Spitfire Strategies

Smart. Savvy. Digital. (Part II)

Kerry Leslie

By Kerry Leslie

The way we communicate online is constantly evolving. To make the most of your digital communication, nonprofits and foundations need to keep social and digital strategies up to date. We know that sometimes you need an extra hand to keep tabs on the latest trends, so we did the digging for you. Here’s the second part of our Smart. Savvy. Digital. rundown.

Keeping track of what’s trending.
More and more, news is starting and spreading on social media. A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that 63 percent of Twitter and Facebook users now use the social media sites as news sources. Embracing the change, multiple digital and social media platforms have introduced new features that help users keep up with the latest trends and real-time news.

  • In September, Facebook launched Signal – a free service for journalists that lets them identify and curate trending content (photos, videos, posts) about major public events, news, culture, entertainment, sports and more, as well as public posts on the same topics. Signal is meant to help journalists stay up on the news people are engaging with on Facebook and Instagram, and gather a sense of the public context and commentary around that news.
  • Twitter launched its Project Lightning app called Moments in October. It includes a new menu for users to browse curated tweets based on live events and breaking news. For example, nonprofit users could browse tweets around the #BlackLivesMatter protests or #IStandWithAhmed campaign as a way of keeping current on the topics and events that are most relevant to your work.
  • Reddit also recently launched Upvoted – its own news site that develops content based on reddit threads. Producing around 10 to 20 articles per day and one podcast and two videos per week, Upvoted will help reddit shape and deliver stories inspired by site conversations in a more user-friendly way. The new project could be another way for nonprofits to focus on the hot topics your audiences are talking about.
  • Google Trends now has real-time data to track trending stories, search terms and peak search activity by geographic location. Searching top stories or keywords, you can quickly check what topics are getting heightened attention and explore how you can integrate your messaging into current hot topics.
  • And in June, Instagram updated its “Explore” feature, allowing users to find real-time news and events. Similar to Google Trends, the new Explore makes it easier for groups to see what’s trending, and try to insert your organization’s voice as appropriate.

Harnessing social media from all angles.
Three quarters of all online adults use social media, for news and communicating with friends and the groups they feel connected to. With Instagram’s plan to open its photo stream to all advertisers, and multiple changes on Facebook including a Donate Now button, GIF support and looping video profile pics, nonprofits have even more tools to consider when developing your social media strategy.

Did you miss Part 1 of our Smart. Savvy. Digital. series? Or just interested in more? Download Spitfire’s Digital S.M.A.R.T.S. toolkit or email us at digital@spitfirestrategies.com

“This has been a tremendous eye opener. It shows us how to pull the aspects of communications skills, from the message, to the audience. It forced us to identify our strengths and our weaknesses in an effort to become more strategic in how we prepare our messages and communicate them.”

- Training Participant

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