Is Social Media Right for Your Nonprofit?

Bob Cryer

Bob Cryer

Most nonprofit conferences have at least one session devoted to social media with titles like: Ten Ways Social Media Can Help You Raise More Funds…Social Media for Getting Your Story Out….What Every Social Marketer Needs to Know. But social media may not be right for your nonprofit if you do not have the following capabilities.

Do you have the staff to respond quickly to a question or comment that someone posts on your blog, Facebook or LinkedIn page? Social media is meant to be interactive. If you do not respond quickly, you are likely to create some negative impressions rather than the positive image you are trying to project.

Do you have the knowledge to provide responses that are always consistent with the brand image that you are trying project? It is not enough to know how to use the technology correctly. Responders must also be a credible and effective spokesperson for your nonprofit.

Do you have written guidelines and policies regarding the accuracy of information you put online, the use of vulgarities, respect for others and how to address criticisms of your nonprofit or its people? Anything you say online is archived and can be retrieved at any time by anyone from anywhere.

Do you have a crisis management plan in place so that you can respond quickly and effectively should something negative about your nonprofit start going viral? Who should your responder report this to in your organization and how should these people respond.

Do you know when you are overexposing your nonprofit to your audience? At what point might you be sending out too many tweets, messages or posts that, instead of holding your audience’s attention, they are starting to consider your messages as spam?

Do you know your lost opportunity costs? Is your social media effort taking effort away from other activities that could be of greater benefit to your nonprofit?

This post is a summary of an article that Larry Checco of Checco Communication wrote for Guidestar in October 2014. Mr. Checco is a nationally recognized public speaker, book author, workshop presenter and consultant on branding and leadership.

Author:  Bob Cryer, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org