beautful bytes – Launch of JustTextGiving, Unity and Likester
At beautiful world, we get excited when a new service helps to break down some of the barriers that encumber potential donors from giving. A text donation, for example, is simple to ask for and simpler to contribute to. But one of the few things clouding the cheery straightforwardness of the process was the issue of having to consider the mobile providers’ charges and the fact that this was always going to complicate, and compromise, the proposition from the donor’s point of view. So, we were pretty excited to read that JustGiving has teamed up with Vodafone to offer “the UK’s first free text donation service”.
Feeling like you no longer having to eye up the small print is a great selling point for donors; quite simply, with JustTextGiving there are no charges and 100% of the donation goes straight to the charity. Add that to the fact that the service is provided by two such recognized and trusted brands and it should allow for a far more spontaneous, sinuous attitude towards giving.
Also available from 20 June will be a text donation service for fundraisers. This is great news for charities who depend on grass roots fundraising and indeed those runners, cyclists, parachute-jumpers and cake makers who work so hard to raise funds for your cause.
Anne-Marie Huby, Managing Director of JustGiving, is understandably excited about the new partnership:
“… with mobiles a pocket essential, the ability to harness the power of a simple text is game-changing for the country’s charities.”
The service has been big news in the sector and even managed to secure a coveted Twitter trend in London:
Groupon does crowdsourced fundraising
The increase in crowdsourcing funds through digital channels has become regular news over the past couple of years (and beautiful bytes fodder), but we came across a really interesting and surprising example of this a few days ago, that uses Groupon.
Groupon is an online deals company. It offers one “Groupon” (group coupon) per day in each of the markets it serves, and works on an assurance contract; if a certain number of people sign up for the offer, then the deal becomes available to all, but if the predetermined minimum number is not sold, no one gets the deal that day and no one is charged. It has long been the home of great deals for restaurants, short breaks and beauty treatments but the platform also turns out to be perfect for crowdsourced charity fundraising too (we presume this wasn’t part of the original business plan?).
Room to Read, an educational charity, posted an ad for a campaign they’re running to support girl’s education in developing nations. It offered Groupons of $10, $25 or $125 to help fund schools and software developers, Atlassian, offered the deal to match all donations made, provided more than 50 were purchased.
The deal was successful with over 622 being bought and – whilst the actual figure hasn’t yet been released – for a relatively short and easy to run campaign, we reckon it must have produced pretty decent return on investment.
We reported a couple of weeks ago about upcoming Facebook Deals; working with a user base as huge as Facebook’s, there is genuine potential for similar crowdsourcing of funds there, in a similar vein.
Digital is the perfect medium for this kind of fundraising: the pressure of the deadline, the need to hit the target and being part of a larger collective, it stands to reason that this deal exceeded its target. This is an excellent example of how powerful copy teamed with an innovative digital marketing idea can be used to raise money.
Facebook will pay gamers to watch video ads
On the instantly gratifying medium of the internet, and through social media in particular, it is often difficult to get people to watch a video advert. After all, when you’ve been repeatedly offered the option to ‘skip ads’ on various different sites, the idea of actually watching and engaging with one can just seem bothersome. So Facebook is teaming up with social game ad company TrialPay to deliver a surprising solution; pay them.
Advertisements will be pushed out through TrialPay’s ad platform, DealSpot. Game developers then sell places in their games to DealSpot, and end users will be presented with an offer for a certain number of Facebook Credits if they watch the ad.
Social gaming has been successful in marrying together clicktivists with causes in the past and we’re wondering whether this new initiative will have as big a potential impact for the sector. Charity video ads are a unique medium suited to emotive and impactful content, and being ‘paid’ to watch them could potentially be a surprising attention grabber, especially if teamed with carefully targeted Facebook ads or a clever social media campaign.
However, for many hardcore Facebook gamers, the paid video ads could also be a quick way to get more Farmville crops and an opportunity for a two-minute eye break from a screen that they have been unintentionally sat at for hours (we’ve all done it!). I am by no means suggesting that Facebook gamers aren’t donators of time or indeed money, as Sweets Seeds for Haiti illustrated, but the system of obligatory viewing could tempt even the most obedient inner child to cast their eye away and cheat their way to free coins.
