It’s not uncommon for nonprofit executives to be hesitant about using technology, especially since technology is constantly changing. Technology has changed the very basic notion of communication entirely. Learning to view social media as a “game changer”, not just an addition to the way your nonprofit communicates, is crucial. But for nonprofit leaders specifically, who may be overworked or focused on maintaining a small budget, investing in something new–even if it might be a necessity–is risky. However, most great nonprofit leaders already have skills that can help them manage technology. Implementing social media marketing into your nonprofit doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you harness the skills you already have!
What You Need to Know
1. You’re already a “can do” person. If you’re a nonprofit executive, you know how to get things done efficiently and effectively. It’s no different with technology.
2. Most nonprofit executives are accustomed to being diligent, since you’re used to checking references, getting quotes for large purchases and managing staff. Learning about technology will require the same detail and diligence.
3. If you’re working for a nonprofit, you have an eagerness to learn. Don’t be afraid of what you don’t know–use it as fuel to understand the scope of social media and how it can benefit your organization.
4. You support your staff already through communication, training and feedback. Implementing social media marketing for your nonprofit doesn’t have to be any different. You can use social media to communicate with the public and involve people in discussions.
What You Need to Do
5. Approach social media knowing that it’s completely revolutionizing the way businesses run. Think strategically, and examine ways you can reorganize the way your nonprofit operates. Assess where you are and where you want to be in order to create a long-term technology plan, while keeping your core focus intact.
And since technology changes so fast and websites can quickly become outdated, you should update your plan every year.
6. Work with people you trust. Even though you should learn as much as you can about technology, it doesn’t mean you’re expected to become an expert. Build long-term relationships with technology experts you trust.
Find someone who specializes in social media, and see if they can help you develop a strategic plan that fosters community, grows support and progresses your mission and purpose.
7. Give up a little control and realize that social media is not just about the technology, but it’s about the people. It can be disconcerting knowing you can’t control the messages that will form as users begin communicating with your nonprofit.
But this is what users like–the ability to share what they feel without being told what to think. The “people aspect” of social media marketing can actually be beneficial in broadening your vision.
8. Remember you’ll get what you pay for. With your nonprofit’s budget, it can be easy to think of the hourly rate and not the total project cost. Make sure the price is fair and reasonable while achieving results.
Nonprofit leaders already have the diligence and communication skills needed to work with technology. If you can use the skills you possess to learn about a new industry, your nonprofit can reap the benefits.