The New Face of Social Good: How To Make Your Own Social Media Magic!

This post is a series of blogs contributed by SMW NYC media partner Differences Magazine. To learn more about Differences Magazine and to see the original post by Opal Vadham, please click here

What do you get when you put a Managing Editor, A Director of Global Marketing, 3 Founders, and A supermodel in one panel? A whole lot of inspiration, and not one seat left unattended. 30 Floors above Times Square, people were excited and anxious to hear about the panel that was about to take place. It was none other than the highly anticipated panel that was all over our Twitter feeds-The New Face of Social Good: How To Make Your Own Social Media Magic! Hosted by none other than my favorite organization She’s the First (who we have previously featured on our website.)

The event started out with an introduction from supermodel Alek Wek who She’s the First connected with through Twitter. I was lucky enough to meet her before and she specifically said she was completely against getting on twitter, the only technology she could use is email and that was good for her. But after many people persuaded her she caved in and joined in November, and since then she says it’s such a positive thing that raises awareness, it’s an outlet that we take for granted because countries like Africa don’t have it. I had to ask her, since I am at a She’s the First sponsored event what she is the first in her family to do and she says she’s the first to be a model (even though her mom at first told her NO), and her memoir is translated in up to 10 languages. And my favorite question of all- her advice to all of our readers out there-“Be YOURSELF. Even though sometimes you feel shy, there are people who are going to love you and identify with you and grow with you. One thing I thought to myself is that I couldn’t do this as long as I did if I wasn’t myself with the people who knew me. Be Yourself, Believe in yourself, and even though some people won’t, if you have few good friends you can count on your fingers, you’re set. ” 

After Aleks incredible introduction the panel which featured Adam Braun founder of Pencils of Promise, Susan McPherson director of global marketing firm at Fenton Communications, Michael Radparvar cofounder of Holstee, Tammy Tibbetts founder of She’s the First, and was moderated by none other than Mashable’s Managing Director Emily Banks. All of the panelists agreed that Social Media changed their life. The advice that was given was priceless, Michael said there is nothing more important then the first people you work with, and you love them like a marriage because you end up spending countless of hours with them. Adam said it’s okay not to start something; you can still be the head of marketing or the head of something. Find what you’re most passionate about, and seek work within it. And Susan made a great point about there are 3 times as many non-profits there were 10 years ago, but far less income. One of the best quotes of the nights was “A good tweet is like a good headline, it’s what grabs you to read the article, has to be catchy, that way your twitter is like your own magazine publication.”- Tammy Tibbetts The panelists agreed that the two biggest things of social media is transparency and storytelling. 

Adam Braun also took few minutes to answer questions for our Differences readers, he told me that a lot of hard work goes into overnight successes but if you believe in something relentlessly, it will happen. He also gave the advice for our teens to find your passion and find an organization out there and work with them, and if it feels right, you know you’re doing the right thing.

Throughout the event many people were also tweeting and connected because they were apart of changing a girls life. The Think Cloud agreed to donate a dollar to every tweet with the hash tag SMWMagic, and at the end of the night 1,137 #SMWMagic tweets generated 1,725,630 impressions, reaching audience of 621,260 followers! All of us were apart of something bigger than the event itself, we sponsored Eli’s senior year of high school in Tanzania!

It’s so funny because around a month ago I had a meeting with Tammy and she was telling me about all the exciting upcoming events she was in the process of doing. And I remember her specifically telling me about this Social Media Week event and all she had planned for it. And to see it all come to life, all run smoothly without a glitch was incredible. It was the most popular Social Media Week event, and I can honestly say the most inspiring as well.

See you Tuesday! A guide for Day Two

We hope you enjoyed your first day of #SMW12– now on to day two!

Below you’ll find a list of solid events that, as of publication, still have some slots left!

9-11am at JWT Panel: Why Engagement Should Be Spelled A-T-T-E-N-T-I-O-N hosted by SocialVibe

9-10am at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness Keynote: Frank Moss on The 2012 MIT Health and Wellness Innovation Hackathon

9-11:30am at Thomas Reuters Interview: John Katzman and Jeremy Johnson on The Future of Higher Education: Will Colleges Survive? followed by Panel: The Classroom of The Future: How Social Media Can Better Our Education System

10-10:45am at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness Keynote: J.C. Herz on Unpacking the Quantified Self followed by Panel: The Sensor Continuum

10-11am at Hearst Digital Voyeurism: How Sharing Real Homes in Real Time is Changing the Way We Decorate

12-12:30am at Big Fuel Jon’s Fireside Chat: Joseph Jaffe and Social Media 2.0

12-2pm at Thomas Reuters Keynote: Rachel Lloyd, Executive Director & Founder of Girls Educational & Mentoring Services

12-2pm at JWT Beyond the Like: Using Real People’s Real Stories to Drive Brand Awareness

