My indifference to social media last week was largely because I did not see the utility “personally”. This week the focus has shifted to its function for a nonprofit/charitable organization and in spite of myself I am starting to see the light. Not to negate my concerns about personal privacy and introspection I am realizing that an institution must have a presence in this arena if it is to survive and prosper. I also realized this is not an arena for the part-time, share-your-cute-baby-picture, do-it-when-you-wanna crowd. In the real world, this is serious business. In that light, I offer the three most important things I have learned this week:
Yes, I know, this is the same one as last week but I mean it in a different light.There a many social media platforms out there and new ones arriving every week it seems, each one with different strengths, demographic following, posting options, rules, links, focus, advertising…my head is starting to hurt again. It is best to pick one or two that match the demographic of your target audience and become an expert in those rather than try to flood the market. Personally, I like LinkedIn for professional contacts and Facebook when trying to reach the general public.
2. Be Committed
A lot of non-profit sites I visited, including my own employer, have sites that have not been updated in months or longer (more to come after I publish my interview with our PR director; I didn’t even know we had one). I have realized that a blog or Facebook page or any other platform is a living, breathing entity that survives only through the health of its followers. And those followers, like any faithful pet, much be cared for and nourished on a regular basis. Otherwise, they will get bored and leave you for another, younger, more exciting site. So, if you are going to play in this game make sure you commit for the long haul. Otherwise, I suspect that a site that has died from starvation is very hard to resurrect.
Looking through the archives of some sites it is obvious they publish they same type of material over and over again. Although regular readers get what they want and may feel comfortable with what they see the site is missing the opportunity to attract a new following. You will notice I haven’t reached that point yet but by the end of the course I hope to razzle-dazzle at least some of you.