Sunday, October 20, 2013

Social Networking and the Non Profit World: Be There or Be Square.

This blog is sure to bring a few snickers from some of my associates. I really was the anti-social media person for quite some time.  Truth be told, I just didn't get it. I had a website. Didn't that make me "with it"? Didn't everyone see the beautiful pictures, links and content that made me so proud of my world wide web contribution?   Nonetheless, after years of fighting against the cyber revolution I've realized:  I was the last human being still not involved with social media and still using Windows XP. 
The first thing I had to understand about social media is that it's free and easy.  But, like others of you - I was a skeptic.  I also didn't understand what having a page on Facebook could do that my website couldn't.  It just seemed like one more thing I had to monitor and update.  And, guess what?  It is! Of course it requires work. But, it is worth it.  With Facebook - I could reach out to people - share my thoughts whenever I wanted. And, I could share my clients' successes with all of my followers with just a few key strokes.  If I update my website- I can go on Facebook and let people know to come check it out.  

Now, I am by no means a major player in the Social Networking world - but I get it.  And your organization should too.  Social Networking has changed the landscape for corporations, politicians, individuals and of course - non-profit organizations.  It can assist with building a constituency, public relations, stewardship, and more.  Now, before I sound like a commercial for Facebook - let me just say there are many other great social networking sites as well. Open up your mind to it, as I had to do, and you will find plenty.     

Here are some serious pros to utilizing social networking:
1. Messaging goes to an audience that self-selects an interest in your organization.
2. You are instantly able to share news or events as many times as you wish.
3. You can list and highlight new donors.
4. There are plenty of work-from-home folks that would be happy to get you set-up at a reasonable fee.
5. And, most importantly, $22.4 billion was given to non-profits over the internet in 2011!

So, in the words of Nike, "just do it."