For the not-for-profit marketer, life has never been so hectic: Not only do you have to worry about messaging and/or campaigning, you also have to figure out how to iterate in a volatile digital world. While the web has made our jobs (and lives) more complex, it has also ushered in a new wave of apps and tools that can help manage projects, streamline communications, reveal insights, and generally help us to shape or control our brand identity. But just like anything else, there are so many out there! We’ve rounded up a few of our favourites.
1. Google Alerts
Google Alerts lets you monitor the web for interesting and relevant content. Simply add a keyword or phrase and the software trolls the web for matching content and sends you alerts via email. Stay on top of industry events and conferences, follow an emerging trend, or see what’s being said about your organization (note that Google Alerts is a great way to keep on top of web content but doesn’t include social media mentions).
We can’t say enough great things about the free service If This Then That, a tool that puts the internet to work for you. Connect the apps and services you love through a series of recipes that work just when you need them. Want to be emailed or alerted by SMS any time someone on Twitter mentions your organization? What if you could seamlessly share a new WordPress post to your company Facebook page? IFTTT can help you with this and more. Make your own recipes or browse their collection of mixes (such as this one for streamlining your social media activity)
There’s a reason HootSuite has been around since the dawn of social analytics. HootSuite is a social media dashboard that allows you to manage multiple networks and profiles from one succinct space. Monitor the social web for brand sentiments and respond to messages and mentions as they come in without logging into several different accounts. What’s great is that the software is always improving its features: stay tuned for Instagram scheduling.
4. Sprout Social
Another tool for simplifying your social media life is Sprout Social. While its scheduling and social listening features are the same as HootSuite (albeit with a cleaner interface), one reason you might want to pony up the extra cost of this service is for its detailed analytics and reports. Sprout makes it simple for you to fire off easy-to-understand PDF reports summarizing overall social media activity or zeroing in on the productivity of a given network.
A recent article in Entrepreneur Magazine claimed Instagram is too large for your business to ignore; The same could be said for your not-for-profit organization. With more than 300 million users, the photo-sharing mobile app and social network has grown 600% since its acquisition by Facebook. Developing and executing a marketing strategy for Instagram takes creativity, energy, and personality, but the numbers indicate that writing it off as “something for the kids” is a missed opportunity.
If you’re going to be investing efforts into Instagram, Iconosquare is a handy tool that can help you justify the cost and determine ROI. The software provides you with all the social media metrics you’ll need to show your Instagram success and identify areas that need improvement. Understand how images have performed over time and make necessary changes in a timely manner.
A favourite tool for collaboration, Basecamp is a cloud-based software that enables users to create projects and tasks, upload files, and keep a shared calendar that can seamlessly be synced to Google Calendar or iCalendar. With so much more to offer than your average cloud storage (think email integration), Basecamp is a lifesaver for keeping projects on time and on task.
Not just for marketers, Todoist is the ultimate tool for the list maker. This cloud-based app sits on your desktop and syncs with your smartphone and tablet as an ever-present reminder of what needs to get done. Assign tasks due dates or sort them by project. A weekly digest of your productivity is emailed to you so you can ensure you never miss a beat.
9. Google for Nonprofits
Google offers a suite of services for nonprofits, including Google Apps for Nonprofits, Google Ad Grants, YouTube Nonprofit program, and Google Earth Outreach. Each of these apps is aimed to reduce your IT costs and help staff and volunteers work together more effectively. In addition to offering cloud storage and online collaboration, these services promise to help enable donations and help boost campaign reach.
Title photo by Jason Howie.