I will be speaking at ForSE 2009 on October 23rd, so figured should post a short preview on it.
ForSE which stands for FORum for Social Entrepreneurs is an annual conference spearheaded by the TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) Social Entrepreneurship SIG. The conference brings together social innovators, leading business professionals, investors, donors, government officials, academics, and students to facilitate the sharing of new technology and business ideas, and to foster informed discussion on new social venture concepts.
What is the topic about? Here is the blurb…
Are “Social Media” and “Social Entrepreneurship” compatible? Already Twitter, Facebook, and the rest are revolutionizing the business and marketing of social impact. Every day, it seems, another grassroots effort testifies to these platforms and their ability to spread a message to thousands, even millions. Followers become funders, messages become movements, and social networks beget social change. How does the speed and reach of social media alter the formulas for successful social impact? What happens when marketing evolves from broadcast to conversation, fundraising changes from large donors to micro-donations, or collaboration moves from sweaty basements to vast social networks?
While we’ll discuss more on the topic at ForSE and delve into the details, here are four basic tips for Social Entrepreneurs interested in leveraging social media:
- Understand the fundraising process
Understanding the process is critical in converting people who know about the organization to people who invest in the organization. Do you know what attracts people to your cause and how to get the buy-in from them through social media?
- Understand the target audience
Who should you tap into and what kind of donations should you target – Macro or Micro or both. What channels can be used to reach these target audiences and how many should you reach out to, so you can achieve your goal.
- Understand how inbound marketing works
Traditional methods like newsletters, ads etc are outbound marketing whereas Social media enables “inbound marketing”. Keep in mind that social media is just the communication channel because it disburses your information virally and allows you to tap into a new set of audience. Producing the right content (blogs, videos, articles) that is engaging is the key to attract the right group of people into your organization and thus make inbound marketing work.
- Create a strategy and implementation plan
Putting together a broad strategy and an easy implementation plan is the key to getting started. Read more about it in my post on “Integrating and leveraging social media in your organization’s marketing strategy“.
Meanwhile, if you are interested in attending the conference, you can register on the TiE Boston Website. There are some very good speakers lined up and of course you can hear my views too…
For those of you who are interested in learning about how to leverage twitter, you can read my post “The hype about Twitter and how you can be a part of it – The 7 Tips!“.