Are you using social media to promote your cause? How do you decide if social media can provide you a connection to your key stakeholders? How important is it to engage and empower your stakeholders using social media? How do you overcome being overwhelmed with social media?
Last week, we talked about how a few large organizations are letting their leaders get more involved in social business. I believe getting involved in social media can help you connect to your key constituencies. This week, I share a resource that can help you understand if social is right for your organization.
One of the biggest challenges my client executives face is they are overwhelmed by the amount of information they have to review on a regular basis. Add one more thing to their list of priorities and we are likely to be removed from their office in a hurry. That being said, I believe that social entrepreneurs and social philanthropy are a trend that will continue to grow and prosper. After significant research and reading over 50 social media books in the last three years; I found an inexpensive resource that in less than 50 pages helps you decide if you should be getting involved in the social revolution.
The resource is called the No-Nonsense Nonprofit Guide to Social Media written by one of our key contributors at Developing Serving Leaders, Dennis Fischman. This is great resource for managing directors and presidents of nonprofits. I also think it can provide a great foundation for the entrepreneurs and smaller business leaders that want to get a better feel for social media communications.
Today, I give you the mindset that you need to develop as you decide if social media is right for you and your organization. Then, on Thursday, I share several implementable ideas you can start this week to better understand how to leverage your initial successes on social platforms. I’m a strong believer in social marketing, having used it to develop two blogs with over 127,000 people in our communities.
There are three ideas Dennis shares that show you what’s changed in communication and marketing strategies over the past five years. Knowing these three ideas can help you determine if you want to take your organization down the social media path. They are changing the way we interact with key people across our communities.
The first idea is nobody has to read anything we write. People are receiving several thousand messages a day from any number of sources and we no longer have their full attention. If we want people to read our messages, we must become better at creating messages that stand out from the crowd. Dennis and I believe this means not only better messaging, but also listening to what stakeholders want and need. Dennis shares several great, low cost, easy, effortless ways to listen to your markets and stakeholders. Today, leaders must earn the right to be listened to on a regular basis.
The second idea is that relationships are changing. We see more baby boomers moving towards retirement and millennials are just starting to find their way. We believe that the definition of relationship is changing. In the past, we could reach out to individuals with an interest in our causes and play the numbers game in hopes of starting our relationship with a small percentage of the total population. Today, social communication technologies make it possible to reach out to organizations whenever we want to. We can develop an ongoing conversation with the people who make our organizations a success. Over 65% of the population has a smart phone today. This number continues to increase exponentially. Today, these users can do more with their phones than earlier generations could do with their PCs.
Finally, our communities are become a much more fluid. People are driven by causes and their passions. They do many things to help us support what we want to achieve. People also want to belong to a community that can be formed on the fly. These events happen and our stakeholders want to feel involved in what’s going on.
Engage their self-interest and they will share you with friends and their community. If you’re not creating extraordinary experiences for your stakeholders, they are moving on to an organization that is. This also means building two way communications with individuals who help support your organization. Building campaigns that can be passed on through social channels and engage people on a regular basis. This requires a better thought out communications strategy and one that encourages ongoing discussions with people who are interested in supporting your dreams.
We’ve talked about several subtle shifts in how you communicate with you stakeholders. If you’d like to pick up a copy of Dennis’s eBook The No-Nonsense Nonprofit Guide to Social Media, you can find it at: http://dennisfischman.com/no-nonsense-nonprofit-guide-to-social-media/ starting Thursday this week. It could be the best investment you make this year. On Thursday, I share several key ideas from it that help you leverage what you do and how you do it. See you Thursday.