Social Media For Grassroots Engagement


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As presented Dec 3, 2009 to the National Coalition for Literacy in Washington, DC.

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  • We help nonprofits use social media for social good.Our clients include:UNAIDS CommissionMomsRising.orgGreenpeaceOxfamAmerican Cancer Society Hostelling InternationalMany moreMy background:10 years in online 2004-2006 election cyclesRan NOI training institute – campaigners how to use new mediaCo-founded Fission 1.5 years ago with partner Cheryl Contee (Jill of J+J if any of you are into political blogs)
  • Here’s the bad news:It is well documented and well-publicized that direct mail fundraising is on a slow and terminal decline.So is email.While email will remain your #1 source of online actions, including fundraising, for a long long time to come. It is, and will remain, on the decline. You cannot depend on it alone to sustain you.
  • At the same time…Back in February of 2005, just 8% of adult internet users had used a social network site. That percentage had risen to 16% by August of 2006, and as of Oct 2009 stands at 46% of online adults. There’s even higher use among the younger set.---79% of American adults used the internet in 2009, up from 67% in Feb. 2005 46% of online American adults 18 and older use a social networking site like MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn, up from 8% in February 2005. 65% of teens 12-17 use online social networks as of Feb 2008, up from 58% in 2007 and 55% in 2006. As of August 2009, Facebook was the most popular online social network for American adults 18 and older. ---Of adult SNS users:73% have a Facebook account 48% have a MySpace profile 14% have an account on LinkedIn 1% each on Yahoo, YouTube, Tagged, Flickr and Classmates.com10-12% are on “other” sites like Bebo, Last.FM, Digg, Blackplanet, Orkut, Hi5 and
  • So, while email open rates are steadily declining,Use of social networks for communication is exponentially increasing.More than two-thirds of the global* online population visits social networks and blogs; Participation in these “member communities” is now the fourth most popular online category - behind search, portals, and PC software, but ahead of personal email use, according to research from Nielsen Online.Use of member communities is also growing twice as fast as any of the other four largest sectors.Mobile is ALSO playing an increasingly important role in social networking. 19% (10.6 million people) of mobile Web users in the US visit a social network through their handset (2008) – up 156% over 2007.
  • And lest you think people are only using these sites to hook up or take silly quizzes…43% of adults on social networks say they use them to “organize with others for an event, issue or cause” – these are your people.More than one third of social network users visit their profile daily. Among social network users, more than one third (37%) visit their profile daily.
  • If your boss follows up with: “But I just don’t get what Twitter is.” Show this video.
  • The task seems overwhelming… where do you invest your time and money?Do a little research. Find out where your people are at.
  • FiltrboxSocial Mention
  • Experiment, but as you experiment use a click-tracking service like to see what is getting passed along and by whom.
  • Track how you are doing. Is it having an impact?
  • CasesLet Our Congress Tweet – Got Congress to open up and change it’s rules.Greenpeace – Event PR boosted by multi-channel online – Dipping a toe in, seeing success with limited resource investment. Then big impact a year later.World AIDS Day – RED and UNAIDS Commission, small and large versions of an ideaMore briefly:Twestival, MoveOn FB bumper stickers, RI4A mobile, and ACLU NCA GOTV
  • First Twitter petition…Reps had been Tweeting from the House floor.Franking commission came up with a bunch of rules that essentially said all social media has to go through us.Sunlight Foundation did LOCT – sign the petition by using the hashtag #LOCT.Within months, the rules were rewritten to give much broader freedom to Congress members in using new media
  • GreenpeaceDuring the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2009, Greenpeace wanted to promote its new report: “Green Electronics – The Search Continues.”Hired us to blog, Tweet; and do blogger and Twitter outreach. (Sent staff as well.)Results:1 – Increased Twitter following from 300 to >1200 in Jan. Momentum continued; over 3100 in a few months (since folded into Greenpeaceusa => 13K).Interestingly - @ch3ryl tweets of identical @Greenpeace_Intl content tended to be re-tweeted more often in part due to the shorter length of the twitter name but also possibly due to a desire by some to spread Greenpeace’s message while maintaining an arm’s length from the organization. This was epitomized by @CES09 – an official filtered feed of #CES09 labelled tweets which retweeted at least 15 @ch3ryl tweets but only occasionally from @Greenpeace_Intl.---
  • MomsRising is a great case of an org that has been successful dipping a toe into the social network space. They did the very lightest lift thing to get on Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter – and saw immediate results.Twitter + FacebookMade a profile on Twitter, used TwitterFeed to hook up to the blog.Followed mommy bloggers and their followers.Made a Cause on Facebook.Recruited a handful of volunteers, created a Google Group to manage them. Asked them to (1) welcome all new supporters, and (2) repost MomsRising actions.Added links to both to the bottom of emails. Both became among top 10 referring sites, up from ~0 the year before.
