Non-profit social media strategy? Quality not quantity!


Social Media Madness

By Rose Reinert
Guest blogger

rose1For those that have seen the movie Julia & Julia, Julie Powell takes on the challenge of cooking every recipe in Julia Child’s first cookbook and blogs about it. I too will take on a challenge to read, “The Social Media Bible: Tactics, Tools & Strategies for Business Success,” by Lon Safko and blog about the things that I find.

With the challenge in mind, I cracked Safko’s book opened to chapter 1, “What is Social Media?”

Safko quickly defines Social Media by splitting out the two words:

“The first part of the terminology, social, refers to the instinctual needs we humans have to connect with other humans. . . . The second part of that term refers to the media we use with which we make those connections with other humans.”

Well how logical, I thought. But was I using that logic when I was posting Facebook posts for my non-profit? Other questions started whirling in my head.

  • When I make a post, am I trying to engage my audience?
  • Do I know the people that have “Liked” our page?
  • Are they clicking through on to our website?
  • Am I just trying to get posts in without being strategic about message?

I realize that each of these questions seem to haunt many of us.

I was excited to recently attend a local celebration for Philanthropy Day coordinated by the Fox West Philanthropic Network. During this wonderful event, I attended a roundtable focused on Social Media.

One of the first questions the facilitator asked was what types of social media we took part in for our non-profits.

We went around and rattled them off — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc, etc, etc. Without a doubt, there was a sense of burden in each person’s voice.

Yes, burden!

I could identify it because I too have felt it.

With the laundry list of things on our to-do list along with countless other projects, how could we focus on keeping relevant posts going up on Facebook, or ensure we are on LinkedIn?

As the conversation continued, the questions for the expert facilitator began about the most popular social media site that we all used, which of course is Facebook.

  • How often should we be on Facebook?
  • What day and time of day is best to post?
  • How much staff time should we spend with Facebook?
  • What should we be posting?

The facilitator summed it all up with the following simple piece of advice:

Quality not Quantity

Safko also uses a very logical analogy to make a similar point and makes a distinction between conventional marketing approaches and the new marketing approach being used on social networks.

rose2Safko explains that social media marketing is like going to a networking event, a party, a trade show, church, or anywhere large groups of people gather.

Using a conventional marketing approach, you walk into the group, interrupt everyone, and start announcing your name, and telling everyone what you do for a living, what you sell and that they should buy it from you!

In real life, what do you suppose would happen if you did that?

Now consider the new marketing approach. You enter the room, choose a group, walk up to them and say nothing. You listen first. You understand what has already been said; you consider how you could add value to the conversation, wait for a break and politely share your ideas. You now become part of the group, the network, and you have credibility and trust.

In this simple analogy, it is clear that there is so much more I could be doing to maximize my agency’s Facebook and social media presence. By focusing on quality of posts, not quantity, I am able to think strategically at how to engage those that have trusted us enough to “Like” us.

What does this analogy stir in your experience?

Are you currently scrambling to post quantity in your social media outlets?

Share your approach to social media marketing using the comment box below.

Oh yeah, you can also visit Lon Safko’s website to learn more about social media.

Stay tuned. Next Monday I’ll read a little more of The Social Media Bible, try it out and let you know what I learned from a non-profit perspective.

(Disclaimer: I am not getting paid by anyone to promote this book, and I am not profiting from these blog posts. I encourage everyone to buy a copy of this book and start the hard work of improving your agency’s social media presence.)
rose draft sig

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About DonorDreams

Erik got his start working in the non-profit field immediately upon graduation with his masters degree in 1994. His non-profit management and fundraising experience numbers nearly 20 years. His teachable point of view around resource development is influenced by the work of Penelope Burk and those professionals subscribing to a "donor centered" paradigm. Donors have dreams and it is our responsibility to be dream-makers because donors are not ATMs.

Posted on November 25, 2013, in nonprofit, technology and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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