Who doesn’t want a high return on investment? Whether that investment is time or money, any business or nonprofit wants to see it put to good use and wants to see some reward for it. With the explosion of social media over the last five-to-seven years, we have watched a kind of bi-polar reaction to the development of an online/social media strategy. One tendency is to believe that with the new website and Twitter plug in, your organization’s work is done. The other is to strive to boost the number of Followers and Friends ever higher, though often be frustrated that each Facebook Friend is not donating each time he or she signs into their account. Perhaps we should envision a sweet spot between such extremes, for ourselves, for our clients, and for our constituents.
Take interaction with content and status updates on Facebook.that less than 1% of those who see your status updates (whether an individual, nonprofit, or corporation) actually interact to them. And only about 7% of a page’s Fans interact with the page at all.
At first glance,, and one might be tempted to throw in the towel before bothering to sign in this morning. Yet what is your organization trying to get out of its social-networking campaign? The obvious number we all tend to go after is more followers. But as those numbers rise, how are is your charity going to interact with each of them in ways that keep them engaged and involved?
As with flesh-and-blood friends, nonprofits need to avoid the temptation to be all things for all people. Nonprofits should target their message, and target their audience – without getting caught up in the competition for aggregate numbers. Getting a few ‘Likes’ or retweets can be much more valuable than having thousands of Friends who don’t seem to engage with your mission. Getting those ‘Likes’ and retweets requires some effort, of course. But any meaningful relationship does.
This video interview of Nicole Kelly ofprovides an excellent primer on the need to consider relationship building as part of the return on investment, even though relationships can not be counted in the same way donations or sales can be counted.
Go ahead and sign back into Facebook and update your nonprofit’s Facebook page! Indeed, do it every day. But focus your updates to inspire your core constituents and strengthen their interest in your organization – not to hope you might gain a few dozen more followers who might not ever talk with you again.