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6 November episode of HubSpot TV discussing social media news, DigiActive/digital activism and Girls in Tech.

You can get the full show notes on the HubSpot Blog.

I’ll be on HubSpotTV this Friday as a guest.  We’ll spend a few minutes talking about digital activism before diving into a week of news.

You can either view online or, even better, if you’re in Cambridge, come on down to HubSpot (see site for details).  There’ll be food from Lansdowne Pub as well!

Last night I had the pleasure of joining a group of proud Bostonians at the Liberty Hotel for an event hosted by the Boston World Partnerships. Aside from being able to mingle with Melissa over at Shoestring Magazine (and a BWP Connector), Rachel from The Community Roundtable, Dave from BWP, and Joseline from Boston TweetUp (as well as meeting some other really great people), I ultimately walked away with an even more assured recognition of how great a place Boston is.

Let me clarify. Yes, I think Boston is great period. I’m biased, of course, but I do. However, in this case, it’s abundantly clear that it lives up to the standards that an organization like BWP is holding it to - “an international capital of innovation, a city where top-tier talent clusters together, driving business growth.”

Part of BWP’s mission is to:

“help business leaders worldwide understand and access Boston’s competitive advantages. Our members help us gather and share compelling information relevant to Boston’s economy, and they benefit by plugging into our global network of high-caliber business people.

Monday’s event drew a fair number of people. This is not remarkable, per se. However, the caliber of people is what’s remarkable. I continually met supporters involved in companies, organizations and sectors that are key to achieving the goals of BWP - government, biotech, investing, economics, marketing, non-profits, international relations, business…. The list is endless, but incredibly valuable.

One of the keys to success for the BWP initiatives is to have buy in from all of these sectors, and it’s icing on the cake that the buy in is coming from some of most influential people in these sectors.

Of course, BWP knows this. Their entire model revolves around connecting people.

It only makes sense that they would seek out the most influential and effective connections.  But I would venture a bet that each and every one of the influential - dare I say powerful - people that they have sought out has excepted a role in this organization whole-heartedly.  I would actually be quite surprised if anyone has said no (Has anyone??).  And that is the remarkable part, and why it would unimaginable that this initiative were to fail.

I’m happy to be part of this organization and look forward to continuing my support, whether I’m here, or across the globe.  As I said, I do love Boston…..

After much consideration of all the great organizations who entered, we are happy to announce Crossroads Community Foundation as the winner of our contest and recipient of a free social media report. Congratulations to Crossroads Community Foundation!

Crossroads Community Foundation is an organization that connects donors with non-profit organizations. They organize and manage donations into funds, then distribute grants to causes in need. They are proponents of supporting local organizations and creating strong tie to the community.

In addition, they have a Youth in Philanthropy Program, which teaches youth the value of philanthropy in society, and trains them in the workings of NPOs and how they can become involved, or even how they can apply for their own grants.

Take a look at Crossroads Community Foundation, and see what they’re up to. Over the course of our evaluation for their report, we will be blogging any updates about their progress so check back for periodic updates about their social media development.

Please join Anya and I on Permission TV this Thursday (2 July) at 3pm.

Photo courtesy of RunBoston

If you’ve been wondering how social media can help your non-profit, now’s the time to act!

We’re offering a full social media report to the winning non-profit.* What you’ll be getting a strategic foundation for starting to use social media tools inside your organization, as well as prioritized tactics and techniques that we think would be most helpful.  And we’ll tailor the whole thing specifically to your goals and vision.

Let us  know about your organization and why you think a report would beneficial.

For more information and to submit your entry, visit our contest page.

Submissions will be accepted until 8 July.

If you’re not in an eligible organization yourself, feel free to submit on behalf of an organization of your interest, or pass along this information to someone you know.

* Non-profits are defined loosely for this contest.  We’d like to see organizations that are working towards socially responsible goals in their organization, and that could fall under a variety of legal categories.

Generation Progress had some great questions about how to think about quality vs. quantity in a social media program, and how to connect to constituents in a personal way, but still under the auspices of a brand.

Please feel free to give Generation Progress further advice in the comments section!

Specific questions that Generation Progress has:

  • We have found it difficult to connect with followers on a personal level through @GP_tweet, and have resorted in several instances to connecting through personal Twitter accounts instead - what recommendations might you have for connecting in a meaningful, valuable way through an organization’s Twitter account?
  • How might we foster a more conversational discourse through social media? Our email group, GP-Talk, is a vibrant community that we would be thrilled to share with a larger audience - what might be a better media for such a community?
  • Quantity or quality? Should we have a presence on social media platforms that are not ideal for our structure, just so that people can find us? Or, is it best to keep social media limited to the outlets that we can utilize well and are suited to our model?


