Wow – is it Friday already?? Well you know what that means – time for my second Follow Friday Featured Profile. Or maybe you didn’t know that – but regardless, here is the second installment of my new series.
This week’s focus is on Ryan Hodgson, Founder and President of Team Up for Nonprofits – a very popular and fast-growing local organization that uses concerts, events and social media to help raise awareness and funds for other nonprofit groups. Ryan launched Team Up in early 2010 and the group already has more than 3800 fans on Facebook and 1600+ followers on Twitter. Ryan himself has evolved into a social media mini-celebrity – especially on Facebook where he has more than 5,000 fans and friends. As a matter of fact, he was so popular on Facebook he was forced to start a new “fan” page because he maxed out his “friend” allocation on his personal profile.
I met Ryan through a good friend and former colleague from my Comcast days, Shelly Kurtz. Shelly suggested that Ryan and I connect because she thought my PR and marketing experience could help the new organization. I was impressed with Ryan and his vision and goals for Team Up for Nonprofit so I agreed to step in and assist as a volunteer and earlier this week accepted a position on its Board of Directors as Chair of the Communications committee.
Given Ryan’s experience and success using social media for both his personal branding as well as to quickly build Team Up for Nonprofit, he is the perfect subject for this week’s Follow Friday Featured Profile. Enjoy!
Which social media networks do you use consistently?
I use Facebook and Twitter
What was your “Aha” moment regarding social media (when/why did you decide to become engaged)?
I guess my “aha’ moment was back in 2006 when I started to use MySpace to promote the bands I was managing and the nights I was booking in venues in Australia. I began to really enjoy the connections I was making with people from all over the world and I realized that by engaging people in discussion I was not only making new “friends” but they were getting behind what I was doing which was creating a viral effect. Seeing things blow up even then got my attention and of course when Facebook and Twitter came around I embraced them as well on both a personal and business front.
How has Social Media impacted you personally? How about professionally?
Social Media has had an enormous impact on both of those areas of my life, I don’t talk about my personal relationships often when using Social Media but I have met some of the most important people in my life whilst using it, in fact it is the reason I am even here in the States! (but that is another story.) Professionally Social Media is a major ingredient for Team Up for Nonprofits, the nonprofit organization that I founded early this year, without it there is simply no way we would have been able to build the organization, hold four events and help three other nonprofits in our first year of existence. We continue to use Social Media and have included it in our Mission Statement recognizing it’s importance in promoting our Gigs4Good events and growing our supporter base.
You’ve really used social media to help build your personal brand. You have more than 5,000 fans on Facebook – tell us about this process
I guess that came as a surprise to me, Facebook was something I kept reasonably private until I started a page that was under my name but was promoting Team Up. It was then that I learned the power of connections between people rather than between a person and the entity. It did not take long at all for people to see what I was doing with Team Up and connect with me on a personal level, I think because I’m trying to actually do something and that resonates with them. My pages have driven a lot of exposure for Team Up which was my major intention in the first place, however now I really enjoy once again the opportunity to meet new people and learn and engage with them. I actually still see myself as a beginner which is funny I guess, but I do think that, I’m constantly learning new things and I see other people out there doing an awesome job which I learn from. I think there is much left to learn about Social Media for me, how to better use it and more importantly in my world how to better engage and motivate people into action so that they come out and support the nonprofits on the front line doing incredible work.
What advice do you have for others who are still not convinced about the value of social media?
I still constantly hear people putting Social Media down, of course most of them have never tried it or simply don’t understand it and that’s fine as I don’t think it is for everyone. I enjoy the social element, it enriches my life and has brought about amazing experiences that I would never have had without it so I advocate for it. My advice is if you haven’t tried it don’t knock it and if your reason for not using it it is because you are afraid of something I would say that just like real life, fear is not a valid excuse for not doing something, fear is what holds people back from being great, so remove it and be great!
Who is a better tweeter – you or @ShaunaCausey?
LOL You can’t be serious!!?? Shauna is a Social Media legend!
Do people ever tell you that you Tweet with an Australian accent?
Haha, nope but I bet people get sick of me talking about home, sorry guys I miss it, I actually try not to but I’m compelled…
Do Australians really call football “Footy”? What the hell is up with that?
We do, We actually love Aussie Rules Footy, if you know any Australians you may know we love to abbreviate everything or give it a nickname. If you are a friend of mine I probably have some kind of nickname for you…
Any difference between Americans and Aussies using social media?
Not that I can think of, I think most Aussies are pretty direct which might make us more straight to the point as a general rule but otherwise I can’t think of any differences.
Funniest Social Media moment?
Probably the response that I got after posting this post on Facebook… “Why are there so many beautiful inside and out, intelligent, single women in Seattle?”. The 99 comment discussion that followed was hilarious and included calls for me to start an Australian male order groom service. A close second would have been the recent talk about #SeaTwitterCal or “The Seattle girls of Twitter Calender” that came out of a chat on Twitter, there were girls ready to throw down about which month they could be on and it trended, very unexpected and was a ton of fun.
Biggest Social Media pet peeve?
People following you on Twitter and then unfollowing you when you follow back, these people are missing the point…
Any parting shots?
More from my site
- Jenci Eble Spradlin: Today’s Kaufer “Follow Friday” Featured Profile
- Bob Condotta (Seattle Times Sportswriter): Today’s Kaufer “Follow Friday” Featured Profile
- New Column: Kaufer’s “Follow Friday” Featured Profile
- Don Millard (Humorist & Twitter romance success story): Today’s Kaufer Follow Friday Feature Profile
- Wendy Wiseman (Entrepreneur/KIBOOMU co-founder): Today’s Kaufer Follow Friday Feature Profile
- Evonne Benedict: Today’s Kaufer “Follow Friday” Featured Profile