Social Media Marketing Strategy for Nonprofits with Beth Kanter


Social media strategy for nonprofits specialist Beth Kanter on nonprofits that are using social media effectively, why research from Weber Shandwick and Philanthropy Now about the ROI of social media at nonprofits misses the mark and leaving social media ant trails.  

Featured Guest In 2009, Beth Kanter was named by Fast Company Magazine as one of the most influential women in technology and one of Business Week's “Voices of Innovation for Social Media.”


01:05 – An explanation of the visiting scholar program at the Packard Foundation and her upcoming book with Allison Fine tentatively titled “The Networked Nonprofit” to be published by Wiley.  

03:05 – The threats and opportunities that self organization via social media presents to nonprofit organizations.  

04:28 – Leaving social media ant trails online so people who have an interest in your cause can find you, and start leaving their own ant trails online to create a network effect.  

06:24 – The work of self-organizing, online collaborative activity specialist Eric Eugene Kim and the impact of leaving digital ant trials over time.  

07:59 – How the social media strategies of nonprofits differ from those of commercial organizations and government agencies and a discussion of how Dr. Richard Leakey, chairman at Wildlife Direct, is using a blog community of conservationists to leave ant trails that eastablish relationships among passionate wildlife conservation, and generates significant funds through online donations.  

09:45 – Delivering value to the community before asking for money and a discussion of how the March of Dimes Share Your Story online community for parents of babies born prematurely, or who have spent time in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), rallied around the family of a child that died, covering the the family’s funeral expenses and sending proceeds for the March of Dimes.  

11:54 – A discussion of Chris Brogan and Julien Smith’s give-to-take ratio, as prescribed in their book Trust Agents.  

14:40 – A discussion of how to effectively promote the new Facebook page launched by the US Dept. of State to extend the reach on the delegation’s participation at the COP15 UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.  

16:29 – Partnering and connecting with like-minded influencers as a way of proliferating a message through peers via social networks and using print collateral and signage to recruit online friends offline.  

18:58 – Cross promoting your Facebook badge on your blog and using conventional promotions to encourage social media engagement.  

19:54 –Weber Shandwick’s Social Impact Survey which is somewhat misleading, because it asks the wrong the questions, and which is also quite helpful, because it suggests that social media is less about building visibility and more about engaging communities.  

22:37 – Beth Kanter’s reaction to the results of Philanthropy Action’s report on Social Networking and Mid-Size Nonprofits.  

23:33 – Beth Kanter responds to Alison Noonan, who asks, “I’m currently working for a children’s charity.  Any suggestions how we can make up for lost funding with social media?” (Sorry Alison but I couldn’t find the roiginal tweet, or your Twitter ID, to link to.  Please send it to me again and I will add it.)    

26:07 – Translating the donor pyramid into a practical social media strategy for nonprofits and a study by Pew Internet which found that large charitable donations are more likely to occur online.  

27:03 – Beth Kanter responds to Kevin Skarrit, director of new media at, who asks via Twitter, “If resources are available, should NGOs create their own social networks, or only participate in other big ones like Facebook?”   27:50 – How websites are becoming more social and content is getting a social life through outposts like Facebook and Twitter, and your home base, such as your own website or blog.  

28:51 – How Planned Parenthood has reorganized their internal structure to form a content department, which manages content on their own website, and repurposes that content through social media channels.  

29:42 – A discussion of the Social Media Game created by David Wilcox and Beth Kanter, designed to take people through a simulated process of mapping a social media strategy to specific organizational objectives.  

38:51 – End   

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