Social Media

Twitter & Facebook – Social Media Contributes to Spread of Osama's Death

At 11:35 p.m. last night President Barrack Obama confirmed the death of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to the Nation, seconds later millions of Americans announced it to each other.

Nearly ten years ago, news of the September 11 tragedy was telecasted by news stations and broadcast radio. Today’s headlines are spreading through a new medium: social media.

Tweets, texts and Facebook updates all contributed to the rapid spread of Obama’s news.

Alan Rudy, associate professor of sociology, anthropology and social work, said he first heard the news while doing the dishes and listening to the Phillies-Mets game on ESPN in the other room.

“At about the time the ESPN broadcasters learned from ABC News that bin Laden had been killed, the crowd in Philadelphia was abuzz with the news, news largely obtained via smart phones given text messaging, social media and web access,” Rudy said. “I was immediately struck by the role of the technology and new modes of communication and saddened by the outpouring of nationalism embodied in the USA! USA! USA! chants.”

With the chanting spreading like wild fire through the 45,000 to 50,000 people in the crowd, the role of social media in peoples’ lives was clear.

Facebook updates informed freshman Zach Mackowiak that the United States’ most wanted man was dead.

“I was studying for finals then refreshed my Facebook news feed and all these statuses said Osama is dead, so then I went to and saw it for myself,” the Shelby Township native said.

Along with Facebook and Twitter, text messaging also played a big role.

“My mom texted me the news then I went on Facebook to see what everyone else was saying,” Royal Oak freshman Michelle Kissick said. “I was really proud of the troops who give their lives to keep our country safe from terrorists like bin Laden.”

According to, within hours of the news, a new Facebook page “Osama bin Laden is DEAD” was created. With over 150,000 “likes” and counting, it definitely shows how people are feeling.

Before Obama even addressed the nation, speculation tweets exploded on Twitter.

Over an hour before the speech, Keith Urbahn, chief of staff for Office of Donald Rumsfield, tweeted “So I’m told by a reputable person they have killed Osama bin Laden. Hot Damn.”

With sources like Facebook and Twitter where people can virtually post whatever they want, it’s important to not always believe what you see, Rudy said.

He said, it may often generate shorter accounts, shorter news cycles and more superficial understanding of the news as a result.

“As has been the case since the rise of modern media and press outlets, the more news there is the harder it is to separate quality news from the quantity of news,” Rudy said. “And the greater the volume of the news, the less subtle, complex and sophisticated its character.”

Whether via social media or by word-of-mouth, it’s the news of the terrorist’s death that made the greatest difference in people’s lives.


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Social Media

Three ways any nonprofit can get more from social media

If you’re like most nonprofits, you’ve started using social media or are at least thinking about starting. You may have had a lot of successful experiences that you’ve learned and grown from.

Or you’ve dipped your toe and are just plain scared and confused.

Regardless of where you’re at in becoming a Networked Nonprofit, you can always improve how your org uses social media.

1. Redefine ROI

social media and roi Three ways any nonprofit can get more from social media
Graph by @mintblogger

The place where your organization falls on the continuum between being a fortressed nonprofit and being a  networked nonprofit will define how you look at ROI.

Transactionally-based organizations tend to view ROI as “Return On Investment”, looking mainly at donations or database acquisition.

With little understand of how social media can benefit your org, who can blame you for viewing ROI from a traditional, more familiar framework. “We invest in the thing called ‘social media’, and we get back the same things we’ve always gotten our other marketing channels. Right?”.

Not so much.

Redefining ROI from a networked nonprofit perspective opens up new possibilities. Consider these other ways you could view ROI:

  • Return on Insight – How do people feel about your organization? How to they discuss your cause?
  • Return on Interest – How can you find and engage with people who are already interested in what you do? How can you create even more interest?
  • Return on Ideas – What can we learn from our peers and “competitors”? Who’s talking about your cause in remarkable ways?
  • Return on Intensity – What if we could amplify the voices of our existing fans? How would that help us change the world?

2. Start Mud Wrestling

swindon mud wrestling Three ways any nonprofit can get more from social media

In the Networked Nonprofit, Beth Kanter and Alison Fine state that social media is a “contact sport” rather than a “spectator sport”.

I’ll take it one step further and call it Mud Wrestling.

You have to be willing to get dirty, look dumb and be caught off guard in order to learn how to use social media successfully.

The more willing you are to do this, the better and faster your success will be. Jumping in to the mud also allows you to learn the native tongue and become “one of them”.

And by the way, your fans are very forgiving of mistakes. In fact, they’ll love you for them.

3. Go Local

Facebook Places at University of Kentucky

Geosocial apps make offline events the ultimate viral engine.

Start thinking about how to create events that people can’t help but talk about! Then give them the tools and a little direction.

Also start thinking about using QR codes at your event to make it easy for people to take action online – while they’re there.

What do you think? Comment below

Social Media

How to Create a Social Media Conversion System

People often complain that social media is a giant time drain, but one that they know they must dive into because everyone says they must.

Of course this is exactly the kind of thinking that makes social media, or any business or marketing activity, a giant time drain.

Social media participation and integration is an important aspect of marketing and while the names, technologies, and tools may feel foreign, the fundamentals involved in making them pay are the same.

