Social Media for Nonprofits — Washington, DC19 Jul, 2013 | 3 Comments
It was a day, brimming with excitement and opportunity — how unusual for a Monday!
Thanks to our amazing partners over at We-care.com, Ben and I were able to attend Social Media for Nonprofit’s conference in our nation’s capital.
Jim Gibbons from Goodwill Industries International didn’t just talk about the Goodwill’s impact upon people’s lives. He talked about how he also struggled to achieve a standard of living, as a young, sightless, educated man of engineering. However, through determination and a lot of help from loved ones, he found a job during the summer of his sophomore year at college — as a janitor.
Damnit, was he proud and said so with the following:
Every job matters because people depend on you. (Click to Tweet)
I was moved and so was the audience. Jim leveled with the audience by insisting that our missions should be: real, relevant and getting results. Our social media content should not be any different.
Ritu Sharma, from Social Media for Nonprofits, followed with a strategy for using social media to increase ticket sales of your next event. I’ve talked about ROI before on this blog and mentioned — echoing Gary Vaynerchuk — that social media’s ROI had a monetary value which cannot be calculated.
Ritu didn’t contradict Gary, but said that social media has powerful ROI for maximizing ticket sales at events. She went on to discuss the ticketing life cycle, content calendars, creating registration pages, continuing the event’s conversation via social media platforms and tracking your ticket sales. Her presentation was highly relevant, provided practical advice and demystified a lot of the purposes behind social media that greatly benefited me — to say the least.
Enough of the new school stuff — let’s talk about email. Gina Watkins from Constant Contact talked about how email is still the most effective form of digital marketing in so far as you get your audience to DO something. Thus, make your DO, your ASK: clear in TWO seconds because research shows, according to Gina, that as a marketer that’s all the amount of time you’ve got.
Win the battle over your reader’s priorities.
Story telling — man’s ancient ritual — has a home on social media. Peter Panepento from The Chronicle of Philanthropy didn’t just talk about the value of a nonprofit, telling its story. He not only gave us examples of excellent story telling, he suggested ways nonprofits can elicit emotional stories from its staff and those the organization impacts.
He even suggested going viral with your failures!
Are you still doubting the ROI of social media?
Let Gloria Huang from American Red Cross tell you about its Social Media Command Center. Not only does the American Red Cross utilize social media to engage with its constituents, it also uses social media in times of crisis. In her part of the lecture series, she diligently goes through examples of how twitter has been the most efficient tool for immediately appropriate information that potentially saves lives.
Why don’t you like me?
Don’t ask me — ask Carie Lewis from The Humane Society of the United States. Carie was hands down one of the most impressive speakers because she just spoke about one thing: facebook. How many posts should you do in a given time, how you should schedule them and under what category, to what topic should you tailor your content…she was brilliant.
Forget about two seconds to grab someone’s attention. Grab attention in an instant. Sara Van Velsor from Ogilvy Washington went through the visual aspect of your social media content. She addressed the increasing trend of the visual web and talked about using this trend to engage your audience more effectively.
Sadly our hero from Fundly — Dave Boyce — had an emergency and could not attend. I sincerely hope you and your loved ones are well, Dave.
I would like to end this post with a question: what are your challenges with social media as an organization? How have you been using these platforms? Please comment below.