The 2011 Innovate to Motivate Conference
February 8 – 11, 2011
San Antonio, Texas
“I have spoken more than 100,000 audience members at more than 600 conferences. Innovate to Motivate stands out because Amy and her team honor the conference attendees by vigorously seeking their opinions and input during every workshop, way beyond traditional Q & A opportunities. This enhances the overall conference experience and increases learning retention.”
Author, POP!, Tung Fu, and Take the Bully by the Horns
By now you’ve heard all the hype about how Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media tools are changing the advocacy landscape. However, there so much going with these sites that it can be difficult to know where to focus your energy for quantifiable results. This session will focus on the quick and simple things you can do each day this week ramp up the return on your social media investment.
Mike Panetta of the Beekeeper Group is our resident social media guru, and he is leading a workshop where he’ll share specific, actionable ways that you can rev up your social media outreach in just seven days! I interviewed Mike about the common challenges organizations face with their grassroots outreach in the social media realm.
Q: I am amazed at how political involvement professionals can’t stop talking about social media, yet the majority are not active on social networks and if they are, they don?t engage. Why is this happening? What?s the disconnect?
A: I think a lot groups have a little difficulty letting go of the “one-to-many” communication structure they’ve been so used to and don’t realize that social media is really a conversation. Organizations will get out of social media what they put into it.
If it’s just another channel to dump your press releases into, if won’t be as effective as engaging with the audience, soliciting feedback or comments or just being seen as willing to engage in a dialogue. This doesn’t have to take a lot of time, but it is more of an
investment than just sending out email blasts.
Q: Can an organization be too ambitious with its social media agenda? What are some ways that you have seen groups go awry with their social media outreach?
A: Like any communications plan, the use of social media needs a strategy behind it. Most times when thing don’t go “according to plan” it’s because there really wasn’t a plan to begin with. Even if it’s just setting up a Facebook page, there needs to be some
thought about what success looks like, and how to get there.
Before getting a client involved in a social media endeavor I ask them two simple questions: 1) Who are you trying to reach? and 2) What do you want them to do? If a organization can’t definitively answer those questions they have bigger issues to address
than whether or not they should be on Facebook or Twitter.
Q: Now, on the bright side, what is the smartest thing you’ve witnessed in the social media realm as it relates to grassroots legislative issues?
A: Smart groups are using the two-way nature of social media not only to engage with their supporters, but as another channel to deliver messages to elected officials. A posting on Twitter that calls out a specific member of Congress will likely get more attention
than a letter send to the office…because they know it’s public and can be share and “re-tweeted”. The successful groups are also making sure the main functionality of their sites are available via social networking tools – as they know that’s where their members are spending most of their time online.