If you work in a nonprofit organization, foundation or the public sector chances are that you’re at least a little afraid of social media. And why shouldn’t you be? It’s big and it’s coming to get you.
Whether or not you know how to tweet, set up an email campaign, or friend a potential donor, here are a few reasons not to be afraid:
1. Although there are a lot of successes out there, the effective use of social media is still rare. Everyone is learning it as they go. So be willing to try and to fail. Failing is good. It means you learned something.
2. You can start small. Take the step of building your network (email lists, Facebook fans, followers on Twitter, before you engage them in a request for action or donations.
3. Remember that social media is a tool, not a strategy. Even if you don’t know how to use social media tools, I bet you know how to brainstorm ideas for reaching your strategic goals.
Don’t be confused: Using social media isn’t your goal. Achiving your oganization’s mission is your goal. Ask yourself how social media can help you do it.
You may not be a graphic designer, but you know that a well-designed annual report can help you engage financial donors. So just as you would call on the talents of a real designer for that report, call on a social media expert to help you reach your goals.
They’re out there. And they’re coming to help you.
Jennie Winton is a Founding Partner of Mission Minded, a 25-year marketing veteran sought for her expertise in branding nonprofit organizations, and a one-on-one leadership coach.
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