Question to you: of those you met at your last event or conference, how many did you remember the day after? Hard to remember names? How sure were you of who-is-who from your business cards? Unless you have a very good memory or note-strategy, this may be the point where you start to loose potential network opportunities and friends. “Facebook me” has started to become the way of saying – get-in-contact-with-me which presents a problem, as it starts to get hard to find the right profile of a person among similar names. As a non-profit organization it’s more important than ever to network – offline and online – and we spend a lot of time at events and conferences to interact with people, talk about our cause or share our successes opening up for future dialog.
The application Friendthem, founded by Richard Passer, may be one of your supporting tools in that labor. Friendthem is the app that helps in converting people near you into Facebook friends. Friendthem is the app that secures that you find the right “Juan Perez” among many similar Facebook profiles, helping you with the “Facebook me” issue.
But Friendthem could also be used to trigger and enhance your post-event dialog. Some ideas on how this app can be useful.
- Offer a fast-track for interaction with your experts
- Add value to your Facebook friend requests
- VIP your audience
- Facilitate your participants ‘networking’
- Encourage your listener to participate actively
- Teach your audience about your organization
Offer a fast-track for interaction with your experts: If you are the speaker at a conference, bring members of your team, introduce them and ask the audience to Friendthem so that they can chat their questions and comments to your colleagues via Facebook during the speech. As a listener, most of the questions pop-up during the presentation and you seldom get the opportunity to ask them right away. As a speaker you add value to the speech by offering a parallel track of direct dialog, a dialog the audience will have with your organization and where your expertise is visualized and experienced. It also opens up a door for continued dialog after the speech by sending e.g. the presentation and answers to all other questions and arranging follow up meetings.
Add value to your Facebook friend requests: Once you have “tagged” your in-the-break-discussion-contact via Friendthem, use the functionality offered of postponing the Facebook friend request to make sure that you provide relevant information as a follow-up to the discussion you had. Add links to the presentation you held, to the webpage you would like them to visit and to the survey or other info you want to convey. Don’t forget the personal touch (“thanks for the coffee!”) in your request. I.e. use this functionality to add value to the dialog with your new contact triggering future conversation and making the friend request more relevant to what you talked about at the break.
VIP your audience: VIP your audience, make them feel special.If you are the organizer, ask your participants to connect via Friendthem with an assigned profile so that you can provide them with the links to the light version of the next speaker’s presentation, the “trigger” or bio 10 min before the speech. As a listener you like to be prepared and being “VIPed” the material would be perceived as an added value also giving the listener the opportunities to take notes directly on the slides. Once having this door open to those that have shown interest, you can follow up with material or dialog.
Facilitate your participants ‘networking’: If you are the event organizer make it easier for your participants to identify each other. Encourage them to download Friendthem for easier identification of who participates (make sure the nametags go along with the Facebook profile names). It would save them the hassle of finding out if the other person has “bump”, Bluetooth, scanner, paper&pen etc. You add value by giving everybody the same process to connect offering you the opportunity to introduce team members that could be key in the dialog with the participants for specific areas you want to trigger.
Encourage your listener to participate actively: Make your presentation more interactive and learn more about your listeners in order to continue the dialog at later stage based on their interests. Ask your participants to Friendthem your profile if they want to participate in the polls that you refer to in your presentation or feedback on your content, their input would come via the Facebook chat. Analyze the responses and as you already have them as friends, continue the dialog based on their feedback.
Teach your audience about your organization: Encourage participants to play with your brand. Playing is a way to learn.Set up a contest, game, competition at an event you arrange or attend asking the participants to download Friendthem and “search for” a specific person (you could even create a profile just for this occasion). This profile can deliver tricky questions, ask for check-in at Facebook places which would “teach” the participants about your organization. You can trigger participation with prices, discounts, support a donation or other creative ideas you may come up with.
Can this be done directly in Facebook? Yes of course, but Friendthem would work as a bridge to identify who really wants to connect with you, to give them a feeling of being part of a group with common interests. You have better control of who wants to be part of your initiatives and don’t have to bother all the others with information they haven’t asked for- You learn about your new friends or co-participants. On top of that it gives us, as listener, the possibility to choose how active or passive we want to be.
In a follow up article I will ask Friendthem developers their thoughts around how this app can help non-profit in their communication – what would you like to ask them?
Patricia Polvora is a Marketing & Communication Professional on a multinational company with a passion for the non-profit World. She mixes her knowledge and experiences from these two worlds to suggest how non-profit organizations can benefit from new technology, methodology and online strategies. Contact her to share you experiences!
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