Mark Farmer & Sean Moffitt - Social Media for Social Change: Mobilizing Change Online


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Harvey Milk motivated and mobilized thousands of people to agitate for political and social change, and became the basis for the award-winning biopic, Milk. If Milk were alive today, how could social media have helped him reach out to people, organize and inspire them? Mark Farmer shows you how to start your organization down the social media path by imagining how a grassroots organizer from the past might have used today’s media and technology. Sean Moffitt will flesh out the social media story with a presentation on the success of Movember, the annual prostate cancer fundraising event that’s achieved maximum visibility through a savvy use of social media.

Attendees Will Walk Away With:
• An understanding of how to get started with social media
• Comparisons of some of the different social media
• Real-world examples of social media success

Mark Farmer
Mark is the founder of Webness, a full-service electronic communications solutions provider, and has consulted for such organizations as Earth Day Canada, Give Green Canada, Eco Generation Services and Summerhill.

Sean Moffitt
Sean is Canada's leading social influence marketing advocate, author of Wikibrands and Founder of Agent Wildfire, Canada's Word of Mouth

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Mark Farmer & Sean Moffitt - Social Media for Social Change: Mobilizing Change Online

  1. 1. WWHD: What Would Harvey Do? An introduction to social media using the (hypothetical) case study of Harvey Milk Mark Farmer
  2. 2. On today‟s menu • A brief introduction to social media via one of the great, and recently celebrated, social activists. • What technologies Harvey Milk would use, if he were trying to accomplish his goals today? • Not a survey of what social media tools are being used by community groups and non-profits. • Not a biography of Harvey Milk, nor an analysis of his accomplishments. • A fun intro to the world of social media, with Harvey Milk as an example, with case studies and insights to guide you in your next steps. 2
  3. 3. How did we get here? 3
  4. 4. How did we get here? 4
  5. 5. How did we get here? 5
  6. 6. How did we get here? 6
  7. 7. Me Me Me 7
  8. 8. Brands Ahoy! 8
  9. 9. The Truth about Social Media • Before getting into Harvey‟s story, a few things to remember about social media… 9
  10. 10. EPIC!!! • No other discipline in the history of communication is so fraught with hyperbole and SHEER HYPE! • But social media isn‟t quite the moving-heaven-and-earth experience you may have been lead to believe it is. • So don‟t worry – it‟s much simpler than you might think. 10
  11. 11. Ok, not so epic…. • It‟s communication. 11
  12. 12. Communication • The important thing to remember at all times, is that the fundamental nature and aspects of human communication haven‟t changed since we came down out of the trees. 12
  13. 13. P2P • It‟s still just someone talking to someone else. • So do what you would if you were talking with an acquaintance. • Don‟t do anything you wouldn‟t do if you were talking with an acquaintance. 13
  14. 14. The Street Corner 14
  15. 15. A kind of magic? • With social media, as with all communication, you don‟t get something for nothing: social media isn‟t magic. It‟s not going to solve your communication ills or change any communications fundamentals. 15
  16. 16. Don‟t, don‟t… don‟t believe the hype • Too many people fall into the trap of believing that social media is a shortcut to more bang for their communication buck. • They put a couple of wheels in motion, and then wait for wonders to occur. • Wonders fail to occur, anger and disappointment ensue, and then the offending media get shut down. 16
  17. 17. Not • Social media isn‟t a campaign. It‟s a conversation. • Yes, that‟s a cliche. nope • Yes, it‟s 100% true. • If you treat it like an ad campaign that you turn on and off, and expect results, you‟re going to be mistaken. • It takes time to either build a network or tap into an existing one that‟s going to care about your brand, and your product, whatever that may be. • So start building your network now for when you really need results to happen later. Get people interacting with you. 17
