Hey beautiful people,
One of most common reactions when you say to somebody that Social Media and Communications is part of your job description is “Social Media, that’s not that hard and it can absolutely not take that long!”.
Well, if you are wondering why some nonprofits flourish on social media and some others don’t you just got your answer! Social Media is a tool, not a strategy and in many cases that the hardest part for a nonprofit leader to understand. And although year after year things are getting better, there is still a lot of doubt of “why should we spend money there”.
It sounds funny, doesn’t it? We have a rising iGen – the soon-to-be pool of donors and supporters – who have learnt to use high tech devices before they’ve started holding a pen and Millenials, who cannot remember how it is to live unplugged. And still, very often we need to justify why Social Media is not just “a good idea”, it is a defacto nessecity for every nonprofit.
Thanks to Facebook fundraisers and the Instagram donate stickers (thank you Mr. Zuckerberg!), this nessecity has become more obvious and measurable. But still we have a long way to go.
You may tell me that all these sound good, but “let’s cut the chase”. Why should I spend money and resources, unless I have the chance to get money back (that many nonprofits due to their geographical location, don’t, I should note). Well, let’s say that even though the Facebook fundraisers and the donate instagram stickers can be a great fundraising funnel, you shouldn’t be focused solely on that.
Your online presence is like welcoming your donors, supporters, volunteers, and prospects to your office. You give them the chance to take a look on what you are doing, you give them insights of what you are up to, you build strong relationships with them. You tell them the things that you don’t have the time to say in a 15 minute call or a squizzed in-person meeting. You make them part of the equasion. And when the time it’s right, you leave these 15 minute calls and squizzed in-person meetings for the things that really matter, the bare bones.
Social Media is a constant reminder of your presence in a not so pestering way. You are always there, always ready to show what you are doing, but you let to others decide when and for how long they will engage. You let them the freedom of will. You consantly tell them a story about your vision and your mission .
But be carefully! Make sure that when you tell your friends and followers your story, you tell them your story. Not a copycated one. Not the one which just happened to work for another nonprofit or forprofit organization and has nothing to do with you. Make sure that you tell them what’s in the core of your organization, what drives you, your staff, your Board, your volunteers. Just make sure that you tell them the story of your heart. That’s the only story that they need to know!
Until next time, keep dreaming, keep inspiring, and keep creating!