The official blog of Chicago-based digital media firm Watch Street Consulting
The New Organizing Institute (NOI) recently released Campaigning to Engage and Win: A Guide to Leading Electoral Campaigns, a great resources for candidates and organizers who are running a campaign. The campaign guide is comprehensive with information ranging from pre-planning through Election Day with an emphasis on engaging voters. This guide is highly recommended for campaigns of all sizes. Download the free PDF and make sure to sign up for NOI’s email list while you’re at it.
Modern political campaigns are about more than who can run the best TV ad. Big or small, local or national, campaigns today win by engaging supporters as a meaningful part of the process.
But how can managers build the kind of integrated, solutions-driven campaign that engages people to take action? We’re excited to release Campaigning to Engage and Win: A Guide to Leading Electoral Campaigns, a free, downloadable guide to running an Engagement Campaign.
The lessons and principles can be applied to campaigns big and small. It covers all the key areas a campaign manager needs in the modern political arena. Budgeting and fundraising, integrated new media, volunteer-based field programs, data-driven decision making, proactive staff management, aspirational messaging, self and opposition research… it’s all there.
We worked with top experts to get the best of both traditional campaign strategy and new technology and approaches, with fundraising and budgeting systems from Susan Markham, field program development from Karen Hicks, narrative and messaging strategy from Doug Hattaway, staff management from The Management Center, and data and new media from our own team.
This guide will help you build and manage an Engagement Campaign from the ground up, and prepares you to run the type of smart, integrated effort that wins elections and builds power for the future.
We talk with several potential client’s a week regarding web design projects, most of which are getting quotes from several designers. The only question about 90% of these potential customers ask after giving a brief rundown of their requirements is, “how much will it cost?” Cost is one of the most important pieces of information in the decision making process but unless you follow up with several other crucial questions, you may be left in a very bad position.
More often than you’d believe, we are hired by organizations who’ve been burnt by the designer who was originally hired for their project. All of that lost time and money can be avoided by taking a little extra time before your project to consider a few things and ask a couple additional questions.
Lifehack.org put out a great article on hiring a design firm which will empower you to hire the right web designer the first time around. Excerpts of the article are below.
When you hire a web firm, your job as a savvy consumer is to make sure your web firm has the right components as well as the answers to several questions before you give them your hard-earned money. Here are some things to look for and questions to ask, as well as a few red flags to watch out for:
Look For This: A Real Business
Your web design firm should be a real business. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they need a big office and overhead. What it does mean, however, is that you should probably avoid hiring your family members, friends, and “that guy you know from church” as your web developer. You need a business relationship with your web team for many reasons, including so that you can feel comfortable negotiating, providing honest and critical feedback, and being straightforward if there’s ever a time when you aren’t happy with your firm’s work.
Don’t be afraid to ask for references. You should be able to get a couple of client names and phone numbers so you can talk to real people and get a solid feel for what it’s like to work with this team.
Look For This: A Web Site
Your web firm should have a web site — a good one. It doesn’t have to be designed in a style that you like, but generally speaking, it should have the components I talked about in my last article. Don’t let any web firm tell you that they’ve been so busy working on clients’ projects that they haven’t designed their own site. If they don’t know that a strong web site is the calling card for their business, they probably shouldn’t be designing a web site for your business.
Further, you need to see a portfolio of their previous work and it should be easy to find on their web site. Most of the porfolio sites should still be live. However, if you come across some sites have changed or that are no longer live, don’t necessarily hold that against the developer. In this economy, companies are going out of business right and left. Plus, companies often re-design their sites and may or may not use the same team to do it.
Question to Ask: What are the components that my web site should include?
If your web firm starts to answer this question without asking about your business, consider that a pretty big red flag and run the other way. There are some general components that most business web sites should have (print out my last article for easy reference), however when you’re working with a web firm, they shouldn’t answer this question unless they know more about what you do, what industry you’re in, and what you want your web site to accomplish for your business.
Question to Ask: Will you design my site from scratch or use templates?
