Four Lessons Learned: Social Media and Nonprofits Meme

NetSquared's picture

Beth of Beth's Blog and the NpTech Summary has started a meme with the question:

"What if I could start all my social media and nonprofits work over from scratch? What would I do differently? What lessons have I learned that will stick with me for 2008?"

The four lessons I've learned are:

1. Comments are small, but powerful tools.

I'll be honest with you. Commenting and microblogging are tough for me. I never know what to say. I'm continually amazed at the power of comments to start a conversation, and to build relationships. If I could start from scratch I would comment more.

2. Have a purpose for each of the social networks you join.

One of the things I like about LinkedIn is that they suggest that you don't link to everyone who asks you to, and they provide linking guidelines. Because it is a professional network, I have no problem telling someone that I am not connecting with them on LinkedIn because I don't know them. On the other hand, there are other social networks where I connect with anyone who asks, and still others where I connect with people I don't know, and decline invitations from others. If I could start from scratch, I would decide what my purpose was for each social network before I joined.

3. A blog can be a website too.

When I give talks about blogging, I often reference my friend Abby's nonprofit, Urban Sprouts, that uses a Blogger blog as their web site. The blog includes posts from staff, volunteers, and the people the organization serves. The sidebar has a donation button, Volunteer Match button, Cafe Press store link, e-newsletter subscription prompt, and Flickr photos, as well as links to press coverage, school garden resources and funders. What more do you need? If I could start from scratch, I would have skipped building a web site and made my blog my web site.

4. Information overload is real.

I LOVE being able to read, listen to and watch the kind of content I want, when I want to. I used to subscribe to everything I saw that interested me, and then try to consume it all, even if I discovered that the content wasn't that great. I didn't want to "miss" anything. Now I am much more discerning about what I subscribe to, and if I notice I haven't read or listened to something for a while, I delete it.

If you could start all your social media and nonprofits work over from scratch, what would you do differently? What lessons have your learned that will stick with you for 2008?

Photo Credit: Ladder of Knowledge by degreezero2000.