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Best Practices

Posted by Elise Daniel on August 17, 2010 at 9:37 am 

The conventional wisdom tells us that social media isn’t a particularly effective way to do fundraising, at least not yet. This article on SmartBlog on Social Media shares a few tips about how it actually could be done successfully. They came out of the recent Nonprofit 2.0 Unconference. Here’s one of the tips:

“Demonstrate your impact. Use your tweets, blog posts and Facebook updates to forward this narrative [about a specific person's story] and reinforce the effects of your programs. You’ll be more successful asking for donations if you’ve cultivated a relationship with potential donors, said one attendant.”

Posted by Elise Daniel
August 17, 2010 at 9:37 am
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Posted by Elise Daniel on August 4, 2010 at 2:32 pm 


This very good tip from blogger John Haydon definitely seems worth a try for those of you who are responsible for both an e-newsletter and a Twitter account. He does a good job of explaining how to do it in a short video.

Posted by Elise Daniel
August 4, 2010 at 2:32 pm
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Posted by Elise Daniel on August 4, 2010 at 2:22 pm 


These tips from nonprofit blogger Kivi Leroux Miller are pretty much common sense, but still it’s helpful to have them assembled in this clear way. Check ’em out.

Posted by Elise Daniel
August 4, 2010 at 2:22 pm
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Posted by Elise Daniel on August 3, 2010 at 2:39 pm 

This article by MarketingSherpa, which is currently behind a subscription wall, has a couple of very good points I wanted to quote here since most of us won’t be able to access it in full:

Mistake #2. Not segmenting email lists for tests

Many marketers have large email databases, but don’t know a lot about the records held within. In these cases, they may conduct an email test using their entire database — and create a muddy results picture.

‘Without segmented lists you don’t get good test results,’ says [Corey] Trent [research analyst, MarketingExperiments]. ‘You get all these people responding differently to your emails, which pulls your results in all different directions.’

Spend the time to segment your database and understand the different characteristics of the segments before you embark on email testing. The more you know about unique segments within your database prior to testing, the better chance you’ll have of finding the right messages to appeal to them.

Mistake #3. Stopping tests after one big win

‘With email more than anything, we see people get a big win and stop testing,’ says Trent.

As exciting as those big wins may be, they shouldn’t be the end of your testing process. The makeup of your email lists is constantly changing; external factors, such as the economy, also impact subscriber behavior; and your competitors’ campaigns and tactics are always changing as well.

This constant state of change means you must routinely work on the messaging, layout, calls-to-action and other elements of your email messages to ensure you’re getting the full benefit of a testing program.”

Posted by Elise Daniel
August 3, 2010 at 2:39 pm
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Posted by Elise Daniel on July 30, 2010 at 1:27 pm 

Researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have concluded that Twitter is really more of a news outlet than a social network. Here’s a somewhat user-friendly slide show they created to explain their report or you can check out this shorter, even more user-friendly article by NetworkWorld.

The researchers analyzed 41.7 million publicly available user profiles, 106 million tweets and 4,262 trending topics. Two of the key findings that back up their conclusion are:

  • Only 22.1% of users follow each other, which, they point out, is much lower than other social networks like Flickr (68%) or Yahoo! 360 (84%)
  • About 85% of tweets were news related

Of course, the important missing piece in this research is all the private profiles that they couldn’t access, where presumably more actual social interaction is going on. I’m not sure what the ratio of private to public Twitter profiles is (though that’d be good to know), but I suspect the vast majority are public.

Posted by Elise Daniel
July 30, 2010 at 1:27 pm
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Posted in Best Practices, Twitter
Posted by Elise Daniel on July 29, 2010 at 4:26 pm is a statistics-lover’s dream, at least when it come to statistics about e-mail marketing. They gather data points from various sources about various industries, including nonprofit organizations. Here’s a recent stat I saw in their e-newsletter that demonstrates the kind of cool and useful stuff they provide:

“Email messages that include a social media sharing option generate a 30% higher click-through rate (CTR) than those without sharing options—and messages with three or more sharing options generate a 55% higher CTR. -GetResponseEmail Marketing and Social Media Integration Report‘ (2010)”

Posted by Elise Daniel
July 29, 2010 at 4:26 pm
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Posted by Elise Daniel on July 29, 2010 at 2:40 pm 

This Mashable article offers some very useful tips for maximizing the chances that your website will render successfully on your visitors’ mobile devices. This is especially good information for us to have given the reality of our very limited resources.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Narrow your focus: Instead of trying to support every platform out there, set out some goals for your site and your potential customers. For instance, if you know that most of your users are going to be using an iPhone, focus on making an iPhone-enhanced version of your site first. Conversely, if you get a lot of traffic from parts of the world like Asia, the Middle East and South America, you may want to focus your primary efforts on Symbian.”

P.S. If you have Google Analytics embedded on your site, you’ll be able to see which mobile devices are most frequently accessing your site. For the UW home page, it’s the iPhone by a pretty wide margin. Between late April 2010 and late June 2010, there were 11,500 visits by iPhone users and just 1,000 by BlackBerry users.

Posted by Elise Daniel
July 29, 2010 at 2:40 pm
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Posted by Elise Daniel on July 28, 2010 at 3:39 pm 

With all the attention Facebook (which recently surpassed 500 million users) and Twitter garner, it can be easy to let LinkedIn slip our minds. Yet, all along it has steadily gained market share and value, as this Bloomberg article discusses.

Posted by Elise Daniel
July 28, 2010 at 3:39 pm
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Posted in Best Practices, LinkedIn
Posted by Elise Daniel on July 26, 2010 at 4:18 pm 

This article from offers good food for thought for those interested in entering that field or at least getting up to speed.  And even for those of us who already do social media marketing, there are a few good ideas to keep in mind. 

This quote from Sophia Aladenoye, a digital strategist at Ogilvy Public Relations, is a good example of the advice you’ll find:

“My top tip would be to always engage with people. I have seen this, time and time again, that those who are in the social media industry and who wish to break in are individuals who actually like people and like talking to people. Those are the ones who I see thriving in this industry — it is called ’social’ for a reason. Even if you consider yourself an introvert, there should be a part of yourself that still reaches out to people.”

Posted by Elise Daniel
July 26, 2010 at 4:18 pm
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Posted by Elise Daniel on June 1, 2010 at 1:36 pm 

This warning is more for how you personally use Facebook rather than how you manage Facebook pages, but since you can’t really do one without the other, I thought this was worth sharing. Apparently, the way Facebook rolled out its “like” feature has made it very easy for developers to create Like buttons that can link anywhere on the Web, not just within Facebook. As a result, it’s very easy to use this as a way send people to a page where they will unwittingly pick up a computer virus. Articles on the ReadWriteWeb blog and one of the Sophos blogs explain the situation pretty well. Bottom line: “like” carefully!

Posted by Elise Daniel
June 1, 2010 at 1:36 pm
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Posted in Best Practices, Facebook

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