Lessons Learned from Social Media Unplugged


Social Media Marketing Unplugged

Considering my last post was entitled the Confessions of a Genea-Conference Groupie it probably won’t surprise anyone that I like other types of conferences too…especially if they cross over well to non profit organizations and genealogy.

Social media is ‘one of my things.’  I manage the social media for the Alberta Family Histories Society.  I also have a great group of friends on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.  My Luxegen blog where you are now has been cooking along for almost 3 years now.  I’m engaged and active in social media every single day.

Why am I telling you all of this?

Because I was at yet another conference – this one on social media marketing.

But first some facts.

Did you know?

  • Social Media is the #1 activity on the internet
  • Facebook – 25 billion items viewed a month
  • Twitter – 800,000,000 searches/day
  • Blog – 200,000,000 blogs on Blogger
  • 3.6 photos are shared on Flickr
  • 1 billion views/day on YouTube
  • Teenagers watch prime time TV but not on TV nor on prime time
  • 65% Americans sleep with a mobile phone within 6 feet of bed

Marty Yaskowich, Managing directory of Tribal DDB Canada shared those stats in the opening address of Social Media Marketing Unplugged.

As I listened to all of the speakers, I was considering how we could translate this into positive things for our non profit genealogy society.  I’ll share several takeaways from this conference.  I won’t share any talks verbatim but here are my scribblings and points noted.

TAKE AWAY – from Marty Yaskowich –

Business  Strategy – Study – Listen – Publish – Engage – Influence – Activate

Have clear business goals.  Social media is the story telling platform.  The most successful business campaigns appeal to emotions.  Engagement, Influence, Activation.


TAKE AWAY from Patti Blackstaffe, President of Strategic Sense

Social Media Guidelines (rule of thumb) – be kind, promote and credit others, respond, be who you say you are (“bullshi*t meter” works very quickly in social media), be patient.

TAKE AWAY from Crystal Henrickson, Marketing Director of Yelp Canada

Research customers, demographics, what platforms are available to target new customers, monitor and engage.

TAKE AWAY from Elijah Van Der Giesseen,  Creative Services Lead of the David Suzuki Foundation. (a non profit model).

  • Use Social media (Facebook and twitter) for non profits to raise awareness
  • Key – build a big list of subscribers.  These are the LEADS.
  • Advocacy – how do I build a community. Advocacy forms – clear call to action
  • Be persistent about asking people to join subscriber list.  Share with friend feature.
  • Degree of Trust – if friends recommend it then it must be okay ie Like feature on facebook page
  • People won’t donate via social media but will by phone or email (build that list!)  Social media builds the relationships.
  • Know your audience

TAKE AWAY: Rochelle Grayson, CEO of BookRiff Media, challenged us to think about what people would pay for:

  • pay to save time  (microwave dinner, eating out)
  • Convenience
  • Immediacy – Pay for Now – ie. Netflix, Kindle, Starbucks mobile app
  • Comfort – pay to remove ads or to get extra benefits
  • Self Esteem – make people feel special – ego, vanity, “talking to me!” . Allow them to brag about it.  (great for Non-profits – example “I donated $10 to the David Suzuki Foundation”)
  • Relationships –examples – match.com; flattr.com – donate by clicks (set monthly budget)
  • Belonging – cool kid group examples – Justin Bieber fan club, PatientsLikeMe.com
  • Access – VIP club
  • Scarcity
  • Health and well being, how to make money, Achieve your goals, entertainment, creative learning.

She gave us two slides of questions to think about based on the list above.  My take on it was – can we provide a solution, solve a problem or fill a need.

TAKE AWAY:  Kemp Edmonds of Hootsuite stressed that email communication is very important.

Also business (or non profits) needed to have a LANDING PAGE as front webpage page – with only 3 to 5 options – focus on goals  – in our case – giving value to our members and recruiting new members.

He said “Home pages are where clicks go to die.”

Using a landing page is similar to what prominent genealogy industry leader Curt Witcher said in High Tech High Touch.  We need to be collecting new members from the front page.

It was a good day and I want to thank the speakers for their presentations and Jonathan Chow of SideTrek for organizing the event.  One thing I really enjoyed was having lots of networking time.   I met some interesting people and hope to stay in touch.

Oh yeah…speaking of networking, five of us from my Toastmasters network were there.  It was great fun catching up with them over lunch.

What are your thoughts on social media?   If you belong to a non profit organization,  how are they using social media to market?

Please leave your comments below.


Author: © Joan Miller - Luxegen Genealogy.

The Luxegen Genealogy and Family History blog presents the family history stories of Joan Miller.