With the still-growing panoply of social-networking platforms out there, one can easily feel overwhelmed with trying to keep up with all the hottest topics on the coolest sites. To add to the pressure, each new platform has its own subset of skills to master, which requires time and energy you thought you’d spend raising donor support or planning the next volunteer drive. To make matters still worse, you read through the MKCREATIVEmedia blog each week to discover a new social site or software package that might be just the ticket to make your charity a success.
Well, let’s just chill out a bit this Monday (now that the national heatwave has finally been clipped) and follow some: avoid three common mistakes, and the outreach can better take care of itself.
One common mistake is not asking the right questions. Don’t sweat your organization’s Klout numbers, or even the ‘Likes’ on Facebook. Develop instead your ‘Net Promoter Score‘ (NPS), which is based on a series of questions developed by your organization and scaled 0-10. One question should be something like “Would you recommend getting involved with our nonprofit to your friends?” Take the percentage those who answer with a 9 or 10, and subtract the percentage of those who answer 0-5. Violá, your NPS.
Another mistake Brad (and the MKCREATIVEmedia Team!) sees oft repeated is a lack of focus as organizations start chasing each new trend or technology. Yes, you absolutely need to keep an eye on developments in the social media/social networking universe! But you don’t need to run after each one each time it moves. Consider what your organization or small business does, what kinds of supporters or customers you have now, and what kinds of supporters or customers do you want to develop., that will tell and people will spread the news their ways (see mistake number one). You should develop a strategy that is as confident about what your staff will not be pursuing as it is about what they will pursue.
Finally, don’t have unrealistic expectations. Updated your Facebook business page? Great! But don’t expect the ‘Likes’ to start piling up tomorrow. Patience and realistic hopes can be real challenges for small businesses in particular, Brad notes. Competition and a tight credit economy and political whining all ratchet up the sense that if a bit more effort on Twitter doesn’t produce tangible results quickly, then what’s the point?
The point is, social networks help build relationships based on recommendations, time, and quality. The key word in that sentence is ‘help’, by the way. If your nonprofit does not have a record of good works, if your charity wavers on whether it’s focused on changing local policy or building local shelters, then posting these shortcomings to the social-media universe won’t help grow your donor base. Don’t let worry over the social-media tail start to wag the dog.
What mistakes do you see out there in social marketing and outreach? Might you have one you made that you would like to share? Please share them through our comments. And if you have a story you want to share about your experience, contact us to be a Guest Blogger on the MKCREATIVEmedia Team!