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Posts Tagged ‘social networking’

social mediaNearly 7% of all of the donations that nonprofits receive comes from online sources, but harnessing the power of the Internet and Social Media tends to be less about collecting money and more about increasing interest in your NFP.

While social media is a great way to share stories about your nonprofit and strengthen supporters’ connection to your cause, there are downfalls to using the platform. The following is a list of some common pitfalls that nonprofit’s experience when they rely too heavily on social media channels to spread their message.

It’s Expensive

Advertising on social media isn’t free, and even though Facebook and other social media platforms sometimes offer discounts, click-thru ads, sponsored posts and other marketing campaigns, it can be still extremely expensive.

NFPs must control costs by using tools that allow them to test messages, manage start and kill dates for ads, and set budgets to keep an eye on ad costs to make social media campaigns worthwhile.

Many Social Media Channels Offer Low ROI

It would be easier to justify expensive advertising on social media if these campaigns at least generated high returns on this investment. But, the truth of the matter is that they simply don’t. Facebook offers the ability to connect, like and share with nonprofits, as well as the capacity to donate directly, and yet only provides a 3% increase in reach.

Other social media platforms, such as Instagram, make it easy to like photos and gain followers, who seldom, if ever, react to direct calls to action made on the platform. Snapchat’s ROI is even worse, as it doesn’t allow online donations directly from its app and nonprofits can’t even share a link to their website.

Despite the low returns on the time and money invested in social media, it’s still a great way to increase awareness about the good work that nonprofit accomplish. You can start conversations with others about the difference specific nonprofits are making in their communities, as an example.

NFPs should keep their objectives in mind, use targeting and segmentation to make certain that they are reaching the correct audience with their messages and set realistic goals when creating their social media marketing campaigns.

Focusing on Social Media Makes it Easy to Forget about Other Ways to Connect with Supporters

While social media seems to be all the rage these days, direct appeals and calls to action made on a nonprofit’s website, as well as in emails, newsletters and direct mail cost less to create and still generate most of the donations that are received by nonprofits.

NFPs that focus exclusively on social media marketing are likely missing out on ways to connect and raise funds that are less expensive and that offer a much higher return on the cost that is invested.

Trolls and Depressing News can Damage Social Media Marketing Efforts

Not every visitor to your nonprofit’s social media accounts is there to connect and share with you in a positive, meaningful manner. There are individuals who surf the Internet looking to join in on conversations with the deliberate intention to create as much chaos and ill will as possible.

Sometimes in the comments section and elsewhere, visitors may share depressing news or memes that feature disturbing text or images. NFPs must take care to monitor and moderate their social media accounts to protect the reputation of the NFP. Care must also be taken when responding to potentially negative or offensive posts to avoid encouraging or “feeding” trolls.

Social media is a great way to increase awareness about your NFP’s mission. The high cost of social media marketing campaigns, and the low returns that they offer, means that most non-profits should continue to include other more traditional methods of communication and fundraising in their strategic marketing plans in addition to their social media marketing efforts.

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There are so many social media ‘gurus’ out there and, equally, so much information out there about the ‘right’ way to manage your social media accounts; what to post, when and where – that it’s enough to confuse you to the point of inactivity.

Part of the problem is that there is no real ‘right’ way and much of what you do post on social media, how you manage your status updates and tweets, and what you include is dependent on your community of likers and followers.

Each market audience, in each industry will respond very differently from the next when it comes to what’s shared on each profile. It will also depend on what purpose you have set your page or profile up for, and why individuals are on your page in the first place. Is it for freebies? For information or advice? For friendship and support?

Once you establish what the purpose of each profile is, it makes it a little easier to determine what to post on social media. If you’ve worked out the purpose already, well done!

To reduce your stress and not worry about what to post next, it’s a great idea to set yourself up some sort of schedule for posts. Much like an editorial plan, work out your goals and the steps you need to get you there. Ideally, your social media schedule will be a component of the steps you take towards your ultimate goal.

Even with a schedule there are even more rules and suggestions about the best time and what to post, although some of this will be a little trial and error for you.

Some of this information can be found on this very helpful article over at Small Biz Technology, which touches on some of these rules and also provides a simple, sample posting schedule for social media.

The best thing you can do is, first, read this article, create a schedule, stick to it and monitor what works and what doesn’t, then review it monthly and change it up as necessary.

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Social MediaI recently wanted to update my Facebook status after having a super bad day. I desperately wanted everyone to know what I had been through but at the same time I didn’t want to come across as “oh poor me” because we all know how annoying that is.

So I actually sat down and strategically planned what I was going to say. But I asked myself why, if I wanted to get something off my chest, I don’t just say it straight

It’s funny that we feel the need to say something other than what we actually mean, all the while expecting everyone else to read between the lines. Just look at what happens on Facebook.

There are those of us who just come right out and say it honestly, no mucking about, and often end up getting themselves in more trouble than it is probably worth. Then there are others who make posts which say one thing but reveal another.

As a recent article on NineMSN says, our Facebook statuses might actually show more about our emotional state than we realise.

When you see Sally post that she is curled up on the couch, relaxing with a pizza and a movie on a Friday night, do you think she is really happy about that? Or does it mean that she is so bored and lonely, hoping like hell that someone will soon call with a better offer?

Or your old school mate Paul, who updates with a pic and blurb about his ‘fun tropical holiday, with beers and girls on the beach’. Well, he’s not just updating you on his current movements in case you need to call, rather, he is desperately wanting to show that he’s on an expensive carefree holiday, and indirectly saying “Look at me, Look at me… my life is so much better than yours!”

