Give More Resources To Social Media!
A little while back I had a great talk with a friend about nonprofits using Social Media. We both came to the conclusion if nonprofits are not using social media right now, they seem suspect to the world we live in. Yet, there seems to be a lot of talking going on these days about whether it is worth a nonprofits time to be using Social Media. Let me be clear with you: in my opinion all nonprofits, if they are not already using Social Media, should make time NOW! Really the question should not be: “Is Social Media worth the time?” but “how can we give more time to Social Media, starting today?”
Another question that seems to be asked is, “what are the benefits to using Social Media?”. First and foremost, Social Media allows nonprofits the opportunity to tell people who they are and what they are about – to tell their story, to tell people why they are doing what they are doing. We all know that people want to be part of change, to be part of something good. We are all looking for something great to be a part of, so is there a better tool than Social Media to connect with people and let them know how passionate your organization is? And how they can become a part of the story and a part of that passion?
There seems to be two overriding questions nonprofits keep bringing up when I ask if they are effectively utilizing Social Media. They both have to do with why they think they can’t give more time to Social Media. I hope to lay to rest for any nonprofit the excuse that they don’t have enough money or they don’t have enough time.
One of the first expense related issues people think about when they consider utilizing Social Media is: “we don’t have a person budgeted to maintain our Social Media accounts.” Honestly, you don’t need a full-time person to correctly utilize Social Media (I’ll talk about that more in the “Time Section). In the beginning you should bring in a consultant to help you better understand Social Media and how you can best you use Social Media. This will also give you the much needed outside prospective that all organizations must have. This will cost you a little, but the benefit will outweigh the cost within a few weeks.
Once you have talked to a consultant and you know what tools you want to use and what direction you want to take your Social Media efforts, its time to get started. But you’re still thinking “we don’t have anyone who has time!”. Well I would venture that there is someone in your office that is already involved with Social Media who would love to help out your organization and drive your bus into the Social Media world. If not, there are a ton of 20 something’s who love your organization and would be thrilled to “help” your Social Media efforts. If you choose to use someone outside of your organization, giving them direction, guidelines, goals and messaging will be key in making sure that your venture is successful. Did you know that Chick-Fil-A’s fan page on Facebook is maintained by a mom who is not employed by them? Its true! That being said, it can be a huge benefit to have someone help make Social Media work for you until you have someone in your office doing it as part of their daily job.
Lots of people say that Social Media takes no time and well, that’s not true. You’re reading this right now and its taking you time right? It is, however, very easy to manage the time that will go into your organizations use of Social Media. If you do your research or hire someone to help you understand the correct tool or tools for your organization, you can instantly join in the “talk” that is already going on (and there is a good chance the “talk” is already there about your organization) all within a very minimal time commitment.
There are lots of tools out there that makes it easy to interface the Social Media tools your organization chooses to use. These tools allow you to log in to one place and correctly interact with your followers. A few of these tools that you should checkout are Jugnoo, Sprout Social and Hootsuite.
So why is your nonprofit not giving more resources to social media?
If you need our help we would love to help you get pointed in the right direction!