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App Authentication is Now Optional!

It’s now possible for supporters to complete an ActionSprout action by manually entering in their contact information, rather than authorizing the ActionSprout app. (Not everybody feels comfortable authorizing Facebook apps, even ones as trustable as ActionSprout. That’s OK.)

Now, if a new supporter declines to authorize the ActionSprout app when clicking to complete an action, they’ll automatically get the following alternative form:

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This feature is enabled by default for all existing and new campaigns, and is configurable on an account level in the “Theme” tab. You can turn it on or off, and customize the text that is displayed to people. 

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We have also added a feature to show an authentication prompt that allows you to tell people why it’s ok to use ActionSprout in order to take action. 

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This functionality is not enabled by default. You can turn it on and configure it on the ”Theme” tab. Here’s what it looks like: 

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Watch the walkthrough of these new features here:

Like many of our features, these were the result of feedback from you, our users. So keep the great ideas coming!  Please drop us a line, here or by email (info@actionsprout.com) and let us know how these new options are working for you, and if there are other things that you think will boost the performance of your campaigns! 


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Introducing Page Post Engagement Tracking

To paraphrase George Orwell, “All Facebook fans are equal. But some Facebook fans are more equal than others.” The problem is, it’s hard to find your most engaged supporters on Facebook so you can prioritize following up with the people who care most about your work. Here at ActionSprout, we just made doing that a bit easier with a new feature we just rolled out called Post Engagement Tracking.

Consider the following scenario:

What does it mean when one of your fans clicks “like” or comments on a single Facebook post? How about when someone “likes” or comments on a dozen posts in a few weeks? Are these two fans equally important to you? Can you imagine a day when you might want to reach out to the people who engage on a regular basis with an email to say thanks, or maybe invite them to do something beyond the confines of Facebook?

Today we released a new feature that allows you to track not only the engagement of people who take your ActionSprout actions, but also the engagement of people who like and comment on the initial wall posts that link to those campaigns.

Here’s how it works:

Now, when someone likes or comments on any post that links to an ActionSprout campaign, we capture this interaction and add that user to the campaign. This enables you to build up a profile of users who are engaging with your posts by liking and commenting, but are perhaps not yet taking action through your ActionSprout app. We surface this information in the ActionSprout dashboard through the recent activity stream, where there are now icons showing how a person has engaged with your campaign.


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Checkbox = Completed: supporter has completed this campaign action

Speech box = Comment: supporter has commented on a post related to this campaign

Thumbs up = Like: supporter has liked a post related to this campaign

We also show post engagement data on each supporter’s profile page, which you can access by clicking on their name in the activity stream. Finally, when you export your ActionSprout data, you’ll also notice that post engagement data is included so you can import it into the tools where you track your supporters’ engagement profiles.

We capture like and comment engagement regardless of whether a supporter has authorized the ActionSprout app by completing an action, but the information we capture will vary. For example, someone who has simply liked a post but never taken an action before probably won’t have much more than First name and Last name and their Facebook User ID, while someone who has taken an ActionSprout action before will typically have their email address included.

We’re very excited to share this new feature with you. We think it opens up some exciting new possibilities for more effective online organizing with Facebook. There are many creative ways to use post engagement data, but to get you started, here are a few suggestions:

  • Use a few weeks’ worth of data to identify frequent likers/commenters and drop them a personal message (via Facebook if you don’t have their email yet) to thank them for being a champion.

  • Use a list of your most frequently engaged supporters as the seed list for building a Facebook lookalike audience so that you can target ads to people that Facebook thinks are similar to your most frequently engaged supporters.

  • Over time, once a person authorizes the ActionSprout app, export all of the data and get it into your database so you can track their entire engagement with your ActionSprout campaigns.  

Watch Drew give an overview of this new feature. 

If you have feedback, thoughts, questions or suggestions about post engagement data, please leave a comment below, or drop us a line at support@actionsprout.com


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Boost Facebook Post Engagement with ActionSprout Background Campaigns

What if every post you made on your Facebook fan page not only generated likes and shares, but also helped you collect names, email addresses, fan status, and perhaps even a donation now and then? Well, this is exactly what organizations are using ActionSprout to accomplish today.

Many organizations have learned the power of including a simple call to action footer at the end of each Facebook wall post. These often look something like this: “Click LIKE if you agree” or “SHARE to show your support.”  

Call to action footers increase share rates and train your audience to engage with your content. But these generic calls to action don’t result in very clear or meaningful actions, nor can you follow up with people who just like or share a post.

ActionSprout can help you solve this problem through a tactic we call “background campaigns.”  By including an ActionSprout background campaign as part of your call to action footer on all or most of your regular Facebook page posts, you can give your fans something to do that is more directly tied to your mission and your work—and results in more meaningful, measurable data you can use to follow up with people and boost them to higher levels of engagement.

