Tuesday, October 16, 2012

BIG’s Blog: The Social Media Problem That Nonprofits DON”T Have

Let’s discuss social media . . . specifically Facebook and creating an online relationship.

Commercial companies are way ahead of most fundraising organizations in figuring out how to effectively use social media. According to all the figures I read, they are increasing their marketing budgets in this category even despite the current nay-sayers of Facebook. So it must be working for them.

Commercial companies are about getting people to buy their product. While commercial companies want to get lots of “likes,” unless that ultimately translates into sales, it is worthless. Everyone who likes a product or, in the case of Apple, may actually love the product, doesn’t actually want a relationship online.

Now consider your organization. You are actually hoping to create an online relationship. That is the goal. And it is certainly a goal that Facebook can directly facilitate.

The poor commercial products-people have goals too. But they have to figure out how to achieve their goals in roundabout ways. For instance, maybe it is getting people to talk about their product by sharing a story, or maybe offering a free trial.

Is what I said at the top of this post true? Are commercial companies really way ahead of most fundraising organizations? I think I could make a good argument that they are, and as I have just shown, they are doing it with severe handicaps compared to nonprofits.

So then, what is the take-away? Study how commercial companies use Facebook and incorporate their ideas into your approaches.


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