Instagram for Conventions: A Recap from the #AFAAM

Had a great time at the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors Annual Meeting – otherwise referred to as #AFAAM online. In many ways, this meeting is like a family reunion. I feel that way because I have the opportunity to work with so many colleagues throughout the year at various programs like the NIC’s Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute.

Great to see UIFI interns in student affairs graduate programs! Here’s me with Michael Maksymowski.

I wanted to play around with embedding things from instagram on this blog post. Above is a picture – and then the infamous Duck Race supporting the AFA Foundation. Congrats, Dave Westol!

Instagram was pretty happening during the conference. It looks like there were roughly 920 photos posted with the #AFAAM hashtag. Check them out!

How would you recommend using instagram at meetings?

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Social Media Strategy For Fraternal Organizations Slides at #CFLNBGLC

Few things get me more excited than a packed room full of fraternity and sorority leaders that are passionate about making change in their communities. Today was a good day!

We have an opportunity to help our members, chapters and community understand how to use social media to effectively advance our goals. This will happen if our organizations take the time to create an effective strategy that guides social media efforts to align with organizational mission, purpose and goals. These slides include my approach to develop a successful strategy for social media. 

If you have questions about any of these slides, please let me know!

Once you have a strategy, then we can begin to talk more about the tactics, tips & best practices to help drive more engagement and results.

What was your favorite tip from this session? Tell me on Twitter by tweeting to @hust0058 with the #CFLNBGLC hashtag.

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Communication: Building Foundation Awareness Through Compelling News and Social Media

I just presented the following presentation at the NICF’s THE Foundations Seminar for Fraternity & Sorority Foundation professionals and volunteers.

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3 Secrets For Social Media Fundraising Success

I get excited when I see a headline that really catches my attention – especially in the realm of nonprofit, fundraising & social media. Social fundraising is critical in developing grassroots fundraising opportunities for organizations.

The post I saw that stoked my thoughts that follows below was Social Media for Social Good: 3 Secrets to Raising Big Bucks Online. Great headline that is right in the “sweet spot” of my interests! There is some solid data in this article (definitely worth a minute to read), but I think these “3 Secrets” are off. The author shares these tips:

1. Hire or Assign Someone Currently on Staff

2. Allocate Budget

3. Add Social Media Components to Your Fundraising Appeals

I’ll share my 3 Secrets with you in a moment.

Don’t get me wrong. These are important pieces of social media strategy. I don’t think these are the “3 Secrets to Raising Big Bucks Online.” The top tier social fundraisers are presumably the top fundraising organizations period. The article noted organizations that have dedicated staff like Make-a-Wish Foundation, Best Friends Animal Society, Chris and Dana Reeve Foundation, American Red Cross, National Wildlife Federation, Humane Society and March of Dimes. These organizations are probably generating much more fundraising revenue through traditional channels than other foundations and charitable organizations.

I would love to see the author, Frank Barry, share how organizations with the best percentage of total fundraising revenue coming from social channels are killing it with social media fundraising.

I suspect that nonprofits that are raising a stronger percentage of money through social channels are:
1) Sharing how to connect with the organization online (as stated above in point #3)
2) Approaching the presence with a fundraising mentality & emphasizing their case for support
3) Asking People To Give Via Their Content!

Most nonprofits I’ve been following on Twitter and Facebook simply fail to ask people to make a gift. It seems so common sense, but is often overlooked.

I welcome your thoughts and feedback. If you’ve made a gift online as a result of following an organization’s social media presence, I’d love to hear what compelled you to donate.

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Social Media Strategy Development for Fraternal Organizations at #CFLNBGLC

I really enjoy speaking with students at the AFLV Central Fraternal Leadership Conference & National Black Greek Leadership Conference. I’m a product of this conference going back to my undergraduate attendance 10 years ago.

Just because you have a Facebook Page or Twitter account does NOT mean you have have a strategy. Learn what the best businesses and organizations are doing to utilize social media and deliver organizational results.

That’s the primary description of this presentation. I wanted students to walk away from this two-hour presentation with the core outline of their social media strategy that they can implement when they are back on campus. Following that hour of strategy development, I provided an overview of top social media platforms such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, foursquare, and others so that participants could have a better idea of the landscape of social media.

Click through the presentation. Have more questions, ideas or need advice? Connect with me – @hust0058 on Twitter or leave a comment below.

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Digital Note-taking and Etiquette

Yesterday I was asked for my opinion on Tweeting during presentations. I think that this is a great way to share relevant information from the speaker to your followers. As fellow conference attendees it is also interesting to hear what topics are resonating with others.

As a presenter I appreciate the instant feedback from the audience. During my session – Getting Schooled Online: Using Social Media for Professional Development at the NACA Mid America Meeting I saw that several participants were really captivated by certain phrases that I used.

Effective note taking is important because you’ll have a 1000 great ideas swirling around your head. Being able to access them from your phone – to your computer – to your iPad/tab.