Rachel Happe, Co-Founder of Community Roundtable
Karen Rubin, Product Owner at HubSpot
Cappy Popp, Co-Founder of Thought Labs
Mike Langford, Founder & Head Tweeter of Tweetworks

If you have any further advice for Generation Progress, feel free to leave them in the comment sections!

Additional Event resources:

Shoestring Magazine has had a fair amount of success using social media while they bootstrap their business.  They ask the panelists a few questions about maximizing their resources (mainly people) and how to best expand into other geographies.  They also get some feedback on their Facebook page.

Please feel free to give Shoestring further advice in the comments section!

Specific Question from Shoestring:

“We know how to best use social media, and are often asked to consult other companies / give tutorials, but the main thing we haven’t been able to figure out is how to maximize our bandwith as a two-person operation. We know social media works, but it can be a full-time job, and to do it really well takes us away from our mission critical day-to-day operations. How can we best streamline or lifehack our social media tasks without losing the genuine, human side of social media interaction, other than using our freelance base?”


Rachel Happe, Co-Founder of Community Roundtable
Karen Rubin, Product Owner at HubSpot
Cappy Popp, Co-Founder of Thought Labs
Mike Langford, Founder & Head Tweeter of Tweetworks

If you have any further advice for Shoestring, feel free to leave them in the comment sections!

Additional Event resources:

Amy Sample Ward was unable to present at our event, but has a really great presentation that she’d like to contribute.

Amy Sample Ward, Consultant and Blogger for NPTech (@amyrsward)

Amy is dedicated to supporting and educating nonprofits and the progressive social change sector about evolving technologies that cultivate and engage communities. Her passion is in connecting nonprofits with new media technologies, watching the field of nptech evolve, and having conversations about where we can go next while still getting everyone on board with what we have already. Much of her work in the US was based out of Portland, OR. She’s currently located in London, UK, and finding it a great opportunity to continue engaging with the US but look at social change projects and the work of nonprofit organizations on a more global scale.

Case Study Two: ACCION USA

Julie Soforenko, Marketing and Outreach Coordinator of ACCION USA

Our panelists give Julie some valuable feedback on the social media strategy for ACCION.  Please add your own advice for her if you’d like!

Julie’s general questions:

Starting the Conversation
1.    How do we know what resonates with our audience?
2.    How do we start engaging our clients and the public in an online dialogue?
a.    Nobody is discussing us online
3.    How do we differentiate ourselves amidst so many organizations vying for attention online?

Choosing the Tools
4.    What are the top 3 most effective social media marketing tools?
5.    How do we stay current on new web-based marketing tools?
6.    How can we decide which tools are best-suited to our organization and its goals?
7.    How can we effectively market to Hispanic populations on the internet? What are some examples of Web 2.0 marketing within the Spanish-speaking community?

8.    What are the best analytics tools?
9.    What are the best tools to track where we are being talked about online?
10.    Are there easy methods to track social media ROI?

Tying It Together
11.    How do we align web 2.0 strategies with our basic web marketing strategies?
12.    Is our website eye-catching?
13.    How do we build worth-while social media relationships?
a.    With our potential clients
b.    With the leaders in the industry active in social media

Panelist responses:

Joe: You have money for small businesses and no one’s talking about you?  … For low and moderate income business owners, you might be better off with an SMS campaign.  In other countries, the low income cohorts respond most strongly to SMS campaigns.

Gradon: The photo contest idea, by having people take photos in front of their favorite small businesses, is a great idea, but you want to have an audience first – asking them to upload to Flickr and tag it with XYZ.  Flickr is better suited to that than your own site would be.

Raj Melville: If someone opening a small business isn’t on Twitter, you may wish to look elsewhere.

Julie: We know a lot of the people who get loans from us are online because they apply through our online lending platform.

Gradon: If they’re online and looking for a service, they’re on Google.  And the reason to build compelling remarkable content on your blog is that it raises your prominence on search results, which helps customers find you.

Brian: Your website is good, but it’s lacking compelling remarkable content.  …  I’m not hot on podcasting; I’m hot on video.

Julie: The production values don’t have to be too high, right?  Doesn’t have to be shiny?

Ken: Definitely not.  At WBUR, we prioritize getting the content out there.

Do you have any suggestions for Julie?

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