60-SECOND DIGITAL MEDIA HACK #3: Three Bites of the Apple

Three Bites of the Apple[image: stock photo of young woman smiling holding an apple]

NOTE: I usually find introductions to be annoying, so rather than explaining the title here, I’m putting this post’s intro at the end.

Any time you or your organization do any thing at all, any time, you get three bites of the apple on social media.

Post #1:

We’re going to to this cool thing and it’s going to be really cool. Here’s a photo of us getting ready, excitedly (or resolutely, or whatever, as appropriate).

Post #2:

This is happening now. It’s beautiful. Just look at it.

Post #3:

That thing we did? Amazing. Thanks so much to all of you who made it happen. You rock so hard!

The underlying principle is that on social media, more is more.* Some people will say, “don’t post more than X times per day on Snapface,” or something like that. They are lost in fear and chaos. It’s okay. Reach out to them and tell them it’s okay to post as often as you have something to post. I mean, space things out a bit, but still…



Why “three bites of the apple?” It doesn’t really matter. You’re at the end of the post, anyway. Tweet at me if you want to talk about it.



This series provides ideas you can implement immediately to add to your organization’s bag of digital tricks.

IMAGE: GIF 60-second digital media hack

You read the title, you know what to do. And now you’re emailing your union’s membership department to instruct them to make the change. Hold up! You still have some decisions to make.

  1. Do you leave it open for your members to list any channels they use and their handles, or do you help them out with spaces for a few defined networks?
    You might want to include prompts for Instagram handles, Pinterest profiles, and Twitter handles, but leave a blank space for “Other.” You could be surprised. Maybe your members are Snapchatting more than you would have guessed. In any case, it basically costs you nothing to add a few lines and see what you can learn about your members.
  2. Define a clear path from the point of collection to whomever is handling your social media accounts.
    Collecting the information is one thing, using it is another. It’s somebody’s job to make sure your members’ contact information ends up in the right hands.
  3. Create a plan for integrating your members into the digital life of the organization.
    This is where your digital strategy comes in. You may already have a “ladder of engagement” organizing your members step-by-step to be digital media advocates for your organization. In that case, you might want to considering upgrading your ladder to a matrix. The Matrix of Engagement doesn’t assume that the path from passive membership to active online advocacy is a straight line. Just like in any kind of community organizing, online organizing depends on meeting your members where they are. Where they are influences where you can go with them next. And you can only go there with your members if you avoid a rigid, one-size-fits-all digital strategy, and build in some flexibility.

Whatever the state of your digital strategy, at a minimum do this: collect members’ social media handles, and do something  – anything – with them. You’re already ahead of where you were.

Optimize Your Digital Habits for Advocacy

[IMAGE: cool animated GIF]

NTEN invited me to write a guest blog post on coping with Inbox 1000. Is this small-ball? No way. I want you to spend more time on changing the world and less time on tedious mouse-clicking. (Unless you are evil. In which case, you MUST organize your email! Twice!)

Whether it’s maintaining your concentration while deflecting incoming email like an aikido master, or monitoring your social media channels, none of your digital tools are ends in and of themselves. It’s important to keep on top of your digital media without falling into a bottomless click hole so you can focus on your mission.

Read the original post here:

Inbox Zero? Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That

60-second Digital Media Hack #1: Customize a Single URL Multiple Times Using bit.ly

This series provides ideas you can implement immediately to add to your organization’s bag of digital tricks.

IMAGE: GIF 60-second digital media hack

We ran into a digital roadblock recently, and thought others might benefit from our solution.

Here’s the problem: you have a URL on your site that you plan to share through various channels – maybe individualized emails to friends and colleagues, Twitter, Facebook, wherever.

And let’s say you want to A) create a compact, interesting shortlink that ends in something interesting – something more like “kittens4evah” and less like “yw8bH,” and B) you’re curious how far each of these sources sends your little link out into the world until it returns as a click on your URL.

You can enter your long URL into bit.ly, and customize your short URL. But when you do this a second time, hoping to create a different customized short URL, you find that bit.ly will only let you shorten a link once per bit.ly account – no multiple shortlinks to the same URL.

The 60-second hack solution: add different UTM codes for each iteration of the URL you want to track.

UTM codes (don’t ask why – this is a 60-second hack) are text strings you add to the end of your URL, starting with a question mark.

For example:




or simply


Try it now by adding “?” plus literally anything to a page on your own site – or any URL – in any browser.

It works.

Now bit.ly will treat each URL with a customized UTM code as a new URL, and you can customize and track your links in as many different variations as you want.

If this helps somebody, please let us know, because it would make us feel very good about ourselves.