There’s been a lot of discussion about how valuable a Facebook ‘Like’ is, not only in the charity sector, but across all brands. Of course, from an engagement point of view, they’ve become indispensible as a way to raise awareness and spread messages through social graphs, but you can’t help but feel that, once the announcement of a supporter’s ‘Like’ has disappeared from their latest feed, an opportunity to reach out your brand across their networks is lost and the data hasn’t been available to analyse either.
Likester allows you to refine your searches to top-Liked sites in a specific location, see a specific friend’s Likes or what Likers of a specific page are likely to have also given a digital thumbs up to. What I found difficult was navigating through the huge amount of pages that the people in my networks have Liked. For example, a friend of mine officially ‘Liked’ the Facebook page, “The awkward moment when a sentence doesn’t end the way you think it octopus” (my friends seem to consider what they Like about as deeply as which socks to put on in the morning). My Likester page was subsequently quite cluttered with pages my friends hadn’t put much thought into Liking, which wasn’t really a great insight into what’s truly popular.
I’d ‘like’ to think as the site develops, and after more than one 15 minute perusal, that it will narrow and become easier to navigate and find relevant pages that people have really engaged with. If it could weed through the millions of Facebook groups (perhaps it’s a reflection of my need for a cull some of my friends with loose Liking principles?!), the site really does have some potential for the sector. It allows your page and its content to be spread more easily across the social graphs of your supporters, bringing your organisation’s brand to the forefront of the Likester feeds.
Synthesio has established itself as an in-depth and professional social media monitoring tool in the past year and it is continuing in its fast growth and innovation with an announcement this week that it is releasing a new dashboard system; Unity.
Synthesio has teams of translators around the world and around the clock that monitor conversations in many languages and make it all accessible to marketers in one dashboard.
Something that will be beneficial for charities on the new dashboard is that it doesn’t only monitor Facebook and Twitter, but it also trawls through forums – a great place for charities to reach out to people that might need their support, as well as those who might wish to support them.
They have put together an impressive video of the new service that confirms its place as, “much more than a souped up TweetDeck”.
Something that may not appeal quite as much to charities is the price of the, admittedly thorough and seemingly brilliant, service. In order to get an account, you must get in touch with Synthesio who will appoint a customer service representative to discuss your budget. It’s difficult to estimate how much you might up your return on investment from using the tool – or any similar paid tools. Great monitoring is definitely valuable, but it’s what you do with that information that counts.
How we communicate at work
Business Insider have shared an interesting chart this week outlining the differences in the way we communicate at work, which is useful to gauge trends in media consumption.
The chart shows every form of communication is growing, except for one – instant messaging. It also indicates that this is being replaced by Facebook, Twitter and mobile messaging, as more people are spending more time on smartphones and less on their PCs.
The other point of note is the increase in the use of email in the workplace, which will be no surprise to our own Adam Waller, who mused earlier this week about his overflowing inbox and what this means for charities.
Microsoft has bought Skype for $8.5 billion
Microsoft has reportedly closed a deal to buy Skype for $8.5 billion. This is the largest deal that the company has ever made and it will be fascinating to see what developments the company make with the new asset. According to
Om Malik on GIGAOM, the most likely motivator behind Microsoft’s decision was Windows Phone 7 (Mobile OS) and Nokia. The software giant needs a competitive offering to Google Voice and Apple’s emerging communication platform, Facetime.
Perhaps the biggest news to come out of this acquisition is the changes that it will bring to Facebook. Whilst the social network was originally bidding, it still seems to be the real winner — as it will now have access to Skype assets through Microsoft, which is one of its investors.
The likely integration between Facebook and Skype means Facebook chat could add video and voice services, which could be completely game-changing for Facebook. There’s no telling how much a more personal, engaging and interactive service on Facebook could be beneficial to brands and organisations. Real time, visual and more absorbing correspondence on an already wildly popular service will bring about a new set of possibilities and ideas that could be capitalised on by forward thinkers.