Social Media Case Studies, Social Media Strategy, Social Media Marketing, Twitter Top 20 Interviews

Beth Kanter – The Twitter 20 Interview on Social Media and Social Change

beth kanter twitter interview 300x203 Beth Kanter   The Twitter 20 Interview on Social Media and Social ChangeBeth Kanter is perhaps the best-known, most-respected voice in the world on the subject of using technology in a non-profit setting. A consultant to non-profits since 1993, her blog is consistently ranked as one of the best in marketing – and for good reason. It’s full of the kind of practical, tangible, viable advice that all organizations (not just non-profits) need in these crazy days of social media.

Named by Fast Company Magazine as one of the most influential women in technology, Beth participated in a live Twitter interview on July 14, 2009, covering a wide range of ideas and best practices for harnessing social media for social good.

1. @jaybaer: Does social media represent an evolution for non-profits, or a revolution? Does it change the game?

  • @kanter: In some ways, a revolution because it requires a change of culture to adopt in some cases.
  • Many non-profits are used to the “tower model” of working, not the cloud – that’s the game changer

2. @jaybaer: Is social media better used to humanize non-profits to create understanding of their services, or better used to mobilize?

  • @kanter: I think both and that order, humanize first, mobilize second. You have to develop relationships first.

3. @jaybaer: Does social media work better as a campaign for non-profits, or as an ongoing program?

  • @kanter: It needs to be an ongoing relationship building effort – versus campaign. To be effective you build your network.
  • You need to avoid treating supporters/donors like ATM machines.
  • Here’s a post on organizational relationship models my colleague @peterdeitz has great thinking on this

4. @jaybaer: Is the messenger as important as the message? Seems like the asker is a critical component in social media for social good.

  • @kanter:  Yes, but I would not use word “messenger” — perhaps network weaver, community builder, evangelist, fan is more accurate.

5. @jaybaer: To that end, many people struggle with blending of personal/professional. Isn’t that blend required for personal appeals?

  • @kanter: Yes, a blend is important, that’s why it necessary to have a social media philosophy – see Red Cross http://bit.ly/XObe7
  • @redcross strategy is brilliant – encouraging people to be ambassadors, provides personal guidelines.

6. @jaybaer: Social media levels playing field, but w/ so many NPOs jumping in, does it create dissonance for donors? How do they parse?

  • @kanter: You’re describing “issue fatigue” a hot topic @socialedge a few months back. http://bit.ly/15PTlt
  • And the cure is to get back to relationship building, and building the network before it is needed.

7. @jaybaer: Similar to what’s happening w/ Social CRM, do you encourage NPOs to add social media interactions to their database? How?

  • @kanter: Social CRM for nonprofits – it’s in the early adopter stage – those that have their CRM in good shape have a leg up.
  • There is a nonprofit version of salesforce, I suspect that will be a solution for some.

8. @jaybaer: Do you see local NPOs generating more out-of-market connections & donors due to social media outreach? Is that a benefit?

  • @kanter: Yes, local NPOs generate new donors, connections via social media – a key benefit.
  • Here’s an example from @staceymonk tweetsgiving last year – 90% new donors

9. @jaybaer: How do you feel about Facebook? Seems a natural for many NPOs. Concerns about too many eggs in that basket?

10. @jaybaer: I’m seeing some NPOs neglect their Web presence due to excitement about social media. Do you agree? Remedy?

11. @jaybaer: Most NPOs are resource constrained. Yet, social media requires a lot of blocking and tackling. How do you make it work?

  • @kanter: Suggest starting slowly, incrementally with listening 5 hours per week. I suggest don’t do it if you don’t have time.
  • About the time issue, here’s a post I wrote a while back re: time – it is still relevant.

12. @jaybaer: You write a lot about matching social media tools to the audience. How can NPOs best do that research? Donor surveys?

  • @kanter: Matching strategy to audience – research should be surveys, focus groups, secondary, and monitoring
  • One good thing for nonprofits, there’s lots of free research available.

13. @jaybaer: Social media is inextricably linked with inbound marketing. How important is search engine savvy for NPOs today?

  • @kanter: SEO is very important for nonprofit marketing plans – part of the rule of thirds (Web site, social media, SEO).
  • My colleague @jcolman who has worked with non-profits on SEO – has a wonderful deck on that topic. http://bit.ly/qAmvd

14. @jaybaer: NPOs have a lot of interactions w/donors & customers. It’s not perfect. Should NPOs have a social media crisis plan?

  • @kanter: hmm .. social media crisis plan for nonprofits, good question — important for those with communications mission (@redcross, for example)

15. @jaybaer: You’ve done a lot of work and contributed to a lot of wikis. How can orgs use wikis and crowd-sourcing more effectively?

