“Am I in the Twilight Zone?” was what I didn’t say.
I was chatting with a client and she says “…how you do have time for blogging and social media? Doesn’t it take, like, ALL your time and energy? I just don’t have time for that. No way.”
I’ve been creating and consuming social media content as part of my daily (hourly) routine, so was a bit of an out-of-avatar-experience to see someone else’s perspective. And their perspective was: “Ugh.”
Feeling a bit like a rite of passage here as I give my top 5 reasons for charities to love social media.
Your followers and fans are real human beings with their hands in the air saying “I’m interested in you. I care about your perspective on something that matters to me.” Unless, of course, you already have enough of those people kicking around.
It’s a 2-way dialogue with no forced timeline. Direct mail, telemarketing, face-to-face/door-to-door…these more traditional direct marketing channels have a fixed timeline, often measured in the amount of time before they stop reading/listening.
Intimacy. Yes, social media is intimate. You can define and refine what people know about you. You establish your own voice and tell your own stories. To people who have self-identified as caring about what you have to say.
You’re both a guru and a grasshopper every day. You broadcast, listen and engage all at the same time. And while you can learn from ‘social media experts’, you can also teach.
Making a commitment to providing fresh content on your website and connecting with the world through social media takes time and sustained energy. So what did I say to my client? “Yep, building relationships does”.
Those of you who are counting have realized that this is only 4 reasons. That’s because the 5th isn’t about your charity. It’s about me. Within seconds, I am connected to the ideas and insights and perspectives of brilliant colleagues I admire and passionate clients I respect from all around the world. And they share with me what they are thinking. Twitter is an amazing filter.
I’ve never called Ken Burnett and said, “Inspire me. Tell me what you’re working on or thinking about. Right now.” I’ve also never called charity:water and said “send me a great photo that perfectly captures who you are and what you do.”
I just don’t have time for that. No way.