By Social Movement Technologies SMT
Social Movement Technologies SMT collaborates with campaigners and activists around the world to build people power for justice in the digital age. They provide organizing strategy, training and campaign support. They offer many online courses (free and paid) that are also subtitled in multiple languages.
Below is a snippet of some of the digital organising courses they offer. To see a full list visit Social Movement Technologies SMT.
Content Scheduling: Choosing the Best Content Scheduler
There are dozens of tools out there for managing and scheduling social media. The best ones go beyond simply scheduling and posting content – they help you manage engagement and ensure that no online organizing lead goes without a response. See SMT’s comparison of popular content schedulers and get more on the best tool for your organization and budget.
This course covers:
- The pros and cons of popular social media management tools such as Loomly, Buffer, Later, Sprout Social, etc., including a comparison table with advantages, disadvantages, pricing, and recommendations covering twelve top tools
- Top insights from the responses of 100+ movement organizations to the content scheduler survey
- A discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of such tools vs. posting directly on the native social media apps
- A case study of how social media management tools can support more effective organizing and follow-up
- Best practices for posting and collaborating effectively across a staff and volunteer team
- How all of this fits into a stronger online/offline organizing strategy for your campaigns!
Constituent Relationship Management System CRM and Emails:
Advanced CRM & Email Techniques for Organizing Groups and Unions – Is your supporter email list an important tool in your organizing and fundraising? Many organizing groups are underusing the capabilities of their CRM* to activate people.
This series showcases a range of advanced CRM and email techniques that you may find useful to boost your organizing, fundraising and efficiency. We reference EveryAction, Action Network, Salsa Classic and Engage, and NationBuilder, though the techniques we cover can be used with many other CRMs as well. (We also reference Salesforce, but only as an add-on extension.)
The first 3 sessions cover the topics in the list below. They are followed by 4 CRM-specific sessions to demonstrate how to implement these techniques.
*CRM=Constituent Relationship Management system
Who this series is for: anyone who works with a CRM or manages an email list for organizing or fundraising and wants to use it more effectively and ramp up their skill level and efficiency.
Advanced CRM sessions cover how to:
- Find likely action-takers and donors
- Identify high-touch vs. low-touch stakeholders, donors, etc.
- Automate outreach to new subscribers
- Segment content dependent on source
- Maintain data hygiene & investigate anomalies
- Get quick access to crucial visual data
- Monitor form performance to determine traffic flows & best practices
- Personalize communications
- Create donation asks according to previous giving level
- Create location-specific or other segment-dependent calls to action
- Use conditional content where possible
- Ensure consistent identity on mobile, webmail, Outlook, etc.
- Use buttons, images, action boxes & other conversion-improving practices
- Determine best practices in subject line and email content
- Increase conversions by simplifying process for action-takers & donors
- Track sources and other data
- Customize default values, redirects, and other aspects of UX according to source, contact data, etc.
- And more…
Advanced email session cover how to:
- Diagnose deliverability issues and resolve them
- Maximize the impact of your A/B testing — what to test, what size audience, and when statistical significance is important
- Determine whether a welcome series makes sense
- Grow your list effectively
- Design a reactivation program
- Manage a medium to large email program: planning, approving and check-listing procedures & docs
- Free and low-cost vendors/services to improve your email program
This series was designed with the most common advocacy CRMs used by progressive organizations in mind: Action Network, NationBuilder, EveryAction and Salsa (Classic & Engage). Groups not currently using advocacy CRMs can still benefit from strategies and best practices discussed, but will find some topics outside their tools’ capabilities (e.g. if using MailChimp, ActBlue, Airtable). The features and techniques in the first three sessions are broader in scope and thus very likely to be applicable and relevant even if you use a different CRM. Groups using more complex, customizable, or idiosyncratic CRMs (e.g. ActionKit, Salesforce, CiviCRM) can similarly benefit from every session’s strategies and best practices, but may find that implementation varies and requires additional setup.
Digital Security for Activists
With protests underway around the globe, activists are facing new challenges and heightened digital tracking and threats from state actors including the police, white supremacists and others.
Digital Security for Activists Under Authoritarian Regimes, and Maintaining Internet Access During Shutdowns – Do you know how to protect yourself and your movement from these common threats activists face under authoritarian regimes?