16. @jaybaer: Much of your wiki is great stuff from your head. Some consultants fear giving away the “secret sauce” for free. Not you?

  • @kanter: I’ve found that openness and giving away knowledge leads to more opportunities.
  • I’m a Creative Commons advocate – some more thoughts on setting ideas free.

17. @jaybaer: You wrote for the upcoming book Psychology of Facebook. What’s the key takeaway? (We’ll still buy it)

  • @kanter: Still waiting for the publication! Key takeaways = a critique of the interaction design and better strategy for NPOs.
  • This post sparked the chapter I contributed.

18. @jaybaer: You speak at a lot of conferences. What makes a great event these days?

  • @kanter: Great speakers, lots of interaction, creative use of tech (e.g. backchannels), and networking opportunities.
  • And about backchannels at conferences http://bit.ly/127FaR (read this, it’s an amazing post) – jb

19. @jaybaer: Congrats on being named 1 of the most influential women in tech by Fast Company. Richly deserved. How does that feel?

20. @jaybaer: You’re now the visiting scholar for the Packard Foundation. What does that entail? Will we see less of you? icon sad Beth Kanter   The Twitter 20 Interview on Social Media and Social Change

  • @kanter: Been working as scholar since March – here’s a blog post about it. It’s been an amazing learning experience.

Wow. By FAR, the most links to other amazing resources of any Twitter 20 interview to-date. It’s like an interview and wiki mash-up. Great job by Beth Kanter. Thanks to all who tuned in.

What was your favorite answer by Beth? Mine was “Facebook is a friend raising tool, not a fundraising tool.” I’ll be using that one again. You?

(photo of Beth by JD Lasica)

  • http://jonnewman.typepad.com/jons_bridge/ Jon Newman

    Jason,

    Thanks for doing this and thanks for Beth for her insight. She is right on with the network building message. It’s about relationships that groups can call on later for volunteer efforts, etc. that really work for NPs.
    .-= Jon Newman´s last blog ..A new home =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jason Baer

      Thanks Jon. I always appreciate your support. Beth is 100% right. You have to build relationships before you need them. Can’t be a one-night stand. It’s true for business, non-profits, and people.

  • http://jonnewman.typepad.com/jons_bridge/ Jon Newman

    Jason,

    Thanks for doing this and thanks for Beth for her insight. She is right on with the network building message. It’s about relationships that groups can call on later for volunteer efforts, etc. that really work for NPs.
    .-= Jon Newman´s last blog ..A new home =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jason Baer

      Thanks Jon. I always appreciate your support. Beth is 100% right. You have to build relationships before you need them. Can’t be a one-night stand. It’s true for business, non-profits, and people.

  • http://www.spiral16.com/blog whitney

    Jay – Thank you so much for this TWT20! My friends and I organize a fundraiser for a Kansas City charity (Operation Breakthrough) The budget comes out of our pockets, so social media is our best way to communicate with ticket buyers.

    Because of that, I love what Beth had to say on building community and relationships first. My group of friends and I believe in a strong relationship with our city and community, but in the party’s first year we didn’t expect a huge crowd. We were thrilled to meet many random people who heard about us through the KC Twitter, Facebook and blogging networks.

    We try not to add noise to the NPO space, but hearing this stuff from a pro already gives me ideas on working with our community until this year’s party in December!

    Thanks!

    Whitney
    @whitneymathews
    @spiral16
    .-= whitney´s last blog ..SMCKC July Breakfast =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jason Baer

      Hi Whitney. Thanks so much for the great comment. I didn’t know you were involved in that organization. Great job. I’d love to see a post from you on how small groups can make use of social media listening software. Budget makes it tough to implement something like Spiral 16, but listening is not optional (as Beth said). Any ideas?

  • http://www.spiral16.com/blog whitney

    Jay – Thank you so much for this TWT20! My friends and I organize a fundraiser for a Kansas City charity (Operation Breakthrough) The budget comes out of our pockets, so social media is our best way to communicate with ticket buyers.

    Because of that, I love what Beth had to say on building community and relationships first. My group of friends and I believe in a strong relationship with our city and community, but in the party’s first year we didn’t expect a huge crowd. We were thrilled to meet many random people who heard about us through the KC Twitter, Facebook and blogging networks.

    We try not to add noise to the NPO space, but hearing this stuff from a pro already gives me ideas on working with our community until this year’s party in December!

    Thanks!

    Whitney
    @whitneymathews
    @spiral16
    .-= whitney´s last blog ..SMCKC July Breakfast =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jason Baer

      Hi Whitney. Thanks so much for the great comment. I didn’t know you were involved in that organization. Great job. I’d love to see a post from you on how small groups can make use of social media listening software. Budget makes it tough to implement something like Spiral 16, but listening is not optional (as Beth said). Any ideas?

