Archive for the ‘Branding’ Category

Social media applications like blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook can be
useful tools to help you publicize, gain attendees and supporters for
fundraisers such as benefit auctions. Not only are these tools free to use,
but they enable you to relay short, constant reminders about your
fundraiser.

Creating “something to write” can be overwhelming for some people, so here
are 12 auction-related ideas on what you (or your public relations
volunteer) can post on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, or other social
networking sites to promote your benefit auction.

1. Announce donations: When an auction donation arrives, announce the item,
thank the donor, and provide a link back to the donor’s website. Be sure to
include a photo, if possible.

2. Ask for a donation to round out a package: “We need a florist to donate a
bouquet to complete our Mother’s Day package at our Fabulous Fundraising
Auction for Children.”

3. Testimonials: Auction fundraisers should be mission-focused. Keep your
supporters updated with successes. For instance, “Peggy is off the streets,
thanks to our non-profit,” or “Jeremy credits St. Stephens’s art teacher in
giving him the confidence to pursue art in college.”

4. Event Preparations: Share a photo of the decor committee drawing
backdrops for the auction, or the Gala Chairs meeting to send out
invitations. This shows that others are involved in auction planning and
preparing to attend the event.

5. Special announcements: Share news. “In just three weeks, we’ve surpassed
50 raffle ticket sales.” Or, “Only 200 seats left before our school auction
sells-out!”

6. Apply gentle pressure to past auction donors: A post such as, “We sold a
lovely 2-night stay at the Fairmont last year, and are hoping they’ll donate
again,” might work. Include a link to the hotel, and then contact the hotel
so they see how you are treating them kindly – even before they donate.

7. Answer questions: Make the questions up, if you need to. “A new family to
our school asked what was appropriate to wear to the benefit auction. Here’s
our answer, and we included three photos of past guests.”

8. Create a list: You can create a list on almost anything. “Top 5 Reasons
to Attend our Auction Fundraiser.” “Three Ways You Can Volunteer That Will
Take Less Than 2 Hours per Week.”

9. Seek specific volunteers: “Any math lovers out there? We need an auction
clerk, and your primary job is recording numbers during the live auction.
Any takers?”

10. Link to relevant websites: “In 55 days, our charity auction will be
raising money for cancer research. Here’s a link to fascinating article
written by XYZ about the need for a cure.”

When people are looking for information about almost any topic, they turn to
Wikipedia. This encyclopedia project is written collaboratively by
volunteers around the globe. Any visitor or user can edit a Wiki. MediaWiki
is a free Wiki software package. It is written in PHP and originally was for
use on Wikipedia. The scope of Wikis has broadened to offer a variety of
options for webpreneurs.

Today MediaWiki is used by other projects of the Wikimedia Foundation, the
non-profit company that funds and manages them. Many people who work on the
Wikimedia projects also work on the MediaWiki software. The result is the
best possible software for wiki sites so you can build a robust, interactive
website. Users can update content, participate in development and become an
ongoing participant in your website.

A MediaWiki website can handle millions of hits every day. It is very
powerful software with great scalability. The wiki implementation has many
features. MediaWiki uses PHP to process and display the information in its
database.

A major benefit of building a Wiki with MediaWiki is the pages can be easily
edited without any special html or coding knowledge. When a user edits a
page, MediaWiki will write it to the database but doesn’t delete the former
version. Reverts are easy if a page is spammed so your content is always
valuable and fresh. Users don’t need advanced technical savvy to make
changes, revisions or additions to Wiki pages.

Images and multimedia files are easily stored in the MediaWiki file system.
If your Wiki has a lot of users, caching is supported. Pages can be modified
with no programming skills. MediaWiki makes it easy to create updated pages
for your website and allow others to update them as changes and new
information becomes available. The result is the most accurate, updated info
possible.

MediaWiki offers a variety of useful options for users. They are able to
supply and edit the summary when they are editing a particular Wiki page.
This snippet of text is typically one line and summarizes the changes made.
While it is not inserted in the article itself, it is stored with the page
revision. Users can then explain what was done and why. With every version
of the page stored, the most accurate article can be developed very. Each
revision is viewable and accountable.

Building your own Wiki is a streamlined process even if your computer
knowledge is very basic. MediaWiki software offers prompts to make your Wiki
exactly what you want it to be. Include visuals, graphics and meaningful
content to attract targeted traffic to your online offerings. With editing
that shows you exactly what you get, you know what it will look like right
away to make necessary changes immediately. Add links to boost your targeted
traffic even more. Get into the Wiki wave is a breeze with MediaWiki.

