Posts Tagged ‘nonprofit social media’

Like sands through the hour glass, so are the tweets of our lives.

“Mike, I sent out a tweet and had no replies, no retweets, no referrals, no donations…nothing happened.”

Statements like that really fire up my hero and author of the recent book UnMarketing (buy it here),  Scott Stratten.  He contends that Twitter is a conversation…”a networking event that requires no travel.”

Twitter is referred to as “microblogging” and with good reason.  It is the perfect platform for people like me that have micro attention spans.  It is true that a tweeting moment can be a fleeting moment.  Peter Shankman shared that 2.7 seconds is the average attention span (he obviously has not seen my daughters in the American Girl Doll store).

Like a networking event, Twitter requires us to be present.  We can’t tweet and run, Stratten also believes that the life of a tweet is about five minutes.  If someone replies, retweets or inquires and we’re not there it can be considered a lost opportunity — kind of like walking away from someone after asking what they do.

1.9 million tweets an hour.
32,000 tweets a minute.

Now that is enviable volume — it takes commitment, quality content and true engagement to establish relationships in the twittersphere.  It takes conversation — without the travel.

It is a big sandbox, but the great thing is all the big kids playing in it are real nice and always willing to share.

Tactics, Templates, Trash

It’s clear that organizations need to adapt and evolve in order to attract, engage, and retain future generations of members, donors, customers, and shareholders (my alarm sounding post).  Or be lost to irrelevance and obscurity.  At least it’s a choice.  Playing basketball or learning to swim with us at 6 years old no longer means a committed volunteer and donor at 26 years old.

Tactics?
The “how” in remaining being relevant is still being written — dictated by the largest generation in history by the way.  Too often we hunt for the tactics — “just give me the ‘how-to’ list and I’ll follow it.”  Unfortunately, there will not be a “How to market to a Gen Xer/millennial so they buy or give” in-a-box kit.  Maybe I need to develop and market an out-of-box kit.  We’re making our own shoes (NikeID), our shoes result in a tangible donation (Toms Shoes), building our own cars (Mini), designing our own computers (Dell), designing our own philanthropy (Donors Choose), we can design our own credit cards.  Customized, synchronized and personalized — a creative stamp on MY world…a brief and virtual legacy.  We need tactile, not tactics.

Trash the Templates
Nonprofit organizations (and most small businesses I work with) love templates, I mean really, really love them.  Boiler plate, back when I had your job, why reinvent the wheel, just change the date from 1987, have you seen my leg warmers, it’s on this 3.5″ disk, been-there-done-that leadership at its finest. Big donors, loyal members, big loyal customers all get the same stuff — little cut, copy and paste and “voila!” a retention loyalty program.  The future has us creating customized individual plans and programs, texting, tweeting, bumping, IM’ing, foursquaring, gowallaing, Facebook paging, and yelping.  If I told you 5 years ago that being “liked” (thank you Facebook) was going to be a success metric, you’d laugh me off stage; which, ironically, I was 2 years ago…twice.  And mass direct mail…”dude, just send it to my parents’ house I guess, I might get it when I’m back from Costa Rica where I’m working on a clean water project” — yeah, that’s a strategy for a different era.  Baby boomers may have broken the mold — we’re breaking the templates.

Are the new T’s: texting, touching, technology?  Connecting the relevant dots will insure a relevant future.  Otherwise, it’s an uphill walk to school: both ways, barefoot, and in 10 feet of snow.

The landscape is fast changing, what can we be doing to ensure we’re a part of it?

On my desk is a copy of Tony Hsieh’s new book Delivering Happiness (Amazon Link), the story of Tony’s journey in building Zappos.com (link) into a customer service phenom.  In the future, I’ll try to craft some semblance of a review of the book, ironically Tony grew up in Marin County where I was blessed to live and work for a number of years.

My ownership of the book is not surprising — I have desks, coffee tables, nightstand, and car seats littered with books.  What is awe inspiring is that I received this book through Twitter and all it cost me was some time.

I am a fan (not the stalker kind despite what he says) of Jay Baer (Jay on Twitter) and his blog/company Convince & Convert (link to Jay’s blog).  Thank you Jay, you’ve literally delivered happiness.  Jay’s got GIVE.

Quite often organizations pursue social media strategies in an attempt to attract new members/donors/customers.  One of Jay’s principles is to use social media to engage our existing members, deepening the relationship — he speaks my language (or I at least understand his words).

Non-profit organizations are typically stuck in the “asking” gear and in this challenging economy few of us can find the clutch.  I refer to it as the non-profit duck-duck-goose game.  Many fundraising consultants recommend “7 touches and then ask again” — touch, touch, touch, touch, touch, touch, touch, ASK!.  Imagine if we led with GIVE.

What has Jay gained by his GIVE?  A committed reader of his blog, an evangelist in my humble network circle, future potential client(s), future potential speaking gig(s), a buyer of his upcoming book, a constant referral, and a tequila should he find himself in Cave Creek.

Imagine if we led with a GIVE.  We have key shareholders that have passions — some related to our work and some outside.  After my experience I am sending out 4 books this week from fly fishing to NASCAR.

The timeless adage is true, giving is more powerful than receiving.  Got GIVE?