LOVE Pinterest for launching business accounts for brands – within 30 days of converting my Branded4Good account and client accounts to the new Pinterest business accounts, we all saw our followers increase by 30-40% – and, by the way, we didn’t really do very many updates during that 30 days…(check out all of our great stuff on Pinterest) HATE Facebook for continuously making it harder and harder for people to see our posts – and sorry but it’s NOT always a poor content problem – it’s all designed to make us post every day or pay to play which discriminates against small businesses and nonprofits that don’t have the staff or budget to do that.
LOVE Blandford Nature Center’s donor communications – they really do a great job with personal emails and photos, other than the toy snake they very strangely included in my donation thank you package – it’s going to be hard to retain donors if you give them all heart attacks… (check out their great Facebook page)
HATE the shelter charity that sent me a direct mail piece with a story about a cat – which I started to read – until I realized they were describing what it felt like to be put to death from the cat’s perspective. I was FURIOUS and SHOCKED, and didn’t stop reading in time to get the visual out of my head; do people really think that kind of approach will work with cat lovers?
LOVE: Everything Apple – I fell in love with the iphone years ago when my assistant showed me how easy it was to enlarge everything for old-people eyes and I was the first of my peeps to get an ipad – which I take with me everywhere I go (the ipad 3 now).
HATE: Companies that FORCE us to upgrade constantly and expensively – When Apple upgraded its operating system last year – it left the ipad 1 in the dust – a $1,0000 piece of equipment dead in the water (without the upgrade it slowed to a crawl and was unusable) only 1 ½ years after I bought it. I can’t even describe how ticked off I was. And let’s talk about Adobe coming out with new major version upgrades every year that cost hundreds of dollars while tightening their upgrade policies and making sure that the new versions don’t play well with the old ones.
LOVE: Go Daddy – I thought it was crazy when a whole slew of people came out against Go Daddy when sites in some regions were temporarily down last year. I’ve been with so many different web hosting companies over the years and still stand by Go Daddy. They are inexpensive, always available and all about security.
HATE: Network Solutions – I can’t tolerate companies that make it hard for you to cancel them. I couldn’t cancel a hosting service from within the Network Solution’s control panel – I had to call them (and you know how fun those phone systems are) and I was told they would pass on the request to their billing department for “approval” in several days – which gave them ample opportunity to harass me to try to get me to change my mind. Really? That kind of customer service actually works?
LOVE: all the focus on marketing and marketing plans in all the advice columns / blogs; there seems to have been an explosion this past year with marketing books, marketing bootcamps, marketing blogs – with a focus on the nonprofit sector. Check out the Best Nonprofit Marketing Posts of 2012 (from Rad Campaign).
HATE it when nonprofits don’t take perfectly good advice. In spite of all that great advice about the benefits of a marketing plan, it still seems to never make it into the budget. There is only so much you can do flying by the seat of your pants – you are either doing the exact same thing you do every year (and expecting different results – wait isn’t there some quote about that?) or trying all kinds of new things but not really tracking what’s working and what’s not. Stop the madness! Write the plan!