A strong web design firm will design an original site for you. They won’t send you a site design that looks generic, or that is based on a pre-fab template. Price can be a good indicator for whether your team is using templates or original designs. If the estimate for your site is under $1,000, it’s more likely that you’re not getting an original design. However, I’ve seen several firms charge what I consider a ridiculous amount of money to provide a pre-fab template site.
Why is a template bad? You want your web site to stand out as original and distinct. Your site should be designed to carefully reflect your brand. How much can a template design represent your brand, if others around the world have the exact same web site that you have? What distinguishes you from them? Smart investing in your business makes sense, and for most businesses, investing in a solid web site that incorporates at least the elements I recommend, as well as embodies your branding, makes for a strong ROI.
Question to Ask: How will you incorporate search engine optimization principles into my site?
When you ask this question, if all they do is talk about meta tags and keywords, that’s a big red flag. If a web firm is serious about their business, they should know and understand principles of SEO and how these principles apply to the code, the copy, and all of the content of your site.
If they talk to you about using Flash for your site, ask them if that will cause any problems getting your site content indexed. Take note of how they answer this question. The actual answer is murky and complex and they shouldn’t just say, “Flash isn’t a problem for Google.”
Question to Ask: Can you develop my site in a content management system?
If you want to manage your site yourself without learning HTML or Dreamweaver, ask your web team if they can develop your site using a content management system. Within this framework, you should be able to manage your site, including editing, adding pages, deleting pages, and more, from virtually anywhere in the world that you can access the web via a browser.
The Most Important Thing You Should Know:
Your contact at your web firm should be able to talk to you in your language, but also be able to easily converse with the programmers. You need someone who can explain things that you don’t understand without being condescending, and make web principles you should know accessible. Customer service is paramount in the web industry, and you want someone who will return your e-mails and phone calls in a timely manner.
Keep in mind that while the design responsibilities fall squarely on the shoulders of your web design firm, you have some responsibilities as well. Next week, in the last article in this four-part series, I’ll talk about how you can help your web design firm create a phenomenal web site for your business.
The graph below highlights how voters used the internet and social media in the 2008 elections. This is a tremendous indicator of the power of social media in elections, especially considering that since 2008 Twitter users in the US have increased seven-fold, Facebook users have tripled and almost 60 million more Americans are consuming online video. That being said, while most campaigns recognize the importance of social media, few campaigns successfully utilize social media in their election. Below are 8 practical tips to help your campaign start utilizing social media to reach voters this election.
1) TELL YOUR STORY
Social media is about telling stories and your content should reflect that. Content coming from campaigns should tell your candidate’s story, the story of your community and the story of how your campaign is fighting to make your community better each day.
2) BE AUTHENTIC
Story telling builds deeper relationships with supporters and creates a narrative for your campaign but it doesn’t resonate unless you are authentic. People want to connect with other “real” people. Imagine the response someone would get in a coffee shop if they just shouted out headlines like a robot. Don’t be the online equivalent. Use your real voice and be yourself. You’ll find that people will pay attention to what you have to say.
3) ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE
Like your campaign, social media users are telling their stories online. They realize that every update and link they share says something about their life, their interest, what they value, etc. In order for your audience to share your content and take other actions online you need to produce content that helps them tell THEIR story. Content that helps users express their values, build their reputation or demonstrate their participation in a movement will be shared.
4) MAKE YOUR CONTENT SHAREABLE
On that note, if you want your content to be shared you need to make it shareable. Tweet’s can be re-Tweeted, Facebook posts shared and YouTube videos embedded on other sites but that doesn’t cover every base. Make sure all of the content on your website, blog and emails are shareable as well. You can do this in a couple of minutes by adding a “share this” button to your website and email template.
5) SHARE GREAT CONTENT
Sharing great content from other people serves several purposes – it helps you tell your story, it adds value to your page and it gets the attention of the author which helps you to continue building relationships.
