On August 22nd, in conjunction with my work with the Los Angeles nonprofit, Project Return Peer Support Network, I had the good fortune to participate in the all-day Social Media for Nonprofits conference at UCLA. I have been to many music, tv/film, and tech conferences over the years and this was exceptional on many levels.
The event was packed with great presentations, case studies, tools, tips, and wonderful people committed to using technology for social good. Co-producer Darian Rodriguez Heyman did a masterful job as MC, bridging the non-stop presentations with helpful, targeted summaries. His closing remarks tied everything together and he seemed to have as much energy and focus at the end of the day as he did at 9 a.m.
Presenters included: J.D. Lasica, founder of Socialbrite, Evan Bailyn, Founder of First Page Sage and Good Media Company, Holly Ross, Executive Director of NTEN, Bryan Breckenridge, Head of Nonprofit Solutions, Linked In, Charles Porch, Consumer Marketing, Facebook, Matt Mahan, VP of Social Impact, Causes, Brian Fujito, CEO Razoo, Dave Boyce, CEO Fundly, Joel Bartlett, Director of Marketing, PETA, and a panel discussion featuring, Geoff Livingston, Filiberto Gonzalez and Nedra Weinreich. Each presentation was available online within minutes . You can find the day’s robust tweet stream but searching on hashtag, #sm4np.
Takeaways: Big Ideas, Targeted Tools & Granular Data
No social media event would be complete without continual reference to Big Ideas like “Engagement” and “Authenticity”. The social media world is rapidly maturing and each day these high concept terms are demonstrated concretely, with results that are making a huge positive impact on the world.
Tools and opportunities multiply at a dizzying rate. I am continually inspired and amazed by the evolution of social media communication technologies. Just a few of the things I will be digging into include Netvibes RSS dashboard, Tech Soup (software and hardware for nonprofits), and video slideshow sites, Animoto and Stupeflix which make digital storytelling simpler than ever.
Metrics and data tracking were discussed at length, particularly in relation to fundraising. The importance of tracking metrics can’t be over-emphasized. At one point Darian Rodriguez Heyman mentioned a nonprofit that saw an immediate 30% increase in donations when they changed the color of their ‘Donate’ button from grey to red! I am sure neuroscientists can explain this phenomena, but the important thing is that robust data is available to everyone. Experiment and find what works for your organization.
All said, this was an inspiring and educational day and I made many new friends. Pay attention to Social Media for Nonprofits and check them out when they hit your town.
Were you at Monday’s event? Was it helpful for your organization?