Three Ways To Understand And Apply Social Media Insights To Your Business

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The internet has impacted the way most, if not all, industries have evolved. Keeping up with industry trends and available platforms is a job in and of itself. In particular, social media is shaping the way many companies engage with customers and drive sales.

In the education industry, the internet has revolutionized the way people learn and how they interact with their peers. Based on my experience working with social media influencers to engage students, I’d like to share three tips for entrepreneurs in any industry.

Learn how your target audience is using social media.

You can never stay hot for too long in the world of social media. One minute Snapchat is the app of the hour, the next it’s Instagram, and the cycle continues. Social media has secured credibility in recent years as a trusted source of information not only for news but also as a platform for consumers to engage with companies and exchange information.

My company’s target audience is students, and we have found that students today use social media in ways that are foreign to generations that did not grow up in the digital age. For example, “study with me” videos have become a popular internet sensation among youth. My company decided to capitalize on this opportunity by partnering with YouTube influencers to learn how students are using YouTube to study; we then applied that information to our platform to better help our users succeed academically.

Understanding how your target audience is using and benefiting from social media is critical to success. This applies to any business. Many companies are under the impression that all there is to social media is a simple press of a button to post content, but that’s not where the value lies. Building your presence is important, but understanding why you have that presence will help you properly utilize your channels and benefit in multiple ways.

To do so, connect with your target audience and customers. Create surveys, send personal emails or even make phone calls to understand how your customers are using social media and in what ways your business can have a valuable impact. Get a deeper understanding of your audience behavior and which channels you should focus on.

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Analytics, Insights Create Exceptional Donor Experiences

It’s an undeniable fact: The experience you create for donors is directly tied to your ability to retain and upgrade them. According to a recent study by Bloomerang, 46 percent of lapsed donors cited they stopped giving because the organization failed to provide a meaningful experience. Today’s donors want to feel recognized, heard, and valued. They want the same kind of personal and relevant experience they get from other brands on a daily basis.

However, creating that kind of donor experience involves more than just assessing a donor’s wealth and giving history. It also involves creating a complete picture of who they are and how they are engaging with your organization.

The methods of engagement was the topic of a session “The Art and Science of creating meaningful experiences at scale for your high value donors,” presented by Hilary Noon, senior vice president, insight, analytics, and experience at Pursuant and Bente Weitekamp, vice president of development at the Community Health Network Foundation in Indiana during the 2018 Bridge To Integrated Marketing Conference.

For some organizations, that might be understanding your donors’ connections to the mission or understanding when your last point of connection was or how they were impacted by your organization. Described below are a few ways your organization can build more meaningful relationships with your donors by applying what you learn from “listening” to them, according to Noon and Weitekamp.

* Dig Into All of Your Data Sources: Look at all of the data and insights you have about your donors — including information that lives outside of the development department or a structured system. This might include determining if and how they benefited from your organization, event registrations, marketing activity, etc. Tap into anecdotal feedback from your staff and volunteers on the front line who interact regularly with your donors.

Look at online behavior. What are they clicking on? What content are they consuming? What sites are they coming from before they arrive at your page?  Where are they going next?

Using data to find out everything you can about your donors enables you to provide them with an experience that is tailor-made to their specific passions and interests.

* Capture Motivations And Preferences Through Primary Research And Social Insights:One of the simplest ways to listen to your donors is to ask them. There are many mechanisms for doing this including surveys, focus groups and social listening. Surveys that ask donors why they gave, and how and when they’d like to hear from you ensures you’re not bombarding them with information they don’t care about and allows you to avoid wasting money. This is most effectively done as close to a transaction as possible. Just be sure you clearly communicate why you are asking for their feedback and how it will be used. Help them see what is in it for them.

While it might seem like giving donors’ the option to choose how and when they hear from you is giving up control, it often leads to greater response rates and increases the likelihood that the donor will feel more connected with your organization’s brand.

Using a social media monitoring or listening tool will provide insight into what people are saying about your organization, the volume of the buzz and the sentiment associated with your brand. Conversations about specific events or programs that your organization hosts can provide great insights into the experiences people are having and where improvements can be made. Keep in mind that social media is often where people go to share opinions in the extreme so use these tools along with the other tools mentioned to give you a more balanced view.

These tools can give you an important view into the hearts and minds of your donors. The key is to use the information you capture to improve the donor’s experience.

* Create Immersive Experiences That Drive Engagement: Immersive experiences are difficult to offer to all donors. Digital fundraising provides nonprofits with a new opportunity — at scale — to not only engage donors, but “listen” to them based on how they respond and interact.

For organizations that are fortunate to have a bricks and mortar presence, such as a hospital, a school or an arts organization, immersive experiences can be delivered in person. Today, every organization has the opportunity to create similar experiences through an interactive digital campaign that unlocks why donors care about your cause.

It isn’t as easy as simply putting an experience online, however. Gather what data and insights you have about your donors from listening to them and then map out the kind of experience that would be most meaningful to them. Be open to continuously refining and improving upon it as you go forward.