Here is a list of Free Applications that are “in the cloud” to can help with your digital note-taking:

1) Evernote

I love this app for notes. Tag notes with categories you’ll be using to help search notes later on. A few of my tags are AFA2011, Recruitment, Leadership, Risk Management, Follow Up

2) Twitter

Tweet some of your favorite quotes, books mentioned, etc. This isn’t the best method if you are expecting to go back and review what you’ve tweeted depending on your volume of updates.

3) Tumblr

If you have a blog where you share professional or personal information this can be a good place to write a recap of what you’ve heard. Want to get started today? A fast and easy to use blogging platform is Tumblr. Posts on Tumblr tend to be a little more brief than a full-blown blog.

4) WordPress

If you have a WordPress blog, you might not know that you can create and publish new posts from the mobile WordPress App. One way I use this app is to take online format notes in a new blog post. I just save it and don’t publish it. Later on I’ll go back to the post flush out the outline or ideas I’ve typed and post it.

5) Blogger

If you blog on Blogger you can do the same thing that I described on WordPress.

6) Gmail

I like making notes actionable. Maybe I hear something that would be really helpful to share with a friend or colleague. Create an email and type up some actionable thoughts that you’ve heard.

7) Google Docs

Again, this is a great opportunity to type up notes on my device and have them available for access when I get back to my computer – or if I log into my Gmail account from any computer – anywhere.

8 ) Google Calendar

I use my calendar to block some time for issues I’d like to follow upon. I know that I’m going to lose the name of the book that the presenter referenced. If I’m really interested in it, I’ll plug it into my calendar a few days after I get home so I can look it up and make the purchase. I do keep an ever-evolving list of books that are on my “wish list” in Evernote.

9) To Do List Apps

I’m not a big to do list app guy. But my friend Spring-Eve Rosado says Teux Deux is awesome.

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Explore #AFA2011AM on Foursquare and Find Specials

I like foursquare. In fact, for more than a year and a half I’ve been blogging about foursquare on and moderating a Twitter chat about foursquare (#4sqChat – Mondays at 9p ET).

Foursquare is a social media application based on location. It is often called a location-based network or geo-social network. Either way, foursquare is especially fun when traveling to connect with friends and explore interesting local spots. Users check-in to share their location with friends (worried about privacy – you choose who your friends similar to Facebook and you can decide what you want to share to Twitter or Facebook).

The #AFA2011AM has venues for the AFA Annual Meeting and the Silent Auction.

That’s fun, but it is even more fun to use foursquare to explore a city!


Click the Explore or Radar tab in foursquare. This is pretty cool feature. Before you type in and search check out the options:

Trending venues are probably happening for a reason. And one of your friends may very well be among the crowd.

Recommended venues are suggested because of their popularity.

If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, I suggest clicking the “Specials” button to find all the nearby deals. Foursquare has partnered with Groupon and ScoutMob to offer discount deals at some venues, too. You might be able to buy and use one of those deals immediately. You never know when you might find free food or drinks nearby, too!

Some fun specials near the conference:

  • Mike Shannon’s Outfield at620 Market Streetoffers “one free domestic or cocktail” for your very first check-in at their venue.
  • Mango Peruvian Cuisine at 1101 Lucas Ave(at 11th) “check-in with 4 or more friends and receive a complimentary small plate for your table.”
  • Soulard’s Restaurant and Bar at 1731 South 7th St. has a GROUPON affiliated discount “$14 for $20” deal.
  • Brewhouse Historical Sports Bar at 315 Chestnut St.(at 4th) will give you “a free chili-cheese dip when you check-in.”

In addition to some great specials, be sure to look over the popular tips at venues when you check-in. Users often leave some great recommendations. Having trouble picking between a couple of items – if something is popular that definitely sways my vote!

You can make foursquare more fun, useful and exciting by sharing your insights as Tips when you check-in.

Happy checking in!

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25 Tips For Conferencing On Twitter

When I speak about social media at conferences, I start by saying I love social media because it is like a conference. Social media during a conference is like a conference within a conference. Whoa – that’s like INCEPTION.

Here is my guide to conferencing on Twitter:

1) Get an App

The native Twitter app on iPhone, Android and BlackBerry is fine. If you are updating multiple Twitter accounts (your personal account, your organization/school/department account, &/or your alter ego account) you might want to try Tweetdeck, Hootsuite or Seesmic. Yes, Twitter is nice from the comfort of your laptop, but you’ve got to be ready to tweet on the go at conferences.

2) Don’t be Private.

Yes, this is a personal choice, but to maximize conferencing you’ll want people to know that you’re there. Tweeting with a private account only means your current friends will see what you are posting.

3) Tweet with the Hashtag

Often conferences will be promoting the hashtag they would like people to follow. At the 2011 AFA Annual Meeting the hashtag that has been promoted is #AFA2011AM. (And yes, I do think it is kind of awkward to go back and forth between alpha-number-alpha, but go with it.)

4) Follow the Hashtag

In your app – set up a search for #AFA2011AM. Now you can see what conversations are taking place around the conference.

