American Leadership Forum - Silicon Valley

Contact Person: Debbie Ford-Scriba, VP Network Relations

Phone: 408-554-2000, ext. 2002


Executive Director: Chris Block

Communications Director: Debbie Ford-Scriba

Social Media Staff: Debbie Ford-Scriba


CWRF Overall Level: Walk

Overall Score: 1.69

Detailed Score:
Burning Questions To Be Answered:
1) Does an increase in # of followers, likes, etc. REALLY signify engagement in our work?
2) How do you compare social media reaction/comment #s w/emails, telephone & in-person engagement?

Measurement Indicators [Crawl=1, Walk=2, Run=3, Fly=4]

Data-Informed: 2

Tools: 1

Sense-Making: 2

Social Media Presence



Fans: 612


Subscribers: 8649

Views: 6


Followers: 285

Hashtags: #CALReform, #cabudget

First Session Reflection (1.22.13)

Another stellar peer group representing change-making organizations.
Notes from chat:
  • Goal: Develop a new strategy based on the ENGAGEMENT metrics that are really important to our org, which hopefully means changing out tools & focus areas.
  • Twitter hash tag: #netnon
  • Welcome Stephanie Rudat as co-network measurement goddess.
  • Thanks to Beth for post-call reminder about how to best make session notes on Wiki. (Her "secret" about how she uses info from the chat in her own post-session notes & how to access is extremely helpful in helping me use what I write in real-time to create better reflection notes here & now.)
  • Thanks for showing slide of Bella Scriba, the inspired Aussie!
  • Beth's slide on chart showing "Mini-Theory of Change" was most excellent, and shows the tough thought process required for this new measurement of social media evaluation.
  • Where I am w/Peer Group Project as of this call: Thinking about our current efforts & goals in terms of this Peer Learning Group's framework AND determining how to design a project that will be the logical next step in our ongoing work.
  • Looking forward to learning & focusing on sense-making AND data visualization, particuarly in the context of networks.
  • Love the size of this group vis-a-vis KQED's Rachael Myrow's morning Tweet: about 27 minutes ago RT @rachaelmyrow: RT @collabfund Jeff Bezos of @Amazon. #2: Working groups should be small enough to be fed with 2 pizzas.

Second Session Reflection (2.4.13)
Notes from chat:
  • Global Giving would like project to be related to larger 2013 goals, part of is understanding who their various “tribes” are; would specifically like to identify “social media tribe”; Beth suggested Action Learning Project around influencer research (Chapter 12); need to id scale of engagement.
  • Santa Cruz County Community Foundation will focus project on how to increase engagement on their blog vis-à-vis commenting & contributing back; would like to build toward donor contributions & workshop participation. Beth suggested measuring conversion rates to accomplish this, and also doing content analysis w/goal of becoming more intentional on use of key words & content curation.
  • Concept of a/v testing(?); i.e. changing up key words & images on various platforms to gauge success of promotions

Plans for project:
  • Would like our project to be informed by results of recent three-month pilot in which all staff participated in social media (November 2012 – January 2013)
  • Share info from this Peer Learning group & then work w/Program Associate who manages ALF evaluation data, then get on Operations meeting agenda to discuss & determine project (flip chart/sticky notes to prioritize?)
  • Become better informed by peers' work identifying hierarchy about how they measure social media responses (compare w/our own); check out posts on Beth’s blog to learn more.
  • Check out Peers' notes for project planning descriptions to better inform our own work.

Third Session Reflection (2.25.13)
  • Construct KPIs based on answers to questions you need to know
  • Moms Rising example based on nat'l. org w/multiple campaigns to grow movement
  • HubSpot as low-cost tool for "big TV"; one dashboard. Makes sense only if you already know what you want to capture from Excel spreadsheet.
  • is free site (enabling Twitter for business)
  • Storify: keep as DRAFT so it won't publish/go public; good tool to summarize Twitter feed
  • Content analysis of qualitative data can answer questions "beyond the #s"
  • Use bitly, Hootsuite, etc. tools to measure qualitative data via click-throughs
  • is another tool (min. pricing $400/year)
  • TIP: Go deep on framework & lighter on actual measurement
  • Maximize "over the shoulder learning" by learning from peers' wiki pages & projects to help design own

Plans for project:
  • A learning to incorporate from Twitter live chat w/top networked women: forming relationships on Twitter is equally or more important than eyeballs; #****women140****


Engage more ALF Senior Fellows in ALF social media. To accomplish this, we will:

  • Implement a new strategic approach to the content we offer via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & the ALF Blog
  • Mirror our monthly Fellows class curriculum topics in our social media posts for two months:
      • Leadership Presence
      • Dialogue
  • Launch this new content strategy on March 15 and continue through May 15
  • Use two Twitter hashtags, #ALFmindfullness and #ALFdialogue, in respective Twitter posts
  • Achieve success by realizing a 20% growth in ALF Senior Fellows who follow our social media channels

Review of Burning Questions To Be Answered @ top:

1) Does an increase in # of followers, likes, etc. REALLY signify engagement in our work?
2) How do you compare social media reaction/comment #s w/emails, telephone & in-person engagement?

