Archives for February 2010

Feb 11

Telling Your Story


This past weekend, Weber Shandwick's Minneapolis office hosted our 18th annual Telling Your Story workshop for nonprofits.

More than 40 organizations joined the seminar – with participants coming from across the Midwest. They met with Weber Shandwick colleagues to discuss their communications challenges, and share ideas for engaging advocates via traditional and social media to help tell their organizations’ stories.

Feel free to review the materials from this weekend’s workshop. If you have questions or would like more information on the workshop, please contact Julie Hurbanis.

Telling Your Story Workbook 2010


Feb 4

Your voice on social media

David Leavitt

Social Impact is attending Social Media Week in New York. We'll be sharing some insights from this conference here on this blog.

When an organization engages in conversation on social media sites, it is important to let the voice come from the individuals within the organization. That was the lesson today at Social Media Week.

As an example, Meebo CEO Seth Sternberg called out Best Buy’s @Twelpforce team, in which tweeting Best Buy employees help customers and offer technology advice. (We work with Best Buy, although not on this project.) Rather than speak as “Best Buy The Electronics Retail Giant,” each tweet comes from an individual within the company.

We all respond better to other people than to faceless voices. The lesson is that personal attention is what fosters more engagement in the social media space. 


Feb 4

Tapping into your social graph

David Leavitt

Social Impact is attending Social Media Week in New York. We'll be sharing some insights from this conference here on this blog.

For much of the last decade, foundations and nonprofits (like the rest of the online community) spent a lot of time thinking about search engine optimization – and for good reason. After all, a significant share of traffic to their sites comes from Google organic searches.

Now it’s time to think about social graph optimization as well. A social graph is the online representation of our relationships and behaviors on the social Web. The idea here is to take stock of the fans of your social media channels and use the information about their common interests to increase your visibility in that space. 

As you know, friends of your supporters/donors are more likely than the rest of the general public to become supporters/donors themselves. In order to motivate your fans to tell their own friends about the great work you’re doing, it’s important to get to know them. As for the data itself, there’s plenty of it. In fact, according to several Social Media Week panelists today, there was more recorded data in 2009 than in the entire history of humankind.

Conference attendees heard today from Mark Ghuneim, founder of Trendrr, which is one of the services collecting social graph data – but in fact there are many other options depending on your needs. As always, let us know if we can help you in this area.


Feb 3

With social media, you get what you pay for

David Leavitt

Social Impact is attending Social Media Week in New York. We'll be sharing some insights from this conference here on this blog.   

A central theme of this conference has been the idea that when it comes to social media, you get what you pay for. 

There is a common misconception that “social media is free.” But as I mentioned yesterday, social media channels can offer far more visibility for a nonprofit than their own Web page, and resources should be shifted accordingly. A professional and sophisticated social media presence isn’t something to rush into, nor is it something to hand off to an intern as an afterthought.

Meanwhile, there's a shared feeling at Social Media Week that the hot trends of 2010 will be applications involving augmented reality and location services. We'll be sure to keep an eye on these emerging tools as they develop. 


Feb 2

Which gets more visibility — your Web site or Facebook fan page?

David Leavitt

Social Impact is attending Social Media Week in New York. We'll be sharing some insights from this conference here on this blog. 

News organizations and relief groups met yesterday for a discussion about the role of social media during and in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake.

Jason Cone of Doctors Without Borders credited Twitter and Facebook with "helping us overcome obstacles on the ground." The organization's Facebook page quickly jumped from 70,000 fans before the earthquake to over 200,000 today. Cone pointed out that Facebook "has quickly outstripped the visibility we have on our own Web site."

The lesson for nonprofits is to give the same attention and resources (or more) to the content and functionality of their social media channels as they would their Web site, given that it often reaches far more people.

Feb 1

Social Media Week to feature advice for nonprofits and foundations

David Leavitt

Hello from New York, which along with several other cities around the world is hosting the second-annual Social Media Week. Much of the week will focus on how nonprofits and foundations use social media to advance their brand building and advocacy goals, and we'll be sure to share some of the insights that come out of this conference. 

At the opening session, GOOD Inc. co-founder Max Schorr talked about how the discussion over foundations and giving has changed over the last few years. "It's not just about philanthropy anymore," he said. "It's about culture engagement and being relevant."

Coinciding with the opening session today was the launch of the voting process of the Pepsi Refresh Project, which is a project that our team has helped to put together in which the beverage giant is giving away $20 million in grants in 2010. The effort has gotten a fair amount of media attention, and Beth Kanter featured a guest blog post today from Pepsi's global director of digital and social media. Pepsi is also partnering with Facebook for a live "Great Ideas Brainstorm" with Kevin Bacon and Demi Moore.

But is Facebook still the best way to reach young people? After all, didn't it lose its "cool" factor once everyone's parents started joining? 

With Facebook's audience heading toward the 400 million mark, Facebook Vice President Fabio Freyre made clear that young people are still engaged on Facebook at high levels. We've never been stronger" with people aged 13-21, he said, adding: "They are not migrating away because their parents are on it." 

And as it happens, a 14-year-old is in the lead in the voting right now for one of the Pepsi Refresh grants.


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