On Wednesday I had the pleasure of attending (as a sponsor and learner) the Social Media for Nonprofits Conference in San Francisco. I got a great deal out of the topics presented, which included a fascinating breakdown of digital storytelling by Jonah Sachs, founder and Creative Director of Free Range Studios, an audience participation discussion about engaging Free Agents (kicked off by the chicken dance) with nonprofit social media phenomenon Beth Kanter, and a marvel of a presentation on measuring social media impact by JD Lasica, among many others.

I also learned a great deal from Guy Kawasaki's presentation called Semper Social (Always Social). He broke down how to be enchanting in social media into 10 key points (which turned out to be 12, thanks for the bonus).

Here are the points and my own takeaways, in addition to the aching laughing muscles, as Guy is pretty funny:

  • Tip #1: Always be Likable - dress like your peers, smile (include your eyes; crows feet are a sign of a genuine smiler), perfect your handshake.
  • Tip #2: Always be Trustworthy - he put forward Zappos.com as the leader in trust, since they were able to get ladies to buy shoes without trying them on. He pointed out that in social media, you have to trust in order to be trusted. Start with a "yes" about whether and how you can help the other person and see what emerges. He said, "Be a baker, not an eater." Shifting our context from "what I eat you cannot eat" to "let's see what we can make together" is important to win trust. This way of being resonates a lot with me, so it was not new. For myself, I find I have to practice periods of "no" to keep the balance. I think everyone needs to stike their own here. Be helpful in ways that fill the well and do not exhaust and deplete you.
  • Tip #3: Always be DICEE
    • Deep - lots of function, do lots of things
    • Intelligent - you can tell by the design that your pain is understood
    • Complete - they thought of everything I need, documentation, etc.
    • Empowering - make people feel more creative and productive
    • Elegant - care about the design and the human interface
  • Tip #4: Always be Answering - strive to answer email with 48 hours, engage flat (with the high level contact as much as the man on the street, plant many seeds, do not wait until all your other work is done. Social media and contact is core now to staying connected.
  • Tip #5: Always be Thanking - Anytime anyone says something positive, thank them. People who feel appreciated appreciate back.
  • Tip #6: Always be Disclosing - I love that on his site, Guy lists "alignments of interest" rather than "conflicts of interest" since as he said, "me and these interests are totally aligned." He just wants to make sure people know what his are, and finds that telling them, even if he then recommends a product that the company makes (for example) he is more trusted than if he did not say anything about his interest.
  • Tip #7: Always be Repeating - this was one of the surprises of the talk, since it goes against most current advice and conventional wisdom, but he advocates repeating tweets and updates. With Twitter especially, his statistics prove out that when he tweets mutliple times over several days the same thing, each time gets different and comparable traffic from his list of followers. 
  • Tip #8: Always be Subtle - do not use your Twitter or other social media presence to promote yourself all the time. 5-10% is a good measure for self-promotion. With all other communications, strive to be helpful by providing or linking to great content. He noted the example of NPR, which he felt "earned the right, in listerners minds, to have a telethon 3 times a year" because they are so useful and such "bakers" most of the time that people do not mind this.
  • Tip #9: Always be Linking - Act as a curator of good content, subject matter expert in your field. Use aggregator services to source interesting content for your followers (specfic examples mentioned were StumbleUpon, Smart Brief, and AllTop. (AllTop is Guy's company)
  • Tip #10: Always be Monitoring - Look for mentions of your product, company, name on social media to hear what people are saying.
  • Tip #11: Always be Snapping - Guy noted Twitter as a linking economy, while Facebook is an image economy. Take pictures of your lunch, where you are, whatever. 
    • Tip #11A: Always be Cropping - "people do not want to see the feet," and a close-up of the faces is already small as a thumbnail on facebook.
  • Tip #12: Always be Commenting: Interact with those who interact with you or interst you. Comment on the blogs, share what you feel and observe.

Guy has a new book out called Enchantment, the Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions, which I plan to put on my reading list.