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Getting the Word Out is a Category that I write periodically to address the way non-profits and social media marketing intersect. Many of my past posts have focused on organizations that are cutting-edge in the way they have adopted social media tools and used them for maximum effect. This weekly column has been hit by my revamping my blog commitment and now I am going to try to do this twice a month.

Today’s post is a result of seeing some interesting commercial mobile websites. And so, it is time to address mobile marketing and non-profits. We have all heard that 2011 is pegged as the year of mobile marketing. The expansion of the use of smartphones means that increasing numbers of people expect the phone to meet all their information needs. Non-profits cannot afford to ignore this trend. I know that it feels like after having been badgered to adopt social media for a couple of years now, this seems like one more thing to deal with. But it is important to get this taken care of promptly to be there when the mobile marketing wave surges.

Here is a list of 5 things you need to do to mobilize your content:

1. Get a mobile version of your website. Some great examples are m.childfund.org and m.npr.org.

2. Keep it simple. Remember the size of a typical screen and make the information easy to see and use. Limit the use of images that are likely to clutter the screen and slow the download.

3. Make sure that your information is current and immediately usable. As Heather Mansfield at nonprofitorgs says, remember that very often people access information on their mobile phones while on the go. It may not be the best time to provide background information and statistics. Make bullet points of your programs and services and make the donate information easy to find and use as seen in m.komen.org.

4. Be consistent in your mobile marketing. Make sure that all the information and links on your mobile website are mobile optimized. Integrate social media and mobile marketing.This means that your Facebook, Twitter and YouTube links need to have a m.________.org version.

5. Embrace Apps. Moving beyond the conversion of existing content to the mobile platform, you can be proactive in seeking apps and using QR codes to extend your mobile outreach. There is real potential here for reaching people through concepts such as location-based marketing and of linking the offline world with online marketing.

Mobile marketing can add a great layer to any non-profit’s efforts to increase outreach and smartphones hold real promise as fundraising tools. Gear up to catch this wave!

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