  • Beth Kanter

    Thanks for a great interview. I loved your questions .. I’m still simmering on the social CRM one.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jason Baer

      Beth, the pleasure was 1000% mine. You were great. Incredibly interesting interview, and one that I’m sure will benefit a lot of people. Thank you for sharing what you know – and it’s a lot!

  • http://beth..typepad.com Beth Kanter

    Thanks for a great interview. I loved your questions .. I’m still simmering on the social CRM one.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jason Baer

      Beth, the pleasure was 1000% mine. You were great. Incredibly interesting interview, and one that I’m sure will benefit a lot of people. Thank you for sharing what you know – and it’s a lot!

  • http://www.mariareyesmcdavis.com/ Maria Reyes-McDavis

    This is a super, duper interview. Beth’s practical advice and insight is always incredible!
    .-= Maria Reyes-McDavis´s last blog ..Social Media and the Power of Real Relationships =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jason Baer

      MRD – Thanks for the comment and the tweet. I always appreciate your contributions!

  • http://www.mariareyesmcdavis.com Maria Reyes-McDavis

    This is a super, duper interview. Beth’s practical advice and insight is always incredible!
    .-= Maria Reyes-McDavis´s last blog ..Social Media and the Power of Real Relationships =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jason Baer

      MRD – Thanks for the comment and the tweet. I always appreciate your contributions!

  • http://twitter.com/joeleisen/status/2624151951 Joel B. Eisen

    Great interview w/@kanter on nonprofits, social media, social change tipped to me by neighbor @jonnew. http://twurl.nl/07x0jb (via @jaybaer)

  • http://www.google.com/profiles/burkinaboy Jonathon D. Colman

    Hey Jason, thanks for the SEO shout-out and for doing a great interview with Beth!

    I think that a lot of nonprofits underestimate the value of both link-building and SEO, both of which can hook into the broad topic of social media. Many NPOs don’t have in-house SEO expertise and they’re left to the whims and wills of whatever their agency (if they can afford one) tells them.

    SEO is challenging to master, but really easy to jump into, even if a nonprofit or company doesn’t have an expert on-board or a lot of time for production. There are well-defined SEO best practices that have helped people for years. The impact that natural search has on your site can also be quantified just as easily as paid search or advertising – you don’t just have to believe what your agency tells you about ranking. At this point with good web analytics systems, SEO shouldn’t be about “black hat” tricks or snake oil salesmen… it should be another tool in a nonprofit’s/company’s arsenal of web marketing strategies.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jason Baer

      Jonathon -

      Thanks so much. I agree that SEO (at least basics) isn’t as hard as it’s made out to be, and it’s 100% critical for all NPOs and companies.

      One of the challenges I see for NPOs is poor search term selection. They’re not sure how they want to be found, and that’s job #1.

      Thanks for your contributions. Hope to see you back here again soon.

  • http://www.google.com/profiles/burkinaboy Jonathon D. Colman

    Hey Jason, thanks for the SEO shout-out and for doing a great interview with Beth!

    I think that a lot of nonprofits underestimate the value of both link-building and SEO, both of which can hook into the broad topic of social media. Many NPOs don’t have in-house SEO expertise and they’re left to the whims and wills of whatever their agency (if they can afford one) tells them.

    SEO is challenging to master, but really easy to jump into, even if a nonprofit or company doesn’t have an expert on-board or a lot of time for production. There are well-defined SEO best practices that have helped people for years. The impact that natural search has on your site can also be quantified just as easily as paid search or advertising – you don’t just have to believe what your agency tells you about ranking. At this point with good web analytics systems, SEO shouldn’t be about “black hat” tricks or snake oil salesmen… it should be another tool in a nonprofit’s/company’s arsenal of web marketing strategies.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jason Baer

      Jonathon -

      Thanks so much. I agree that SEO (at least basics) isn’t as hard as it’s made out to be, and it’s 100% critical for all NPOs and companies.

      One of the challenges I see for NPOs is poor search term selection. They’re not sure how they want to be found, and that’s job #1.

      Thanks for your contributions. Hope to see you back here again soon.

  • http://beth.typepad.com/ Beth Kanter

    The Facebook line, BTW, came from my colleague Steve MacLaughlin – it’s a quote in the post about the Washington Post story on Causes – somewhere in your links.
    .-= Beth Kanter´s last blog ..Debra Askanase, Guest Post: Using Flickr Creatively =-.

