Top 10 from the Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) 2014

The post-conference halo: all the new ideas are shiny, fresh and exciting. You are exhausted but exhilarated, ready to implement the fabulous new ideas, apps, software and other solutions collected throughout the multi-day experience.  Then, a couple of weeks pass. You are back at work, the shiny wears thin and all the ideas that seemed critical fade into the pile of someday. The truly meaningful, however, slowly become incorporated into your practice.

I attended the NTC14, the annual conference of NTEN, in March.  While the conference has become a fond memory, the truly important lessons learned and a new arts community of practice remain.  The following are the top 10 ideas that emerged from the NTC14 as applicable to the arts:

10.  Facebook:  As we all know, unless you boost post only a small percentage of your fans actually see it.  There are some emerging best practices in this environment: Build deep relationships overtime by interacting in real ways including conversations in the comments stream and by directly contacting individuals via messages. You can also use apps designed to integrate your CRM to Facebook or other approaches to hack the FB system (following in #9 and #4.).

9. Tool-apalooza: Use social apps to maximize visibility and engagement: 

  • (paid) (see the recent AMT Lab review for more details)
  • crowdtangle (paid and in beta) helps you reveal top performing content so you can curate those stories and lift your visibility with them. (users: Buzzfeed, Upworthy, etc)
  • Actionsprout (partially free) lets you embed actions in Facebook that sync with your CRM.  It helps you target follow up asks to individuals who like your page but don’t take action.  You can also use a Facebook custom audience tool with Actionsprout data to highly target a promoted post for exceptionally high yield.
  • Knodes helps you move conversations to the right people by listening to the conversation nodes across the internet and engaging in the right places.  Essentially, it leverages the 6 degrees of social on social media.
  • Qwaya (paid but has 30 day free trial) maximizes your Facebook ad campaigns. Qwaya has 2 powerful tools:  a) it can determine overlap between your email list and your Facebook fans b) it can test (like an a/b email test) ad buys in Facebook to get the best ROI.

8.  Remarketing is now fundamental.  Embed a pixel on your footer and or donation page. Go ahead and do it now even if you are going to use it later.  It needs to compile lots of data to truly have impact.  NOTE:  Facebook and Twitter are both joining the remarketing trend, too.

7. Meme-Jack:  Don't hesitate, tap into the micro zeitgeist when appropriate. For example, the National Wildlife Federation used their take on gosling’s during the Ryan Gosling “hey girl” meme to create:

Courtesy of National Wildlife Federation 

Courtesy of National Wildlife Federation 

6.  Start integrating your people, stop integrating your CRM. Use your CRM to follow your constituents and target across channels.  Use available apps to merge your CRM with your social to target across channels. Ultimately, you can conceive of your CRM as a link to people not a record of people thereby facilitating your means to let them help you change lives.

5. Everyone knows this, but it is worthy to repeat:  use images to tell stories, especially if you can feed images directly from your constituents versus pushing your logos.

Instagram logo

Instagram logo

4.  Highjack Facebook by using embedding their comment fields into your blog or website so that when people comment on your site they post on your behalf (you can find the code here:

3.  Connect your offline and online audiences.  Combine your database with social marketing by targeting online adds to your offline audience.  Pull your email list and see who also follows you on Facebook. Now target them directly when you boost your posts. Do an a/b test of posts and see how each -- your database markets and online audiences -- behaves.

2. Think of your google adwords as R&D for marketing.  Where else do you get $10,000 per month, free?  Test conversion paths.  Use those terms on other marketing on your social channels!

And, perhaps the most enduring and important of all:

1. The new Arts & Culture Community of Practice hosted on Any arts technologist can participate regardless of NTEN membership. All you have to do is register and join the converstion.

Here at AMT Lab we want to be a go-to resource for all things arts management and technology. We can only do that with your help – what are the top 10 tools you use in your work?