I thought I knew a lot about social media…

by Karen Topakian

until I attended the Social Media for Non-profits one-day conference yesterday.

Guy Kawasaki told us that we need to be enchanting when we venture into the world of social media. Now I have to be likeable, trustworthy, subtle, intelligent, empowering, fast, transparent, honest, thankful. Thankfully he didn’t include clean in thought, word and deed.

Susan Gordon of Facebook Causes urged us to build community, give people what they want and create excitement and momentum. Our elected officials could benefit from her advice.

JD Lasica of SocialBrite suggested that we follow a three-step program. Get strategic and aligned. Create great content. Use our community.  A three step program seems so much more doable than the traditional 12-step.

The three-member panel on fundraising, (Beth Kanter of the Networked Nonprofit, Susan Gordon of Facebook Causes and Dave Boyce of Fundly) gave me a few things to gnaw on – develop a strategy and stick to it, learn how to be a chop shop: reuse, repurpose, recycle, and a mantra I might just embrace, simplify.

Jonah Sachs of Free Range Studios reminded us to tell stories. Effective interesting stories that include Heroes, Villains and Stakes. Or Freaks, Cheats and Familiars.  If you don’t know what he means, watch two of his more famous pieces, “The Story of Stuff” and “The Meatrix.” Then we’ll talk.

Beth Kanter rounded out the day with her words of wisdom about how to engage “free agent” fundraisers. Organizations need to allow outsiders in and insiders out.

Thank you event producers Darian and Ritu for making my brain full…of great ideas.