Social networking is becoming increasingly popular for one primary reason: people want to connect. In fact, that need to connect has created an explosion in online forms of social media that include blogs, wikis, discussion boards, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and YouTube. Interestingly, these social spaces have opened up endless opportunities for engagement that can be very beneficial to non-profits. So the question is: how can your organization take advantage of these social spaces?
Well, here are just a few ideas for online communities that a small or mid-sized non-profit can easily build and maintain:
- A Facebook group for members to engage in topic-specific discussions and post pictures, ideas, and links to other websites.
- A blog on your website with brief articles on issues of interest to members, so members can engage in online discussion by posting comments to the blog.
- A MySpace page for volunteers to share their experiences, helping to give your work exposure and inspire others to become involved.
And there are endless other possibilities. If non-profits harness this technology properly, the payoff can be huge! Besides giving your work exposure, online communities allow organizations to easily monitor and understand evolving issues and provide timely, helpful responses to their donors and volunteers. What’s more, a sense of community is formed when members are engaged in issues of common concern, allowing for collaboration and building loyalty.
Not convinced yet, or don’t know where to begin? Check out Beth’s Blog at: http://beth.typepad.com/ for examples of how social media is being used to transform non-profits of all shapes and sizes, but whatever you do, don’t miss out on this social phenomenon; Connect, share, engage, inspire!