Tag Archives: Social media

11 Reasons Why Nonprofits Don’t Use Social Media

Baby EinsteinNonprofit organizations are discovering the power of social media, some faster than others. There was recently a lot of backlash over a post by Seth Godin titled The problem with non.

For many people, his words seemed unfair when he said that many nonprofits use excuses like “lack of resources” or a seemingly inherent “resistance to change” attitude to avoid social media. I have to say I agree with most of what he said, first because I experience what he has experienced every day as a speaker, teacher, and consultant to nonprofit organizations. And second, because even if you disagree, this conversation must happen again and again until things change for the better.

While I agree with most of what Seth says in his post, I don’t agree with this statement:

Of course, some folks, like charity: water are stepping into the void and raising millions of dollars as a result. They’re not necessarily a better cause, they’re just more passionate about making change.

Seth, it isn’t MORE PASSION that makes a group like charity: water effective at stepping into the void. It is because they more fully embrace the changes in the ways we communicate. I’m sure nobody at charity: water will claim more passion for their cause than folks busting their tails for other good causes. I’m sure everybody at charity: water will say their buy-in to understand, use and leverage social media tools and the new ways we all communicate made a huge difference.

For the record, on a near daily basis I hear these things from people working in the nonprofit sector:

11 Reasons Nonprofits Give For Not Using Social Media

1. I don’t understand it.

2. I don’t have time.

3. We don’t have the resources.

4. We don’t even know where to start.

5. It’s overwhelming.

6. I can’t figure out how to use it for my organization.

7. There are legal issues we can’t sort out.

8. I don’t know how to avoid the “crazies.”

9. Our firewall won’t let us use these tools.

10. We’re still trying to figure out how to update our web site.

11. We are afraid our employees will waste time with these tools.

Personally, I have solid, reasonable, practical tips to overcome each of the above (which will be an upcoming blog post).

Back to Seth Godin’s post. I whole heartedly agree with this statement:

The marketing world has changed completely. So has the environment for philanthropic giving. So have the attitudes of a new generation of philanthropists. But if you look at the biggest charities in the country, you couldn’t tell. Because they’re ‘non’ first, change second.

Anyone involved with a nonprofit or any consultant working with a nonprofit who DISAGREES with the above – i.e. the fact that many nonprofits are ‘non’ first, change second –  consider yourself LUCKY to be working in an environment where the fear of change does not dominate, especially of changing and new technologies.

For those of us who are not so lucky – meaning we witness this fear day after day – it is up to us to be the teachers. Evangelizing social media, no matter how passionate, can fall on deaf ears when others are listening through a filter of fear. We need to step back, dial down our enthusiasm for a moment, hold someone’s hand (figuratively and in some cases literally), and present sensible and rational reasons WHY and HOW a nonprofit can use social media regardless of resource limits and regardless of fear.

Channel the fear you encounter from others into something more like caution so that they at least try something; dipping a toe in a pool before they swim in an ocean.

It is up to us to lead the way. If nonprofits – organizations charged with good work for good causes – are behind when it comes to social media, it is OUR FAULTS.

What are YOU doing to help nonprofit organizations get up to speed with today’s technologies and communications tools?

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Using Twitter to Publicize Events

Dear Social Media Mama:

I’m wondering how to use Twitter in your business to publicize events? I can’t figure out how Twitter can be useful for event PR. It seems very unfocused and random.

In a Twitter Quandry

twitterDear Quandry:

Or should I say “Tuandry” as in Twitter + Quandry (just a little Twitter insider talk)

I can’t say outright that Twitter is great for publicizing events. That’s putting the onus on Twitter when in fact the power rests in how one uses Twitter, not in how the application itself works. But used as part of an overall, comprehensive social media strategy, Twitter is a key component to galvanize people, tap into word-of-mouth power, get some Googleability and encourage action.

Here’s why and how I use Twitter in the social media campaigns I conduct.

1. Twitter as Gateway

First and foremost, I see Twitter as an active gateway to lead people over to the places where you can provide more information about whatever it is you want to publicize. If it is an event, you can post regular links to event news and developments to keep your followers informed.

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Obama and Social Media

I totally believe that the savvy Obama displayed by bringing on the right tech team to implement a comprehensive social media campaign helped him to win the popular vote – not to mention raise funds in unprecedented ways.

Three cheers for the Obama Social Media Team!

Here’s a great slideshow breaking it down…

How Obama Won Using Digital and Social Media

how-obama-won-using-digital-and-social-media-slideshare

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: election obama)

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MySpace or Facebook: How well do you know your audience?

Facebook, Inc.
Image via Wikipedia

Shannon Paul recently blogged about the difference between Facebook and MySpace users as outlined in NetPop Research’s new report “Connect Social Networkers 2008.” While most of the findings do make sense to me (Shannon mentioned they might seem counterintuitive), putting social media marketing campaigns into practice prove out something different.

Shannon says:

Many still think of MySpace users as younger than those on Facebook. This may have been true before Facebook opened up to users other than those with a .edu email address, but the research indicates students are more likely to be on Facebook and MySpace users are indeed older and more likely to be married.

I’m finding that when I specifically try to reach 30- or 40-somethings for campaigns, they aren’t biting at MySpace even though I know they are there. If I’m trying to reach “moms,” however, those 30-something plus women come out of the woodwork, for example.

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Why Do You Want to Be My Friend?!?

Business handshakeI am stunned and amazed by how many people just send out friend invites without taking a moment to type a few words about why they want to connect with me. The two social networks where this happens the most are Facebook and LinkedIn. Come on people, where is your social networking etiquette?!?

If I know you in real life, then I won’t think twice about accepting your friend offer (unless I don’t like you). But if you don’t know me personally, don’t assume I’ve heard of you or know that you follow me on Twitter or remember exchanging cards six years ago at an Internet event. Not putting a quick note to explain why you want to connect with me is nothing short of annoying and dare I say rude.

I know Emily Post and Ask Amy have yet come up with the Etiquette of Social Networking yet, so maybe I better start writing that book now because it is much needed. Some things I’d include would be:

1. Define your own friending policy. Before you go off half-cocked sending out friend invites, develop a strategic plan for who you’ll friend and why. Do the same for whose friend invites you’ll and accept and why you might reject one. This will be a helpful tool to refer back to as you build your social networks.

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Is Social So Over?

Recently, I was speaking to another web-working type about his company’s name – which I really liked, by the way. The name included “Social” in it. He said he’s been hearing mixed things about the name.

“Someone told me that ’social’ is so over,” he said, lamenting that his company name may already be dated.

Is “Social” already over? That’s news to me. Those immersed in web work may be sick of the (over)use of the word “social,” particularly if, like me, they’ve been working in the social media space back before anyone called it “social.”

Read more of my post over on Web Worker Daily’s site.

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Web 2.0 Tools – A Diagram

I have been tweaking this diagram over the months and here’s what I’ve come up with so far in terms of listing Web 2.0 and Social Media tools. And it continues to grow!

gliffy-web-20-tools-1-copy

Feel free to use it but please keep the Social Media Name but please include a credit with a link!

What else would you add to the diagram?