An ActionSprout-powered call to action footer might read something like this: “LIKE honey bees? Show your support here: [ActionSprout campaign link].

ActionSprout background campaigns give you a powerful way to continually engage people, getting contact information and generating viral activity to bring in new supporters. They support all of the engagement you are working for today, but also give your supporters something to do beyond just clicking like or share.

How to create an ActionSprout background campaign

Here’s how you can create an ActionSprout background campaign and keeping it fresh. This is simple, flexible approach that requires virtually no change to how you currently use Facebook.

For most organizations, the ideal ActionSprout background campaign will be a simple ask; one that is a small step up the engagement pyramid from like, share or comment. Often a simple “Support Our Organization,” “Plege,” “Stand With…” or “Help…” action works great. So, if you are working for the organization Save the Honey Bees you’d might create an ActionSprout campaign to “Pledge to plant flowers for the honey bees.” With that background campaign in place, you simply include the campaign link in a call to action at the end of your normal Facebook posts.


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You can vary the way your call to action footer reads on a post to post basis, for example:

“LIKE honeybees? Show your support here: LINK TO CAMPAIGN”

“SHARE our love for bees? Pledge to plant flowers for the bees: LINK TO CAMPAIGN”

When a person clicks through, the background campaign might look something like this:

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In addition, you’ll probably want to create a new ActionSprout background campaign with a slightly different call to action every few weeks, so that your most engaged people have something new to do and share with their friends.

Benefits of ActionSprout background campaigns

An ActionSprout background campaign has a number of benefits:

  1. Background campaigns help train your fan base to be action takers, not just likers and sharers.

  2. You’re giving your most ardent supporters a way to do something beyond just clicking Like, which is good for deepening your relationship with them.

  3. You’ll likely boost your normal/organic engagement with content (like, share, comment) and also slowly start unlocking names and email addresses from your Facebook supporters.

  4. When you do have a piece of content that takes off virally, you won’t have to scramble to create a new ActionSprout campaign—you can just default to your background campaign for initial name capture and engagement.

  5. You can also turn commenting on inside your ActionSprout background campaign; this is a nice way to continue engaging the people after they take action for you.

  6. Page posts that have background campaigns running also allow you to capture people who like or comment on that post… even if they don’t take the action. 


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Seven New Actions Available

Today we released seven brand new actions for use in ActionSprout campaigns. These new actions give your even more flexible and creative ways to engage your supporters with meaningful Facebook campaigns.

Tell a/an friend, candidate, organization, person, company

Demand a/an change, plan, outcome, solution

Ask a/an person, question, company, organization, legislator

Encourage a/an person, legislator, candidate, organization, company, cause

Suggest a/an name, time, idea, response, solution, answer, caption, title

Approve of a/an bill, candidate, initiative, cause, company, organization

Disapprove of a/an bill, candidate, initiative, cause, company, organization

 

We hope you like these new actions and always love hearing your ideas for additional actions we should add. 


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Major ActionSprout upgrade

Today we launched a major upgrade to ActionSprout’s administrative dashboard. You’ll see the new look the next time you log in to create or manage a campaign. We have also rolled out new pricing plans, based on lots of feedback we’ve received over the past few months from our customers. 

The new ActionSprout dashboard makes it easier to set up and manage your social campaigns. It also includes some cool new features that we hope you’ll love:

  • Real time activity status shows you how many people are viewing your campaigns right now and updates in real time as people take action. 
  • Campaign previews to help you see what your campaigns will look like before you publish them. 
  • Better documentation for all our features so you can quickly learn more about it. 
  • Unified campaign view lets you quickly make updates and see the status of your campaign all at once. 
  • All ActionSprout plans now include all our features! No matter which plan you’re on, you’ll now have access to our most advanced features, including online donations, Salesforce sync and email auto responders.

These changes also pave the way for some exciting new features over the next few weeks and months: more integrations with CRM and advocacy platforms, improved campaign analytics, and new configuration options. 

Our new pricing also goes into affect today. Anyone who signed up before today gets a full month free and bunch of extra action credits as our way of saying thanks for helping us perfect ActionSprout. 

We’ve done extensive testing, but as with anything new sometimes things slip through the cracks. So if you find anything isn’t working the way you expect, please don’t hesitate to let us know by using our built-in help or by emailing us directly at support@actionsprout.com


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Here’s a fantastic blog post from “WTF Teen" that got over 10,000 likes.  The question is easy, and your ego demands that you click to prove you know the answer. This isn’t the most socially meaningful example, but it’s a pretty simple technique that you could easily repurpose.