  • http://beth.typepad.com Beth Kanter

    The Facebook line, BTW, came from my colleague Steve MacLaughlin – it’s a quote in the post about the Washington Post story on Causes – somewhere in your links.
    .-= Beth Kanter´s last blog ..Debra Askanase, Guest Post: Using Flickr Creatively =-.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jason Baer

    Beth, the pleasure was 1000% mine. Truly a thrill to have you involved in Twitter 20. Looking forward to future collaborations.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jason Baer

    Beth, the pleasure was 1000% mine. Truly a thrill to have you involved in Twitter 20. Looking forward to future collaborations.

  • Anonymous

    thank you for this information. This has been a topic of discussion with our non-profit clients over the past several months. We know the value of social media in our “fund” and “friend” raising efforts — this gives us more tools to guide us.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jason Baer

      Abbie – Really glad you found it valuable. Beth is just amazing. Nobody has her experience in this area.

  • http://www.hmapr.com Abbie S. Fink

    thank you for this information. This has been a topic of discussion with our non-profit clients over the past several months. We know the value of social media in our “fund” and “friend” raising efforts — this gives us more tools to guide us.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jason Baer

      Abbie – Really glad you found it valuable. Beth is just amazing. Nobody has her experience in this area.

  • Jon Dunn

    We all need to write a book. Everything I know about social media I learned from Beth Kanter. http://bit.ly/EsEBc @kanter

  • http://twitter.com/jeffhurt/status/2687940411 Jeff Hurt

    Beth Kanter & Social Change by @jaybaer http://ow.ly/hub0 [Gr8 Info For Nonprofits]

  • http://twitter.com/woluf/status/2691175886 Debby Roth

    RT @tweetmeme Beth Kanter – The Twitter 20 Interview | Social Media Marketing | Social Media Consulting – Convince & … http://bit.ly/8aXLa

  • http://twitter.com/gavinstokes/status/2755261895 Gavin Stokes

    RT @tweetmeme Beth Kanter – The Twitter 20 Interview | Social Media Marketing | Social Media Consulting – Convince & … http://bit.ly/8aXLa

  • http://twitter.com/andreabl/status/2756443996 andreaBL

    RT @gavinstokes Beth @Kanter – The Twitter 20 Interview | Social Media & Social Change http://bit.ly/8aXLa

  • Steve92001

    Yeah, in my own experience, when treated like an ATM in any form of marketing, I hesitate to donate. But given the right online interaction, I’d feel much more inclined. Also, I think another facet of social media that could be really useful for non-profits is online video. I’m sure everyone would agree that video is extremely powerful; one video posted across YouTube, Veoh, AdWido, and other video sites can have a definite impact.

  • http://YourWebsite Steve92001

    Yeah, in my own experience, when treated like an ATM in any form of marketing, I hesitate to donate. But given the right online interaction, I’d feel much more inclined. Also, I think another facet of social media that could be really useful for non-profits is online video. I’m sure everyone would agree that video is extremely powerful; one video posted across YouTube, Veoh, AdWido, and other video sites can have a definite impact.

  • http://twitter.com/therealprman/status/3180836882 Steve Farnsworth

    Beth Kanter – The Twitter 20 Interview | #SocialMedia #Marketing http://ow.ly/jmEs

  • http://twitter.com/fergi22/status/3181097937 Mary Ann Ferguson

    RT @: Beth Kanter – The Twitter 20 Interview | Social Media Marketing | Social Media Consulting – Convince & Convert | http://ow.ly/jmEs

  • http://twitter.com/cargillcreative/status/3182779874 Bob Cargill

    RT @TheRealPRMan Beth Kanter – The Twitter 20 Interview | #SocialMedia #Marketing http://ow.ly/jmEs

  • http://twitter.com/jaybaer/status/3291629326 Jay Baer

    Thx @dannybrown Glad you mentioned @kanter Interviewed her last time on #twt20 http://bit.ly/FXtGv

  • http://www.netwitsthinktank.com/ frank

    I don’t believe I missed this one!! =)

    Social media is a great fit for the nonprofit space. Raising awareness and education people are two key objectives of most nonprofits. Getting involved with social media is cheap and it’s a channel that, if used well, can spread you message to thousands very quickly.

    It’s great to see all the resources Beth shared. She’s doing great work and helping all of us nonprofit folks.

    http://twitter.com/franswaa

  • http://www.netwitsthinktank.com frank

    I don’t believe I missed this one!! =)

    Social media is a great fit for the nonprofit space. Raising awareness and education people are two key objectives of most nonprofits. Getting involved with social media is cheap and it’s a channel that, if used well, can spread you message to thousands very quickly.

    It’s great to see all the resources Beth shared. She’s doing great work and helping all of us nonprofit folks.

    http://twitter.com/franswaa

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