Does Social Media Make Your Nonprofit Social?

Your constituants not only have the technology, but the desire to express themselves instantly and publicly. And they expect you to respond – or at least be listening.

But just having a Facebook Page or Twitter account does not allow you to fully become the social organization they expect.

  • You need social media policies – That encourages the right people to become spokespeople, and not just minimize risk. That supports your messaging by empowering individual voices.
  • You need social systems – That allows staff to share and learn from each other. That allows teams to quickly share information.
  • You need a social culture – That values and recognizes the contribution of teams. That values the entire life of each team member and integrate personal passions and work. Culture drives the first two items.

In short, social media has dramatically changed the environment your organization lives. Appearing to change with it is not the same as actually changing.

How are you adapting?

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  1. Hi John — well said.  I find that often groups/organizations and even community coalitions will put social media into the hands of a specific volunteer or staff member so the responsibility is on one person rather than many. Great to build a single persons capacity … until they move on and you’re forced to begin anew.  In my way of looking at the world this short-changes the very conversations we want to be having online. More is better (with social media guidelines that act as training wheels while staff build skills).

    I think the second thing I notice is that these groups also take up a broadcast/public relations kind of stance or approach to social media rather than an informal, conversational approach relying on not only sharing content but also interacting with and engaging people.  Your three points go a long way to resolving these issues.