- Elections are coming up. You expect at least a partial internet shutdown as the regime tries to hold onto power and you need to maintain access.
- Your computer or phone disappears or is lost.
- It’s possible your home or organization will be raided by the police.
- You may be stopped by the police and forced to unlock your phone.
- You’ve heard the regime is using spyware. How to identify it and protect yourself from it. (We’ll also cover stalkerware.)
- Your Twitter or Facebook account has been suspended for no good reason.
This training covers the key measures activists should take before and if any of these happen to reduce their risk and be able to continue their work.
Facebook for Organizing
Learn a radically different way to use Facebook to deepen your organizing, your members’ sense of community, and the depth of your leadership.
If you help manage a Facebook page and want it to be more powerful in your organizing, this training is for you!
With a fantastic team of online organizers from several movements, we introduce you to a radically different way to use Facebook to deepen your organizing, your members’ sense of community, and the depth of your leadership. We show you how to make great-looking posts quickly and easily with free tools; the ways you should and shouldn’t be using Facebook ads to increase your reach to new audiences, engage supporters, and pressure targets; how to make the most of the dollars you have and bring it all together in multi-channel campaigns; and how to evaluate your success going beyond vanity metrics to what’s really important for your organizing. We use movement examples throughout. Presenters include online organizers from Upworthy, the climate movement, the fight for net neutrality and others.
Instagram for Organizing: Skillshare
How are online organizers using Instagram to build power online? If you have a teen, you know that young people are all over this one. But they aren’t alone. A range of experienced online organizers using Instagram in their work share examples and the best practices they’ve picked up, including:
- Who is using Instagram, and why?
- What is it best for? How does it complement other channels like Facebook and Twitter?
- What are some ways groups are using it in campaigns?
- How to build up your following?
- What’s the minimum time and resources needed to use it effectively?
- Lots more
Organizers sharing their experience:
- Jamiah Adams, former Senior Director of Digital Media at the NAACP
- DeAnne Cuellar, Communications Coordinator, Equality Texas
- Shana DeClercq, Community Engagement Manager, The Story of Stuff Project
- Kathy Plate, Online Communications Director, UltraViolet
- Alexa Tomassi, Social Media Manager, Sandy Hook Promise
- Brian Tierney, Project Manager, Teamsters Union (IBT)
- Kristina Villarini, Digital Engagement Manager, Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN)
Livestreaming for Organizing
How to expand engagement and your audience during livestreams, and get people activated for next steps.
Livestreaming has become an important organizing tool for building our activist base, fundraising, amplifying action, and pressuring targets.
This training is for beginner to intermediate level livestreamers and those who’ve never touched it.
Some of what is covered by 8 instructors:
- When to use livestreaming and when it’s better not to
- Best practices for particular use cases
- How to build attendance
- How to build engagement during the event, including tools that help
- Setting up effective calls to action
- Tool comparison for multistreaming and additional features
- Roles you’ll want to fill
- Meeting the needs of a multilingual audience, and live captioning
- Why stream to particular channels like TwitchTV
- Adding lower thirds and other text overlays as well as bringing engagement on screen
- and more…
A livestreaming tool comparison spreadsheet that is updated regularly is included in this course.
Mastodon How-To For Activists, Organizations, Movements & Journalists
With hate speech taking over Twitter, many of us are tired of our vulnerability to the whims of corporate-owned social media.
In session 1, we cover:
- Recommendations on how to select the right instance (Mastodon server) for your needs
- How to find and activate your people on Mastodon
- Strategic considerations on how to approach it in relation to your Twitter account
- A workflow for building Mastodon into your activist pipeline, including the use of hashtags, lists, direct messaging and more
- Key differences between Mastodon and Twitter features that impact how we might want to use the tool
- Cultural protocols on the platform
- Several extensions and nifty tools that we think are especially useful
Session 2 is an advanced session for movements and organizations exploring setting up their own Mastodon community site. Guests include groups that have done so sharing important considerations.
A collaboration between Open Rights Group and SMT.
Text Messaging for Organizing
Tool demos, use cases, and campaign examples for using Peer-2-Peer, broadcast or mass texting, and short codes.
Just starting to assess whether and how to start using texting in your organizing? This course will help you determine how you might use it, and what type of texting makes the most sense given your needs and resources.
