Social Media 000 What is it? Why does it matter? How are charities using it?
According to Wikipedia: Social Media is? Media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Social media supports the human need for social interaction, using Internet- and web-based technologies to transform broadcast media monologues (one to many) into social media dialogues (many to many). It supports the democratization of knowledge and information, transforming people from content consumers into content producers. Businesses also refer to social media as user-generated content (UGC) or consumer-generated media (CGM). Social media can be said to have three components; Concept (art, information, or meme). Media (physical, electronic, or verbal). Social interface (intimate direct, community engagement, social viral, electronic broadcast or syndication, or other physical media such as print).
But That’s Crazy! Question: How am I ever going to learn everything about all that??? Answer: You’re not and you don’t really have to. Don’t fret! The key to Social Media is that… It’s SOCIAL…. And that’s why it matters to charities and fundraisers.
Starting in Social Media The Textbook Way Get all your ducks in a row! Create/develop a “social media strategy”. Technology & infrastructure to support it. Resources: staffing, budget, goals, measurement etc. What ALS Canada did Logged on to twitter and talked WITHpeople.
Wait? What did you say? We logged on to Twitter and talked with people. I introduced my manager to it. I kept encouraging him to look at it. Our event needed more publicity. I got permission to “try it”. I began a trial and error effort that continues today. Organizational & Personal Your personal isn’t private – remember that! People need to know you and what you present online will be seen everywhere.
Talking WITH People Most of you will be in positions that require you to talk with people. Prospect research Direct Mail Social media Major Gifts Events Whether it’s donors, volunteers, colleagues or vendors, your job will include talking with people & building relationships.
Tuesdays with Morrie What we thought would happen Tweet & sell lots of tickets!!! What really happened We got bums in seats (freebees). We made friends. We discovered new supporters. Story in the Toronto Star. Laurie Pringle became a “social media expert”.
Social Media Expert? Not really. IMNSHO – nobody is. Social Media Enthusiast = better description. Technology is changing rapidly. It’s difficult for me to bestow anyone with that title. How do I/you keep up? Twitter, blogs, facebook, Mashable and more! Mornings, lunch, evenings & weekends… I live a wired life. I’m STILL the Major/Planned giving person (and that’s a challenge).
Integration Social Media is where your programs, communications, fundraising and volunteer management will intersect and quite possibly collide. It is a challenge for all organizations – for profit and not for profit. Many “best practices” still apply – but some do not! What works for some, may not for others. Test… test… test!
Testing 1..2..3.. Know your audience (you will hear this a lot) and speak their language. Facebook is not Twitter which is not Digg, which is not MySpace etc. Take the time to listen and understand who your followers are. Reciprocate, engage, interact and respond. Be real… it’s social. If you’re all business all the time, nobody will want to play with you.
SM & Your Organization Be honest – ensure that everyone recognizes that you are dipping your toes in and learning as you go. (Everyone is!) Have a show & tell day. For those people who don’t know and who do. Measure responses as best as you can, so you can report something. Set very modest goals and don’t be afraid to fail – as long as you can show what you’ve learned. (Count on failure – it’s new, it should be expected.)
Social Media & You Expect to invest your personal time in this – you’re a pioneer and you may always be one. Get out and meet people. Ask for informational interviews. Comment on blogs. Respond on LinkedIn. Ask questions. Surf the net… a lot! Have fun. “If it’s not fun, you’re doing it wrong.” People who want social tend to want fun. Every organization can make use of SM. Not every organization will use it the same way. Your way may be different.
ALS Canada’s Achievements Publicity for events. Publicity and (we think) some auction bids. New contacts & supporters. Increased third party events. More people know us! Media contacts – Tor Star story, YMC, Nview. Increased online donations & website traffic. New volunteers asking to help. And remember, this is all “on the side” - so far… What will you and your organization do? That’s for you to discover
Social Media 000.01 These are exponential times. Expertise today, may be useless tomorrow. Success comes to those who learn. Be a student of life – for life