This month’s Net2ThinkTank Challenge is, “What are your best practices for effectively monitoring online feedback about your organization, cause, or social enterprise? What are your favorite tools and tactics for listening?” AKA, “How can nonprofits monitor their online reputations?” And well, it was my idea! So I really have to write about it. So, get your bearings.

First of all, figure out where you are. Here’s a map.
According to The Agitator blog and Forrester research, (the industry standard on measuring social media) there are five stages of social media. Which one are you in currently?
1. Dormant stage — one in five companies don’t use social media.
2. Small victories — baby steps and case studies.
3. Distributed chaos — the ‘testing the waters’ stage as various pockets of the organization excitedly do their own thing.
4. Coordinating stage — management takes notice and puts the ‘governance’ and resources in place to create consistency across the organization.
5. Scaling and optimizing stage — now there’s a steering committee, a budget, policies and process … and a focus on results.

Online Reputation

How can you manage your online reputation?

How do you manage your nonprofit’s online reputation? It’s remarkably similar to managing your own.
Let me ask you this. Are you googling your nonprofit on a regular basis? Are you doing a little EGOSURFING of your own? AKA, do you google your own name? You need to manage as many channels as you can handle with your resources. If you are a one person shop with 3 people’s jobs, and you have to prioritize and just do 1 or 2 channels, I would recommend Twitter and blogging.

But also, you should research where your donors are. Do a quick poll with your next e-newsletter. Even if you only get 20 responses, that’s better than nothing!

What are some key measurements to keep in mind with social media?
If you’re a big corporation, you might invest in Radian6 or SpredFast. Since if you’re in a nonprofit, statistically, it’s unlikely that you have the money to invest in these systems, let’s talk about what you can do instead. Here are some tools you can use to measure the impact of your online marketing.

What’s the first step in online impact measurement?
Decide what you want to measure. Do you have a Facebook page? How do you measure what goes on there? Do you have a Twitter account? How are you measuring what happens there?

What tools should you use to manage your nonprofit’s online reputation?

For Facebook: Edgerank for measuring the efficacy of your Facebook page, although, frankly, I’ve never had any luck raising serious money with Facebook and I think there’s so much noise there for the average person that you might have a hard time being heard. But if this is one of those things that you HAVE to do, then try this tool.

For Twitter: Sprout Social, which helps to measure the return and reach you’re getting with your Twitter account. It shows you how many followers you are getting, when influencers retweet you and how much this increases the radius of your tweet, and also demographic data like age and gender of your followers.
You might also like TweetPsych, TweetSprout, and TweetStats.

For your Emails: Your e-newsletter software. I prefer AWeber. You can track who opens it, when they open it, and if they click and give. So, this is another dimension of your marketing efforts that should be pretty easy to measure.

For your website: Google Analytics. This is usually a conservative estimate of how many people are coming to your website, but it’s better than nothing. And it’s easy to set up and log into.

What if your board members are all: Show us the ROI or we pull the plug on your social media efforts?
What can you do to justify your time spent on social media to your boss or bosses? How can you show social media investment pays off for your nonprofit? How can you bring the social media metrics for your measurement-minded board members? You can use the tools above, so they can see a steady increase in reach over time. And you can also bring out the case studies.

What if your board asks you for social media case studies that have worked for nonprofits?
Amy Sample Ward has put together a marvelous resource list here. And you can also buy The Networked Nonprofit by Beth Kanter and Alison Fine, and Social by Social, by Amy Sample Ward and others, put out by OpenMute press.

If your main problem is that people AREN’T talking about you, how do you get a community built?
Again, Amy Sample Ward did a very good job of talking about how to get your community engaged in her recent blog post.

I gave you a little taste today of how to monitor your online reputation, and I am having a webinar on June 15th about monitoring your online reputation. I will be available to answer ALL of your questions, personally. And it’s only $19.99!

When: June 15th, 1:00pm-2:00pm, CST
Where: At your desk!
Cost: $19.99
Webinar Description:

As Alex Bogusky, Chairman of CP&B said: “You can’t buy attention anymore. Having a huge budget doesn’t mean anything in social media…. you’ve got to be willing to play to play…”

Want to control your digital reputation? Want to make some money on the side?

Here’s what you’ll learn.

1. How to develop a social media strategy
2. How to create social media policies
3. How to start building a contact list of people who visit your site
4. How to connect with influencers
5. How to promote yourself online
6. How to impress people!
7. How to become an infopreneur
8. How to use Twitter effectively
9. How to use Linkedin to become an expert in your field

Bonus Materials:
1. Blog commenting calendar
2. Blog posting grid
3. Checklist of top WordPress widgets

Click here to sign up!