1-2pm at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness Fireside Chat: The Rise of the Patient Platform

2:30-3:30pm at Big Fuel Connecting disruptive business models with innovation in business

3-4pm at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness This game will make you healthier

3-5pm at Hearst The New Ghostwriter

3-5pm at JWT Social Media for Social Good

4:30-5:30pm at Hearst Social Syndication in 2012: Experiences First, Networks Second

5:30-6:30pm at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness Women, Money & Social Power: What Made The Komen Debacle A Win For Women

6-8pm at JWT Deep Focus Presents: An Evening of “Connectedness”


On the Ground at Social Media Week: Social Good Hosted by SapientNitro

Throughout this week we’ll be posting on the ground accounts from individuals that attended New York Social Media Week events.  To participate, email a blog submission to

Check out the hashtags #socialgood and #smwsapient for more insight into the conversation surrounding this event.  For the event description, click here and to watch the entire panel via Live Stream, click here.

The final day of Social Media Week NYC 2011 included a panel from New York City sponsor SapientNitro, and was one of three incredible panels that they graciously curated over the course of the week.  I had an opportunity to attend the first two of their fantastic sessions and their last panel was no different.  The panel entitled “Social Good for All” proved to be an excellent source of information, knowledge and expertise.  The panel began with some pretty shocking quotes about consumers, companies and social good.  Below are a two data points that were particularly striking:

  • “90% of consumers want companies to tell them the ways they are supporting causes”
  • “Nearly 50% of consumers will seek out similar products from a different brand if they hear that a company’s corporate behavior is especially bad”

You can find more information from SapientNitro panels here.

The panel was moderated by Cindy Gallop, Founder & CEO of If We Ran the and goes to show that finding the right moderator for your panel is the key.  With an introduction by Janice Chow, the panel began with a short video on “Brands Doing Social Good” which consisted of consumer interviews and covered their thoughts and feelings on social good.

The findings were very split, while many interviewees indicitated that where they shop depends largely on the level of philanthrophy exhibited by a company, many others said it played less of a factor.  Others simply said that they were skeptical and believed that companies were just trying to show off and often showed no follow through.  The panel leveraged the footage to debate whether or not companies are actually willing to make doing good part of their brand’s DNA.

Cindy was a riot throughout the panel and opened up with the disclaimer that she believes in a panel that is controversial, lively and sparks debate. She then transitioned with a few provocative words about sex to explain that she wants to make doing good “sexy “, a philosophy exhibited through her website  Below, I will attempt to give a broad overview of the topics and points made in the panel, but I highly suggest watching the entire recap on Livestream.


  • Shiv Singh, Head of Digital, PepsiCo Beverages, America
  • Alnoor Ladha, Head of Strategy, Purpose
  • Paull Young, Director of Digital Engagement, Charity Water
  • Max Schorr, Co-Founder, GOOD Magazine
  • Christopher Bishop, Senior Communications, IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs

Cindy asked the panelists to provide their thoughts on the title of the session, Social Good, and the overall consensus was that it did not fully illustrate what the discussion was about.  That somehow it implies that there is a lot of social bad out there.  Many agreed that we should be moving away from the need for a panel about social good altogether and that doing good should no longer be looked at as dorky or a chore. Rather, doing good should become standard procedure and it shouldn’t matter where or why someone is doing it, but that they are simply doing something.

The words “good intentions” were being thrown around quite a bit in the context of companies doing great things, but the consensus was that even those companies still having a long way to go.  The panelists discussed the barriers that make it extremely hard, barriers not faced by non-profits, like shareholders, employees and profit; a corporate entity will always be driven by the need to make money.

The panel leveraged the dynamic of donations via text message after the earthquakes in Haiti as an example.  While it was a great idea in theory, mobile phone companies remained in the middle and thus prevented consumers and non-profits from really connecting.

The panelists then discussed the importance of demanding that businesses incorporate social good into their overall business strategies to create something more sustainable and that the process to executed in a way that was transparent.The discussion was lively, helped by the fact that panelists included representatives from all sides of the spectrum, Pepsi and IBM, but also,  Charity Water, Purpose and GOOD.

The panel then delved into how society overall might adapt to embrace social good in its varying forms noting the cultural and behavioral barriers, impacted by business and government, that make a more holistic transition difficult to achieve.  We still drive cars, use oil and eat processed foods in part because there aren’t electric charge stations and organic fruit stands available on every corner.

The panel concluded by acknowledging that there’s been a huge shift in perception of a variety of activities that were at one point considered to be nerdy.  What’s left to be seen is if we can arrive at a point where doing good is sexy, and taking action is cool.

Amanda Mullahey is a contributor for the Social Media Week NY Blog and a digital strategist, social media enthusiast and freelance blogger.  You can check out her website here.