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How to Get People Listening to Your Nonprofit on Google Plus

by Lori Taylor · 0 comments

While Facebook and Twitter are great for building a fan base and starting conversations, Google+ is a social media network built to give you tools for engagement. Rather than struggle to broadcast your message to individuals, you can tell your story to entire neighborhoods of engaged and interested people.

Using visual, audio, and text, you can tell your story and show people how you are making a difference. More importantly, you can tell them how they can help.

the_10_commandments_for_raising_money_for_non_profits_on_google_plus

This week’s featured Social Caffeine ebook is 10 Commandments for Raising Money for Non-Profits on Google+. This ebook will guide you through establishing a following of supporters on Google+, and telling your followers your story.

10 Commandments for Raising Money for Non-Profits on Google+ is FREE until March 22. Get your copy from Amazon here. Amazon UK users: get your copy here.

After March 22, the book will go back to its regular price of $2.99.

Just in case you’d like to try before you “buy”, here’s an excerpt:

Telling Your Nonprofit’s Story on Google+

StorytellingEveryone loves a story. You have one and your supporters need to hear it.

A great tale grabs the hearts of your audience, stirs emotion, and makes them give a damn. You NEED them to give a damn. You need them to make an emotional investment in your cause. You won’t see a dime from them until they do. They need to feel the tears, the heartbreak, and fear. They need to grieve and understand the loss suffered. They need their souls to darken and their hearts to bleed.

Like a catchy tune, your story must keep them awake at night and interfere with the way they go about their daily lives. Your story must also give them hope. Your audience must know they can make a difference and understand that the answer lies within them. By telling your story, you empower them to make the right decision. And to do so, you must get your story to them.

Times have been so tough for so long that profitable businesses are struggling to stay afloat, leaving 75% of non-profit organizations drowning beneath the mounting demand for their services and massively decreased funding. Given the times and circumstances, how can you effectively connect with your struggling audience and make them care enough that they give you money?

You don’t have the big bucks for television campaigns, and small communities are crumbling on a daily basis. You feel like a polar bear, marooned on a quickly melting iceberg — your base diminishing with no land in sight. But is it really that bad?

As a new generation of volunteers and organizers emerge, social media is the buzzword for non-profits. Unfortunately, for most, a buzzword is all it is. You probably have a social media account or two, and may be wondering what the buzz is about. What makes Google+ any different from Facebook or Twitter?

The answer is simple.

While Facebook and Twitter are great for building a fan base and starting conversations, Google+ is a social media network built to give you tools for engagement. Rather than struggle to broadcast your message to individuals, you can tell your story to entire neighborhoods of engaged and interested people.

Using visual, audio, and text, you can tell your story and show people how you are making a difference. More importantly, you can tell them how they can help.

Google+ is less about driving much-needed revenue and more about connecting you with your network of supporters and stakeholders. The newest powerhouse on the social media block allows you to build the connection properly so the revenue will naturally follow.

Using the tools in Google+, you can hold team meetings, host question-and-answer sessions, or introduce key influencers to your market. You can have real conversations with real people and really make a difference.

Because Google+ is owned and operated by Google, the platform integrates all their current tools with everything you do online. They can see by the keywords you use and your history of interaction, the purpose and popularity of your organization. Google uses this information to put your organization in front of people when they search.

In a nutshell, more people will get to see your story when you use Google+, but only if you use it wisely.

Optimize Your Goopgle+ Profile

Your profile is your calling card, the place to tell your story and give your supporters an opportunity to get to know you better. Your profile is the next best thing to a personal introduction.

While other social media accounts offer a limited profile page for nonprofits, your Google+ profile is one of the most important you will ever have —it’s your resume, branding, and story, all wrapped in a neat package for your audience.

Your profile is also the place where you tell Google about your organization so they can properly place you in the search results.

Use Your Logo

When people come to your page, they need to instantly recognize where they are. In Google+ your avatar is your profile picture displayed prominently on your profile page, as well as on all your posts.

Using your organization logo as your avatar will make your visitors feel at ease, knowing they are in familiar territory. This will make them more likely to stick around and see what you have to offer.

This may not seem like a big deal, until you realize that because Google has integrated its services, your Google+ avatar follows you around the web as you +1, recommend, post, share, and update content.

When readers do a search, they will see by your logo which sites you have seen and recommended, making it more likely for them to click on your result over other results on the page.

When your peers look through their Google+ stream, they will see your logo and recognize the content you’ve recommended to others.
Other organizations will see content you have shared on their behalf and will appreciate your endorsement.

The Internet is a wilderness, and losing your way is easy. Your logo threads together everything related to your organization, acting as a beacon for your supporters and stakeholders to follow.

Customize Your Cover

You can use the cover panel on your page to further your brand recognition by uploading a picture that tells your story and ties your Google+ page together with your other marketing.

You can have one large cover or five separate photos as a collage. This cover will enhance the perception of your organization and speak to the souls of your readers before they get a chance to read your About page.

Fill In Your About Page

Your About page is where you get to tell your story and lay the foundations for your relationship with your supporters. Fill out everything you can and make sure the information relates to your audience. Help readers understand why they should help your cause.

Tell your story and the support will come.

Using Keywords

Although entering your profile and telling your story will dramatically increase your chances for audience engagement, another reason exists to enter as much information as possible into your profile pages.

Google takes notice of the profile page you use in Google+ to distinguish who you are and what your organization does. This allows it to decide where to show you in the search result pages.

Your organization name will be an obvious keyword, but by just focusing on this, you limit your audience to those who already know about you.

By choosing other keywords to target, you can appear in the results pages in answer to search queries from people who don’t know your organization but are interested in your cause.

Use Photo Albums and Video

Writing your story in your profile page is powerful. If you can evoke an emotion from the written word, and a picture says 1,000 words, imagine the emotion you will create with a picture.

People love pictures, and Google+ has a beautiful photo and video functionality. Upload your high-definition pictures and videos and use them to help spread your message and story. You can arrange your pictures into albums, separating pictures of your beneficiaries, results, events, and team. You can create albums of before-and-after stories celebrating your successes.

You can show the children you have helped and let them tell their stories through photos and video. You can show before-and-after pictures of ex-racehorses saved and make a video blog documentary about their journey back to health.

Your audience can watch, joining you on a journey at a deeper level of conscience than by text only. Showing the journey connects them with the subject and makes them realize how they can be a part of the solution.

They will get a deeper personal satisfaction when they choose to help.

the_10_commandments_for_raising_money_for_non_profits_on_google_plus

This blog post is an excerpt from the Social Caffeine ebook, 10 Commandments for Raising Money for Non-Profits on Google+. Download your copy from Amazon here. Amazon UK users: get your copy here.

Lori Taylor

Google+ 

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