  • Just a little research on moms online presence and behavior turns up a very rich online culture of mommy bloggers.So MR from the start had a blog, invited guest bloggers. Had 80 guest bloggers by 2008.
  • In 2008 MR did an analysis of their stats over the previous 2 years and discovered that Mother’s Day was by far their biggest day of the year for list growth. So they decided to invest in making a customizable video, since that had bee the biggest list-grower for in 2008.Because they have been building up a social network presence, they were able to push out through multiple channels…
  • They aggressively courted their strongest online “influentials” base: mommy bloggers. MR did research to find those mommy bloggers that were both influential (i.e. their blogs get a lot of traffic) and aligned on core MR issues.Aggressively reached out to them in advance of the launch – personal emails, “briefing” conf call, regular updates as the video went viral, effusive and public THANKS to those who posted about it.
  • We also had discovered in talking with these mommy bloggers at BlogHer that they kept in touch via Twitter – that was their primary method of staying in touch.So during the video push, we also put extra staff on Twitter, posting regular updates, direct messaging mommy bloggers, responding to every mention of the video with a THANKS.Other “influentials” audiences may congregate in other places. Various sets of political influentials have email discussion lists. Some groups have regular in-person meetings. Key is figuring out who reaches your audience and reaching them in a way that makes them feel good about helping you out.Along with partnerships and press… went from 150K to 1.2MM in about 2 weeks.
  • The (Red) campaign got Twitter, FB, and Google to turn their homepages red. Twitter also made any Tweet tagged with #red show up red.Made it fun and trendy and as a result millions participated – grew their permanent base and got HIV-AIDS front-and-center for the day, which is the point of World AIDS Day.
  • On a smaller scale, we created a FB app and Twitter app for the UNAIDS Commission that launched just Monday and they got 10K supporters to add ribbons to their FB and Twitter avatars. Up from 0 to 10K in 2 days – a strong start.
  • The 2009 Twestival brought together 202 cities around the world for one cause. Clean and safe drinking water. Led by organizer Amanda Rose, an astonishing $250,000 was raised - 100% of that money going directly to the projects. charity: water staff flew to Ethiopia weeks later to drill the first well, and connect the Twitter community with the people they served. The following four videos were sent via satellite from the field.Something that struck me: - InterviewMy initial strategy was to use my already existing network of Twitter followers to see if they would be interested in hosting a Twestival.  I explained the vision and after a few days I knew that I had the support of a few key cities, so that when I pushed it out publicly with a tweet on January 8th, it would create some buzz and some excitement for people to be apart of it. I keep an eye on the Twitter search for Twestival and flag up any interest or divert communications to make sure I get a feeling of what is happening in the Twittersphere.
  • In 2008 gave away free bumper stickers, advertised on Facebook. Raised MM$$ and MM of new members. Changed demographics to younger, more diverse.
