Using Social Media Effectively and Powerful Tactics Workshop | Beth's Blog

Using Social Media Effectively and Powerful Tactics Workshop

Instructional Design, Networked Nonprofit

Social Media Master Class

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As part ongoing work as Visiting Scholar at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation,  I am designing, facilitating, and delivering workshops with Compasspoint.    Last week, I had the great pleasure of presenting a one-day workshop with colleagues Holly Minch, JD Lasica, Janet Fouts, and Susan Tenby.   The session was designed a mix of strategy with a deep dive into content, measurement, Facebook, and Twitter.   The overall goal was to provide participants with a combination of insights and practical tips to help them be effective.    This face-to-face master class and mini-workshops will be followed with a smaller peer learning group that will meet regularly to compare notes as they put the ideas into practice.

Program outcomes:

  • Guidance on developing an effective integrated social media strategy to support your mission
  • Practical frameworks and guidelines for effectively developing an integrated content strategy and measurement practice
  • Best practices for effective use of common social media tools: Facebook and Twitter.

The workshop was hosted by Compasspoint and its  partner Thrive, The Alliance of Nonprofits for San Mateo County and with the support of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

Morning Session

The morning session focused on social media strategy.    The first part of the workshop shared “Campfire” stories.     I kicked it off with some new stories about Networked Nonprofits – and how they apply the principles of being a networked nonprofit (transparency, public learning, experimentation, social culture,measurement, and simplicity) to get results.  Next,  participants did a self-assessment,. using the maturity of practice model (Crawl, Walk, Run, Fly).   I always try to do an extensive participant survey prior to the workshop to uncover the knowledge in the room and used a “living case study” technique.  Participants become part of the workshop curriculum and share their experience – which seems very appropriate for a social media training.

And, of course, it helps to have free stuff to give away to motivate people to share their stories.   I always come to workshops with some books to give away.   Brian Solis was kind enough to send me two copies of his new book,  The End of Business As Usual, to give away.  (My review of this excellent book is coming in the next weeks).

For the second half of the morning, I shared “Eight Habits of Highly Effective Networked Nonprofits” with some exercises that help people see that by taking small steps, they can achieve success.

  • Aligns social media with their communications strategy and objectives
  • Scales social media by empowering everyone in the organization and integrating social into work flow
  • Monitors, listens,  and researches the people in their network
  • Gets feedback and start conversations about their work
  • Masters of relationship marketing
  • Curates content to capture attention  from their network in an age of information overload
  • Works with free agents , champions, and influencers to  spread their mission
  • Learns from experience and data

One of my favorite exercises is to get folks to take a minute to think of a question or conversation starter related to their communications goals or programs.    Most people easily come up with a  question.  Next I ask, do you have a half-hour to brainstorm 30 questions that you can ask your network as part of your Facebook content strategy?   Most, if not all, raise their hands.   Then I tell them they are well on their way to a Facebook content strategy.  (Usually a huge sigh of relief in the room.)

I recently took a workshop on visual facilitation with David Sibbet.   As part of my learning journey to put these ideas into practice, I’m integrating visual techniques into my facilitation repertoire.     Two things I did.   I have a Facebook “Like” rubber stamp that I use to stamp an index card or “like” button.  I ask folks to listen and jot down any ideas that they hear and like.    I also use giant sticky notes and encourage people to write their burning questions and post them on the wall.    This helps me make sure that I’m answering folks questions, plus I photograph them and post on my Facebook page.   I usually get fantastic answers from FB page fans – and the content encourages interaction!

After lunch, colleagues Holly Minch, JD Lasica, Janet Fouts, and Susan Tenby lead mini-workshops.   Here’s their materials with a few notes of new tricks and tips that I discovered.

This session covered the  best practices for planning and implementing an integrated content strategy.   Once you’ve identified your objective, audience, and messaging, you need to repurpose and re-imagine content across channels including email, social sites, mobile, web site, print, and mainstream media. This session shared techniques and tools for making that process efficient.   My favorite tip was that Holly shared her  Editorial Calendar Template spreadsheet.   That’s the biggest problem we have with content strategies – getting organized.

Janet Fouts shared Facebook best practices for the ultimate nonprofit Facebook page.  She covered how to design, recruit fans, drive offline actions, content strategy, and measurement techniques.  She also shared a number of pointers about  how to use events, and Facebook ads to drive engagement.   With the demise of,  I was sure happy when she told me about “Facebook Friends to CSV.”  

Next was Susan Tenby from TechSoup who did a mini-workshop on Twitter. I was presenting with JD Lasica during the same time, but during the break she told me about “Socialbro” that help you track and identify influencers and retweets.



Measurement mini workshop

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JD Lasica and I co-facilitated a workshop on measurement. I shared KD Paine’s basic steps. To make it fun, my presentation took on a Halloween theme and I brought candy to throw at people who answer questions or share their insights. I started with a spectragram, asking people to line up in the room – telling me whether they loved or hated measurement. It was an interesting insight to learn that the people that don’t like measurement are those that feel they’re not really doing anything with data they collect. Those that are excited by measurement say they are because they learn something!


JD Lasica took on a tour of a couple of measurement tools. It was fantastic. He has a write up here. Finally, I took people into the new Facebook Insights for a quick tour.

Participants gathered together at the end of the day to reflect on what they learned and identify small steps to put into practice. I have them write these down on 3×5 cards and use it as a raffle. Always good to identify one step.

The next step from the workshop will be to facilitate a monthly peer group where the participants to put what they leaved into practice, one small incremental step at time.

What’s your best tip or tool for using social media effectively?

One Response

  1. Wow — fantastic article and resources. I’ll take awhile to digest, but so appreciate all you do, Beth, to keep us up with what’s essential. Just got your book and look forward to digging in.