Free Chicago Seminars Experiential Social Media Nonprofits

Introducing the Free Chicago Seminars Experiential Social Media Nonprofits

Free Chicago Seminars Experiential Social Media ?NonprofitsThe Free Chicago Seminars of Experiential Social Media for Nonprofits and social impact firms aims to help nonprofits and social impact firms to unlock the power of experiential to transform their commitments from their donors, volunteers and other supporters. The series will be offered by CSRA in Chicago starting Summer 2018. Experiential is “the nonprofit way” to do social media because its main goal is serving people, not marketing to them. And it usually produces much better business outcomes than social media and marketing.

I designed this three-part public seminar series for nonprofits and social impact companies, and I’m making it available for free to qualified groups. I’ve pioneered the development of experiential social media since 2006, and I want to share a new way to build trust and commitment from donors, volunteers, partners, clients and other stakeholders to nonprofits and social impact firms.

The Three-Part Series What’s Experiential Social Media?

Free Chicago Seminars Experiential Social Media NonprofitsMost executive directors and […]

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Use Scenarios to Network into Jobs

Use Scenarios to Network into Jobs and ContractsUse Scenarios to Network into Jobs and Contracts reveals a new way to break through when you’re looking for new consulting work or employment for yourself, or you’re fundraising for your startup or nonprofit. As these pages detail, I’ve learned that “breaking through the noise” is easy when you play music. You’ll learn how to do it here.

Insight from Ethnographic Research

Use Scenarios to Network into Jobs: Insight on Human BehaviorI’ve conducted ethnographic research of social media since 2006, so I have a window into humanity that few other people do. I’ve also been pioneering in disruptive tech since the 1990s, so I’ve had a front row seat to the explosion of information and splintering attention most of my clients talk about. Since the 1980s, I’ve been very active with networking at events and organizations. So I have a diverse viewpoint. Here are a few things I’ve learned:

Behavioral economics and cognitive science consistently reveal that people make decisions emotionally, with their gut, although they’re usually unaware of this. The intellect wraps the decision in a […]

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CSRA Milestones Ten Years of Experiential Social Media

CSRA Milestones: The First Ten YearsCSRA milestones reflects on my first ten years of experiential social media, seen through the eyes of clients I’ve served. I’ll share what I learned about what outcomes we got in each engagement as well as how it happened that I developed and pioneered experiential, which if a repeatable process for developing trust and profit at scale.

If you’d like to watch this post instead, just click the thumbnail button.

Global Investment Bank

CSRA Milestones The First Ten YearsI’m grateful to a global investment bank for being my first client! I worked closely with an internal strategy team for over a year and researched disruptive digital social trends that could affect the bank and its wealth management business. This work was very similar to what I did at PricewaterhouseCoopers’ strategy practice because I advised on strategy for a global business dealing with digital disruption.

The Executive’s Guides

In 2007, I ended up writing the first “executive’s guide” to LinkedIn, by accident. I’d been explaining the value of LinkedIn to […]

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Social Media Strategy Good Practices

Social media strategy good practices is a short list of principles that can make your firm stand out when empowering customer and employee experience. It’s part of a talk I gave today to a large multidisciplinary team. Their venerable institution plans to use social media strategy to get the ducks in a row without too much squawking. The most exciting aspect of social media strategy is that there’s so much room for improvement: while your peers and competitors are trying to “engage” with finely crafted-yet-impersonal content, you can power past them using experiential social media, which focuses on scalable interaction.

Social Media Strategy Good Practices: summary

Here are the cliff notes to the good practices part of our discussion:

Make Personas Actionable

Social Media Strategy Good Practices: Make personals actionablePersonas are like strategy: often researched and constructed but seldom used to optimal effect. Social media changes that because your teams can find personas online and iterate them continuously, quickly and inexpensively. They […]

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Short Guide to Forum Outreach

Short Guide to Forum Outreach: experiential social mediaThe short guide to forum outreach reveals how experiential social media teams can tap forums’ unique opportunity to engage users, using a three-stage model. Forums are vital to relationship building with people with specific interests. They are consistently the most people-centric platform type according to CSRA’s research in such diverse industries as healthcare, consumer products, financial services, government, and nonprofits. As such, although they are very human and social, forums are distinct from social media, which often enables social actions oriented to content sharing and short exchanges.

In some ways, forums are the polar opposite of social media because their DNA is threaded discussions, which enable long conversations among many members. Even more exciting, the most passionate members are often members of several forums that are relevant to your stakeholders and workstreams.


Forums can be the most personal of digital social venues, so the team’s goals should be grounded in communicating via interaction rather than words. Usually, this means that they need to build their individual identities, which roll up to the team’s identity. Prepare aims to build these identities by interacting in ways […]

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Short Guide to Blog Infrastructure

Short Guide to Blog InfrastructureThis short guide to blog infrastructure outlines some of the basics for how to choose a platform and make best use of basic blog features, so your blog will encourage interactions with your high-priority readers. Most brands and people use blogs for content marketing, but it competes for pocket change and leaves the bills on the table. Here you’ll learn how to organize your blog, so it engages readers more deeply by relating to them in distinctive ways. Before delving into some bits and bytes of blog software and features, I’ll outline a new way to approach engagement that changes the rules, which are themselves a kind of infrastructure.