  • Started working with RI4A in Jan. Frankly had read that Hispanic use of Internet was < average and mobile > average. So a mobile network was a key part of the strategy from the start. Mobile commons…The mobile (text message) alert network has grown from just a few hundred in March to over 60,000 and has proven an excellent mechanism for generating calls to Congress.How it has grown:1 – in person events2 – viral growth via actions3 – radio DJs4 – partner orgsThe response rate on the list to the early call alerts was 16% for the English language list and 31% for the Spanish language list. That’s compared to 1-2% on an email list, typically.The list has also been responsive to “kickers” asking them to get friends to call and reminding them to call. An early test showed a phenomenal pass-along rate: the list of 980 made 214 calls, then passed the alert on to friends, generating another 800 calls for 1033 total. That response rate is obviously extremely high and will go down over time – though a strong reminder to always encourage pass-along.
  • Campaign OverviewThe ACLU Foundation of Northern California had 6 weeks to reach as many campus-based youth in Northern California as possible by November 4, 2008 with the message “vote all the way down the ballot, through the propositions”.Online PresenceCampaign Website - http://www.DontStopAtTheTop.orgReached out to 208 campus groups – HTML emails to sendFacebook App; Facebook Group > Facebook Page; Sent Facebook ‘friend’ invites to 31,500 young CA voters (RTV partnership)MySpace Profile; Sent MySpace ‘friend’ invites to 37,000 young CA votersSent personal notes, msgs, and invites to thousands moreReached out to 74 political, local, and youth bloggersOnline AdvertisingFacebook Ads - Target: Age 18-25, California (1.5 Million people)Impressions: 13,248,690 (Avg. 9 views/person)Google Ads - Target: Age 18-25, CaliforniaImpressions: 1,169,463Blog AdsImpressions: 3,668,018Website AdsImpressions: 1,917,888
  • Social Media For Grassroots Engagement

    1. 1. Social Media for Grassroots Advocacy<br />
    2. 2. This is me. Roz Lemieux.<br />I am a partner at Fission Strategy.<br />You can learn more about us<br />
    3. 3. Agenda<br /><ul><li>Why social media?
    4. 4. Where do I start?
    5. 5. What have others done?</li></li></ul><li>Why social media?<br />
    6. 6. Email Open Rates Are Declining<br />According to M+R:<br />Email open rates declined almost 63% between 2004 and 2008.<br />
    7. 7. Social Network Use Is Growing<br />According to Pew:<br />46%of adult Internet users are social network users – up 6x from 2005.<br />Integrated Online Communications Strategy<br />
    8. 8. Blogs: Over 110 Million<br />MySpace: Over 300 Million<br />Facebook: Over 300 Million<br />LinkedIn: Over 17 Million (150 Industries)<br />YouTube: Over 70 Million Videos (5 Million Channels)<br />Flickr: Over 2 Billion Images<br />Twitter: Over 6 Million<br />MiGente: Over 3 Million<br />BlackPlanet: 5th Highest Trafficked Social Network<br />(International? — Orkut, Cyworld, Friendster, Bebo)<br />
    9. 9. Social Network Use Is Growing<br />Integrated Online Communications Strategy<br />
    10. 10. Social Network Use Is Growing<br />
    11. 11.
    12. 12. Where should I focus?<br />
    13. 13. So Many Networks…<br />
    14. 14. Web Traffic Sources<br />
    15. 15. Social Media Scans<br />
    16. 16. Social Media Scans<br />
    17. 17. Rapleaf Reports<br />
    18. 18.
    19. 19.
    20. 20. Case Studies<br />
    21. 21. Let Our Congress Tweet<br />Case Studies<br />
    22. 22.
    23. 23. Greenpeace International<br />Case Studies<br />
    24. 24.
    25. 25.
    26. 26.<br />Case Studies<br />
    27. 27.
    28. 28.
    29. 29.
    30. 30.
    31. 31.
    32. 32. World AIDS Day<br />Case Studies<br />
    33. 33.
    34. 34.
    35. 35. Twestival – Charity:Water<br />
    36. 36. Facebook –<br />
    37. 37. RI4A – Mobile Network<br />
    38. 38. DSTATT – ACLU Fndtn. of N. CA<br />
    39. 39. Q & A<br /><br /><br />