Making sense of social networking and social media – an article for all who feel completely lost in and isolated from the growing world online…thanks to Tech News.

Does this sound familiar?  “Everyone’s doing it, so you want to do it.  Heck, you even want to do it well – whatever that means.  So, you hire an intern to do your social media.  There, all done.  Problem solved.”

NOT SO FAST!  Some things to consider…

  1. What are your overall marketing goals and how are these furthered by the use of social media?
  2. What types of social media should you use for what activities?
  3. How will you integrate this organizational function into the overall management?  That is, who will be responsible for the work, and how much time will be allocated?
  4. How will you evaluate the impact of the social media used?

A few notes of caution:

  • Social media is ever-changing.  Your plan must be flexible and responsive to changes in how social media is used by the general public and your constituency groups.
  • Social media is about creating conversations, not one-way conversations.
  • Do not dump this assignment on an intern who isn’t even familiar with the organization.  Social media is a vehicle for brand management and public relations – not just about the use of technology.  Plan accordingly.

Please leave a comment with your word of advice for nonprofits using social media.

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