Are you having a hard time taking your company to the next level? Are you currently taking advantage of the powerful referral business? I can’t speak for most companies in the credit card processing arena, but Gotmerchant.com puts 100% effort in obtaining as many referrals from current customers as possible. You can too and here are several ways of doing it. I will skip the reasons as to why you should go after referrals, but simply put, they are the best leads any business could ask for. 1. Be cautious with the timing of your referral request. You want your customers to experience your service before you ask for referrals. 2. Always remember, not all clients are referral candidates, only about 20% generally are. 3. Offer incentives for your customers to refer your products or services. Such as, we offer our clients $50 for anyone they refer that signs up and gets approved. 4. Gotmerchant.com always sends out hand written thank you cards after a customer signs up. This may be a great time to ask for a referral. Also, be sure to ask for referrals whenever your customer needs assistance in the future and you have helped them with their problem. People love to spread the word about a company after they have fixed their problem for them.

* HOW TO: Disable Facebook’s “Instant Personalization” [PRIVACY]
New menus on the Facebook home page this week took users by surprise, and
left many concerned about the privacy implications of being suddenly more
“connected” to their favorite sites and interests. If you’re looking for
ways to opt out of these new features, this guide will show you how.

* HOW TO: Spring Clean Your Twitter Account
An untended Twitter feed can quickly become overgrown with useless tweets
and dead weight users. These great tools will help you streamline your
Twitter account in no time.

* How Freelancers are Using Social Media for Real Results
Social media can be a boon for those who make their living gig-to-gig. Sheer
networking is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to landing work via
the social web. We spoke to freelancers in a variety of fields to find out
how they make it happen.

* 9 Essential Social News and Bookmarking Sites for Designers
The design community is always hungry for content, inspiration, and
tutorials. These nine networks are a great place to discover and share
creative resources.

* 4 Ways One Non-Profit Uses Location to Increase Engagement
The National Wildlife Federation has been getting creative with their social
media awareness campaigns, particularly when it comes to location-based
technologies. This post discusses some of their innovations.

* Tim Ferriss: 7 Great Principles for Dealing with Haters
For all the personal connections and open sharing done on social networks,
you’ll always find a fair share of scathing negativity. Tim Ferriss, author
of The Four Hour Work Week, gave a talk at The Next Web ’10 event in
Amsterdam, and had these seven points to share on the subject.

* Gowalla CEO Talks About the Future of Social Media [INTERVIEW]
We sat down with Josh Williams to discuss the origins of his location-based
network, and what current trends in the space mean for the future.

* 5 Free Services for Pre-Scheduling Your Twitter Updates
Whether for marketing purposes, event promotion, or just keeping your
account fresh while you’re on vacation, a tweet scheduler can be a handy
tool. Check out these five great ones, all of them free.

* How Twitter’s New Media Blog Aims To Teach By Example
Twitter’s new blog highlights news organizations with smart Twitter
integration in the hope of becoming a resource for the media. We spoke with
Twitter about their strategies and goals.

* Top 10 LEGO Movie Tributes on YouTube
Those stop-motion goodies are back, this time reenacting our favorite flicks
in all their colorful plastic glory.

* Top 10 YouTube Cover Songs
For better or worse, YouTube has become the ultimate repository of musical
tributes. From guys in their bedrooms, to a capella cleverness, to
guitar-wielding toddlers, this hand-picked list highlights some of the best
around.

* 5 Ways to Support World Malaria Day Online
The fight to end malaria in the developing world has become a rallying cause
on the social web. Check out these five easy ways you can make a difference
online.

* How Non-Profits are Using Social Media for Real Results
Social media has become an essential tool for non-profits in their efforts
to spread awareness and raise funds. Check out some real-world examples of
how some organizations have put the social web to good use.

* Why Content Curation Is Here to Stay
At times, content creators and content curators have been at odds. But the
sheer volume of “stuff” and noise on the web has made curation essential.
This post discusses the status of the curator on today’s social web.

* Social Enterprise: 5 Tips for Getting Execs on Board
There’s no longer much question about whether corporations need to be
engaged in social media, but convincing the head honchos of the value can be
challenging. We spoke to some of the top names in social strategy and got
some great tips on bringing the boardroom up to speed.

* How Does Twitter’s New Social Good Initiative Stack Up?
The recent launch of Twitter’s Hope140 campaign has already done some good
for important causes, but how effective is it when compared to other social
awareness and fundraising campaigns? This post discusses the pros and cons
of tweet-based charity.

* 5 Ways Facebook’s Open Graph Will Impact E-commerce
Facebook’s new Open Graph technology could dramatically change how we
interact with the web, especially when it comes to online shopping. These
five predictions lay out what to expect from your favorite e-commerce sites
in the near future.

* Top 10Wedding Dance Videos on YouTube
If you think you’ve seen some crazy nuptials, check out some of these dance
moves, immortalized forever in the hallowed halls of YouTube.

