Average Nonprofit Community Size on Commercial Social Networks

Written by Lee Micai on July 30, 2010 – 9:17 am -

Between February 3 and March 15, 2010 NTEN, Common Knowledge, and ThePort Network surveyed 1,173 nonprofit professionals about their organization’s use of online social networks for the second annual Nonprofit Social Networking Benchmark Report.

Average Nonprofit Communtiy Size on Commercial Social Networks

When asked about the size of their commercial social network communities, survey respondents indicated an average of 2,440 members on Facebook, a sizeable drop (55%) from the 5,391 member average Facebook community size reported in 2009.

At first glance, this drop would seem to indicate that nonprofits are getting fewer supporters on Facebook and therefore less value.Yet upon further inspection, it becomes clear that many new nonprofits are coming onto the Facebook platform. Nonprofits reporting a presence on Facebook increased by 16% in the last year. Thus, the dip in average Facebook community size is likely more a result of the many new nonprofits coming onto the platform that are building an audience but have not had sufficient time to accumulate a large base of support. Stated simply, an influx of new Facebook-focused nonprofits that have yet to build a big audience is skewing the average community size downward this year. In contrast,Twitter showed a large increase in average community size, increasing 627% to 1,792 (286 in 2009). Community sizes also increased on LinkedIn from 291 to 450 and on YouTube from 268 to 447. MySpace average community size, however, dropped from 1,905 in 2009 to 1,794 in 2010.

Respondents reported community sizes on Facebook ranging from 1 to 250,000 fans, but 96% of the communities were 10,000 members or less with three very large communities of 214,000+ members skewing the average. Remove these three outliers, and the average community size on Facebook is 1,773 members. The nonprofit-specific social network, Change.org had an average community size of 1,334, a large increase (449%) from last year (243 members in 2009).

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Advantages of having a website

Written by Lee Micai on July 28, 2010 – 11:02 am -

Development & distribution costs are extremely low

When you compare the cost of establishing a website to what it costs to promote your business in print or on the air, you’ll see that a website is the cheapest form of marketing. A radio campaign featuring several 30-second spots per week for three months could run you $10,000 – $15,000. That gets you five minutes per week of exposure for three months in the local area only. Newspaper and magazine ads are similarly highly priced, and they only last for the life span of that particular publication. A website has virtually limitless space.

Advantages of having a websiteYou could put up a brochure website with dozens of photographs and several thousand words for under $5,000 for the first year, and keep it up and running for a few hundred dollars per year after that. What would it cost to run a newspaper ad of this size for a year? Imagine how much it would cost to produce a catalog for 200 different products, and keep it in consumers’ hands for an entire year. You can accomplish this with a website very easily, with low development cost and almost no distribution cost. Websites are in full color – a palette of 16.7 million colors for your photographs alone.

A website is accessible worldwide.

There are no physical limitations to broadcast areas as in radio and no circulation region restrictions as in newspapers or magazines. You can keep your website more current more affordably than any other media; you can update a website immediately, and as often as you like. Imagine you sell products whose prices fluctuate. With a website, you can change these prices every time they go up or down, so your marketing materials are always accurate.

Websites are economical and not limited by size.

This means a small business can present as large or creative of an image on the Internet as a bigger company – with the right design team. A website also allows easy and safe communication between the consumer and you so that anyone who visits your site can contact you at any time by sending an email. Unlike communications that originate from other forms of advertising, consumers who send emails don’t have to deal with many problems of everyday business: pushy salesmen, remembering to call during business hours, having to battle crowds to get to your stores, spending time waiting on voice mail or getting the wrong information. It’s convenient, easy, and safe for the consumer. Email is also convenient for you.

You can respond to all your customer inquiries at the same time, and do it when you have a free moment – not in the middle of rush hour when someone calls up to ask for product information or directions to your location. You can save money on tech support and answering questions. If your employees spend a lot of time answering the same questions and sending out the same material, you can reduce that labor cost significantly by providing the information on the website. For instance, a client can avoid having to mail or fax information for over 1,000 phone call solicitations in a one-year period simply by providing the information on their site. Your website can also take orders while you sleep as people can place orders on a website at any time, day or night. Read more »


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Planning your Website

Written by Lee Micai on July 19, 2010 – 10:56 am -

Here are some things to think about when planning your web site:

Planning:

  • head-scratchWhat advantages would you like to gain from your web site?
  • What disadvantages do you think you may encounter?
  • How do you plan to overcome those disadvantages?

Target Market:

  • Who is your primary target market?
  • Who are the main customers you wish to reach?
  • Who is your secondary target market? (If any)
  • To whom do you sell or want to reach primarily? Other businesses or to the general public?
  • How will your web site compare to the way your business / organization currently operates?
  • Are you planning an online brochure to enhance your marketing or showcase your product / service?
  • Would you like to receive orders and sell merchandise over the internet?

Setup:

  • Have you selected a domain name for your web site? Is it currently registered?
  • Will your site need a security certificate?
  • Will you be processing credit card transactions?

Advertising and Promotion:

Customer Service:

  • Who will be answering email generated by the web site?
  • Will your customers have a phone number at which you can be reached on the web site?

Functionality:

Which functional features should your web site offer?

  • blog
  • e-commerce/shopping cart
  • site search
  • customer service/support
  • tech support
  • discussion forums
  • newsletter
  • catalog/information
  • order forms
  • feedback form
  • member logon
  • password protected areas
  • SSL-encrypted areas

Information:

Which informational elements should your site contain?


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Got Navigation?

Written by Lee Micai on July 13, 2010 – 12:31 pm -

Go to any website and you’re guaranteed to find one thing: a navigation menu. The navigation menu is possibly a website’s single most important component; it allows visitors to, well, navigate your website.

With anything you should start with a plan. We use a Navigation Tree Diagram to easily layout our navigation. It helps you decide what pages go together, which pages are top level, sub-level and/or secondary. While there are no rules for laying out your navigation, I use one rule of thumb. Visitors should be able to get where they want in no more than 2 clicks.

Below is an example of a site navigation tree. Your main page to your website is where “Home Page” is written on the top box. In the boxes below write the pages that your website will contain. Each box shows a single page from your website. If this is a redesign of a website, you can place the pages you currently have on your existing website, then cross out the pages that you would like removed and add any additional pages.

To properly layout your navigation we designed a blank Navigation Tree Diagram you can download. Enjoy!

Read more »


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Nonprofits on Commercial Social Networks

Written by Lee Micai on July 8, 2010 – 9:54 am -

Between February 3 and March 15, 2010 NTEN, Common Knowledge, and ThePort Network surveyed 1,173 nonprofit professionals about their organization’s use of online social networks for the second annual Nonprofit Social Networking Benchmark Report.

Nonprofits on Commercial Social Networks

By a large margin, Facebook continues to be the most popular commercial social network with 86% (74.0% in 2009) of respondents indicating their organization has a presence there, an increase of 16% year-over-year. In tandem, the use of Twitter has increased by 38% in the last year, moving from 43.2% in 2009 to 59.7% in 2010. Usage of YouTube rose to 48.1%, up slightly from 2009 (46.5%), while LinkedIn followed at 33.1% (basically unchanged from last year). While commercial social networks continue to appeal to nonprofits overall, there is one exception. The past market leader,MySpace, dropped from 26.1% in 2009 to 14.4% (or a drop of 45% year-over-year).

How does your website measure up? Not sure? Take advantage of our Complimentary-No Obligation Analysis of your web site or download your free copy of our Website Planner Workbook.


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