Nielsen Study Shows the Monumental Importance of Online Ambassadors

According to a recent Nielsen study on which types of advertising or promotion people trust most, the top five in North America are:

  1. Recommendations from someone they know.
  2. Consumer opinions posted online.
  3. Editorial content such as newspaper articles.
  4. Emails they signed up for.
  5. Branded websites.
According to Nielsen, having a trusted source recommend you organization is the best form of advertising available.

According to Nielsen, having a trusted source recommend you organization is the best form of advertising available.

In other words, if you want someone to know and trust your organization your best bet is having someone they know post something about your org online. Let that sink in for a second and then ask yourself, “do we have a plan for encouraging our more active online followers to talk about us online?” In other words, do you have an online ambassador program? Components of a good ambassador program include:

  1. Ongoing identification of potential ambassadors for both awareness building and fundraising initiatives.
  2. Stewardship of those potential and approved ambassadors through good content and smart online conversation management.
  3. A plan for contacting potential ambassadors and officially bringing them into the program.
  4. A strategy for leveraging the support of your ambassadors.

We continue to see more examples of this approach leading to fundraising success. Two of our favorite examples are Florida State’s Great Give and Columbia’s more recent Giving Day. Both campaigns had a heavy reliance on some form of an online ambassador program. Simply put, a robust ambassador program could be the most important thing your nonprofit can do from a communications standpoint. So good luck building your program! Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

Justin Ware is a fundraising consultant who specializes in online and social media engagement at Bentz Whaley Flessner. To contact Justin, click here.

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6 thoughts on “Nielsen Study Shows the Monumental Importance of Online Ambassadors

  1. Pingback: What a $4 Million Super Bowl Ad Could Buy in Digital Fundraising « The Social Side of Giving

  2. There are so many great topics and suggested resources on your blog!

    I may have already mentioned this to you, so forgive me if I am repeating myself. I am currently working on my graduate capstone project on Millennial engagement. My research centers on effective fundraising and marketing strategies for engaging Millennial generation audiences and donors in the U.S. symphony orchestra experience. Your coverage of online and social giving is so relevant!

    Feedback welcome. : )

    – Catherine

    • Thanks for the kind words! Glad to hear the blog is in line with what you’re finding. It sounds like a great capstone project. I would assume the peer-to-peer movement is especially relevant for you, since Millennials are the subject.

      • You’re welcome, Justin! I have enjoyed your blog. The peer-to-peer movement plays a particularly important role in fundraising among Millennials, from what I have learned.

  3. Pingback: Make Something Go Viral? No Problem | The Social Side of Giving

  4. Pingback: Engage Online Ambassadors | Carolyn M. Appleton

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