Today I had the pleasure of participating and speaking at Social Media for Non Profits in DC. I spoke on Using Social Media for Non Profits. It’s always fun to share insights with an engaging audience. But the real fun of a conference and what beats the pants off a webinar is the interaction you have with everyone attending and the numerous new things to learn. I learned two juicy tidbits that I’d love to pass along ….

I see a new profession exploding: Social Media Mentor. Alison Burke (also here) shared how she works with scholars at the Brooking Institute to unleash all their expertise on social media. While it’s easy to imagine scholars who may be great at in depth research and white papers having to adjust to get their writing style for social media, they’re not alone. There is untapped knowledge out there with audiences waiting to learn from these talented people. And I don’t just mean having a PR person who posts their social media, but a mentor who guides them to truly engage. Imagine a world where all thought leaders have as social media mentor and all that knowledge and engagement is set free!

We’ve all heard that putting pictures in social media lifts reach, but easier said than done. What if you’re a wonky policy shop, have privacy concerns or just don’t have time or budget for photos? A great suggestion from IREX’s Justine O’Sullivan. Great suggestion use the application Word Swag, also available for Android and PC. There are other similar apps out there as well. We’ll be using this one ourselves for sure!

A common suggestion often heard to help manage the effort for social media is a hire an intern. Of course we’d like that intern to be really smart and savvy, but what can an organization do to help make an intern most effective? Recommendation from an IREX intern is to have a style guide and other plans to follow. By nature, interns have a short time to ramp up and make an impact. Having a guide to follow makes sure they’ll be able to make an impact as quickly as possible.