Already using texting tools? This course will help you sift through competing and complimentary tools, and help you ramp up strategically with expanded uses for building and activating your supporter base.
Includes demos, use cases, tool comparisons and campaign examples for using Peer-2-Peer, broadcast or mass texting, and short codes. W
TikTok for Organizing
TikTok is all the talk, but it’s been a real challenge for movement groups to figure out how it applies to their work.
We know TikTok is powerful – it recently passed YouTube in average watch time per user, its user base is growing rapidly, and its unique approach to content discovery helps even small accounts (very occasionally) hit it big with a video.
We see story after story of individuals with clever content or compelling campaigns breaking through. Despite this individual success, it’s been hard for movement groups to figure out how to use it.
Enroll in this free course to learn about two case studies – one larger, national group, one smaller, local group – on how they’re using TikTok in their organizing. Both have real, measurable results from the TikTok campaigns. And yes, we also cover reasons you might NOT want to invest in TikTok in your campaigns.
Managing Google Ad Grants for Organizing
Does your 501(c)3 manage a Google Adwords Grant? (i.e. $10K/month in free google ads available to 501c(3)s).
This is mostly a technical training. However, we share examples of how Google ads are being used in organizing and to pressure targets.
In 2018, Google announced new guidelines that will affect most non-profits. Failure to meet them could lead to suspension.
In this course you’ll learn what you need to know to stay in compliance and make the most out of your Google ads, including:
- A new five percent click rate requirement for your ads across your entire account (up from one percent previously).
- Maintaining a quality score of 3 or higher for keywords.
- Required use of geo-targeting.
- Avoiding branded keywords you don’t own.
- And more.
Google also lifted its $2 bid cap on keywords when using the maximize conversions bid type. We’ll explain what this means and how you can take advantage of this new opportunity.
Snapchat for Organizers
Organizers of all ages are using Snapchat to pressure targets, build community, and invigorate creative campaigns.
Half of Snapchat’s growing user base is over 25. Experienced organizers share their insight on using Snapchat, and help you assess whether it can be a useful tool in your organizing.
- What is Snapchat? Using Geofilters, understanding key terms, and the anatomy of an effective Snapchat account
- The history of Snapchat, and its growing 25 and older audience
- Why and how to use Snapchat in organizing
- Examples of effective Snapchat campaigns and key takeaways for including Snapchat in your next campaign
Twitter: Why every campaigner should use It
Join over 1,000 campaigners from across the world who registered for this webinar to learn how campaigners across Africa, Asia, the U.S. and Latin America are using Twitter as a powerful tool to build people-powered campaigns for change.
Campaigners share how they are using Twitter to help Kenyan children win back their playgrounds, Indian human rights activists fight back against police intimidation, communities victimized by climate disasters in Mexico get organized, Palestinians win agreements from celebrities and corporations, local artists hold developers accountable, indigenous people of the Amazon fight back, and lots more.
Websites: Make Your Website an Organizing Powerhouse
How powerfully is your website helping you win campaigns for justice? This online course will help you make it a more powerful tool in your online organizing. Here’s what we cover:
- Excellent organizing websites of small to large organizing groups and unions–and what makes them great
- Key trends in website design
- Using microsites in campaigns, a quick low-cost way to get most of the benefits of a microsite without actually setting one up…and lots more.
- Website email signup designs that work to grow your supporter list
- Re-targeting people who have visited your site but haven’t signed up for email
- How to measure results to meet your goals. Quick & dirty uses for Google Analytics – the things every organizer should know
- What does it take to maintain a website: budgeting and staffing.
- Website tools: Content Management Systems (CMS), WordPress plugins, popups and more!
- Digital Organising Tools to Reach and Recruit Supporters
Does your group want to reach out to supporters and engage them in campaigns? A quick overview of the options and top tips for success.
- Measuring People Power in the Digital Age
Tips from Social Movement Technology’s course Top Tools & Tactics to Bump Up Your Online Organizing Game on how to measure your impact.
- TikTok for Organizing: How Groups are Using TikTok in Campaigns
Learn from Social Movement Technologies how not for profit groups are using TikTok in their campaigns to create change.
- Digital organising and campaigning resources in the Commons Library