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Harness The Social Power Of Your Email List With Social Insights

By Sam Marx

You work hard to cultivate your email list. Whether it's acquiring donors, volunteers, activists, or just people interested in a newsletter, a wide range of strategies and tactics help you capture key supporters and grow the number of people you can reach via email.

Cultivating your social media following requires a similar level of effort -- with writing engaging content, following potential partners and supporters, and possibly promoting big campaigns through social ads. 

Unfortunately, too often we see email and social media programs run parallel to each other rather than integrated as one communications plan. With the Social Insights Report in Luminate Beta, we want to provide a resource to bridge that gap -- to help you use social and email together to boost overall campaign strategies
Getting Started with the Social Insights Report
Powered by, the Luminate Beta Social Insights report gives you a top-level view of the strongest social influencers hiding out in your email list, as well as which social networks your list members use the most.
Found under the Social Report tab in Luminate Beta, this report is the first step to bolstering relationships with socially influential donors, prolific activists, or savvy professionals who have already opted in, given money, or taken action to support your organization. (This report is included with your Luminate Online or TeamRaiser subscription at no incremental cost - here's how to log in to get it.)
The information in the Social Insights Report supplements the Social tags in Luminate Beta Lists, which let you identify your VIP Influencers, Everyday Influencers, and Media influencers. Learn more about how to leverage the Social tags in Lists.
"Reach" Higher
Social reach teaches us that a name on an email list is more than just an individual -- they are a hub to their friends, families, coworkers, and others. The first graph in the Social Insights Report displays the total number of social connections for all of your list members. Your organization's social reach is probably a lot greater than you expect!
Most communications teams are well acquainted with the notion that people are more likely to engage with campaigns shared by people they know, so having this social reach information on hand can help gauge how far a message could potentially spread. It also suggests that adding actionable requests to your emails that focus on sharing and recruiting others on social media, There's a higher likelihood of raising more money and driving more action if each constituent gets someone else involved as well. 
To take this a step further, the Social Insights report also determines how far the top influencers on your list can reach. Over the years we’ve studied the power of top influencers and found that on average the top 5% of influencers of a nonprofit’s email list can reach 85% of the total reach of email and Twitter combined. Sometimes (as in my example below) the "top influencers" ranks might represent an even smaller percentage, indicating you have just a few extremely influential individuals to engage with for maximum impact.

One challenge I often hear from organizations is that they don’t necessarily have the time to cultivate and engage with each of their list members. Here's how to work more efficiently: 
  • Identify top influencers via the Social Insights report 
  • Use the influencer tags in Luminate Beta to identify VIP, media and everyday influencers
  • Build relationships with these indivuals to enlist them in supporting you socially
  • Develop a social ambassador program to take messaging to brand new audiences
By finding and cultivating the influencers who can maximize your reach, the payoff can be huge. These influencers will help raise money for your organization, drive actions, and build your base of support. 
Where Is Everyone? 
A common pitfall is to make assumptions about where your existing supporters are online. This may have to do with the network on which your social posts get the most engagement, or even the unconsciouis biases of the social media team about favorite networks (never let Myspace go!).

The Social Insights Report removes the guesswork about where your supporters are online by giving you the ability to see which networks are the most utilized.

Communications teams are often surprised by which social networks their supporters use most, and this provides a great opportunity to reconsider engaging people on those networks. Maybe it’s time to start utilizing LinkedIn groups and its other networking capabilities to reach professionals on a list. Or it might be time to start actually putting that Instagram account to good use, and then also share those great photos on Pinterest! This could also be something as simple as determining if supporters are primarily on Twitter or Facebook in order to bolster messaging with email audiences on the social network they use most. (Note that Instagram audiences can tend to be underreported due to a quirk with the way Instagram shares - or doesn't share - information on their followers.)
Anything else we should know?
Social media generates a lot of data about a person. The Social Insights Report lets you leverage some of this data to supplement what you might already know about your supporters. Pulling from publicly available social data, the report provides demographic information like age and gender and aggregates top social bio keywords and Klout topics to determine top interests.

Having a better understanding of the demographics of an email list can greatly impact both messaging for existing campaigns, as well as inform future campaigns with increased participation and social sharing. Is there a large proportion of students on a list that will be likely to share motivational selfies on campus, or should there be a campaign that sings the praises of grandparents instead? Is a Mother’s Day campaign going to be of interest, or would a Father’s Day campaign be more likely to resonate? These small insights can go a long way in learning more about who is on a list, and depending on their interests, why they’ve signed up.
Where do I find these social resources? 
All Luminate and TeamRaiser customers have access to the Social Insights Report and Social tags through Luminate Beta. The Social Insights Report is updated weekly to give you the freshest information as your list grows. Download your report (it's under the Social Report tab) and use the Lists Social filters to discover the influencers hiding out on your list. You might learn something new about your supporters that motivates your next big campaign!
More Resources

WEBINAR on March 20, 2018: Is it Time to Take On Social Influence Marketing? 

Join Justin Ware, founder of Groundwork Digital, for a free webinar on building a successful social ambassador program. This webinar will take you through the essential steps from identifying key social influencers to executing campaigns with your social stars. The “showcase” of social influence campaigns will share ways organizations of all sizes and types—from hospital foundations to food banks to higher education institutions—can apply social influence in their fundraising and awareness campaigns.
Posted by Kathryn Hall on Feb 27, 2018 9:40 AM America/New_York

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We've been trying to email our social media influencers for some of our advocacy campaigns. It's also cool to pull this report monthly and see who the top names are and try to reach out to them to create a more personaly relationship. We have a lot of bloggers in Orlando, we were pretty happy to see lots of their names in our email list. 
  • Posted Tue 17 Apr 2018 10:33 AM EDT