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Week three of TechSoup's Social Media Mondays in May focused
on use of video for nonprofits and libraries. A topic covered in its Nonprofit
Social Media 101 wiki, video can be a powerful tool for
While video is an effective medium, the perceived costs of
equipment and editing tools coupled with the question of what will
engage audiences can be overwhelming to nonprofit and library
hour-long chat answered many commonly held questions organizations have,
well as offering follow up resources.
The chat began with the most important
question of what makes a video effective?
An "effective" video can be a number of things depending on
what an organization's intent was in creating video content. For example, is it a call to
action, a fundraising appeal, or just generating awareness. What viewers want to see
are videos about issues they personally care about. Videos can be used to do anything
from providing useful training information to compelling the viewer to act on
behalf of a cause. Viewers want videos that engage them emotionally and hook
them right away. While the issues that nonprofits support are serious, and a
serious tone seems the obvious choice for a video, humor can also be effective.
However, whether serious or humorous, videos should feel authentic and true to
the organization and its cause.
Nonprofits and libraries need not worry excessively about
technical quality, as chat participants were in agreement that content mattered
most. An effective nonprofit video can be as simple as a Flickr photo stream
set to an audio track or a really great interview. As was noted, "creativity
and passion" can overcome what is lacking in technical quality. However, one
aspect of quality, sound quality, did warrant mention.
be clear to understand if employing dialogue or music. Music is great for
enhancing the mood of a video and nonprofits and libraries interested in low-cost music
licensing can check out Magnatune's music
library or Frog Music
Licensing. Tools such as Apple's iMovie or Windows Live Movie Maker might
already be at the disposal of organizations, as they are often included with
computer purchases, and are a great choice for beginning video editors. The
built-in tools of these two programs allow users to add titles; captions,
important for making videos accessible for the hearing impaired; splice in
other video and images, and add sound. Organizations interested in more
high-tech video options may consider purchasing Final Cut Express, an
affordable version of the Final Cut Pro software that many professional movie
In the same way that organizations can save money on video
editing software by using what is already on their computers or available at a
low cost or free over the Internet, obtaining videography equipment can be as
simple as reaching into your pocket. Today's smartphones have fairly
sophisticated built-in video cameras and editing tools that, if used wisely,
can create great movies. While the picture and audio quality of smartphone
videos does not currently equal that of more expensive stand alone video
cameras, smartphone cameras can be useful for capturing the action of live
events, conducting impromptu interviews and instant video sharing.
exist, many of them free and with very simple editing capabilities, to upload
smartphone videos to the Internet. Applications such as Ustream, Qik
and Socialcam are useful for capturing and
sharing live events in real time. These applications, with certain individual
limitations, also allow users to share their videos to a number of social
networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, increasing their audience reach.
In addition to the adding your video to the video network of
these applications, it is also important to add your videos to the very popular
and highly trafficked YouTube. Other
channels to consider for sharing your videos include Vimeo, Justin.tv,
and BlipTV. Posting your organization's movies on
a video sharing sites is useful because of the built-in measurement these
platforms make available to users that allow you to track how many times your
movies have been viewed, capture demographic information about your audience
Other methods of measuring viewership data include Google Analytics
for videos posted on your organization's website and Facebook Insights for movies
posted on your organization's Facebook fan page. Nonprofits and libraries can also gauge the
success of their movies but monitoring viewer comments, measuring how many new
volunteers or donors have been gained or how much donations have increased
after a video campaign.
While organizations can feel disadvantaged using video as a marketing
tool because of their nonprofit status there are, in fact, a number of tools and
resources available specifically for nonprofits. YouTube, for instance, offers call-to-action
overlays, which can direct viewers to campaign pages on your website, and other tools for registered nonprofits.
Storytelling Campaign page, Nonprofit
Social Media 101 wiki, and YouTube
page offer numerous how-to resources and examples of effective nonprofit videos.
To help you pass the time until next week's TweetChat
on tagging, we also suggest the following nonprofit video resources:
Susan ChavezOnline Community & Social Media Team, TechSoup Global@Susan_Chavez
Tremendously informative event even for a Tweetchat first-timer!
This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License.
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