Here are my slides from the Convio "Social Media for Social Good" and you can down the presentation slides) I will be co-presenting with Emily Riley, a senior analyst from Jupiter Research. The webinar is sold out, but the folks at Convio are making the recording available if you sign up. More information here.
Given my right brained, non-linear and visual way of presenting ideas, I thought it might be helpful to write up a few notes about the above talk.
Convio asked me to prepare something for organizations that are just getting ready to embrace social media. So, you'll find these points fairly basic. However, I know there is a lot of expertise and knowledge about social media and nonprofit use out there. So, in the spirit of social media, share your brilliant thoughts in the comments. What would you add to this list?
What the heck does Einstein have to do with Social Media?
This idea came to me from Twitter. One thing I've come to appreciate about Twitter is that it allows me to read the thoughts, ideas, and musings of many smart people and thought leaders in many different disciplines. And, if nothing else, Twitter can stimulate creative thinking.
His quote from Einstein was aha moment for me while I was thinking through some of the design for my NTC session and an upcoming webinar sponsored by NTEN and TechSoup in 2009. I also use Flickr as a visual thinking tool and started to search with different key words like "Einstein Blackboard." From this brainstorming, I discovered this image manipulation tool where you can make Einstein write things on his blackboard.
I brainstormed series of equations or theories that represent best practices that nonprofits are using to implement social media. When I mentioned this on Twitter and I got some more ideas from folks I follow, plus Twitter connected me with an Einstein scholar who told me my equations were too simplistic to be described an Einsteinian. (if that's really a word)
However, she did point out that there is real a connection between Einstein and Social Media:
And, at that point you should play a violin piece! Did you know, Einstein was a highly accomplished violin player and kept his vioin in the office so he could play whenever...
New + Tech = Resistance
New + Tech + Education = Adoption
Think about the technology adoption curve. You have early adopters and a big scary chasm before moving towards more mainstreamed adoption of the technology. This pattern is the same no matter the technology. The simple fact is that “Technology Changes, Humans Don’t."
Concerns about adopting social media will no doubt arise. These may include:
- A worry that social media is less controlled than traditional communications - and a lack of trust in letting staff put unchecked material out in public.
- Fear about letting the public comment back "publicly"
- Fear that it will take staff time, there will be little return, and the return will not be as easily measurable as, say, a direct mail piece. Especially in this economy.
The key to crossing the chasm to social media adoption is education, awareness, and discussion internally. This can take place in a variety ways, including brown bag lunches "Facebook Friday," presenting examples from other organization's experiences, or sharing market research data about consumer trends and social media. Think about how you've introduced technology change in your organization in the past and use what works. The important thing is having the conversation.
You'll want to identify easy, simple first projects that flow from your organization’s Internet marketing plan. The best way to think of it is as taking a little chunk of your Internet marketing plan and incorporate a social media piece. You don’t want to create an extra program or extra work, it has to support your existing marketing goals. It has to be focused and set up so you can measure and learn. I’ve heard from lots of nonprofit social media users that their first step was to find a project, what Chris Brogan calls “Social Media Starters”
#2. Use the Rule of Thirds: (1/3 Web + 1/3 One Way + 1/3 Social) = Online Marketing Budget
The rule of thirds is not an Einstein theory, it is actually comes to us from the art world. Applying the rule of thirds photographic composition makes them have more visual interest and impact. You can use the rule of thirds to answer the question. "What percentage of the Internet market budget pie should be allocated to Social Media?" The inspiration for that equation came from Colin Delaney of ePolitics and Laura Quinn from a workshop presented at Craigslist Foundation Nonprofit Bootcamp by (Resource list and Powerpoint here).
The idea is that you need to think about your organization's web presence, one-way communication like email marketing and search engine optimization and finally the social. There is some debate about how to order these components. My own feeling is that social media is not an either/or to email or search engine optimization. That you need to have all three, but you need to take a look at what needs to be improved and try to look for incremental improvements. If you're just starting out with social media, better to start and start small than play catch up later. Don't ignore the other two areas and focus all your energy on social media.
I think NTEN is a terrific example of the rule of thirds. Take a look at their web site (which integrates social media content like their blog and photos from flickr), they have a well-tuned email newsletter they track closely with metrics and have used search engine optimization (and Google Ad Words campaigns) really well - and they have social media presences in specific networks where their members and potential members can be found. They have solidified their social work flow so they're efficient. I hope they share a case study about all this!
