Effective Communication is a sophisticated art that is ever evolving. Between hieroglyphics, courier pigeon, pony express, tin cans, and telephone calls, we’ve been doing it since the beginning of time.
But, “the times, they are a changin” (Bob Dylan).
In the NPO ecosystem, communication is absolutely key— you know that already. It’s important to constantly evolve your methods of communication, otherwise you risk trying to reach a donor, who uses their cellphone, with tin cans.
Where does Social Media fit into this evolving form of expression, and what should we do with it?
Social Media is a multifaceted world, where users can instantly share updates, pictures, thoughts…basically anything. This content is circulated with their networks, and sometimes, their networks’ networks. Thats a lot of networks.
Let’s get to the numbers. According to the 2015 Nielson Trust Industry Report:
84% —–> Trust word of mouth recommendations.
68% —–> Trust consumer opinions posted online.
56% —–> Trust email advertising.
The study clearly indicates that by nature people trust a personal recommendation. Once you really understand the value of connecting on a personal level, you can begin to identify and recruit Social Influencers. Check out 5 types of social influencers to look out for:
1.The Mini Celebrity
Think neighborhood foodie, successful entrepreneur, local reporter, performer, philanthropist. When these people talk, everyone listens. Chances are this person is very busy, so get big by engaging them for something like a Capital Campaign, rather than soliciting a post about next week’s Friday night dinner. Ask them to create a short video selfie describing the upcoming campaign or event. It’s crucial to stay in touch with them throughout the year by sharing updates and well wishes.
These individuals know how to make an impact. Be it solving issues within the community or volunteering on a national, or even, global level, activists inspire others to get in on the action. Develop a strong year-round relationship and let them in on things happening at the organization (keeping them in the know, keeps them in your loop). If they are aligned with your vision and are passionate about the work you do, take it to the next level by giving them a role within your organization, perhaps lead a committee. Invite them to events, tag them in posts, and encourage them to take and share their own pictures. People associate activists with trustworthy causes, the more interaction you have with them on social media the better. Show them how your organization offers a clear path to realizing their altruistic objective, and they will help you in any way they can.
We all know a guy who knows a guy. There are some people who just love to socialize, and no one can shmooze a room better than them! People trust them to know what’s cool. With this, generally comes large social media following with high levels of engagement. Here is another person you want to ask for a video selfie, personal message, a virtual tour of your facility, the options are endless! Let them take the lead on how they want to communicate, they know what works best for them.
These people are on social media, attend events, and participate in their own way. While they may not be so active, they are always observing and like to be in the “loop”. Do not underestimate this group! Because they seldom share, it’s more amplified when they do. And all of a sudden, this observer becomes an active ambassador for a campaign, and their networks are curious as to what would get them so engaged. That is a very good thing 🙂
We’ve all heard about these exotic creatures. They may live in your home, be a member of your family, work at your office. Chances are you will find them glued to their phones. While this is incredibly annoying— they are simply obsessed with communicating, a lot. As a younger demographic, they may not garner the biggest donations; however, they will surely bring you tons of new modest donors and enthusiasts. More importantly they can help create a viral campaign. Viral = Quantity of donors.
By now you must have a few ideas as to who falls under which category. Sit down and make a list of whom your social influencers are, then categorize them. Take your calendar and lay out which influencer you will most need for each event. This simple task will help you visualize assess your social assets. The aim is to keep making connections. By formulating a list at the outset, you will be motivated to grow it!
When used correctly, Social Influencers can expand your reach tenfold, cut your work time, and launch your organization straight into the world of your donors. The good news is they are everywhere, especially on social media. Waiting. Like sleeper cells. Set aside an hour a day to nurture relationships with your Social Influencers. That may mean “Liking” or commenting on their posts, giving them a call with updates, a personal email with success stories, or an invite to your next exciting event.
Let us know how it goes!