Ever feel like your nonprofit or small business is doing some pretty interesting stuff online to share the really interesting stuff you are doing in the real world − but no one seems to be hearing you? You are not alone in having those feelings, especially on a Monday − on a week that sees back-to- school for many kids and the start of the political convention season. We all could use a little pep talk.
Plenty of research shows that activity on social networks for businesses and charities pays dividends in many different ways, but what must be remembered is that some of those ways are not quantifiable. Which is not to say they do not have value. Consider this:
The Forrester Research group has developed what may be the standard by which participants in social networks are delineated. Those who make up social networks are defined as
- Creators, who make up about 24% of the online population
- Conversationalists, who keep fairly regular track of their Twitter/Facebook accounts, make up about 33%
- Critics, who write reviews, regularly comment on blogs, and participate on various(37%)
- Collectors, who, well, collect RSS feeds, tag online photos, cast votes, etc., make up 20% of the community
- Joiners, whose main activity is on ‘traditional’ social-networking sites with only marginal contribution (59%)
- Spectators, who focus on information consumption anywhere from a bit a week to hours a day and make up 70% of the online community
- Inactives are anyone who doesn’t do something of the above (17%)
that those where are active in some way make up more than 100% because Forrester appreciates the fact that most online participants interact with their peers and their media in different ways over extended periods of time.
But as Brett also points out, what is especially uplifting is the fact that only 17% of those online are ‘inactive’. If we just stick with that number and not worry about the hair-splitting required to define a Critic and a Conversationalist, that means over 80% of the online community is ready to read about, view, hear from… your organization and respond ins some way!
If you feel like you’re trying to grab attention for your organization in the midst of of a state-fair midway, maybe you should instead consider the metaphor of fishing out of a barrel: Not ‘why can’t we get anyone’s attention?’ but ‘why are so many people hearing us online, but not responding?’ The big picture reveals that most people are ready to engage in some way. And some of that engagement will be good old-fashioned word-of-mouth that your nonprofit can’t immediately quantify. But the only way to get that word-of-mouth/retweet/repost is to share engaging content in the first instance. The audience is clearly there waiting for your news.
If you are looking to develop a new, staff-friendly, web- and communications-hub for your nonprofit or charity, you’ll definitely want to be with us tomorrow! We have the first of a two part video interview with Rob Wu, director of CauseVox, an online web content and fundraising platform that is rolling out its updated 2.0 platform later this week and into September. He will talk with us about what has gone into CauseVox 2.0 and why it could be the platform that boosts your organization’s donations during the high-dollar holiday season fast approaching.