6) KNOW YOUR NETWORKS
The social norms and audience on Facebook, Twitter and your website are not the same. Knowing who you’re talking to, how much to talk and how often to talk are key to effective communication online. Twitter’s 140 character limit makes it ideal for quick updates, it’s also great for linking out to articles on your website and you can make frequent updates throughout the day. Facebook is perfect for going a bit more in depth, sharing photos with your posts and being a little more personal. Your website or blog is the best place for more lengthy content.
7) CONNECT YOUR NETWORKS
All of your online activity should be connected. Think of your campaign website as your online headquarters with your social networks serving as outposts that direct people back to your website where they can be converted to volunteers or donors, find an event, sign-up for your email list, register to vote, etc. Be sure that all of your social networks have a bio, a headshot and a link back to the campaign website.
8) MEASURE RESULTS
Simply tracking Twitter followers and Facebook likes doesn’t tell you much about how successful your online outreach really is. The real measurement of success online is engagement and conversions from calls to action (i.e. people re-broadcasting your content, signing up to volunteer, donating, etc). An easy way to track this data is by adding Google Analytics to your website, using HootSuite for your social network content posting and Constant Contact for your email blasts. All of these services are easy to use and have built in analytics.
The hash or “#” sign is used on twitter.com to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. For example, if you Tweet, “I’m attending a fundraiser tonight in support of the Obama 2012 campaign” you could replace “the Obama 2012 campaign” with the official hashtag of the Obama campaign “#Obama2012“. Hashtags are both clickable and searchable on Twitter. Clicking on or doing a search for a hashtag will take you to a real-time stream of Tweets (including your own) using #Obama2012.
Hashtags are important because they allow you to both track and chime in on trending topics.
Finding & Using Existing Hashtags
Finding hashtags that are relevant to your organization can be a major task. Fortunately, there are tools that exist to help with the process. Hashtags.org allows users to search hashtags, view real-time Tweet streams and explore trend graphs. Your can also check out Tweets from similar organizations and see what hashtags are being used.
One you’ve found the right hashtag there are a few things to remember. Using a hashtag that complements your message opens you up to a massive audience and places your Tweet in the middle of a world-wide conversation. It’s important to remember, however, not to overuse hashtags! Overloading your Tweets with hashtags waters down their usefulness and using hashtags that aren’t relevant to your Tweet is considered spamming. To reiterate, this is from Twitter:
• Don’t #spam #with #hashtags. Don’t over-tag a single Tweet. (Best practices recommend using no more than 2 hashtags per Tweet).
• Use hashtags only on Tweets relevant to the topic.
Using Your Own Hashtag
Anyone can create a hashtag. Simple add a “#” before a word or a group of words without spaces in a Tweet and you’re on your way. If you’re thinking about creating a hashtag, be sure that your hashtag adds value to both your organization and your supporters. For example, if you’re running a campaign to keep funding for local parks, something like #saveourparks would help add context to your Tweets and create an easy to remember organizing tool for your supporters.
Once you have a hashtag, share it with your supports and promote it on your website using a Twitter hashtag button.
Tracking & Monitoring Hashtags
Websites like HootSuite.com are very helpful to hashtag users in that they let you set up columns to track and monitor hashtags. Additionally, HootSuite is great for organizations with profiles on multiple social networks, as it allows you to send and schedule messages and view your feeds from Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook all in one dashboard.
From the Wall Street Journal:
With half of the total U.S. population already accessing the Web through smart phones and tablets, a mobile platform is a necessity.
Web 3.0 isn’t coming—it’s already here. And it’s all about mobile interaction. If your company doesn’t have a mobile website—a site specifically designed and coded for each mobile platform—you’re already seriously behind the times. The marketplace demands content and the available delivery pipelines are exponentially more diverse and interactive than ever before.
Our businesses compete in a technological environment in which information is coming and going from every direction in all conceivable digital forms. Suddenly, the ability to explore a fully interactive website or a full-length video doesn’t require anything more than a small hand-held device. Wireless data delivery is faster and easier than ever, and consumers want what they want right now—whether they are sitting in front of a desktop, riding on a train holding a tablet, or walking down the street, smartphone in hand.
