Sunday, July 29, 2012

BIG’s Blog: Facebook

Do you want to buy shares of Facebook stock? Maybe yes, maybe no. How about Ford or Walmart or Microsoft? Come on, we all drive cars, buy sundries, and pretty much everybody uses Microsoft Word. But do we obsess over their stock price? In a word… no.

So why the obsession over whether Facebook’s stock is up or down or meets Wall Street analyst expectations?

As investors – a small subset of the population – these are all legitimate questions and concerns. But as fundraisers who are looking for ways to reach and engage potential constituents to our cause, why would I even care about Facebook’s financials, so long as the company is solvent?

Heck, most fundraisers I talk to are spending the majority of their time working on their direct mail appeals and the Post Office is technically bankrupt.

Yet every article about Facebook from across the spectrum of writers goes on and on about Facebook’s stock price and if they are viable. New Flash: They just reported $1.2 billion in revenue for last quarter and they have $19 billion in the bank from their IPO. Plus, they are only 8 years old and they have 955 million users worldwide (and growing) including approximately 51% of all adults in the U.S.

I have way more important issues to focus on with the “Social” phenomenon than Facebook’s stock price. Sorry.

I am much more interested in making Facebook work for fundraisers. Facebook and social media (so-called) are not about bringing in money. You need to readjust your thinking. Social is about connecting and building relationships. And frankly, the Social phenomenon is way more than just building relationships. But the “way more” is the subject for a different blog.

Back to fundraising.

One thing we know as fundraisers is that donors who give regularly, and in larger amounts, tend to be older. New Flash: They also are on Facebook.

But guess what? The fact that you and me are on Facebook supposedly raises an issue with the same people who obsessively write about Facebook’s stock price. It’s called the “cool” factor. Personal technologies that are new first attract the young. Facebook started on college campuses. In the beginning Facebook was “cool.” Now that you, me and my mother are on Facebook, the same writers who obsess over Facebook as a viable corporation have started to worry that it is losing its cool.

Am I worried? I am ecstatic!

The people I want to connect with are on Facebook.

Don’t worry about Facebook… use it for all its worth!


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