Marketing is about building trust and these days any effective conversion approach is steeped in building trust through engagement. This is true of selling, advertising, lead generation, and customer service – and it’s certainly true when it comes to building trust using social media platforms.

The trick, like all good inbound marketing, is to create value and a reason for someone that might encounter your business to want to know more.

Below are seven steps that can help you create your own social media conversion system. (Warning, these are pretty much the same steps I would recommend for engaging any prospect, online or off.)

Put content out strategically

The first step is to create and optimize content that can live in social media outposts such as Facebook, YouTube, Slideshare, Flickr or other social media community. You can also use ads placed on Facebook or LinkedIn as ways to drive attention to your content, offer, or other call to action.

Use landing pages for every choice

The next step is to build a series of unique landing pages for each community. In other words, create a page for your Twitter call to action, your Facebook call to action, your LinkedIn call to action and so on.

The difference in these pages may be subtle, but this is an important part of the personalized engagement. You can build these pages yourself, but using a landing page service, such as SiteTunersunbounce, or FutureNowis a great way to keep track of and measure results from lots of pages.

Make the message match

It’s important that the message on each page matches whatever your content and call to action in social media is. You can start by identifying that the visitor followed a link on Twitter and that they are indeed in the right place.

Think about using widgets that place a live twitter stream or Facebook Fan box on the page for visitors from these sources.

There are many other elements to good landing page design, but my main point here is the personalized page that matches some element of how the visitor got there. Here’s a good article on improving your landing page results.

Create a get to know more call to action

The real point of your engagement on your landing pages is to capture permission to share even more. The simplest form of doing this is to offer valuable information in exchange for an email address. (You can also offer following you in other social media platforms as an alternative to those that don’t want to give up an email address.)

Your PPC ads and ads on platforms like Facebook can point directly to their own landing page promoting your free information or offer. In some cases this may be a direct product link, but this will be far less effective.

Test every element

Landing page design and conversion is a bit of a science so you need to test every element – headline, call to action button, social media connection, message, offer, and even video and audio appeals.

The good news is that you can create what are called A/B tests using a tool like Optimizely or Google Website Optimizer or any of the landing page services mentioned previously.

Enable sharing

Since you’re playing in the social space here make sure that people can tweet that they just got your awesome information or that they “Like” your landing page. You can use social media plugins to make this easier on WordPress or static pages and most of the landing page services make this available as well.

Personalize follow-up

Once you’re captured permission you can really ramp up the personalization by using a service like Flowtown to add in lots of social media data about your landing page visitors.

Flowtown can integrate with many form, email and landing page services to create customized follow-up based on the email address and social media graph of each person that signs up for your free information. Flowtown uses Klout scoring data to rank the social influence of each person.

You can create campaigns for people that are most active on twitter or Facebook or you can also create a scoring system that notifies you when a particularly active or influential social media user enrolls. This type of approach might kick out a list of prospects for a live sales person to follow-up with.

While set-up of this system may take a bit of work in the beginning, once you have all the moving parts automated, you can focus on content creation while using social media sites as both an inbound and outbound lead generation and conversion platform.

Image credit: anitakhart via Flickr

Social Media

How to Combine Your Facebook Profile for Business and Personal

Despite publishing intimate details of their life, most people view Facebook as a very personal network; as a platform for pleasure not for business. But if you’re anything like me, your Facebook friends consist of people from a cross section of your life; some personal friends who you’ve known for years, some work colleagues and some contacts from your professional network. They may include anyone from your best mate to your mum to your boss to an industry peer, and that makes the humble status update a potential nightmare. Do you really want your boss to see the banter you have with your mates about the girl you pulled on your drunken night out? Do your friends really care about your industry blog posts or your work chat?

The psychology behind this dynamic leads to many people I know breaking Facebook rules and setting up two profiles; one personal profile and one professional profile. After all, you should never mix business with pleasure, isn’t that the mantra? But wouldn’t it be great if you could personalise your Facebook profile to every single one of your friends, giving each of them status updates and shared content that is specifically relevant to them and leaving out the stuff that isn’t?

Well, in actual fact, you can. Clever use of Facebook’s Lists feature means that you can keep your personal friends largely separate from your work colleagues, publishing different content to different groups on the same page while ensuring that never the twain shall meet. With Lists you can dice and splice your Facebook friends in as many different ways as you like, effectively presenting a personalised profile to each different one of your friends depending on their interests, your relationship with them and what you want them to see (and not to see). For once in your life you really can keep all of the people happy all of the time.

To get started, watch the short video clip below on how to create lists of friends in Facebook. You can create as many lists as you like, from simply one for ‘friends’ and one for ‘work’ as in my video example, to multiple lists. Importantly if you’re going to get very targeted with it, any friend can belong to more than one list.

Now you’ve got your lists set up, you can set about personalising your profile, which you do using the Hide option within Facebook’s posting function. Facebook gives you the ability to hide anything you share from anyone else, and you can use this to choose who you do want to see an update by removing those you don’t. The video clip below shows you how to do this, and can be employed whenever you post anything to your page, be it a shared article hidden from work colleagues such as my example, or a simple status update hidden from another of your lists. You can also hide more than once list for any update.

And there you have it; one Facebook profile, two uses. Business and pleasure combined. Simples!