ALF has been tracking both Senior Fellow and community engagement via social medial for years. To date, we have NOT found that there is a measurable relationship/correlation between what Senior Fellows active on ALF social media sites and Senior Fellows actively engaged in our program work. We have also found that having all staff post content on assigned channels did not significantly increase our overall #s to where it made sense to continue the practice formally. We have considered a pull-back of social media staff time investment, at least on FB, but are not quite there yet.

We feel that changing up our content in a focused and strategic way is the next social media experiment for ALF.

Reconfiguration of Burning Question based on staff dialogue:
1) Can social media be both an effective vehicle of continuing education for ALF Fellows and Senior Fellows AND a means of keeping them more closely connected to, and engaged in, the ALF network?

Organizational Consensus:
Yes. We created this project based on continuing discussions of ALF's social media strategy, specifically, who on staff posts, what we post, where we post, and, ultimately, to what end do we invest in these tools. Senior management is very excited about the project. We are not creating new metrics to measure, but will continue with our current, simple measurement systems. What is changing is the content.

Audience Definitions & What Motivates Them to Help Us Reach Our Goal:
Target Group: ALF Fellows & Senior Fellows; ALF curriculum content is both a refresher and resource that they can apply to their leadership practice

Ladder of Engagement (steps to move audiences toward our objective):
1. Like, Follow or Join Group
2. Engage by Liking or Commenting on specific post, re-Tweet, Reply or choose as Favorite, or Follow
3. Initiate content

SMART Goals/KPIs (Key Performance Indicators/Metrics):
1.FB comments
2.Twitter re-Tweets
3.LinkedIn comments
4.Blog followers

Fourth Session Reflection (3.18.13)

BJ Fogg's 3 Steps to Action (must haves to increase/track social conversion; think of cell phone)
  1. Trigger
  2. Ability
  3. Motivation

Most people spend 80% of time on #3; reality is, need to consider #s 1-2

Question to ask:
How much web traffic does social media bring?

Google Analytics:
  1. Sources
  2. Advanced Segments
  3. Custom Link Tracking (one of most useful ways to determine if posts are worthwhile)

  • Content on FB, Twitter, etc., MUST TRACK BACK TO HOMEPAGE ON WEBSITE in order to measure this
  • Bounce rate is important
  • Use comparison metrics in Google Analytics; go w/green bounce #s
  • Tracking conversion points, i.e. actions/behavioral change
  • bitly is "tricky"; Google Analytics - on its own - doesn't recognize bitly, but lumps it in w/direct traffic (people who type URL in directly...)
  • Takes less than 60 seconds to experiment w/Advanced Segments
  • Don't put spaces in Google Analytics Custom Link Tracking (use underscore)
  • Argyle is paid service that will create custom links automatically...(can you see if these users are going to website?)
  • Webtrends & Armature are also paid sites

Fifth Session Reflection (4.15.13)

  • Google Alerts may be discontinued; Beth posting article on seven alternatives; recommends "Mention",; free for beginners (downside: can't seem to download data into spreadsheet to analyze). Also,
  • Presentation from Upwell on enterprise class tool Radian 6 & also NodeXL (free product). Using latter to map network of relationships. NodeXL allows user to examine online networks/relationships; currently free office hours from Mark Smith of NodeXL to demonstrate tool; he will run map of relationships, though it will be public.
  • Check out stats from; also, also
  • Excel still needed to organize & visually represent the data
  • Ann Emory wrote guest post on how to use Excel to organize & analyze data
  • SC Comm Fdtn. using advanced Google Analytics
  • "information hygiene" -> keep those Excel spreadsheets neat!

Next steps: Examine some of the sample dashboards from Peer Learning Group.

Sixth Session (5.29.13)

Organizing Data:
  • Fresh data is best data
  • Column or bar chart prob. best for ALF project
  • Simplify charts
  • Cull most important data to chart; get rid of excess/ancillary info that's not as important & obsures what is important
  • Beth color coded Excel chart to mimic a stoplight (much like ALF did with engagement bubble graphs to differentiate Senior Fellows & community members


Overall, our experiment drew tremendous #s – beyond our expectations – but still didn’t pull in the 20% growth rate vis-à-vis eyeballs/attention of our core Senior Fellows.

We also used a baseline that didn’t include FB shares or “Likes per post,” the latter which blew everything we’ve done previously out of the water.
To quote Beth Kanter: “So what? So what? So what?”

Based on the lack of impressive results ALF has experienced using and experimenting with social media – and a planned reduction in staff – ALF will decrease its emphasis on social media and use the content - which is clearly of interest to a general audience - to perhaps publish an e-book or distribute the information in another electronic format.

Sixth & Final Session Reflection (6.24.13)
Infographics rock in telling a story
Keep hashtags short; seven characters
High level emails from CEO worked best to garner conference registrations for leadership org