On the Importance of User Testing

The danger of hidden usability issues

If you have worked in the web development industry, you’ve probably had the following scenario play out on more than one of your projects.
You work on something for a year. Your internal team tests extensively for months. You are proud and excited about the work you’ve done. You launch the site to the public and within days real users identify a variety of small bugs and usability problems with your project. Despair and panic ensues.
We recently had this happen to us. We launched a high profile new site for a client that featured a unique and innovative user interface. Within days of launch it became clear that a small percentage of users didn’t understand how to use aspects of the site. An even smaller percentage were using obscure mouse configurations that prevented them from being able to access key site features. We
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Are trade associations on Instagram?

Pretty much all of our clients, regardless of sector, have made Facebook and Twitter key parts of their digital strategy. They invest time and resources into producing content and growing their followings on these two social networks. Instagram is a different story. Instagram has experienced explosive growth the last few years, and is now the third most popular social networking site in the United States, trailing only Facebook and YouTube. 35% of Americans now use Instagram, compared to 25% and 24% for LinkedIn and Twitter respectively. Further, a study we recently conducted found that organizations are seeing much higher engagement levels on Instagram than other platforms. Despite its widespread adoption and high engagement rates, professional use of the platform is mixed. Some organizations are thriving on Instagram. Others have written it off completely – perhaps out of the belief that their audience doesn’t use it and/or that their content isn’t
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Study Finds Instagram is Most Effective Social Platform for Nonprofits

Our Brick Factory team spends a lot of time helping nonprofits get the most out of their presences on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Despite how important social media has become, there isn’t a ton of benchmark data for nonprofit marketers. Which social networks are most effective? How often do nonprofits post? What types of posts perform best? Finding answers to these questions is surprisingly difficult. In an effort to provide nonprofit marketers with better benchmark data, we performed an analysis of the Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts of the 100 largest nonprofits in the United States. You can download a free copy of our study on how nonprofits use social media here. There are a ton of important insights in the full study, but perhaps the most interesting finding is how much higher engagement rates on Instagram are compared to Twitter and Facebook. For example, the median post for a
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Making Sure Your Site Adheres to GDPR “Cookie” Policies

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new set of rules issued by the European Union (EU) designed to give citizens more control over their personal data. From a web perspective, it requires Web sites that reach a European audience to actively inform site visitors of what data is being gathered by the site via cookies, and to offer those visitors the choice to opt in or out of having that data collected. This mandate means that Web site owners must implement functionality to satisfy these laws, or face extremely punitive fines from the EU. Chances are you’ve already encountered Web sites responding to these new laws. When arriving at such a site you typically see a message, usually at the bottom of the page, indicating that the site collects cookies. This message specifies some details about the cookies, and then gives you the option to opt in or out
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What Really Happened: Facebook’s Algorithm Change

At the beginning of the year, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook was changing its newsfeed algorithm. Users could expect to see more content from friends and family. And less for organizations and pages. Businesses started panicking. Facebook was already a play to pay environment – on average, only 2.6 percent of your audience was seeing your organic posts. So, once the new algorithm was introduced, marketers expected a catastrophic decline in organic reach. Some even speculated it was the end of Facebook for businesses. Speculation is great and all. But now it’s been a few months since the change. So I wanted to know…what really happened?  

Here’s what I did

I don’t know exactly when the new algorithm was introduced. But since Zuckerberg made the announcement in January, we can assume they flipped the switch that month. I wanted to look at the average organic reach for my
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You’ve just launched your association website. Now what?

So you’ve done it. Your association has launched their brand new website and all is well with the world! Your months of hard work have paid off, which that means you can finally relax…or does it? While this may have once been considered the end of your online story, we now know launching your website is just the first chapter. If you want to capitalize on your new site and grow your reach, traffic, and engagement, taking the time to put an effective digital strategy in place can make all the difference. And while there’s dozens of ways to approach this challenge, here’s a few post-launch tactics we love that can help make your website an incredible marketing tool for your association.  

Make data-informed decisions with analytics tracking

One of the easiest ways to report on the ROI of your new website is analytics tracking. Detailed tracking codes can
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