Where and how to start

Before you set out to build a listening program, determine which donors are highest priority to focus on. Prioritizing will allow you to go deep with one segment and improve the likelihood that you will create a relevant experience that will drive results.

The speakers suggested zeroing in on a specific aspect of your priority donors’ experience. Choose something that is meaningful to your organization and where you are most likely to have an impact. Consider choosing an experience that is led by a colleague who really supports your desire to focus on the donor experience.  Having a champion for your work will make the whole effort more enjoyable and will improve the likelihood that you will see positive results.

Transform the Donor Experience

Developing an exceptional experience isn’t just a “nice” thing to do for your donors. It’s one of the leading influencers in their desire to give again. It’s what transforms “transactional” fundraising, where you’re primarily soliciting donations with every touch, into a long-term “transformational” relationship-building approach to fundraising.

Taking the time to consider how your organization can leverage analytics and insights to create a more an intentional and meaningful experience will pay off… for your donors AND your organization.

[“Source-thenonprofittimes”]

Insights On Leadership And Neighborhoods From Executive Director Of Providence Revolving Fund

In its fourth decade, the Providence Revolving Fund (PRF) preserves the architectural heritage of one of the nation’s oldest cities through lending, real estate development, advocacy and technical assistance. In preservation parlance, a revolving fund is a program or, in PRF’s case, an entity which works a pool of capital in a visible way to save endangered properties and strengthen neighborhoods—with monies returning to the fund to be used for similar reinvestment. The nonprofit’s potency is substantial for Providence neighborhoods, having made 470 loans to moderate- and lower-income families; purchased and developed 63 buildings; facilitated $33 million in financing and leveraged an additional $250 million.

Restoration work in progress assisted by the Providence Revolving Fund.COURTESY OF PROVIDENCE REVOLVING FUND

Now a new era dawns for the Providence Revolving Fund, with the hiring of Carrie Zaslow as executive director. The community development professional has a wealth of experience in capital management for housing affordability and revitalization of commercial corridors. She also served as vice chair and chair of the Rhode Island Housing Resources Commission.

Restored and assisted by the Providence Revolving FundCOURTESY OF PROVIDENCE REVOLVING FUND

Tom Pfister: Some people view challenges with neighborhoods as insurmountable. Others are on the fence. What would you say to persons who are unsure about whether to volunteer for or work at organizations that focus on supporting the delicate balances of healthy, inclusive, livable neighborhoods?

Carrie Zaslow: I have a fundamental belief that everyone should be able to live in neighborhoods that are safe, that have performing schools, that have recreation and fresh food available, where residents can thrive, and that honors the history and culture of the neighborhood. With that belief, there needs to be a balance on a policy level that will prevent displacement of current residents even if the neighborhood becomes attractive to others. With that said, I would tell people that community development is hard work, often decades in the making, but it is also immensely satisfying—especially when you speak with the neighborhood residents, and you meet the family that finally has an apartment up to code, lead safe and at a rent they can afford, and they can finally take a deep breath.

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Pfister: What are the most common misconceptions about affordable housing?

Executive Director Carrie Zaslow of the Providence Revolving FundPHOTO BY IAN TRAVIS BARNARD / COURTESY OF PROVIDENCE REVOLVING FUND

Zaslow: The biggest misconceptions about affordable housing are that it’s housing for people with no jobs and no income, that it will decrease the value of homes nearby and be a burden to the community. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Over 51% of Rhode Island renters are cost-burdenedby housing costs—they are paying more than 30% of their income on housing. A teacher or emergency medical technician supporting a family can longer afford to buy a market-rate house anywhere in Rhode Island. The Providence Revolving Fund has made a priority of both creating and supporting affordable housing that protects Rhode Island’s historic housing stock, and creating affordable housing that is visually beautiful. Today’s affordable housing is well designed, energy efficient and healthy. Families living in healthy and stable conditions are able to increase their family wealth and see their children perform better in school.

Pfister: What lesson have you learned about genuine leadership that guides you?

Zaslow: It’s important to take calculated risks. To understand that true innovation means accepting the possibility of failing. That you can’t let missteps define you—you learn from them and move on. To be a great leader, you are able to extend this mindset to your entire team, so as to create an atmosphere that promotes creativity and innovation.

Pfister: When you worked in other capacities within Providence neighborhoods and organizations, what did you admire from afar, so to speak, about the Providence Revolving Fund?

Zaslow: I always saw the Providence Revolving Fund as a strong organization with a talented staff. I knew founding Executive Director Clark Schoettle and Associate Director Kim Smith, and I admired their work and commitment. The organization is unique as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that works with both homeowner-borrowers and real estate developers in the area of historic preservation, and then as a developer itself of affordable housing in historic districts. What stood out for me about PRF was its shared belief in the power of the culture of a neighborhood and the importance of preserving it.

Pfister: Here at the starting line of your tenure as executive director, what is the highest priority facing the Providence Revolving Fund?