All of these factors make the development and implementation of dedicated mobile websites absolutely critical to success. According to a 2011 report by comScore, fully half of the total population of the U.S. uses mobile media—an incredible 20% increase in a single year.
World-wide, there are 1.2 billion mobile Web users. In the U.S. alone, 25% of users access the Web exclusively through mobile devices, and that number is significantly higher in many other parts of the world, such as 70% in Egypt and 59% in India.
Mobile Web growth stats aren’t slowing down either. They’ll continue to balloon, just as network availability, access speed, software and hardware devices will continue to revolutionize mobile interaction and ease of use.
So how can a global company survive without a great mobile website? With stats and trends as they are, I’d rather not wait around to find out.
Case in point: A mobile Web solution was recently shown to me by a friend in charge of marketing at a major record label. He had contracted the development of mobile sites for several of their acts, and has been impressed at the potential for a Web platform that is simple, appealing and intuitive. In the not-too-distant past, fans performing a mobile search for their favorite music artist would find themselves on a traditional website that was barely viewable on their hand-held device, slow to load, and nearly impossible to navigate—much less interact with.
We work with countless politicians, businesses and non-profits that have started regular Facebook pages for their organizations. One of the major downsides to this is Facebook’s 5000 friend limit. I can’t count the number of elect officials alone I’ve come across with stagnant Facebook pages because they’ve reached this limit.
In addition to the 5000 friend limit, regular Facebook pages limit organizations because they don’t allow for custom Facebook apps or tabs, they don’t allow people to instantly access content and they don’t give organizations a way to mass message all of their Facebook supporters. The good news is that Facebook has created a simple way to convert your regular Facebook page into a fan page, keeping all of your “friends” as “likes” (which are unlimited) and giving you access to all of the benefits of a fan page.
Here are the directions from Facebook:
When you convert your personal account to a Facebook Page, we’ll transfer your current profile picture and add all your friends and subscribers as people who like your Page. We’ll also make your account’s username the Facebook web address for your Page.
No other content will be carried over to your new Page, so be sure to save any important content before beginning the conversion.
To avoid losing important content, we recommend taking these steps before you convert your personal account:
1. Download your profile (timeline) information. You can download a file that contains all of your sent and received messages and all of the photos and videos you’ve uploaded to Facebook.
2. Appoint a new group admin to any groups you manage. The account you’re converting will lose these admin rights during the conversion process.
When you’re ready to convert your maxed out page to a fan page simply click here and let Facebook walk you through the process.
Also, there’s no need to worry if you have an existing fan page because there’s a way to merge two pages.
Do you need online marketing help? At Watch Street Consulting we off affordable SEO, social media, email marketing and more. Contact us for a free quote.
From Salsa Commons:
Talking from the heart may be what motivates supporters, but when it comes to building a long-term social network strategy there’s no substitute for having your head in the game.
The Environmental Working Group, whose disciplined and data-driven outreach has multiplied its supporter network by nearly a thousandfold since joining Salsa, generously shared its social media playbook with Salsa. It’s a few common-sense strategies that any organization can utilize … and a whole lot of shoe leather.
“We’re really aware of our audience and meeting their needs,” said Colleen Hutchings of the Environmental Working Group. “When we post an action, we’re being really conscientious of who our audience is and of meeting them where they are, which may not always be the same as an email audience or a blog audience.”
The thousands of nonprofits and campaigns who, like EWG, count on the Salsa online communications platform can light up sharing features on any page with the flick of a switch. Salsa Sharing helps visitors channel the message to their own friends on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ worlds.
Hutchings credits the extra effort EWG puts into curating specifically for each social network for its burgeoning Twitter and Facebook footprints. Crib from the Working Group’s social media playbook by using a few of these easy strategies.
