3 Paradigm Shifts That Will Boost Your Nonprofit's Social Media

raido knob
11.30.2011By

If you’re like most nonprofits, you’ve started using social media or are at least thinking about starting. You may have had a lot of successful experiences that you’ve learned and grown from.

Or you’ve dipped your toe and are just plain scared and confused.

Regardless of where you’re at in becoming a Networked Nonprofit, you can always improve how your organization uses social media.

Here are three ways you can dramatically improve your results by changing your perspective.

1. Redefine ROI

The place where your organization falls on the continuum between being a fortressed nonprofit and being a networked nonprofit will influence how you perceive ROI.

Transactionally-based organizations tend to view ROI as Return On Investment, looking mainly at donations or database acquisition.

Redefining ROI from a networked nonprofit perspective opens up new possibilities:

  • Return on Insight – How do people feel about your organization? How to they discuss your cause?
  • Return on Interest – How can you find and engage with people who are already interested in what you do? How can you create even more interest?
  • Return on Ideas – What can we learn from our peers and “competitors?” Who’s talking about your cause in remarkable ways?
  • Return on Intensity – What if we could amplify the voices of our existing fans? How would that help us change the world?

2. Start Mud Wrestling

In the Networked Nonprofit, Beth Kanter and Alison Fine view social media is a “contact sport” rather than a “spectator sport.”

You have to be willing to get dirty and fail in order to learn how to use social media successfully.

The more willing you are to do this, the better and faster your success will be. And by the way, your fans are very forgiving of mistakes. In fact, they’ll love you for them.

3. Get Physical

Facebook Places at University of Kentucky

Huh? Isn’t it about the World-Wide Web? No, not anymore. Geosocial apps make offline events the ultimate viral engine. Start thinking about how to create events that people can’t help but talk about! Then give them the tools and a little direction.

The fact is, using tools like Foursquare and Facebook Places creatively is still very, very new to every business and nonprofit, so it’s the perfect place to experiment without the hindrance of “best practices.” Start with your events. Then pave your path.

What do you think? Comment below!