One: A New Approach to “Engagement”

Content marketing and marketing automation are incrementally better than mass communications because they use digital data and robust software to “micro-target” content to audiences. By analyzing audiences’ digital activities, marketing automation software sends them content that its algorithms determine has a high probability of being relevant to audiences’ buying journeys. Content marketing tries to attract audiences with relevant content, too. These principles underlie the structures, strategies, and tactics of most blogs.

Here’s how […]

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Financial Services Social Business Pioneer: Putnam Investments

Financial Services Social Business Pioneer: Putnam InvestmentsPutnam Investments has been a financial services social business pioneer for many years, so here I’ll summarize their pioneering initiatives that show that regulated financial services firms can communicate with clients and prospects in many-to-many social venues without going astray. True, it helps having a CEO that was the first CEO from a mutual funds firm on Twitter.

The point remains, imagination and inertia are preventing financial services firms from engaging with clients and prospects in digital social venues, not regulators. Here’s how it’s done.

Putnam Investments Social Business Initiatives Financial Services Blogs and Twitter One of Putnam’s blogs is The Retirement Savings Challenge, which is notable because it’s concerned with stakeholders’ (prospects, clients) financial wellbeing—it’s not focused on financial products. It talks about the challenge in general (most Americans have relatively little saved for retirement). That said, they need to work on interactivity. Wealth Management shows thought leaders in action, as they offer posts pertinent to various investment goals. Advisor Tech Tips shows investment advisors how to use digital tools and social business to engage. How-to posts and videos on using LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Alerts […]

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The End of Social Media Reflected by Fake Followers

Bill Snyder at Infoworld posted some amazing statistics that support the end of social media as we know it, which I predicted in 2009. Marketing and public relations have been losing influence for years because they are impersonal, and people prefer personalized interactions (deep dive here), so marketers and their vendors are grasping at straws. In this context, “social media” has generally been practiced as a shallow promotional activity, and my premise in predicting its demise is that the true potential of social technologies is creating and maintaining relationships, which are based on personalized attention and caring.

Twitter’s Fake Followers lays out in gory detail the extent of vendors’, marketers’, “celebrities’ and politicians’ desperation, and its links take you to real data. It also links to the Fake Follower Check, which reveals the degree of fake followers of any Twitter handle/username. For example, since I have chosen to build a tight Twitter network, I have 2% of fakes, 8% inactive and 90% good. Unsurprisingly, political candidates have some of the biggest percentage of fakes in their followings. I first covered sponsored tweets in 2009 in Advertising on Twitter?

Why the […]

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Why Mobile Advertising Is Flawed

How Marketers Are Pushing the Wrong Button on Mobile

Mobile advertising is flawed when it interrupts and spies on users

Mobile advertising is flawed because it interrupts. CMOs’ continued use of such outmoded marketing tactics isn’t pretty, like bursting market bubbles or parties at which one has stayed too long. Screen-hogging banners or tricky apps are unnecessary for those who understand the mobile experience and how to add value; however, they are very effective for alienating clients and customers. As Stan Rapp puts it, “Don’t do things to people (do things with them).” In the interest of doing mobile right, I’ll juxtapose the mobile experience with advertising to show how inappropriate much of it is before suggesting how marketers and brands can add value and avoid destroying trust.

“Everybody hates digital ads.” This is a refrain I’ve heard forever, and I have never heard anyone say that they like them. People don’t even like big screen ads. What most marketers may not know is that even application makers and […]

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Brands’ Facebook Investments Show Increasing Risk

Recent coverage has increased my doubts in Facebook’s management team, whose failure to capitalize on its unique assets looks increasingly likely. In the Facebook As Investment trilogy, I examined Facebook through three different lenses and voiced my doubts about its management team’s ability to realize the company’s fantastic potential. Many of CSRA’s clients have invested significantly in Facebook presences, and I am not predicting the site’s demise, but I question its long-term viability. Brands face two types of immediate risk: erratic technology/functionality changes to “add value” with features—and lack of innovation due to management team paralysis. Facebook Page owners and individual users may be inconvenienced, but nothing drastic will happen right away. As a related issue, Facebook’s experience may presage a Web 2.0 startup bubble bursting. After a summary of danger signs, I’ll recommend how you can minimize your inconvenience due to Facebook’s gyrations.

Posts that Suggest that Facebook Is Drifting

In Facebook Revenue Skids, Shares Plummet, I am not concerned about revenue and even less about share price; however, the management team’s quoted responses do not reflect an understanding of the company’s lack of a value proposition. Zuckerberg’s answer is […]

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