• Craft custom suggested sharing messages (under 140 characters, natch) to make sharing super-easy for your social network people
• Have appealing linked images in the action page — essential for making Facebook shares pop
• Use a trackable link-shortener like bit.ly to capture metrics (EWG’s last campaign as of this writing: 2,344 Facebook shares on an action with 31,095 online advocacy messages sent)
• Try (gentle) cross-channel recruitment: for instance, suggest a Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ share in your acknowledgment auto-response to folks who take the old-school webform action
• And most crucially, care for your community beyond your “asks”
“We get into the comments and foster dialogues and direct people to resources they ask for” Hutchings said. “People are coming to our Facebook page because they are involved in a conversation. We try to talk about actions in a way people care about, and care for the community that cares about them — and we do see new email signups and actions as a result.”
EWG is definitely a power user that keeps us on our toes at Salsa, and our Social Media feature sethas been expanding like gangbusters to help our managers execute their own smart social media strategies.
Custom Share Content
Specify channel-specific share messages for each social network (and, for Facebook, a share image).
Event Sign-up via Facebook
Allow one-click registration via Facebook Connect for supporter sign-up and event registration. We’ll fill in their registration from their public Facebook profile, making sign-up quick and simple.
Share Your Email Blasts
Add sharing code to an e-mail blast. Just copy and paste the code where you want it to appear in the blast. When the blast goes out, all e-mails will contain links to share the corresponding web version.
Tracking how many times your pages have been shared on Facebook or Twitter, then monitor it with our handy Sharing Statistics sticky. Plug into your own bit.ly account, or just use Salsa’s default.
Link Facebook ID
Need to link your Salsa sharing utilities to an organization’s Facebook account? No problem, just give us your ID and we’ll take care of the rest.
For more information on social media strategy or developing a website around Salsa’s platform, contact us today!
The secret to a successful digital and social media campaign isn’t cultivating the biggest fan list or the most followers. A campaign can do more with 100 online zealots than with 1,000 passive Facebook fans.
That’s where engagement comes in. In 2012, smart campaigns will need to hire firms that know how to stir the emotions of their online followers and turn them into virtual ambassadors. Only campaigns that strategically and deftly employ new media can win next year and mishandling these all-important channels can mean losing digital supporters in droves.
To get your digital strategy on the right track for 2012, here are five commandments of digital political campaigning that your campaign must not break:
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s media channels. Just because an opponent is posting a video series on YouTube, and drawing viewers, doesn’t mean it’s right for your campaign. Let’s say, for instance, job creation is one of the race’s top issues. Posting a video series touting your job creation plan online will likely fall on deaf ears. Why? Because the vast majority of online video consumers come from two groups: the wealthy and teenagers. Wealthy voters aren’t likely to be all that worried about jobs—compared to, say, someone in the unemployment line—and the bulk of the teenage demographic can’t vote.
The medium has to support the message for digital electioneering to work. If it doesn’t, you’ll wind up wasting money, or possibly turning off potential supporters.
Thou shalt not commit media channel adultery. When new clients come to me, I’m always interested to hear about how they approached digital media in previous campaigns. Nine times out of 10, the client recalls how he set up a Twitter account (inevitably incorporating an automated tweet program like HootSuite or TweetDeck), then built a custom Facebook page, and put someone in charge of it, then moved on to YouTube, then a blog, and so on.
This approach could not be more self-destructive. From inside the campaign, it may look efficient. But remember that the goal is to recruit support, and from the standpoint of potential voters it looks like nothing less than adultery.
Think about this. The bigwig in charge of digital media is no doubt involved in the creation of the Twitter account. Once it’s operational, the bigwig then hands it off to an underling and moves on to the next channel. Those following the channel through that transition will notice the shift in voice and feel abandoned. In a perfect world, your campaign’s social media profiles are created simultaneously and managed by someone who understands completely the voice of the campaign. That’s how to take full advantage of the interactive power of new media.
Thou shalt not lie (or be opaque). We’re not talking about bold-faced lies. What we’re talking about here is transparency. Transparency is one of the primary concerns of voters today, and one of the primary benefits that social and digital media offer campaigns. Unlike a TV spot, for example, a voter can respond immediately to the message using social media channels. Sometimes these comments are negative, but negative comments should not be viewed as a liability.