  18. 18. Cargo Cult • Just because you build it doesn‟t mean they‟ll come. • Time and again I meet organizations that see the exterior trappings of social media, and execute some of them at their organization, in the belief that it‟s the mechanisms that make social media happen: • Usually, this fails to produce the desired result. 18
  19. 19. So what does work? • Every time I see social media work, above all else, I see two common factors, time and again: 19
  20. 20. Compelling Content • Me: 130 followers. • Sockington: 1,513,649 followers. • Typical Sockington tweet: • STRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEETCH oh come now this belly doesn't rub itself DO I HAVE TO DROP ALL THE HINTS AROUND HERE 20
  21. 21. Compelling Community • 1,513,649 followers • 7,538 “Likes” on Facebook • 434 people are part of his community page on Facebook 21
  22. 22. Compelling Community • • My best-commented piece on 13 comments, not including mine • Achewood‟s last cartoon: 221 comments 22
  23. 23. Great success! • The monster social media success stories you sometimes hear about happen because someone tapped the natural enthusiasm an existing group of people demonstrate for a particular brand. 23
  24. 24. Brand • The difficulty: not everyone has a strong brand. • Inconvenient truth: not everyone has as established as strong a connection with their audience as they think they do. • Social media can‟t create that kind of connection out of nothing, but it can help you build it out if you‟re willing to put in the effort. 24
  25. 25. Success Story #1: The Fiskateers 25
  26. 26. Who the Hell are „The Fiskateers‟? 26
  27. 27. Success Story #1: The Fiskateers • Fiskars wanted to try something different. • Hired Brains on Fire to help them. • Combined social media with real live people. • Created “The Fiskateers,” a group of user-evangelists who combined in-store visits with an online community. 27
  28. 28. The Win • Goal: recruit 200 more of these ambassadors in six months. • Fiskars achieved that in 24 hours and reached 20 times that number within eighteen months. • Goal: increase “chatter” (online conversations mentioning the company by name) by ten per cent. • It increased by 600 per cent over a 20-week period. • Goal: increase store sales in specific areas by ten per cent. • Increased 300 per cent in the first year alone. 28
  29. 29. Success Story #1: The Fiskateers • What did they do right? – Tapped into people‟s natural enthusiasm, specifically their natural enthusiasm for a brand (and an activity) – Didn‟t limit themselves to the virtual world – married social media with face-to-face. • Some of the most interesting and impactful success stories with social media happen when the virtual & real worlds get together and have a party. – Worked from an existing, strong brand. – Fitted social media to an existing infrastructure and audience, not vice-versa. • E-mail me for a link to the complete case study. 29
  30. 30. So, WWHD? • Milk‟s #1 goal was to motivate and organize people. 30
  31. 31. So, WWHD? • So what social media work best for motivation and organization, especially for social change? • Blogging • Social Networks • SMS • Twitter • E-mail (yes, e-mail – stick with me on this one) 31
  32. 32. The good ol‟ not-so-good-ol‟ days • Dan Nicoletta – “One thing about a lot of the political movement of that time that people don't realize is that it was the same 10 people doing everything... we imagine that it was epic because it was epic sociologically in terms of what was shifting, but it was the same ten people doing everything... well maybe 20 on a good day.” – Social media changes all that. – To borrow a term from the military, it‟s a „Force multiplier‟ – it allows you to do things you couldn‟t normally otherwise do, by increasing your capacity and reach. – In the case of social media and social change, it enables others to help you make that change. 32
  33. 33. Building Community • The good ol‟ days 33
  34. 34. Building Community • The good new days 34
  35. 35. Building Community • Not the only game in town, but close enough - Roughly ½ of all Canadians are on Facebook. • For some people, it‟s becoming the web. • Used to be a choice between setting up a fan page and a group. • That choice is gone now, thanks to the „like‟ button. • Replacing previous tools like Evite for many functions. • One of the best ways to promote a broad engagement with the public. 35
