Hats off to Brian Solis for a simple but powerful thought about social media today. He answers the question “What’s your best advice to social media managers?” The answer:
Stop talking about social media
Note that this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think about if or how you measure the ROI of your Facebook or Twitter efforts. Fact is that C Suite types want to know why they’re spending time and money on anything.
The point is that nonprofit organizations, like any enterprise, need to think about the outcomes they need and what they need people to do to make those outcomes happen.
For a nonprofit, it doesn’t matter how many people like you on Facebook or how many retweets you got last week. What matters is whether the people at the other end of those communications channels (along with the people reading your blog, direct mail, answering the phones when you call, reading your email alerts, getting your SMS alerts and more) are, both immediately and over time, taking the actions needed to make the change you want to see in the world.
Think of your organization’s fundraising, outreach and mobilization strategy as one big pie…a pie made up of people. Social media is one to reach those people. Some people use it a lot and many will share great (and funny) stuff with friends. Many use mobile. Others use email.
Social media is not an island. Don’t treat it as one. Make sure that your social media and other digital communicators are working closely with offline communicators and organizers. Look for overlaps between social media profiles, email addresses, web visitors and direct mail addresses. Understand how people use these to take action on your behalf.
Most of all, understand how people communicate, engage and act. Stop talking about social media and focus on the people and what they need.
Photo by ROFL CAT.