Friday, July 16, 2010

No (Social Media) Soup for You!

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!



Mike Handy said...

Since we are talking generalizations here... being the "most" in the figure I have to totally disagree with you on at least 1 point. With E-mail marketing dying out (research suggests ethical companies are slowly backing away) it isn't really a #1 must win anymore. Everyone has an e-mail list no one reads them.

The website on the other hand, I have to agree... if you cant pull together resources to make that work... um make that priority number 1. If a nonprofit cant function in a pure digital realm (in other words take donations etc...) they must get those ducks in a row.

As far as stretching resources thinner.. A solid strategy for Social outreach should elevate this. People want to play a part they just don't know how. The communication platform for Social Media allows clear communication.

I would say most Small Non-profits need Consulting. They also should be aware that they are missing a golden opportunity to win by not engaging.

In my opinion its not an either or thing but rather a must win together thing!

Rhonda Hicks said...

Great post. I totally agree with the three steps you mentioned. If a nonprofit organization is small they are going to need to build a list of interested people and companies. They need to build a fan base.

People are still joining email newsletter list in what they are interested in. Therefore small nonprofits will have to start out like everyone else by building a fan base and utilizing attraction marketing.

Having an interactive website with a few social media icons on the site (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) will push them into social media without them knowing they are actually participating in social media if that makes sense lol.

Writing articles and putting them on article sharing sites, on their websites, on Facebook and linking to their articles is just what they need as well.

Once small nonprofit organizations realize that if they just talk about their organization in a realistic way and state major issues they are trying to solve through their mission people will join the buzz they put out on social media sites.

Before they know it they will build a list just by sharing.

davidriched said...

The initiative taken for the concern is very serious and need an attention of every one. This is the concern which exists in the society and needs to be eliminated from the society as soon as possible.
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