This month’s Austin Social Media Club featured a panel of nonprofit movers and shakers who answered questions from David Neff (another local nonprofit rock star) about how they utilize social media within their organizations. Although the topics vary from month to month, I noticed from the first club meeting I attended that social media for social good is always an underlying theme. Sure, people want to grow their businesses and grow their networks using social media, but using social media tools to facilitate a call to action, is what Austin Social Media Club does best. Whether you’re talking about @ConnieReece and The Frozen Pea Fund, or @MikeChapman and Mobile Loaves & Fishes, @MichelleGreer and the hugely successful Austin Charity Water Twestival or @daveiam and Lights. Camera.Help., it’s all about making a difference.
I mean, it’s really not all that surprising that my first Tweetup was a Bleedup! I gave blood for the first time in my life, summer of 2008, due to Michelle Greer and David Neff’s persistent tweeting. Their efforts helped the local blood bank double their supplies before the busy fourth of July weekend.
The cool thing about this month’s meeting is that RealNetworks, Inc. donated $1000 to the Austin Social Media Club. ASMC then forwarded the money to Mobile Loaves and Fishes to help them toward their goal of purchasing a mobile home for Peggy, a local disabled homeless woman. In return, the meeting began with a short conversation about video and Ooona Rokyta explained how their new product, RealPlayerSP, is a super easy way to play and share videos on your phone or computer. Thank you for your generosity RealPlayerSP! I hope more companies will follow their lead!
All of the panelists rely on grants and donations for their organizations to run smoothly and successfully. But the common theme of the night was that their number one priority was not to ask for money, but to engage and build relationships while providing quality content, resources and information. These people are passionate about their work and excited about sharing their cause, answering questions, and making new friends. And when their fans or followers DO decide to donate their time or their money, it’s because they feel involved and connected.
Mr. Mobile Loaves and Fishes said it best:
It’s all about the three R’s. Relationships, relationships, relationships. ~ Alan Graham
Austin Social Media Club is an equal opportunity, user generated, venue where you can network, learn, and be inspired. They have meetings every month and it’s open to anyone who is interested in learning more about social media. And just so you know, Social Media Club meetings take place all over the world. Check this wiki to find a club meeting near you, or you might want to start one yourself!