Is Your Message on MySpace?
The Conservancy’s social network presence has, however, been very helpful in finding a few “super-enthusiasts” — individuals who join the organization’s file and become very involved. One such person who previously was not a Conservancy member ran a 24-hour “blog-a-thon” to raise money for the organization. Another positive outcome has been enhancements in the Conservancy’s search-engine optimization. As more Nature Conservancy links appear on social network pages, the organization’s Web site relevancy increases, which helps the group’s Web site appear higher on search result listings.
To date, The Nature Conservancy has concentrated its social network efforts on reaching new constituents. Its involvement with one network, StumbleUpon, has resulted in nearly 35,000 visitors to the Conservancy’s Web site. The organization also has experimented with promoting its Gather.com presence to current constituents on the Conservancy’s home page and via its e-mail newsletter. This test yielded approximately 60 new members to The Nature Conservancy’s Gather.com group. Gather.com is particularly interesting to the Conservancy because of the closely aligned public radio demographic, enabling increased brand-building and findability for a key audience.
One challenge The Nature Conservancy has encountered is that most social networking services do not provide good details for page visitation or other metrics. This makes it difficult to accurately gauge the success of these initiatives outside of actions constituents take on the its Web site.
Defenders of Wildlife
Defenders of Wildlife has leapt into the online social networking world by launching both an individual profile and a group on MySpace.com. It also is evaluating other networks such as Gather.com and Eons.com, but the group is careful with its time investment until a true return on investment can be proven.
DOW’s individual profile page, has attracted more than 1,200 “friends.” At this time the organization purposely is not fundraising on MySpace.com but instead has focused it efforts on advocacy. To create a viral effect, DOW offers a “site badge” or banner. This is a piece of HTML code that constituents can insert within their MySpace.com personal pages to help promote DOW’s campaigns and recruit activists.