According to the NY Times, there are 1.97 billion internet users worldwide, and 266.2 million in North America alone. 600 million people worldwide have Facebook accounts, and over 25 billion tweets were tweeted last year.
Simply put, it is no longer something we can ignore. But where do we start? Here’s some food for thought from The Loud Few: Is social media right for me?
Some of you have started social media accounts and have gotten frustrated by lack of results. If so, take a look at Six Reasons Why You’re being Social Media Ignored.
To polish up on your copywriting skills, check out www.copyblogger.com. This blog is the standard for information on writing persuasive blogs, attracting customers, and writing amazing copy.
Finally, if you want some ideas of how to get started, take a look at people who are using social media well and take a move out of their playbooks.
Tom Howe teaches a great seminar at Mercy Corps Northwest on Social Media Marketing. But sign up soon, this one fills up quickly!
Last week Benjamin Tomkins came in for another round of small business social media, this time focusing specifically on Facebook. But his work started long before 6pm on April 13th. A couple weeks before class, he started a group page for the class on Facebook, and asked participants to join, introduce themselves, and talk about what they were coming to the class to learn.
They were able to get to know Ben and his expertise a little before they came to the class, and he was able to tailor his content based on what people said they needed. It made a great link between the class content and finding an effective, interactive way to present it.
One of the participants in the evaluations wrote that “I brought my laptop, and I’ve already started using it in class!”
He even inspired us to get our act together and make a Mercy Corps Northwest Facebook page, created just this week.
Mercy Corps Northwest receives significant, meaningful support from volunteers with skills in various private sector professions, so we are excited to hear from panelists in the “Bringing Human and Financial Capital to Social Change” discussion. It will be interesting to learn of other ways to involve talented, experienced people looking to make an impact.
Please join us at the ReVisioning Value Conference next Monday and Tuesday. Mercy Corps NW members receive 20% off by using the Discount Code: MERCYCORPSNW. You can register online at http://www.revisioningvalue.org or call 503.226.2377.
Bringing Human and Financial Capital to Social Change: Encore Innovation
PANEL: Jim Emerman, Executive VP, Civic Ventures; Yvonne Hunt, Chief Philanthropy Officer, Legacy Ventures and past VP of Global Philanthropy for HP; Leslye Louie, National Director, Encore Fellowships Network
Hear about new partnerships that are bringing human capital to the social innovation ecosystem by tapping the talent of boomers who want to move from success to significance by transferring their skills to social ventures. Through uniquely funded fellowships, corporate talent transitions to social purpose organizations through on-site experience that demonstrates the value and transferability of their skills, making a significant contribution to real impact.
ReVisioning Value | ReVV 2010: The Intersection of Purpose and Profit
Presented by Springboard Innovation
April 26-27th in Portland, Oregon
ReVV 2010 will bring together leaders from the varied fields of impact investing and social innovation to share how new models for both are increasing the flow of capital to the creation of a more just and sustainable world. The one day conference is followed by a day of hands-on workshops and strategic action roundtables designed to help participants apply the ideas offered at the conference to their own organizations and to create real tools and strategies as an outcome.
Jessica Jackley, co-founder of Kiva.org- the world’s first peer-to-peer online microlending website – will be speaking on April 12th in Portland. In 2009 she started ProFounder, an online platform specifically for US entrepreneurs to leverage capital for their businesses from a community of investors, including friends, family and connections through social media networks.
Our Executive Director, John Haines, will be introducing her on the 12th. Kiva.org is one of the organizations we’ve been looking at as we explore the possibilities for community social investment here in Portland with our small business clients. The ReVisioning 2010 Conference is going to be another good chance to explore those ideas at the end of April. If you want to join in on that conversation, you can register for the conference at revisioningvalue.org. We have a code for a 20% discount (ask Anu at email@example.com for it). More information about Jessica’s presentation is at the Mercy Corps Action Center site.
Power, Change and Money: The Phenomenon of Kiva.org
Monday, April 12, 2010, 7:30 pm (doors open at 6:30 pm)
First Baptist Church, SW 12th and Taylor, Portland
Purchase tickets ($20.00) at www.illahee.org/lectures/tickets2010 or call 503-222-2719
I’ve committed a rookie social media mistake by not keeping up on updating. It’s no good if lack of activity on a blog would seem to imply lack of activity within in an organization. But of course, that’s not actually the case!
Last Tuesday, December 1st, we had an hour-long social media class with Taylor Ellwood. He went over some of the reasons businesses should be on social media, and also went into some of the demographic details of who’s on social networking sites to remind people that their marketing should be focused on their target market, and if their customers aren’t likely to be on social media, then it may not be worthwhile. His most important message, as emphasized by our other social media presenters, Peter Korchnak and Benjamin Tomkins, is that time and consistency are the investments you need to make when starting a social media presence. He pointed participants to some practical resources to help make them manage their presence online, like ping.fm
Our class on the 7th with Peter Korchak had to be postponed, but Peter hopes to be back talking about green marketing in February.
Tomorrow night we’re doing a potluck gathering with clients. People are bringing all kinds of treats to eat (fruit, banana bread, quinoa, etc), and they’re also going to be vending some of their wares. We have a guest musician, Kyrstyn Pixton, who’ll be playing some nice music, and hopefully a nice warm holiday atmosphere going on. We’re excited!
