsive, there are still a few things to take into consideration when designing your website.

    Don’t make your site too complicated or overstimulating

    When there’s too much content on a desktop website, it will look REALLY crowded on a much smaller mobile or tablet screen. Keep your content to a minimum and make sure it includes the essentials, and not details that aren’t necessary for your website visitor. It’s not about filling space, but rather keeping white space to make the viewer focus on your messaging which is what’s most important!

    Choose your visuals carefully

    While compelling photographs and video are great for engaging website visitors, make sure they are not too heavy as they will slow your site’s loading speed, which can result in a poor experience for site viewers and a resulting increase in your bounce rate. Make sure you are using the right image sizes for your WordPress theme. Plugins that compress images can also help speed up your site and the mobile experience.

    Avoid using flash or too much javascript

    Most of your website visitors aren’t using the latest version of Adobe’s Flash, and a result, won’t be able to access your Flash content. This means that no matter how great that content is, it doesn’t get seen! This is especially true for site visitors logging on from a mobile device. Additionally, Javascript can slow down your site, so limit the number of third-party applications that use it for your site to perform optimally.

    Test your site to see if it’s mobile-friendly according to google

    There is a pretty cool tool that allows you to enter your website’s URL to see if it’s mobile-friendly according to Google. Click HERE to test it out! The tool will give you a simple yes or no answer, in addition to providing feedback on how to make your site mobile-friendly, for example, whether there are any page loading issues. It will also show you how your site renders on mobile devices.

    Make sure your font size and buttons are large enough

    You want your text and buttons to be easy for viewers to see on smaller screens. No matter how great your content is, if it’s hard for a site visitor to read, they will get frustrated and leave your site. Make it easy on the eyes and use a larger font size— I recommend something between 16-18 px. Buttons should also be large enough, so they are easily clickable on a smaller screen.

    If you’re not sure if your site is mobile-friendly, I would try out this tool and if there’s room to improve. Seaside Digital Design & Marketing is happy to audit your site for you and make suggestions for mobile optimization. Feel free to send us an email if you would like to have this done for your website.

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  • 5 Things You MUST Include in Your Nonprofit’s Website Design

    Having a website that supports your non-profit’s fundraising efforts, increases volunteerism and helps to grow your audience is essential. When creating a website or revising an existing site, the following are things to take into consideration to ensure that your website functions as needed.

    Make sure your donation button is in multiple locations on your website

    Having your donation button in only one location on your non-profit’s website isn’t enough. While it can seem like overkill to include your donation button in many different locations on your site, it’s NOT! Website visitors will look at different areas on your site, so you want to ensure that wherever that is, there will be a donation button. Great locations to place a donation button are in your site’s header, sidebar, footer and after each blog post.

    Use a responsive theme

    More and more people are using mobile devices and tablets to access websites. In fact, mobile traffic is up 222% over the last five years and accounted for more than half of web traffic in 2018 (source). It’s a necessity to have a website that mirrors what your desktop looks like, but with images and other effects that are compatible with mobile screen sizes. All of our WordPress website designs are responsive and we test each site extensively.

    Make sure you have enough white space between elements

    White space is your friend. There is nothing more overwhelming than landing on a website and not being able to focus on any content because your eyes are drawn all over the screen! White space helps to focus the website visitor on your content and imagery— where their focus should be! It’s important to leave space between site elements, but also in text.

    Paragraphs in online content should only be a few sentences long to break up passages for easier reading. Pictures and video also help to break up text flow and keep the reader engaged.

    Tell a good story and support it with compelling visual elements

    In the non-profit sector, it’s vital that you have a story (or stories!) to tell that help your potential donor to connect to your cause. The goal of your website is to form a connection with each visitor and personal stories are a great way of doing this. Think about the people your organization serves and the people involved with helping to run the non-profit. How can you weave these stories into your site through the use of text, photos and videos.

    If at all possible, develop some video content that you can use on your site and also for your social media profiles. Video is a very effective way of quickly forming a connection with a viewer. Longer form video can be used on web pages and shorter snippets for social media posts.

    Make sure you include a call to action on each page of your website

    Every page on your website should serve a purpose and therefore have a call to action. After viewing the page, what do you want the website visitor to do? Do you want them to donate, sign up to volunteer, sign up for a newsletter, etc.? Make sure that you are clear in what you are asking. Most visitors are happy to take action, you just need to ask them to do it!

    Hopefully you can take these tips and apply them to your non-profit’s current (or new) website design. At Seaside Digital Marketing & Design, we are happy to help your non-profit with any of the above, so please reach out to us to schedule a call to discuss your website needs!

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