1. Social Media Examiner Blog. I recently came across this site from a link to a post on ways non-profits can benefit from social media. The site delivers its tagline “Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle” through posts useful information and vivid images on tools and industry findings about ways to improve your social media reach.
2. Social Media for Nonprofits Seminar. If you learn best in a live setting, you may choose to kick off your social media knowledge (or develop it further) through the popular day-long seminar which brings together non-profit leaders with social media experts. I will be attending the event in SF area this week and look forward to reporting back on the experience.
3. Nonprofit Management 101: A Complete and Practical Guide for Leaders and Professionals. The emcee of the Social Media for Nonprofits Seminar served as executive director of the Craigslist Foundation and edited this book on managing non-profit resources, including social media.
4. Meetup Groups. After a point of experimenting with new techniques, reading articles, blogs, and books—you may find yourself just wanting to be in a room with other people who are facing the same questions and issues with their social media. Meetup groups may be your answer. For example, I am looking into migrating from Blogger to WordPress, and just from a quick search on Meetup I not only found a number of WordPress groups but also learned about a great seminar on the ins and outs of that platform.
5. LinkedIn Groups. If you want the digital version of a Meetup group, join a few LinkedIn groups related to your social innovation interest or social media needs. Group members share articles, upcoming events, and new research—and with the active comment sections you may even find it to be a useful networking opportunity. My tip: start out with a few groups, otherwise you may feel inundated with useful information.
6. Social Media Job Descriptions. Here’s an odd one, that makes sense. How can you learn about what social media tools industries are using? A great start is to look at social media job descriptions for social ventures you appreciate or respect—they often list the tools, platforms, and analytics that they expect candidates to be familiar with. It’s a great way to ‘check your notes’ to see if you are using those tools (or are familiar with them) too.
7. Conferences and UnConferences. I love live events—the idea of listening to information, laughing at jokes, and talking to people before and after and ‘in the hallways’ fascinates me. And I have met some great, inspiring people at various events. My suggestion is to take every opportunity to take your social network live.
8. Book Talks. Another great way to get in the know is to check with your local bookstore about upcoming book talks. There are bound to be a few related to social media, marketing, or management. Being able to hear an author talk about his/her experience in writing a book and the questions that the book answers is not only informative and engaging, but you may find yourself in great company.
9. Fiverr.com. If you are looking to complete a specific social media task, you may want to tap a fiverr member. The site lists tasks that a person will complete for $5. While you probably won’t be able to get your entire website re-designed, you may be able to have someone do an SEO review of your site or send you a list of the most valuable keywords. If you are a budding operation, outsourcing a few tasks may make your time more effective.
10. Informal Intros. I have found social innovators to be a remarkably open and helpful group of folks. If you were ever wondering “how did they do that” with regards to a website, social media strategy, cause marketing, or audience engagement—you may want to just ask. By email, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook comment—you may find that an informal intro to be a great way to connect and share useful information.