Yesterday I attended the Social Media for Nonprofits Conference in Boston (well, Cambridge) and I wasn’t disappointed.
This year’s line-up of speakers and variety of content was packed with experts and helpful topics.
If you missed it, make sure to sign up at the Social Media for Nonprofits website to get updates on upcoming events. (All the presentations I reference below can be found on SM4NP’s SlideShare channel.)
Here my quick top 10 best ideas that nonprofit organizations can take away from this year’s conference:
1) Darian and Ritu always start the conference with a high energy video chock full of statistics on online marketing and social media. Here it is:
2) Debra Askanase of Community Organizer 2.0 encouraged nonprofits to work within their budgets when hiring social media staff or diverting resources to social media management. For example, if you only have five hours of staff time to dedicate per week to social media, it is not realistic to think you are going to be able to accomplish a lot. The key is to think of what is possible if you had more resources to dedicate towards social media – dream big!
3) In answer to the frequently asked question “What should I write/post/tweet about for my nonprofit?” Corissa St. Laurent of Constant Contact advised that you share information that people want to know about. Think about the types of information (statistics, stories, photos) that your nonprofit has access to that your donors and supporters do not. How can you teach them, educate and inform them on this topic that is close to their hearts?
4) John Haydon presented 7 Cheat Codes for Nonprofit Facebook Pages, all of which you should execute on your page immediately. A big highlight of the presentation was the example of the enraging Humane Society post (below) which fulfills at least one of the three top emotions behind sharing on Facebook – anger, awe and anxiety.
5) Two more great takeaways from John’s presentation – Don’t post photos, post stories (more on that in this blog post) and “only promote awesome” (meaning only promote your most successful posts rather than the ones that fell flat) when paying to promote specific Facebook posts on your nonprofit’s page.
6) I mentioned this last year but it bears repeating – Social Media for Nonprofits co-founder and former Craigslist Foundation ED Darian Rodriguez Heyman’s catchy equation for social media success – C + C + C = C. Social media messages and content must be Compelling, Concise and Credible in order to become Contagious.
7) Sarah Durham of Big Duck NYC compared your social media presence to a big party, and asked the vital question: “How do you host a party worth showing up for?” She used the example of the small nonprofit NTEN, which has just 12 full time staff. NTEN uses their fantastic Community Values to inform all of their content. Another big factor in their success online is that the employees are empowered to speak on the organization’s behalf.
8) Kevin Lee, CEO, We-Care.com and Ettoré Rossetti, Director, Internet Marketing & Social Media, Save the Children answered the question of how to have fun on social media. While your nonprofit may not be able to engage huge celebrities like Justin Bieber and Bob Marley’s family, you can always be inspired by their work and the ways they have leveraged celebrity and online influencers for their cause.
9) Online giving may currently be only 8% of total giving, but it is the fastest growing segment of fundraising, increasing by 35%-55% per year (Blackbaud). Nothing to sneeze at!
10) Ritu Sharma, Co-Founder & Executive Director of Social Media for Nonprofits, gave a presentation on how to use social media to promote your events. A great nugget of information is to use Twitter Direct Messages sparingly and strategically to promote your event to your most influential Twitter followers (they must be following you to send a Direct Message).
I love attending these conferences – I always leave inspired and rejuvenated, with lots of fresh ideas and perspective on my work and how I can help my nonprofit clients.
Did you attend the SM4NP Conference in Boston or elsewhere? What did you think? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section!