I had the privilege of talking with about twenty grassroots nonprofits last week. The topic? Social media.
I presented an overview of social media. What it is. What it isn't. Why anyone should care. Then I talked about developing a social media strategy before diving in.
I've given this presentation about a dozen times and the more I give it, the more I realize that most small nonprofits are NOT READY for social media. (There - I said it!)
In order to do social media well it has to be INTEGRATED with other channels like your website and email. You also have to have a writer on staff, i.e. someone who can create interesting, relevant content that people will want to read, comment on, and share.
Most small nonprofits simply do not have the technological infrastructure (a functional Content Management System, Email Services Provider or Donation Processing Tool) in place to do online communications well. They're also lacking the staff capacity and talent to create compelling content.
Instead of alleviating their communications problems, a foray into social media land (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube), just makes matters worse. Small organizations simply ensure that their limited resources will be spread even THINNNNNNNER.
Here's my advice:
1. Build an email list
2. Fix your website
3. Learn to write
Nail the basics first. Then you can have some soup!