Social Media: Be Social, Not Stagnant

By April 24, 2012 No Comments

I’ve been watching nonprofit activity on social media for a while now, and have observed something worth noting.

Many are suffering from a case of mistaken identity. They are using social media to promote the organization via social media. An organization is not social. Its people are. That’s where the mistaken identity comes in.

Those organizations who have a strong following are highlighting members, the people who make them strong. They are posting personalities, their passion, their contributions, their rewards. That strong following results in great word-of-mouth marketing, brand perception, loyalty, and search engine optimization.

Think about it: social media is about being social. Being social is not new. It happens in our homes, our streets, our stores—and now, online. Social media means the person-to-person connection is happening through new media, like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

This just in: Your community will engage with people over programs. Giving your members and volunteers a green light (or incentive) to engage in social media on your behalf is a strategy worth exploring. It’s much easier to “like” a person you can identify with than a faceless organization.

You serve a community of vibrant personalities, many of whom are committed to you and your cause. They have friends. Encourage them to move from “wallflower” to posting on your Facebook wall. Hold photo and video contests that you have the right to publish. Comment on their achievements.

I’m working with Membership and Marketing guru, Lori Swann, and YMCA Membership Director, Greg Lee, on a session at the upcoming NAYDO conference called “Make Your Members/Volunteers Rock Stars: Using Social Media to Deliver the Mission.”

Looking forward to great continued conversation on how to give our customers a social media identity that can’t be mistaken: a strategy that centers on individual impact over program promotion.

April Benetollo is senior vice president of market strategy for Daxko.

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