Zaslow: Our highest priority is equipping ourselves to meet the evolving needs of Providence neighborhoods and that means growth. The Providence Revolving Fund is one of only four CDFIs working in Rhode Island, and the only one working on historic preservation. Demand for the work we do is high and we will be developing new ways to meet that need.

For more than 25 years, I’ve served as a practitioner in real estate: e.g., I’ve directed a revolving fund for historic properties; raised and underwrote capital for resident-led development in underserved neighborhoods.

[“Source-forbes”]

Insights from Cannes Lions Health Festival 2018

Tom Richards

Cannes Lions is one of the most coveted and respected creative festivals in the world. The trophies are recognised globally as the ultimate achievement in creativity and winning at the Cannes Lions Health Festival puts us among the world’s elite. Below we hear from Tom Richards,
Chief Creative Officer of the Havas Lynx Group, the agency named as this year’s Cannes Lions Healthcare Agency of the Year.

To have seven shortlisted entries was incredible. To win two silvers and a bronze was amazing. To win Healthcare Agency of the Year is outstanding and exceeded all of our expectations. However, never ones to rest on our laurels, we came home not only armed with a new set of trophies for our cabinet, but also energised from being exposed to so much life-changing and inspirational work. In this article, I share some of the key learnings and trends with supporting case studies from the remarkable Cannes Lions Health Festival 2018.

Learning 1: Empathy

This is the new insight. It goes beyond profiles and stats. It’s about understanding your audience on a deeper level. Knowing what moves them, what drives them, what makes them feel.

Case Study: Ouchie 

Agency: Havas Lynx

Client: Chugai/Roche

Award: Silver Lion

When we think of arthritis we think of the old and frail. But Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (sJIA) actually affects a significant number of children. The painful flare-ups can leave them feeling extremely ill. Research showed they were too embarrassed to tell their teacher or carer that they felt unwell, describing how their condition left them feeling isolated from their classmates. The solution was simple: a patient support pack aimed specifically at children with sJIA, and a two-tone wristband to help them discreetly communicate how they’re feeling.

Learning 2: Craft

Take a great idea and make it absolutely shine. Beauty and impact in equal measure. Craft is often undervalued in the world of pharma, but when used appropriately it elevates the idea and execution to a space that cannot be ignored.

Case study: The AttackAgency: Havas Lynx

Client: AstraZeneca

Award: Silver Lion

Not your typical HCP film. Shot in 1:235 cinema formatting, with a tense and atmospheric style, it follows an elderly man who talks about an attack he had in the sea. He describes the impact – the pain, the chaos and the suffering – and we experience the attack with him through Jaws-style shots. The film ends with a big reveal: this wasn’t a shark attack, but a heart attack.

Trend 1: Problem Solving

Zone in on the core issue and find the best way to solve it. The end result should change perceptions or behaviours – or even laws. What’s great
about these ideas is that it doesn’t have to be a campaign, or even an ad, that answers the problem.

Case Study: Blink to Speak

Agency: TBWA/India

Client: Asha Ek Hope Foundation and NeuroGen

Brain & Spine Institute

Award: Grand Prix/Gold Lion/Silver Lion

Creating an affordable way to help patients speak.

The challenge for hospitals treating patients with ALS,
MNDS or spinal cord injuries is that current solutions are ultra hi-tech and extremely expensive, making them inaccessible. The solution: a new language based solely on blinking. Knowing that this is often the one movement that patients still have control over, Blink to Speak offered a

very simple way for patients to tell a doctor if they were uncomfortable, if they needed entertainment or if they needed to go home.

Trend 2: Technology

This isn’t just technology for the sake of it. It’s not about being showy or shiny – it’s about making life better. The below is a great example of tech that fits the problem at hand and integrates seamlessly into the context.


Case Study: Dot Mini

Agency: Serviceplan

Client: Becks DOT Inc

Award: Gold Lion

Because of the difficulty in translation and printing, only 3% of all text is available in braille. So they created an AI that could translate texts into braille – much faster than a human. They built it into a single device that could convert the texts into braille, using plastic ‘dots’ that move up and down with each sentence. The Dot Mini has access to hundreds of thousands of texts, and as the AI gets smarter, that number will only increase. Couple that with audio integration and you’ve got an absolute game changer.

Trend 3: Humour

I’m happy to see that pharma is finally taking steps into this territory. There’s still work to do as there’s seemingly a perception that most patients or doctors don’t have a sense of humour – but used appropriately, a bit of comedy can completely transform a healthcare campaign.

Case Study: No Needles

Agency: McCann Birmingham

Client: Dexcom

Award: Gold Lion

A radio campaign promoted a device that allows diabetes patients to monitor their blood sugar levels without needles.
And they made it funny. Very funny. The idea is that the world is already full of pricks – so, as a diabetic, the last thing you want is another one in your finger. The wryly-observed scripts give some examples of the sorts of pricks we encounter on a day-to-day basis. It’s an unexpected place to use humour – and that’s what makes it so good.

Find out more insights from the Cannes Lions Healthcare Agency of the Year at www.havaslynx.com

Tom Richards is Chief Creative Officer at the Havas Lynx Group

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