What impression are your Facebook posts really giving to your followers?

Check out the slideshow at NineMSN to see if you recognise yourself.  You might just be surprised!

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Social media conept in word tag cloud

While many of us are aware that it’s simply a matter of “good manners” and “common sense” to be careful what we say and how we say it when we are dealing with others in person, these unspoken social norms seem to get tossed aside by many of us when we use social media or make other internet posts.

One of the many reasons for this phenomenon is that we aren’t face-to-face when we make a post on our Facebook wall or send out a tweet, so we don’t see their body language to know when we are entering dangerous territory by talking about a topic we shouldn’t discuss.

Also, the written word is notorious for causing misunderstandings because the reader can’t “hear” the correct tone or intention of our words since it is written rather than spoken. It’s even easy to feel insulated or anonymous when we are online and posting things to our “friends” and “followers.” So, many of us end up posting or tweeting things that we would never say “in person and in public.”

Whether you are talking to a friend or client in person, or are just making a comment on a website or sending out a social media post, you should always keep in mind that tone and intent can be hard to read. Remember that there is no such thing as anonymity anymore and that you are still using a public space. What you say or otherwise post can and will be shared, and possibly even used against you, as these posts are considered in the “public domain.”

At the very least, you may accidentally hurt someone’s feelings through something that you post or share online. At the worst, you can make the wrong impression and lose out on the opportunity to expand your business, lose your job, or even wind up in a court proceeding.

So, the next time you feel like mouthing off with an off-colour joke on your wall, participating in a flame fest about this or that politician or consider posting that not so funny picture of you and your friends getting hammered on New Year’s Eve, think before you click, and don’t “tell on yourself” to the “whole world.”

Have you ever posted something you have later come to regret?

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We all know how social media can be used to stay in touch with family and friends to share pictures and information.  It can also be used for business to stay connected with colleagues or customers to provide support, promote or sell products.  Importantly, it can also be used to for your own personal development.

What information you choose to include about yourself to create your identity and image allows you to manage and control how people perceive and therefore engage with you.  That means that you can have some control over the kind of interaction you choose to have in social media.

The following points highlight some simple but effective ways that you could achieve this:

  1. Be clear and concise with your information.  When others in your social network know what you are interested in, they can make you aware of new information, opportunities or refer you to new contacts.  In effect, your social network can become your eyes and ears by sourcing and obtaining key information for you that saves you time.
  2. Include information about your interests as that can result in developing new connections with likeminded people.  As well as learning from their experience and advice you may be able to share resources.
  3. Take time to celebrate and share your achievements as well as those of others within your network.  Being recognised for an achievement not only creates a positive attitude but others can learn from the success and be inspired to achieve more.
  4. Ask for advice or seek opinions on issues.  This has a benefit of bringing a lot of responses in a short period of time.  On one hand and depending on the issue, this may be overwhelming but on the other you may gain a perspective or insight that you hadn’t contemplated.  The key to this is being clear and concise about what you are asking for advice on.
  5. Be accountable as well as make others accountable.  Publicly stating goals, deadlines or objectives can provide a greater incentive to achieve the result.
  6. Social networking is not just limited to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or Pinterest.  There are many other forms of social media and networks available.  These can relate to specific interest groups, sites with forums, online meetings, etc.  A quick Google search would help you find these.

To achieve your personal development via social media it is critical you are conscious of the image you portray to others in your network and how you want to be perceived by them.  You need to be able to stick to your strategy and try to avoid constantly changing this image.  Furthermore, devote the time to manage your social media presence as the benefits can be significant, of great value and can enrich and grow your personal development.

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To have or not to have – a mentor – that is the question.

What, you might ask, is mentoring? Mentoring is a partnership through which one person shares knowledge, skills, information and perspective to foster the personal and professional growth of someone else.

In short – “Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” John C. Crosby

But, you might ask, how do I find the right person to be my mentor? If you are already in the workforce ask if your company or organisation has an existing mentoring program. If there is no system in place, be brave and bold and personally ask questions in order to find the right person.

The right person will be someone you admire and has the skill-sets that you wish to develop. Don’t be afraid to ask somone directly. People feel honoured if you ask them to share their skill and expertise with you.

Think about other opportunities for mentors: your family and friends, people you admire, networking organisations or your university alumni. These are all good places to start looking. An important quality to consider is the time availability of your potential mentor – will they have the time to devote to assisting your career development?

You may want to have more than one mentor, one within the organisation you work for and one who is a more objective outsider to your workplace. The final step in the process is to approach the person concerned and invite them to be your mentor; you may wish to do this over a lunch date or a coffee.

Once you and your mentor start working together you will find great solace in having a professional sounding board and professional guide in your life. One day you too may be in a position to offer yourself as a mentor to a struggling star and share your own wealth of knowledge and insights.

You’ve got absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain from finding yourself a mentor!!

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I hear lots of people talking about social networking and the value it brings to their businesses.  I sometimes hear people questioning it and asking why it is of use?

Social networking means using systems like Twitter and Facebook to connect with others online.  It can do wonders for your business but only if you use it properly.  The best explanation of social networking and is value to business comes from Seth Godin.  This man ‘knows his stuff.’  If you are thinking of using social media for business, or you are using it and wondering why it isn’t working for you, you need to listen to this.  It’s a very short clip at under 3 minutes but the information in it is pure gold.

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