This year at NTEN’s Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) in Minneapolis, there was “snow on the prairie” as our pilot said, but that didn’t deter me from soaking up some extraordinary knowledge at this year’s event. Below are some of my takeaways, along with input from my fellow conference-goers.
Justin Cutroni, a Google Analytics expert presented his ideas for dealing with the future of smart data.
• The 90/10 rule: for every $10 spent on a tool, invest $90 in a person who can analyze the data.
• There are currently 10 million websites using Google Analytics. Thirteen percent of that traffic comes from mobile devices. Mobile is huge.
• Google will someday have universal analytics. That means it will soon be easier to track all your web properties under a single roof.
• Don’t rely on vanity metrics like the total number of hits. Instead, look at numbers that can tell you actual information about your audience.
Maddie Grant, Geoff Livingston and Melanie Mathos channeled E!’s Fashion Police when talking about the latest trends in nonprofit social media.
• Nonprofits should be empowered to jump on opportunities that will amplify their brand’s message. A good example is when Charity Water reached out to Marco Rubio after his “Watergate” and asked him to support their cause:
• Look to what other nonprofits are doing. The American Red Cross published their social media handbook for all to use as a reference.
• Beware of hash tags that could backfire. A cautionary tale is McDonald’s #McDStories, which elicited tweets like the one below and was ultimately labeled a #bashtag.
A lot of people attended Nam-Ho Park’s panel in part because of the catchy name: What Users Want (or Why Webpages are Dead). They stayed for the hand-drawn slides.
• PCs aren’t going away, but mobile is huge. Think about the context for each platform and design a user experience around the device.
• Web pages are like the public library; mobile is the Kwik-E-Mart. Users are coming to your site on their smartphones for quick information, so don’t burden them with too much content.
Beth Kanter moderated a plenary on innovation, which she attributed to placing little bets on things and experimenting—even if it means failing.
For more information, and to see the slides of the presentations mentioned here, tweet me @marzietae.