To Tweet or not to Tweet… (with apologies to the Bard)

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:

 

1. Be Choosychoose

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

commitA 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. 

 

3. Be Variablevariety

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.

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3 thoughts on “To Tweet or not to Tweet… (with apologies to the Bard)

  1. You are right. There are so many different platforms, but that gives the audience a huge variety to pick and choose:) Every social media platform has it’s own strengths and weaknesses. One has to pick one that serves his/her purpose. I had been getting invites for Linkedin in the past, but I never joined it until last week, when I explored it in detail for this course and I realized that it’s not “just another” social media platform but it’s a great one for professionals and job seekers!
    I agree with you that there needs to be commitment as well as variability to keep the site running and it’s audience interested:)

  2. “in the real world, this is serious business.”

    I found out that the person who tweets on behalf of a household name Silicon Valley company makes about $80,000 a year… and the only thing they have to do? Is TWEET!

  3. Can’t agree with you more! I personally only choose a few social media platforms to use and like you, if I choose anymore my head would hurt! I think your 3 tips are very relevant.

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