Thursday, September 2, 2010

All Aboard - At the Social Media Train Station With Your Small Nonprofit

Locomotive EPL2T on train station in DonetskImage via Wikipedia
Have you ever heard the expression, "The train has to leave the station sometime"? I used to repeat this to myself whenever it seemed that I was dithering too long over a writing piece or even an art piece. It's an acknowledgment that you can try for perfection, but at some point, you just have to get on with other things. Social media networking can be one of those trains.

In past posts, I've mentioned things like strategy and evaluating which social networking tools might be best for your nonprofit, setting milestones and other pause points at which to analyze how well you're doing. Other posts have talked about metrics and identifying the data (hard and soft) for tweaking your tactics.

That information - while useful - is all about how and we can get hung up on the idea of how to... whether it's developing a strategy, brainstorming tactics, measuring effectiveness.

You might feel some anxiety about making sure that you're doing everything you ought to be doing to get the most benefit out of social media networking. So you work hard at setting goals and evaluating. But the thing is, social networking is about being social. It's the interaction with your stakeholders and potential supporters that is at the heart of your social media efforts.

So what I'm saying is, try to keep the trains running on time. Don't completely forget about analysis and evaluation and goals; they're important. But what is most important is just getting on the train and mixing with the other passengers. The stories they have to tell you may end up making what you planned to do go out the train car window to be replaced by something that hadn't occurred to you before.

In social media networking, the journey is definitely as important as the destination.

NOTE: Sorry there was no post last week - I was unwillingly off-line.

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