Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What's Your Portable Potential?

Did you know that "in the U.S. more than a quarter of people own a smartphone" and "in the final quarter of 2010, smartphones passed global PC shipments for the first time in history?"

Clearly, we're going mobile as a society but what does this mean for your nonprofit?  

A: You need to determine if you need a mobile strategy and what mobile means for you!

According to the new e-book by Convio, A Guide to the Mobile Web: Best Practices for Nonprofits, you should be thinking about a mobile engagement strategy if one or all of the following conditions apply:

  • 5 percent or more of total visits to your website are coming from mobile devices.  (Use Google analytics or another analytics program to evaluate visits to your website.)
  • You have a robust social media strategy. According to Strong Mobile Trends for Leading Social Companies by Kleiner Perkins, "roughly 30 percent of Facebook's and 50 percent of Twitter's memberships are mobile users," i.e. it stands to reason that these constituents will access your site via their phones. 
  • You're looking for younger, donors, activists or members.  
  • You're planning on redoing your website soon!
Think that mobile may be right for you?  Determine the best mobile presence.

Now that you're convinced that mobile might be right for you, you need to determine the right mobile presence for your org.

My advice: Focus on mobilizing your website content first vs. creating an app or engaging in SMS/text

Apps are expensive and don't work unless you are super creative and find a really great hook for engaging your constituents.  SMS/text doesn't work either unless you organize BIG events with BIG stars or do disaster fundraising. 

What about content?

Going mobile is a GREAT exercise for a nonprofit because it forces you to determine how to STREAMLINE and SIMPLIFY your content to ensure that it is digestible and useful on a small device.  It also means thinking strategically about your top engagement priorities, e.g. e-newsletter sign-ups, advocacy calls to action, and donations.  (Important note here: You simply cannot smash all of your website content into your mobile site!)

You can mobilize your website by building a "basic browser-detection script" into your main website.  This may become a best practice in new website design. Another option (that I like!) is to build a 3 - 5 page mini site with opportunities for users to donate, take an action, read current news items, or share your cause with their friends.

Whatever you decide, mobile is here to stay.

Determine your portable potential and use this on-the-go, always-on, in-your-pocket channel to engage more people in your good cause!




Cheryl said...

I agree with your advice Jocelyn - mobile website before app. In our (Convio's) recent mobile webinar, the presenter, Misty, shared a couple ideas for going mobile. The one I thought was most feasible for many orgs was to start by making a smaller version of your site mobile, focusing on key action pages (like where you direct them from email) and a couple other nice landing pages. It can be a good start to what could be a daunting task.

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