  36. 36. Organizing • Then 36
  37. 37. Organizing • The winner? 37
  38. 38. Organizing • Now 38
  39. 39. Trippy? Trippi! 39
  40. 40. One-on-one • Then 40
  41. 41. One-on-one • Now 41
  42. 42. E-mail • Still works well. Completely unglamorous, but completely useful. • And more importantly, it‟s direct, in a way that thing like FB really aren‟t • Compare: about 106 million people world-wide have Twitter accounts. • More than twice that number of people have e-mail accounts. • In the USA alone. • E-mail lends itself to direct calls for action because it‟s direct: one e-mail per person. It‟s a personal medium, not a broadcast one. • Not to say it‟s the only way to make a call for action, but it‟s a good way 42
  43. 43. Microblogging, circa 1975 43
  44. 44. Microblogging, circa 2010 44
  45. 45. Microblogging, circa 2010 • Great way to quickly, easily get your thoughts out there. • It‟s also an outstanding way to coordinate people in the field in real-time. • What it doesn‟t do as well as those things is conversation. • Can Twitter be used conversationally? Absolutely? • Is it being used conversationally in most cases? No. • Twitter is still too often a communication one-way street. • How Twitter defines „conversation‟ 45
  46. 46. Microblogging, circa 2010 • Twitter is becoming more and more versatile, but it‟s not a panacea. Its limitations haven‟t changed, even as its popularity has increased. – 140-character limit. – Demographic reach: elderly, marginal communities, others. • Success stories: – Chilean earthquake – Iranian protests – Thai protests 46
  47. 47. Staffing the phones • Old days 47
  48. 48. Staffing the phones • Recently old days – SMS messaging. – Dedicated short-code? – Make SURE you have a white list. 48
  49. 49. Staffing the phones • Now – Social media goes mobile: • Twitter (Twitterific, HootSuite, etc.) • Facebook. – Dedicated apps: • Providing value or just a novel way of promoting yourself? • Approximately 150,000 apps on the iPhone store. How will yours stand out? • What‟s the ROI on a $10K layout? 49
  50. 50. This is how we do it vs. 50
  51. 51. Publishing • Then 51
  52. 52. Now • Now 52
  53. 53. Blogging • Dan Nicoletta – “I think the first campaign's literature is really clunky and was done on some funky mimeograph machine, for example, just because the guy across the street had one and was willing to run stuff for the campaign... and then later our own printing press and silkscreen operation, etc., etc. to save money we didn't have in the first place... “ 53
  54. 54. Success Story #2 – Blogging at the ACA 54
  55. 55. Success Story #2 – Blogging at the ACA ASK 55
  56. 56. Success Story #2 – Blogging at the ACA 56
  57. 57. Success Story #2 – Blogging at the ACA 57
  58. 58. Success Story #2 – Blogging at the ACA 58
  59. 59. Lessons from Harvey • You have to capture people‟s attention and interest before they‟ll listen... • ... and you have to get people to care before they‟ll act. • Find a champion (and it may be you). • Walk the walk. • Take risks (smart risks). • Learn by doing. 59
  60. 60. The killer “Be”s • Be authentic • Be succinct • Be useful • Be honest 60
  61. 61. Further reading 61
  62. 62. Further surfing • Social media trends & analysis: – – – • Technology news, including social media: – • Examples of how to do it right: – • Social activism: – – 62
  63. 63. Contact me • E-mail: • Website: • Blog: • Twitter: markus64 • Facebook: markus64 63
  64. 64. Thank you • And thank you to Harvey Milk, for blazing a trail, and being an inspiration. “If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door.” 64
  65. 65. Mark Farmer
  66. 66. WWHD? 66
  67. 67. •Adam Garone, Co-Founder and CEO, Movember •Elissa Sacks, Asst. Brand Manager, Canadian Club •Growing the Mo •Sean Moffitt, President – Agent Wildfire •
  68. 68. •“Much respect for all the outstanding work you guys have done to date. Almost single handedly you have made it cool to care!” •Ashley via email
  69. 69. •Movember is a new generation of philantrophy •Not built around a celebrity •Bono •Lance Armstrong •Idol gives back •Not founded by a mega wealthy individual •Bill and Melinda Gates •Mike Milken •Not a cause marketing campaign by business •Pepsi Refresh Everything •KFC bucket chicken gives 50 cents to Susan G Komen •Movember is created by building and energizing a community around a cause.
