Every week Mashable.com summarizes their stories and blogs of the week on social-media news & tools. As a resource for the non-profit world, I take it each week and share some of the applicable tools through a pair of non-profit spectacles.
Frankly, this week's summary was lacking in items for non-profit specificity, but there is one theme worth considering in the following phrase:
...changes to Facebook — the introduction of the web-wide “Like” button, the death of Facebook Connect...I cite these simply as a word of caution to those depending on external sources for their non-profit marketing efforts - don't get me wrong... you should be on Facebook, Twitter, etc. ...but you have to operate in a manner that is nimble and understanding. Facebook is not beholden to you, no matter how many "We won't pay for Facebook" and "Bring back the Become a Fan button" groups or pages there are.
Some were bemoaning these changes because of time or thoughts invested in "Become a Fan" marketing campaigns or the tech work to introduce Facebook Connect to websites. But as I mention in my presentations on social-media, you have to work with caution and the understanding that your platform could be gone tomorrow. Case-in-point... Remember about two years ago when everyone was scrambling to be the best non-profits on MySpace? Hmm... MySpace is not gone, but it is certainly not where most thought it would be at that time.
How do you address this? For one thing, do not subscribe to anyone's (even your manager's) point-of-view that social media is a "silver bullet" for your marketing efforts. Much like some in upper-management proclaimed that email would solve everything circa 1995, some do so with social-media. They are all helpful tools, but they cannot exist alone.
Additionally, if you have the resources to do so, have a team that provides input on your social-media strategy. This can be internal staff, external stakeholders or a combination. This will make it less stressful when strategies need to be adjusted.
Finally, use links within Facebook, Twitter and other channels that redirect constituents to the pages you control at www.YourOrg.org - the more you have control over the less impact changes in the platforms will have on your organization.
Other useful links from the week in Mashable:
Top 10 YouTube Tips for Small Businesses
Why Retention Should Be Your Top Priority in Social Media Marketing (This one we will tackle from a non-profit point-of-view soon)
Also, if you did not see last week's Through Non-Profit Eyes - check it out here. Lots of useful information!
Image courtesy of Mashable.com