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« Youth with a Cause | The Real Value of Branding for Non-Profits »

November 6, 2006

Be Yourself to Make the Most of Social Networking

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Technology

So how can causes make the most of social networking? It's a tough question. Social networking can be a swamp--a massive time suck. It can also be an incredible goldmine. You may have noticed that we've jumped into the swamp known as MySpace. So how do we get the most out of it?

Simple: We stay true to ourself. At Personality™, we're motivated by causes. We want to see the world become a better place. So we've made our MySpace profile all about causes. We're not trying to pimp ourselves--we're trying to talk about causes. It fits for us, and hopefully that will make it work (time will tell).

If a non-profit wants to tackle social networking, they have to find a medium and an approach that's true to who they are. Blogs have worked so well in the political sphere because they let people post opinions. It gives candidates and pundits a platform. MySpace has worked well for bands because it lets them tap into the social network of their fans. But those mediums fail for candidates and bands who don't play by those rules. A candidate who is afraid to give the public a voice won't be very comfortabe with open comments on a blog. A band that isn't willing to pound the online pavement--either because they lack the time or are already so big they don't need to--will get little out of MySpace.

However you decide to use social networking, it has to fit your organization. If your organization trembles at the thought of open and public feedback, you better think twice about social networking. But if video clips can tell your story and you're willing to give up control, consider YouTube (like the United Nations). If photos can capture your cause and you typically use volunter photographers, consider starting a group on Flickr. If getting people together is a natural outgrowth of what your organization does, consider getting people together online. Be yourself and social networking will be that much easier. Find your organization's personality and run with it.


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Comments

Kevin,

Strong and succinct summary on why which social networking tools will work for which organizations when. We need more of this kind of guidance.

All best,
Nancy Schwartz

Posted by: Nancy E. Schwartz [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 8, 2006 7:33 AM