Adventures in Social Media!

Ah, digital media! Isn’t it amazing? Don’t you just LOVE it?

Well, apparently, not everyone:

“I never update my Facebook,” a friend told me recently. “Ever.”

“I just don’t get how Twitter works,” a family member confessed.

While this baffles me, I’m not here to judge these individuals. Not everyone has the same fixation as I do with technology and social media. (And besides, mother taught me to appreciate differences.)

So, let’s go with the idea that you personally dislike every and all forms of social communications. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, Swarm … none of these are your “thing”. Okay.

Let’s also say that you’re the communications/marketing guru for a nonprofit. You’re a rockstar at writing press releases; your monthly newsletter skills are out-of-this-world; and when it comes to sending out membership email blasts, you not only wring dollars, you wring tears!

Meanwhile, your fabulous organization does not have a presence in the world of social media. When your CEO says “we don’t have an InstaTwitterBook; lets get one!” he/she comes directly to you -- the communications/marketing guru.

Well, hell.

Here's some thoughts to get you started:

Your organization doesn’t need to set up a Twitter account just to have one; if your audience is accessible somewhere else (like Facebook, or even snail mail) focus your energy there.

That being said … if you decide that you absolutely must create a Twitter account for your organization, you should take a few things into account:

  • The Twitter account should have your organization’s name on the account -- not yours. It should say “Awesome Nonprofit (@awesomeorg)”, not “George Smith (@awesomeorg)”.

  • Don’t let your Twitter account be an “anonymous egg”, the default avatar that Twitter gives to new accounts Take a moment to show that you’re taking this “Twitter thing” seriously and personalize your account photo. Your company’s logo would work nicely.

  • When posting an update to Twitter, make your content specific for Twitter. Please don’t slap a link up there without explaining why it’s there. If you’re tweeting that your latest blog post is up, it's cool - and even encouraged - to say so.

  • Twitter has updated their rules about following. Here's what they say:

We monitor all accounts for aggressive following and follow churn (repeatedly following and un-following large numbers of other users)... but if you don’t follow or un-follow hundreds of users in a single day, and you aren’t using automated methods of following users, you should be fine.

The lesson here: Get your followers organically. It really isn't a popularity conest, I promise you. Spend time interacting with and following people/organizations that have interests that are alinged with yours. It's social media, so be social!

And have fun. I know, you may be like my friend (or was it a family member?) who just doesn't "get Twitter." But there really are great conversations to be had and interesting things to learn in the Twittersphere.