5) Connect with New People on Twitter

Conferences are about the people you meet. One of my favorite things about Twitter is the ability to make new friends. You can do this online and offline. Connect with others Tweeting about the Conference!

6) Check Conference Name Tag / Flair for Twitter Handle

It isn’t uncommon for people to have their Twitter name (@hust0058) next to their real name on conference name tags. Sometimes vendors, sponsors, or the conference itself provides stickers or buttons for people to write down their “Twitter names”.

7) Meet Tweeps

Tweep? Twitter people. Meet the people you’ve been chatting with online but haven’t had the chance to meet in real life.

8 ) Retweet Others

It feels good to get Retweeted. Someone likes what you’ve got to say! Give that feeling to others by sharing interesting or intriguing comments.

9) Mention People

Conversations can happen online. Give people feedback on their perspective.

10) Add to the Discussion

Share a link to a relevant article, book, or news.

11) Take a Picture

A Tweet is worth 140 characters. A picture is worth 1000 words. And that takes me to my next point.

12) Be Professional

You are who you are. Online and off. This is a reflection of your personal brand – what I’ve dubbed your “Living Resume”. Some people like to complain online – some people like to complain in person. I encourage you to be like-able and friendly. Those are the people that draw a following in real life as well.

13) Facebook Friendly Tweets

Sometimes you’ll want to share a Tweet on Facebook. Facebook users tend not to like “@username” and “#hashtag” popping up in their news feed. Think about what you share from Twitter to Facebook.

14) LinkedIn Friendly Tweets

Not every Tweet needs to be on LinkedIn. I recommend keeping the tweets you share to LinkedIn professionally oriented.

15) Follow New Tweeps

Like what someone has to say – give them a follow. That way you’ll learn more about what the person has to say. It is also a great way to keep up with conference friends year-round.

16) Consider Not Spamming All Your Followers

Pro Tip: if your Tweet starts with a Twitter handle “@username” only your followers that also follow that account will see the tweet in their stream. When I spoke at the NACA Mid America Meeting, I often started tweets with @thenacamam (their username) to not bombard my followers with constant content they might not be interested in. Using the conference handle or the username of the presenter can be effective.

17) Follow Lots of New Tweeps

Use to follow everyone Tweeting a certain hashtag.

18) Build A List

Really like a group of people that know a lot about Social Justice or Fraternity Recruitment? Start a list to follow those users. A good example is the one that I created of all the NIC Member Fraternities (!/nicfraternity/nic-fraternities). Other people can then follow your lists (or you can keep them private).

19) Direct Messaging Is An Option: Use It

Direct Messages are available if someone follows you on Twitter. This is one of the reasons I encourage people and organizations to follow back. Sometimes conversations aren’t necessary in public. Know when you need to take something offline or keep it between the two of you. — Or just keep it of Twitter and Text instead if you have their cell.

20) Be A Connector

Introduce your Twitter friends to other Twitter friends. You can do that in person – or on Twitter. You decide.

21) Cite Your Quotes

Give some Twitter love to those that give you something good to Tweet about by adding their Twitter handle following the quote.

22) Tweet Concisely

You get 140 characters to Tweet. Keep them under 120 characters or less to make yours more “Retweet-able”.

23) TweetUp!

Sometimes TweetUps are organized. These can be fun meetups with other Twitter users. There’s one scheduled during the #AFA2011AM, too. See you there.

24) Proofread 

There are grammar police. Your/You’re. Than/Then. And then there is that awkward autocorrect…

25) Be Polite! 

While it is fun to Tweet and engage online, be mindful of when you are doing it. Online experiences can and should enhance the relationships in person – not come at the expense of the in person moments. Try your best to be in the moment and enjoy the company of the people that you get to see (in person) but once a year.

If you’ve found this tips helpful – you can click here to sign up for my email list with other tricks, tips and advice to help your and your organization manage social media more effectively.

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Presentation at #NACAMAM for Social Media Strategy

I’m a product of campus activities. I participated in what seemed to be every event that was happening at the University of Minnesota; from being on Homecoming Court, fraternity programming, and attending campus speakers. It’s clearly a big part of what I’m passionate about – hence this blog.

Being a NACA‘s Mid-America Conference was a perfect opportunity to discuss social media & social organizations! Talking with a group of student leaders that serve on their campus programming boards and other organizations, it was fun to share ideas about how they can use social media before, during and after events.

With a plan, campus organizations should be able to increase attendance, boost engagement and buzz, & connect with more students to keep the momentum.

Below is a link to the slides I shared. Please feel free to leave a comment on this post with any questions or feedback you have.

PS – Gotta love a conference that has a “social media” theme. @TheNACAMAM did a great job of keeping the engagement and energy going throughout the weekend!
PPS – Thanks Josh, Katey, and the rest of the committee for inviting me to speak to these student leaders and to offer the keynote during the professional development luncheon — using social media for professional development!
I’m out of PS-es… Want more details, tips, & ideas about how you can use social media for your organization or event? Sign up below!

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