* HOW TO: Find Long Lost Friends on Facebook
400 million people are using Facebook. If you’re looking for someone,
chances are you can find them there. Here’s how to do it.

* HOW TO: Make the Most of Your Twitter Profile Page
There’s a lot more to Twitter than just sharing your favorite foods in 140
characters. If you’re looking to make an impression with your profile page,
check out these tips.

* 5 Ways Government Works Better With Social Media
Social media has the potential to make government more transparent and
accessible. Here are five examples of how the social web can improve public
services.

* 8 Tips for a Successful Social Media Cause Campaign
Social networks can provide unprecedented reach to non-profits and their
partner companies, but there are some strategies to note before diving into
the next campaign. Check out these eight tips.

* 4 Tips for Integrating Social Media Into the Classroom
Education has long faced resistance to new technologies, but social media
can be a great resource in the classroom. Here are some tips on bringing it
to the fore.

* Top 5 Social Media Tips for C-Suite Execs
While your web-savvy employees may be hip to social media, getting upper
management on board can be challenging. We gathered some expert advice, and
lay out the value proposition in this post.

* Why the Fashion Industry Loves Foursquare
Lifestyle brand Diesel recently launched a fairly tacit Foursquare campaign
that demonstrates the great marketing potential for location-based services.
This post details where they succeeded, and where they fell short.

* Why Hasn’t Location Reached the Mainstream Yet?
Despite all the buzz about location-based services, most people don’t use
them. Here are some of the reasons why, and a few predictions about the
future of the trend.

* HOW TO: Turn Slacktivists into Activists with Social Media
Non-profit Twitter and texting campaigns may be tapping thousands of new
cause contributors, but is a $10 SMS really where their engagement ends?
This post speaks to how non-profits can deepen that connection through
social media.

* Social Media Parenting: Raising the Digital Generation
Who are your kids friending on Facebook, and how much online time is too
much? We asked the experts to weigh in on some concrete strategies for
raising the first fully digital generation.

* HOW TO: Get Notified When Someone Hacks Your Facebook
Did you know that Facebook can alert you when someone logs into your account
from an unknown computer? Follow these simple profile steps to set up this
important security feature.

* In Defense of Facebook
With all the vitriol surrounding Facebook’s latest privacy gaffs, this post
takes a moment to look at the people most responsible for our online privacy
– ourselves.

* How Facebook Makes Edgy Concepts Mainstream
Two years ago, the thought of sharing your location or credit card purchase
history online would have seemed ridiculous. Today, it grows ever more
mainstream thanks to major social networks like Facebook that make these
early-adopter trends more comfortable for the average user.

* Why Twitter Needs to Do More to Save Trending Topics
Twitter recently amended its trending topics algorithm in the hopes of
producing more relevant and newsworthy results. But is this an interference
in the natural development of popular topics? And is Twitter doing enough to
remain a relevant source of real-time news? This post takes a hard look.

* How the U.S. Engages the World with Social Media
You might be surprised to learn that the U.S. Department of State and many
of its embassies around the world are having great success shaping America’s
image abroad through social media. We spoke with some of the diplomats and
officials who are making a difference through Twitter and Facebook.

* 21 Rules for Social Media Engagement
If you’re creating a social media policy for your business, or even your
personal brand, these 21 points are a surefire way to stay on track and on
message in an online world full of noise.

* 5 Innovative Websites That Could Reshape the News
While traditional journalism remains in upheaval, a handful of startups have
provided a glimpse at what the future of news gathering might look like on
the social web. Whether these models are sustainable remains to be seen.
Check out this post for look at some of these innovators.

* 5 Essential Facebook Privacy Tips
If you’re not cognizant of your Facebook privacy settings, you may be
broadcasting things to the world (or even certain groups of friends or
family) that you may not have intended. Note these important settings to
ensure you stay in control of your social data.

* How Social Media is Changing Government Agencies
Agencies around the world are finding that social media is more than a
broadcast medium. Active engagement can serve the public in important ways.
Here are some examples.

* EXCLUSIVE: Behind the Scenes at the “Married on MySpace” Wedding [VIDEO]
We got an exclusive chance to go behind the scenes at the actual wedding of
winning couple Dehlia and Graeham Ford-Feliz.

* TwitPic Founder Talks About the Future of Twitter Photo Sharing [VIDEO]
TwitPic has become one of the most popular ways to share photos on Twitter.
With a recent facelift and a lot of attention from prospective buyers, the
company has some big plans in the works. We spoke to the founder, Noah
Everett, to get his take on TwitPic’s rapid growth and future.

About GordonGus
"Whether selling products, services or information I have helped others succeed online by clarifying goals, simplifying technologies, motivating players and executing tasks. My energy and perseverance has helped others reach their goals. Of course, some wanted to shoot me in the process."
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