Social Media for Social Good

I’m starting out the new year right, recapping Convio‘s webinar on new media for nonprofits. Emily Riley of Forrester Research and Beth Kanter of Beth’s Blog discuss the vast spread of knowledge via the web and its new tools.

* It’s not just for youth! Soon, they too will have less time to spend interacting online, while older age cohorts adopt more tools and make more time for them.

* There’s public content and personal content that can overlap (like an organizational Facebook page), but be sure to meet your stakeholders in the right space. Who do your staff or key volunteers influence?? That’s the confluence of the public and personal! Note that influentials influence, and aren’t necessarily active social media initiators…e.g. maybe your friends look to your non-profit expertise when they are looking to volunteer but are you the same kind of person who will create and upload a video about the MLK Day project? I know I’m an influencer, but not as much of an initiator.

* Interacting with people via social media is just like reaching them through banner ads or enewsletter, and should be perceived as just one option in your outreach strategy. First, listen. Figure out what the ‘vibe’ is before you jump in. And be real–don’t make up stuff or be ingenious. Get to know your interacters–reply, react, interact!

* To overcome resistance, educate! You know the early adopters? You may even be one. But they don’t count–there’s all that follows–the early majority, the late majority and the laggards are who you should think about capturing, so it’s not too late! ‘Facebook Friday’ or other catchy ideas can bring your organization on board.

* How is social media like an Impressionist painting? If you look at the whole, it depicts something. Looking up close is like listening–carving out the individual points and seeing how the seemingly irrelevant or negative comment inspires participation!

* This one’s harder–make it easy to mix up content. Photo-sharing sites have untapped potential; we need to get creative. So, if you’re going to be on TV, hold up a sign about your mission that’s posted to your org’s Flickr account. People watching who search for your organization might find and be inspired to contribute.

* Think about your ROI. Some metrics tools: GoogleAnalytics, aideRSS, measure quantity of contributors or conversations, or simply track your time spent, and here’s an article on measuring Twitter. KD Paine also blogs about emetrics.

* Convert your online influentials to offline influentials. Can they take their laptop to a meeting and demonstrate online giving or your blog? How else?? Does this work in reverse? Could you educate your offline influentials in new media as a benefit to their service?

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