  70. 70. •The community – the Republic of Movember •Movember team •Mo Bros and Mo Sistas (255k in 09 >> 400k in 10), level of involvement is up to them, however level of engagement is key >> not about number of people in your community its about how engaged they are! •Awareness •Fundraise •Host their own party •Attend gala •Movember committee •Individual donors (1.2 M in 09 >> 1.7 M in 10) – the fundamental secret behind grassroots philantrophy is people give to people they know and trust
  71. 71. •THE VALUE PROPOSITION •Movember - a great product: •Know your target market •Men growing moustaches in Movember •The right mix of fun, retro appeal, sense of belonging to a team and a global movement that is making a difference •Satisfies altruistic motives •Shows the women in / or potentially in our lives that we are caring, good people •Men’s health - a neglected cause: • Men’s health particularly prostate cancer • Men wanting to reclaim their masculinity •If it’s awesome they will use it •Movember - a great brand that is trusted •If it’s awesome they will talk about it •Movember – a remarkable experience – never underestimate how viral one customer interaction can be
  72. 72. •BUILDING THE COMMUNITY •PR •Leverage •On-line influencers •Partnerships •TV, Radio, Print, Online •Social Media participation •Sponsors •Tweeters / Bloggers •Beneficiaries •Ambassadors •NHL •Word of Mouth •SEM •September •Business •College •Movember •Local •engagement •program •database Communities •Drive traffic to •October • •November •Registrations •x $160 •+ word of mouth •= changing the face of men‟s health
  73. 73. •Energizing the community •Showcasing the outcomes and the impact each member of the community is having through video •Sense of ownership in the brand and being part of a movement that is having an impact •Delivering value: •Fun •Competition •Sense of belonging to community
  74. 74. •DEGREES OF ENGAGEMENT BY COMMUNICATION TYPE •Face to face •Are you listening to me? •Highest engagement •Lowest reach •Video chat •Phone call •Chat service (AIM, Skype) •E-mail •Facebook message •Facebook wall post •Lowest engagement •Greatest reach •Tweet
  75. 75. •GLOBAL GROWTH Registrants 300000 255,737 250000 200000 172,195 134282 150000 100000 56129 50000 30 432 9315 0 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Funds Raised (local currency) 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Australia $ - $55 K $1.2 M $7.2 M $15.3 M $20.1 M $20.3 M •$100 Million New Zealand $874 K $2.1 M $927 K $1.1 M raised so far United Kingdom £1.1 M £2.1 M £5.2 M Canada $549 K $2.4 M $7.8 M •5 year US $623 K $1.1 M $3.3 M potential > Ireland € 364 K € 1.2 M $600 Mill
  76. 76. •SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING • •Social media technologies aren’t the point. Relationships are the point. Relationships are always the point. The most basic of fundraising secrets is that people give to people. •Social media simply provides more tools to help people connect with each other and with your brand. •FOCUS:
  77. 77. •Auto post through Facebook connect
  78. 78. •Pepsi‟s – stop motion video application • •Create good, fun content and people will use it – its not about the product!
  79. 79. • every brand‟s new homepage
  80. 80. •The Power of active listening + responsiveness + transparency
  81. 81. •....harness the power of video •Tell your story through video •Competition for user generated videos
  82. 82. •This Year – Very MO - tivating - Web and mobile applications - City-based digital team challenges - Sponsor activations – - The Big Shave Off - The Virtual Mo‟ - Mo-Licious - Social media influence - Grassroots celebrity
  83. 83. •FIN