Last week, in a post I wrote about How Twitter is Making us Lazy, Davina Brewer from @3HatsComm sharpened my thinking on why people often pass along information in social networks without taking action.
She said (in part) that action needs to be compelling:
I take action when action is warranted: when I feel compelled to comment, or RT with a comment….It's also a function of the content: was there a call to action? Did the content lend itself to being shared?
Of course relationship plays a big part in this as well. As Bert DuMars from Rubbermaid/Newall and author of the blog Social Web Ecosystem so aptly put it:
I agree with your post and it clearly shows how important real relationships are vs. online or acquaintances are.…As much as we would all like to have 1000, 10,000, 100,000 or more followers on our favorite social media service, it does not matter if no one cares what you say or what you are trying to accomplish. It is just a numbers game with no “social” to it at all.
I know someone who is really good at this. Beth Kanter, non-profit social media diva and a good friend is my poster child for how to get people to take action. And I am not alone in this assessment, Chris Brogan leads his chapter in Trust Agents about the Archimedes Effect (p. 113), which is about leverage and getting people to join with you to get something accomplished, with an example about Beth’s exceptional skill in this regard. Even Twitter recognized her by adding her to the recommended users list when you sign up for an account.
Beth’s Birthday Campaign Takeaways
Case in point, today is Beth’s 53rd birthday and she mounted a campaign, as she has done every year for the past nine, to raise money for the Sharing Foundation. Beth has two adopted children from Cambodia and the Sharing Foundation is a way for her family to help other children who weren’t so lucky to be adopted by Beth and her husband. Suffice to say she has raised thousands of dollars for the foundation. And while her goal for today was only $530, she has already raised $3,151. I think she should have aimed for $5,300.
Here are just four takeaways from Beth’s current campaign that make for a compelling call to action, rather than just something that is retweeted or passed on without action.
- Outreach. Reach out to your network of friends across platforms to let them know about what you are trying to accomplish. Be clear about your goal.
- Shared Accomplishment. Make the call to action an event. Today, as Beth puts it, she will be indulging in three of my passions: raising money for Cambodian children with social media, teaching a social media nonprofit strategy class at Stanford, and eating chocolate. She invites us to join in. It makes you feel as if you can make the difference.
- Inspire, Be Compelling. Beth inspires people with her campaigns, A few days ago I was contacted by Stacey Monk, who asked me if I would join in a surprise virtual birthday party for Beth, by posting about her goal and also giving to the cause.
- Ask, and Ask Again. Beth is great about multiple touches on a campaign. She understands that it may take more than one ask to get people to move, and she also knows how to do this without annoying people. In this campaign I was asked three times, by Beth in her blog, personally by Beth and then by Stacey, who asked for Beth unbeknownst to her. You can read the other 59 people who participated surprise birthday party (goal was 53).
If you aren’t subscribed to Beth’s Blog, following her on Twitter, or a fan of her Beth’s Blog Fan page, I would suggest you do all three. You will learn a ton from her, even if you aren’t working at a non-profit.
And let’s make Beth’s birthday wish on Facebook come true! Donate $10 or $53 and help Cambodian children. Let’s get it up to $5,300.
Happy birthday Beth!
Photo Credit: Beth Kanter with Geoff Livingston at the White House, Washington, DC. by Shel Israel.