Your campaign needs to respond to negative comments in order to increase transparency. It must never bury or delete them. In fact, responding wisely to negative comments often leads not only to winning the voter back, but also creating a virtual ambassador who will promote your campaign to his or her friends. In a recent Harris Interactive study, 18 percent of respondents who posted negative comments on a campaign’s social media channels and received a thoughtful response turned into loyal supporters. Moreover, 33 percent wound up deleting their negative comment and replacing it with a positive one.
Thou shalt honor your supporters. One thing campaigns tend to forget is their digital manners. If you’re a politician and a voter takes the time to come up to you and express support, are you going to forget to say thank you? Of course you’re not. It should be no different online.
Have a system in place that allows your campaign to “thank” supporters for liking your Facebook page, for posting a positive comment or for sharing your message with a friend. All of the major social media platforms have notifications options that can alert you when such an action is taken by a supporter. If they retweet you, thank them. If they like you on Facebook, thank them. Now, I know what some of you are thinking: “We’re a big campaign with thousands of fans and retweets a day.” No problem. Many digital firms have the tools to automate the process for you.
Thou shalt engage. Just because you built it, doesn’t mean they’ll come. And just because they come, it doesn’t mean they’ll stay. There’s a technical side to engagement, and it’s called interactivity. Just as you should thank supporters and respond to comments, so should you always keep in the fore the true power of new media. Where traditional media (radio, TV and print) is declarative, digital and social media is interactive and conversational.
All too often I see campaigns taking what I call the “digital paper” approach—merely scanning a direct mail piece and posting it in an album on Facebook, or digitizing a TV spot and uploading it to YouTube. This approach is absurd. It puts a one-way message on a two-way channel. It’s like going to play football in a water polo uniform—it’s dangerous.
Messages for digital and social media campaigns have to be uniquely crafted not to talk to the voters, but to talk with them. Make sure your online content invites potential supporters to converse with you, and if they bite, make sure you have the stuff to keep the conversation going. This is the equivalent of handshaking today. To paraphrase Harry Truman, “If you can shake a hand, you can win a vote.”
To continue on NationBuilder, here are 25 cool ways you can use their CMS to grow your organization…
Beyond beautiful websites, NationBuilder has an insane amount of built-in tools for leveraging the passion of your volunteers and staff – at about the cost of simply hosting a website and the ease of a wordpress.com implementation.
Let’s take a look at what your non-profit or NGO can do with a basic $19 a month NationBuilder site:
• Tweets, Twitter ID and site URL mentions, Facebook and Meetup RSVPs and all on-site activities in a filterable administrative dashboard stream.
• Credit card donation pages, with affordable per transaction rates and goal thermometers for both donors and amount donated, automatic public recognition of recent donors, and auto-response thank you emails.
• Blogs! NationBuilder supports unlimited blogs pages and subnavigations, unlimited authors and granular settings for permissions and comments – including the ability to let any logged-in user submit a post. Plus Embedly integration for rich media publishing from more than 200 sites.
• Affordable fully integrated email blasting plans, with unlimited monthly messages to your lists.
• Cost-effective text blasting plans with the ability for folks to RSVP, pledge and sign up by texting keywords.
• Fully customizable calendar pages with upcoming events, optional user-submitted events, searching for nearby events and an overview map of all events. Plus multi-level ticket sales, and full integration with Facebook events and Meetup, RSVP auto-response emails with directions, and printable lists for the door.
• Show a map of your Meetup Everywhere communities with upcoming nearby meetups.
Volunteer signup with detailed contact info and custom asks for assignments like hosting an event, interning, or stuffing envelopes.
• Endorsement pages where individuals and/or organizations can publicly share their support and you can set a numerical goals and feature important endorsements.
• Templates for frequently asked questions, and crowdsourced and official responses.
• Free-form feedback pages for ‘tell your story’ campaigns and other submissions.
• A “find friends” feature for people to use their Facebook and Twitter accounts to connect with their friends and followers who have already joined.
