The irresistible power of storytelling for organizations

“Good stories surprise us. They have compelling characters. They make us think, make us feel. They stick in our minds and help us remember ideas and concepts in a way that numbers and text on a slide with a bar graph don’t.” Read more

5 ways to repurpose your content

For all types of organizations, repurposing content – that is, repackaging and continuing to gain value from previously developed and published content – makes good business sense. You can’t create original content at all times, and your audience needs to hear your key messages regularly for them to be really engaged with your work. In addition, repurposing is especially useful for nonprofits, given limited resources. Creating original content can be very time consuming, not to mention expensive. Read more

Want to really engage your readers? Make your writing more conversational

Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a place for formal writing – take reports or technical  and research papers, for example. But in this day and age, a more conversational approach in your articles, social media posts, webpages and other communications will likely go a long way in truly engaging your audiences.

“Writing less formally just makes it easier to read,” says Kristina Leroux states in her post for Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog. She adds: “And easy is always best when it comes to asking people to do things like give their money or volunteer their time.”

So, if you’re trying to make your writing less formal and more conversational, read Leroux’s tips below or her full article here:

1. Read Your Writing Out Loud

“Does it sound natural to you? If not, do some editing and try again,” says Leroux.

2. Talk to a Friend

Write like you’re writing about the topic to someone you’re comfortable with, like your best friend.

3. Use Contractions

In your less formal communications, replace “will not” with “won’t”, “she is” with “she’s”, etc.

4. Address Your Reader Directly

Leroux says: “What’s the number one rule of donor centric writing? Use “you” and “your” when referring to the reader. You should also refer to yourself by using “I” or “we” and “my” or “our” instead of “the organization” or other more institutional-sounding words.”

5. Start with Social

Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook are perfect for practicing a more conversational approach in your communications. Once you’re comfortable on social media, you may then decide to apply a more conversational style to other types of communication.

Featured image: http://klarititemplateshop.com/, Flickr Creative Commons

Want to be more effective on social media? Avoid these 4 misconceptions

Are you managing or contributing to your organization’s social media strategy? To ensure that your strategy achieves maximum impact, it’s important to avoid common misconceptions related to social media success.

Writing for Contently’s The Content Strategist blog, Tallie Gabriel highlights four social media misconceptions that could hurt your organization and provides tips for overcoming them. Read the full article here or the summary below.

1. Overvaluing vanity metrics

Gabriel notes: “It’s easy to see likes as the currency for social media value and popularity … However, these vanity metrics aren’t always the best indicator of social success.”

Maybe some of your posts aren’t generating a lot of likes but are managing to get many readers to click on the links you’re sharing. This sort of engagement may be a better indicator of social media success than likes.

Gabriel adds: “Instead of getting discouraged when a promising tweet doesn’t rack up the likes and retweets, pay attention to the clicks and check how long people stay on the page after coming from social. If your post is generating strong engagement, don’t worry so much about the superficial stats.”

2. Ignoring dark social shares

Gabriel explains: “Dark social refers to the massive amount of links copied and pasted into emails and messenger apps, rather than shared on traditional distribution platforms via the share button. These links are tough to track, but their circulation can’t be ignored.”

Brands may evaluate social media impact and make decisions solely based on the number of easily calculated shares from social media platforms, but they would be missing a much bigger picture. It’s important not to discount ‘dark’ social shares.

3. Posting the wrong content at the right times

Gabriel notes: “Simply posting at the “right” time won’t dramatically alter your social engagement. Just as paying to distribute mediocre content won’t help in the long run, posting poor content at the optimal times isn’t good for business.”

4. Experimenting with the wrong sites

You don’t necessarily need to be on all of the major platforms to be effective on social media.

Gabriel advises: “Just keep in mind it’s all about fit. And if you feel like something isn’t working, stop and adapt. With so much competition for attention, there’s no use going through the motions.”

Featured photo source: Flickr Creative Commons, howtostartablogonline.net