Tips for Social Media from Jay Frost and Occupy Wall Street

I just stuffed myself full of food, and now will be listening to Jay Frost from He'll be talking about social media in a keynote titled "Popping the Question: Moving from Engagement to Action With Social Media."

Jay is talking about how to move constituents from "liking" us to loving us. If we focus only on engagement, we may train our constituents to interact with us in a limited way.

The Red Cross raised $37 million for Haiti relief efforts with text giving. Jay says the real story here is peer to peer fundraising. How do we maintain relationships with these donors, whose names we do not have, because they gave via text?

The audience is diverse. Latino/as are the fastest growing market in the U.S.   Use of social media by this group is higher than average. Being in social media gives us the opportunity to reach this demographic, which is also a fast-growing segment of college students.

The audience is global. Most people on social media are outside the U.S. Social media is the easiest way to get in touch with non-U.S. residents.

A report by SEI shows that 70% of pentamillionaires (assets of $5M or more) use social media. Other studies bear this out -- the affluent are on Facebook. And, they are influenced by social media. The more someone earns, the more likely they are to be influenced.

College graduates are 1.5 times more likely to blog than high school graduates. They are twice as likely to post photos and videos and three times more likely to post an online rating or comment.

The Occupy Wall Street movement is making huge use of social media. One key organizer is Priscilla Grim in New York City. Jay did an interview with Priscilla, and we all get to see it first!

From a march on September 17 of a few hundred people in New York, the movement has grown to thousands of protesters around the country. They are making savvy use of social media. Jay asked what lessons we can learn from the OWS?

"I worked at one place that wanted to Twitter by committee... You can't do that," Priscilla said. You have to trust the people you hire, she says. The Occupy movement are united by a broad framework and mission statement. Each blogger or tweeter then provides their own spin within that framework.

"They not only pulled it off, but they served Fox News their ass," said Priscilla.

OWS put out a call to raise $12,000 to out out a paper publication: The Occupy Wall Street Journal. In a few short weeks, they raised $75,000.

Movember, which raises money for prostate cancer using a walk or run model, but instead, men grow mustaches for pledges. They raised $16 million this way.

Jay's suggestions:

Twitter. Find people to follow. You'll find fresh content 3 to 5 days ahead of listservs.

Engage in conversation. Some development officers are actually engaging in conversations with major gift donors via Twitter. Young people don't like to talk on the phone. Text them instead.

Manage your social life. Use tools like Hoot Suite to make this easier.

Get mobile. You must embrace smart phones.

Fill the room at a special event. Use Facebook to advertise your event.

Advertise campaigns on your background.

Leverage your content. Repurpose information from tweets to make a newsletter.

Launch a ribbon campaign.

Create a "social ad."

Download your followers/connections.

Learn from your competition.

See your donors' networks.

Social media can be done. It can't be left to marketing alone, but must be owned by fundraising. Invest in social media. Put your money where your mouth is.