• Leaderboard pages for recognizing top supporters from across the web. Try them with top supporters by day, week or month.
• Petitions with signature goals, comments, pictures, and the ability for supporters to choose whether to publish their signature on the site.
• An innovative and fully customizable “Political Capital” economy for measuring support levels and rewarding online actions like recruiting volunteers, signing pledges and donating. • Get creative and reward offline actions as well.
• Template pages for press releases.
• Recruiting features to help supporters find friends and track their involvement. Have they donated? Are they volunteering?
• Smooth redirects to any external pages and sites.
• Easy embed of iframes and sites like Tumbr.
• Customize and set up a rules page to help keep your nation civil.
• Crowdsource suggestions and allow people to comment.
• Solicit policy ideas around a particular topic and let people rate the ideas based on whether they are good, bad, impractical or important. Or you can crowdsource questions for an event.
• Customizable multiple choice surveys.
• Tight integration with Rock the Vote’s nationwide voter registration system. Voters will get printable forms they can mail in, and your nation documents email addresses of signups for follow-up.
• Moneybomb pages to turn fundraising drives into an event. Supporters can pledge an amount to donate at a very specific time and recruit others to do the same.
That’s a lot of power. What kind of nation will you build?
We recently designed our first website using the new campaign content management system (CMS) nationbuilder.com. NationBuilder offers a very impressive, powerful, and easy to use system that truly allows campaigns to take online organizing to the next level. Read more below about how NationBuilder is different from other CMS’.
NationBuilder is a unique nonpartisan platform for organizing, bringing together a comprehensive suite of tools that today’s leaders and creators need to gather their tribes.
Deeply social. We don’t bolt on some share buttons and call it social media – we interweave Twitter mentions of both your broadcaster IDs and your website into the administrative dashboard and activity stream. Likewise, Facebook page activities and Facebook and Meetup events are tightly tied into your nation, helping you to create a database that reflects the true scope of your nation’s support across the social web. You can interact with your Facebook and Twitter supporters and prospects right from your NationBuilder control panel and collect event RSVPs and market ticketed events. NationBuilder profiles aren’t some sterile and contextless lists of names and email address, but rather rich social profiles with pictures and bios linked to people’s social media profiles. We also help new members of your nations find and follow their friends from Facebook and Twitter right in your nation.
Real-time activity stream. Instead of running reports once a week, NationBuilder shows recent updates from your site, Twitter, Facebook pages, events, donations, any activity happening that you should care about. This activity stream is highly filterable, and provides field organizers, finance directors, social media managers and other parts of your organization a “now time” view of activity in you nation. This real-time newsfeed is similar to a Facebook activity stream, tailored to help you track and guide the health of your nation. It’s very addictive.
Runs your whole site. NationBuilder empowers you to run your entire site, supporter and prospect database and donor recruitment and finance tracking from one site. You don’t need an extra content management system (CMS) with NationBuilder – it is one, with rich customizable themes that make it like a WordPress for organizing. NationBuilder allows you to quickly build a slick public-facing website complete with blog pages, calendars with Google maps, petition pages, customizable surveys and much, much more. Its social customer relationship management (CRM) tool is bleeding edge tech for organizing. And yes, we use NationBuilder the platform to run NationBuilder the software company.
No tech team required. NationBuilder is highly customizable without a line of code. If you have a designer, you can create anything you like with HTML/CSS and SCSS customization of our themes. We can refer you to great designers and consultants if you don’t have one, and have free screencasts for web play or download on how you can do it yourself. NationBuilder is not for coders who love to play around with plug-ins and integrating various tools – you’ll probably be happier with WordPress, Drupal, Django, or Ruby on Rails.
Campaign aware. We provide access to the voter file for political causes and campaigns, with tight database integration and easy to use call and walk lists, including a turf cutter to narrow down target voters on an interactive map. You can email and text your supporters using NationBuilder, whether yours is a nation for 100 or 1 million.
For more information about NationBuilder website design, please contact us.