Social media is no longer limited to college and high school students chatting with each other online, it's a full blown global phenomena and any organization can benefit from knowing at least the basics about Twitter, Facebook and blogging. But effective social media strategy isn't something that's easily developed, and it needs to be tailored to each specific organization's members in order to reach them effectively. Here to give you some pointers in navigating this confusing online conversation is Lori Jacobwith, communication and fundraising strategist extraordinaire. Thanks Lori!
Staying Sane with Social Media
By Lori Jacobwith
1. It’s SOCIAL. Meaning you have interactions with others. You listen. They listen. You share. They share. There is a “talking” sure. But more important there is a listening. The place to start in social media is to listen. Listen to where your community is connecting. What are they saying? Who is doing the talking? What can you learn from how, when and how often they are communicating?
2. It’s about community, find it build it, add value to it. Once you know where your community is hanging out. Hang with them and start communicating with them. But I can’t say enough about how important it is to provide value with whatever avenue of social media you choose to use.
- Share startling statistics about the population you serve.
- Share stories that are compelling but dispel myths.
- Share links to other websites and information.
- Add value for your listener’s every time you send a Tweet or post on LinkedIn, YouTube or Facebook. Add value.
3. It involves time and trust. You take time each day to eat, spend some quality moments with your family. . . why wouldn’t you also spend time connecting with your community in ways that more deeply engage them? You don’t have to do it all yourself either. Staff, volunteers, and donors are all a part of the community to engage and assist you with adding value to others.
4. It’s not if you’re going to play, but when. If you think social media is a fad or it’s only for a younger generation, think again. Watch this short video to learn some amazing statistics about the growth of social media. It’s here to stay.When my 70+ year-old mother got a Facebook page I knew there was no turning back. It’s everywhere, this social media phenomenon. It’s a powerful energy your organization can harness to get your community excited, enlightened, and even more deeply engaged.
As Seth Godin, bestselling author & marketing guru says:
"How can you squander even one more day not taking advantage of the greatest shifts of our generation?"
"How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?"
Yes, you want to have a social media policy and strategy. There are resources out there to help with both. The Mayo Clinic has their policy online so you can review it, print it, and use it as a template for your own policy.
Don’t let the creation of the policy or the strategy bog you down. It’s a great place to start engaging your community to help you create those for you.
Main message of today’s session:
Get started. Listen for a bit. And then start providing value to your community. Have fun while you are doing it and above all, involve others in your community so it doesn’t take all of YOUR time.
Communication & Fundraising Strategist and Trainer Lori L. Jacobwith has spent more than 20 years helping people and organizations increase visibility & communicate boldly to generate more individual fundraising dollars. Her fundraising and communication strategies have helped organizations to collectively raise more than $100 million. She lives in Eden Prairie, Minnesota and is an active volunteer with organizations supporting women and children.