#3. Listen First
You can use social media for different objectives. I like to think about this in terms of the amount of time per week (How much time per week does it take to do social media?) and what you can achieve. The objectives below is a nonprofit remix of some of Chris Brogan's ideas and 50 Ways to Use Social Media Organized by Groundswell Objective from Jeremiah Owyang. I like thinking about social media in this way a lot and we've used it for the WeAreMedia tactical modules.
- Listening: If you are new to social media, this should be the objective for your first experiment with social media. You can listen with google alerts, technorati, Twitter search, and RSS readers. The key skill is pattern analysis and of course, using what you find to inform decisions or actions.
- Participate: Once you know what the audience is saying, the next step is to engage in a conversation with them. There are many different tools to support this - from leaving comments on blogs or using twitter. You can also share the impact of your organization's programs through podcasts, sharing photos on Flickr, or videos on YouTube or other video sharing sites. Even better is getting your constituents to share their stories about your organization with others or “user generated content.”
- Share Your Story: You share the impact of your organization's programs through blogging, podcasting, sharing photos on Flickr, or YouTube or other video sharing site. Once you have content created through these methods, it can be easily shared using the buzz tools above through social networks. But even better is getting your constituents to share their stories about your organization with others (which takes more time) (15-20 per week depending on the type of content, number of different ways you're creating it, and skill)
- Generate Buzz: When you share your message with enthusiastic supporters, they in turn may choose to pass it to others with a similar interest in your organization or campaign. The key benefit is that drives traffic. But first, you have to build trust, credibility and -- most importantly -- a relationship with those who might interact with your posted content. Buzz tools include FriendFeed, Twitter, StumbleUpon, and Digg - and of course you add many others to this category that are found in other categories.
- Community Building and Social Networking: If you want to build an online community for knowledge or skill sharing, using social network tools like Ning will help you get there. If you're looking to engage and inspire new supporters, setting up an organizational presence on one of the larger social networks like Facebook or MySpace is an option.
There are different tools and methods that you can use to listen, including free tools like google alerts, technorati, RSS readers, and even Twitter. The important skill set of listening is knowing what key words to use. Once your organization has mastered basic listening skills with free tools, you may consider some of the more advanced tools for listening like Radian 6 and others.
I shared the story about the American Stroke Association's use of Twitter as a listening tool. You can find more stories and lots of tips and resources in the WeAreMedia Listening Module and a really basic primer from the NTEN Social Media Newsletter.
#4 The Right Six People
It’s about finding the right six or seven people – the key influencers in your topic area or discipline. It is a different way of thinking than one to many or email marketing – which is something many are already good at. If you’ve done your listening right, you will have not only have identified them, but started to build relationships with them.
Ari Herzog has found an actual reference to Einstein and this principle in his post, "Why Einstein Matters in Social Networking" and just had to point that out.
I used a visual from one of David Wilcox's presentations to illustrate the principle. The nonprofit story I'm using is from the Capital Area Foodbank in Austin, Texas. If you want to hear the business perspective, the phrase "find the right six or seven people" came from a talk that David Meerman Scott did at the New Marketing Summit. (Check out his free e-book the New Rules of Viral Marketing).
#5 Make Your Content Easy To Remix
This point is about user-generated content and the key to getting people to participate: Make it easy, fun, and simple. (The inspiration comes from a combination of Mel Brooks and Staple's easy buttons.) I point out two good examples, the Hunger is Unacceptable Campaign (which uses the hold the sign meme -- the first one I ever did was in December 2005 for Netsquared) and the Humane Society's LOL Seals. There are more tips for user-generated content here and lots of nonprofit examples and resources in the WeAreMedia "Share Your Story" module.
#6 Hours per week x number of weeks = results
The point is that social media takes time to see results and there isn't instant gratification. I've pulled some examples from Danielle Brigidia's excellent slideshow about using social media to increase web traffic to illustrate this point.
#7 Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts
This is an actual quote from Einstein. I'm not saying that you shouldn't use quantitative metrics. What am saying is that you need to focus on the right metrics to use AND in addition to demonstrating impact, you need to use metrics to figure out what is working and what isn't and revise. Also, sometimes qualitative information and intangible benefits can be valuable, although they can't necessarily be counted.
The example I'm using is an excerpt from a blog benchmarking process and presentation that I gave at e-metrics conference in October. I contributed the chapter on ROI in the forthcoming Managing Technology for your Mission Book and over the next few months will doing workshops that extend these concepts and techniques to Social Media, so stay tuned.
Now it is your turn. What's your brilliant nonprofit social marketing thought?
Update: Questions that weren't answered during the Webinar, we wrote answers here.