Wednesday, February 26, 2014

BIG’s Blog: “Likes”

What kind of idiot thinks that “Likes” on Facebook will save lives or accomplish any mission?

Well, me for one.

But before some of you think I am really daft, let me explain my thinking if you don’t already know it. A “Like” indicates I concur with or find value in a post. It is a stamp of endorsement from me personally. For nonprofits, the assumption is that they are sharing stories and news of what they are doing through a social media outlet such as Facebook.

So far, so good.

When other people see a post from, say, UNICEF, before reading or clicking on it they might look to see how many “likes” it got. When you go to YouTube, do you click on a video that only has 33 views?

So to me, and I suspect a whole lot of other people, “likes” are a valuable barometer of whether people have read or clicked on the post and voted by way of their “like” that they approved or agreed with the message of the post … nothing more, nothing less. But their endorsement is helpful to us as we wade through a river of information and are made aware that a lot of other people found a post valuable.

So are “likes” valuable?  You betcha!

But apparently the Swedish office of UNICEF and, specifically Petra Hallebrant, UNICEF director of communications, felt that too many people – he calls them online activists – are only supporting UNICEF through posts or shares on social media.

In the story posted in the link below, there is an idiot, and it turns out it’s not me. Petra Hallebrant produced a series of videos that drive home the point that “likes” don’t buy vaccines or save lives. As if somehow people don’t already understand this? In an interview with The Atlantic magazine, Mr. Hallebrant actually says, “We like likes and social media could be a good first step to get involved.” But when you see the video he produced, right below every video is a bold poster that says: Like us on Facebook, and we will vaccinate zero children against polio. Translation … don’t Like us on Facebook!  

So after watching the videos (thankfully they are subtitled) you feel conflicted. The message of the video is “don’t like us, just send money.” So my takeaway is this: I guess I’ll just keep quiet because my only role is to send money. Now that really touches my heart and makes me feel a part of the mission.

Seriously, is Mr. Hallebrant so daft as to believe people don’t understand that connection? Most Swedes I have met (young and old) are genuinely smart and giving people. And if UNICEF’s supporters and donations are falling off, according to the “school of thought” of Mr. Hallebrant, you blame the potential supporters … not your communications!

Do you think that Mr. Hallebrant doesn’t quite get the interactive power of social media? If you have a media in which you can share news and stories and let people endorse the message, isn't that a good thing?

Maybe we’ll take up an offering and purchase Mr. Hallebrant a seat in our next online e-learning program, Acquiring the Next Generation of Supporters, where he can learn what all our graduates already understand about the purpose and the power of social media.
Wouldn’t you love to have this guy’s budget?


Welcome to BIG's Blog!  Please feel free to forward this post to your friends and coworkers...and email me a comment at:

No comments:

Post a Comment