From July to January I was helping Beth Kanter co-moderate social media metrics training webinars, and I wanted to write a post about how much I learned during the experience. Not just about conducting a webinar and monitoring the chat function, which did take some getting used to since everything was going so fast in real time. But more importantly, about the relevance of peer learning and knowledge sharing, and of measuring your social media efforts in order to optimize successes and to move on more quickly after failures. There, I said that big F-word.
Many of the participants were relieved to know that it’s ok to take baby steps and even if you feel behind the game, you can start somewhere and effectively track your progress. Most of the weeks, Beth would share her slides but there were also many opportunities for participants to present on their own pilot projects. It was a great privilege to get an insider view of different organization’s initiatives and hearing firsthand how things may have worked or didn’t work. From big organizations to small, from seasoned players to beginners, everyone had some insights to share and lessons to learn. Once they could share these openly in our group, they could be more clear on what further actions they needed to take.
Although the webinars were only available to select participants, all of the resources are available to the public on the Measuring the Networked Nonprofit Peer Exchange wiki and I suggest you check it out. You can even listen to the recordings. There is a wealth of knowledge stored in these pages. If you find it useful, please re-use and attribute.
One of my favorite presentations was by Second Harvest Food Bank, who decided quite spontaneously to create a Thanksgiving food donation campaign playing off of the cute animal meme which is popular in social media. They invented a character called Percy the Turkey to champion their cause, and were surprised at his impact. Read more about it in Beth’s post on Cute Animal and Nonprofit Tales.