Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Using Social Media for More

I've been thinking lately about how we use social media in our professional lives. Certainly, it's pervasive, and now an online persona is just as important as an in-person personality. Not too long ago, before Twitter became a way to spread event news and find the latest deal, before Facebook was used for nonprofit Causes, and even before LinkedIn provided a way to digitally connect with our peers, social media outlets were a free-for-all. In the context of understanding how each different outlet serves its own unique purpose(s), both individuals and organizations faced the challenge of how to use these media sources to reach their core audiences, and in turn, spread their message.

Although the current state of social media hasn't been completely defined--in that its a constantly evolving, dynamic medium--it is now much easier for those savvy individuals looking to use social media and get a valuable return on their time. Dependent upon what's being measured, be it the number of subscribers to your organization's eNewsletter, an increase in Facebook Cause donations, or event signups, we can use any of a number of tools to find out what our constituencies really desire out of our community-based organizations.

So as nonprofit organization leaders, community supporters, and even philanthropists, the question then becomes, "How can I effectively listen?" Wayne Turmel, a BNET writer, published an article a few weeks back on how "Real Leaders Use Social Media to Shut Up and Listen." His candid approach hit the crux of how we use social media in such a way that is so relevant to nonprofit organizations--because by learning what our communities need, it then becomes that much easier to serve.

Written by Danielle Reyes-Acosta

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