Using Online Reputation Management for Good.
When you’re considering a way to get your name or brand out there in a positive light, one of my favorite methods is donating to charity. Not only will this associate the warm and fuzzies with your brand but it can be easily incorporated into your online reputation management regimen. Here are some ideas to get your philanthropic juices flowing:
1.Go big. Consider dedicating an entire website to your charitable efforts. Many of the larger companies are doing just this. Domains are cheap, though, so if you have a tech department on call or the ability to do it yourself, I would definitely consider grabbing up a firstnamelastnamegives.com domain and building out a site solely for your causes. Remember, anything positive to fill the SERPs is plus. If you have a large budget consider going all out: Continuously update the site with your multiple causes and get others involved. Use pages on the site dedicated to employees or friends and their causes. Really, the ideas for content for this site would be limitless.
2. Use Social Media. People on Facebook and Twitter are quick to click when it comes to something tugging at the heartstrings. Create a post on Facebook (or even better, a Facebook event or page) stating that for every share or like this post receives, you will donate a dollar. Make sure to set a cap and, in the interest full disclosure, publicly state that the donation will only be up to a certain amount. The beauty of this is: People will continue to share and tweet (increasing public awareness for your cause and your brand) long after you’ve reached your financial goal, because they either don’t realize there was a cap or don’t care. Just be sure to read up about the laws in your area regarding contests and fundraising.
3. Give some dough, get a link. Find non-profits that will give you online recognition for your donations. This is actually one of my favorite techniques. Sometimes you can donate to a cause and the non-profit will list you on their site, many times for very little cost to you. Your local NPR station is a great example of a way to get a high authority site to link to you. It doesn’t even necessary need to be a non profit organization doing the linking. There are smart folks with causes all over the place that know the benefit of a link. For example, for as little as 10 dollars mike is offering you a link to support a cause that’s dear to him.
Hat Trick: Add all of these tips together for a grand slam (mixing sport metaphors alert) charitable ORM campaign. Establish up your site dedicated to your cause(s). Set up your facebook page or twitter account, with events, pictures and info about your cause, linking back to your donation site. Start researching other non profits that will link to your site. Get a few press releases going for good measure. And soon you will have a well oiled philanthropic machine. And at the end of the day, you’ll feel better know that it really is for a good cause.
Disclosure Time: I had been contemplating writing an article about ORM and charitable givings for a while. Recently, my friend Jack hit me up for a link to the non-profit site he does SEO for: The Daya Project. This was the kick in the pants I needed in order to get the ball rolling. While discussing this article, I mentioned to Jack that if he wants to increase donorship he should consider a membership or “friends” page much like what was mentioned in #3. He seemed to think it was a good idea. So I propose a symbiotic project between my readers and Jack. If you’re here reading this, chances are you or someone you know needs a little SERP love for your name or brand. If Jack jumps on this idea to link to their donors, consider starting there.