And as for January classes… we’ve got a lot in the works. We just need to set some dates and we’ll be on a roll.
to build a better community … connect and share enthusiasm … find out customers’ needs … educate … draw people into our main site …. build brand loyalty …
Monday night Benjamin Tomkins helped us all parse through the reasons why small businesses so desperately wanted to start tweeting (twittering) or facebooking or yelping – reasons a little more meaningful other than the nagging feeling that social media is a hot topic and we all need to be in on it.
He started off the evening by pointing out that our class itself was a social network, and had everyone introduce themselves, their businesses, and their experience with social media. With 22 participants, it took a little bit of time, but afterward people were able to give each other advice and talk about each others’ businesses as examples.
He went on to talk about the multitudes of social media options out there, and like one of our other presenters, Peter Korchnak, he emphasized that effective social media marketing meant being efficient and consistent with your time and effort. He gave examples from his own experience consulting, and encouraged participants to break into small groups to come up with their own.
He even was so thoughtful as to share the slideshow from the night’s presentation online. It’s embedded below, and also at http://bit.ly/4qPl5N.
And what do people want after this particular social media class?
“An extension of this one”, “another (level 2) social media class with the same teacher”, and “more marketing”.
Okay, Ben… we’ll be calling you back for more!
We’re still going ahead with next week’s legal issues seminar presented by Eric Helmy of the Northwest Business Law Clinic. So far we’ve got 10 people signed up. We get so many questions about legal matters that we can only tell clients that as non-lawyers, we’re truly not qualified to answer. But now’s their chance to hear from the guy with the real expertise, happening Tuesday, October 27th from 6-7:30pm.
Coming up the week after, in November (it’s already almost November?!) we have Benjamin Tomkins talking about social network marketing. Benjamin is a journalist and media consultant with 15 years of experience engaging audiences in print and online, and he’ll be covering different social media tools and applications, and how to measure and use online marketing campaigns. He’ll be with us on Monday November 2nd from 6-8pm.
Finally we’ve got a special seminar specifically for our clients working on business plan follow-up with Yolanda Karp, a business consultant. She’ll be working with a small group of our Foundations class participants on Thursday November 19th to fine-tune and solidify the business plans they’ve been developing during their 6-week long Foundations program.
Our Blogging 101 class took place last Monday, the 5th, with 16 participants and our speaker, Peter Korchnak of Semiosis Communications. Peter went through the details of blogging, from an overview of what a blog is, to some resources and sites to set one up, and finally, the specifics of how to go about using it for your business.
Participants said that one of the most useful things they learned was to look at time, rather than money, as the investment they’re making with a blog. Peter emphasized that consistency is key, and he shook his finger at those who pick a catchy blog name and write a post or two and then abandon it (there was some guilty shuffling here, this humble would-be blogger included).
So, from their evaluations, it sounds like they left more aware of the regular and consistent maintenance necessary for a successful blog. But, as one participant noted, they also left with an understanding of “how fun blogs can be!” And that’s such an important thing to remember too… why would you put so much of your time and yourself into something if it wasn’t fun?
It’s clear Peter has a lot of fun with his blog – he talks about shows he watches, lines from movies, and asks his readers for their thoughts. Plus he has a really cool revolving tag cloud, and you can’t get much more fun than that. You can visit Peter’s blog at www.semiosiscommunications.com to see for yourself.
October is almost upon us, but we’ve kept ourselves pretty busy this September at Mercy Corps Northwest.
The biggest event was our move into our new building on September 14th. We’re now sharing a space with the rest of Mercy Corps in the old Skidmore Fountain building at 43 SW Naito in downtown Portland. One of the most exciting things about the move is our new and improved classroom space.
We kicked off the move with a seminar on using social media for marketing, presented by Peter Korchnak of Semiosis Communications. We got a little blurb in the Oregonian’s business calendar, and had a full class with 19 participants. Despite it being the very first day in the classroom and few technical issues, it was a productive class. Peter went over some of the different social media forms – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc, and talked about how to be effective on those sites as a busy small business owner. The class did make us realize that the topic of social media is a huge one, and people are coming at from all different levels and for different purposes, and so for the future, we’re going to try to break it down a little more and be more specific about what the seminar will be covering.
Our second seminar of the month was with Susan Rich of RichWriting Inc, who did a concise hour-long workshop on how to write effectively on the Internet called Write it Rich!. We had 15 people attend this class, and I saw a lot of participants writing down notes on the handout she gave, and we got some good feedback afterward:
“I have been to many seminars, and Susan was very, very, very good!” – a participant.
All in all we’ve started off our educational programs in the new building with some great seminars, and we’re looking forward to more soon in October as well.
- #pdx this week: #healthcare expert Adrianne Hutchins treats the growing pains of #smallbiz #startup goo.gl/pHYvl1 2 days ago
- RT @devan_brown2: They caught me! RT @rswaneygocougs Go @devan_brown2! (Spotted outside of @mercycorpsnw) http://t.co/taYVakEPSL 5 days ago
- Celebrate! Grant participant Foster Row's grand opening 7/26 goo.gl/adGSt9 #upcomingevents #pdx #makerspaces 1 week ago
- Go go gadget.. affordable #healthcare for #smallbusiness goo.gl/pHYvl1 #upcomingevent #pdx 1 week ago
- Tomorrow night - The surprising ways your small business can benefit from Google+ goo.gl/fi5duh 1 week ago
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