Monday, October 17, 2011

Craig Newmark - Income, Nonprofits and Social Media: a Study

Perhaps because relationships are at the heart of a nonprofit's mission, NPs seem to instinctively get that social media transactions are conversation, rather than conversion. When people feel they know you and that you know them, they are more likely to support you.

Money in the Equation?

But money always comes into the conversation sooner or later, and probably some have wondered if the ability to gain friends and followers is somehow connected to how much money one has.

Craig Newmark's Craigslist Connect team took a look at this question by reviewing the top 50 nonprofits in terms of income and their social media standings and came to this conclusion:
"The bottom line is that income does not increase a nonprofit's visibility and interactions in the social media world."
As always, what counts is how you talk with others in your network; what you share and how you respond.

Maybe you don't consider yourself a social media person. I know a small business owner who wants to sell his product online to the people he knows will like it. He's worried about SEO and the ranking of his domain and how he can improve his Google search results. Quality, not quantity, I told him. His website is set up with a forum for discussing racing - his passion and the base of his product. But he isn't comfortable with computers or social media, so the forum languishes. No conversations, no links exchanged, no excitement or interaction. And somehow, he can't understand that you can't go to a party and stand in the corner, not talking, and expect people to engage you or understand what you do.

Make an Effort

If this is you, get with the program. Make an effort. If you truly can't deal, then find someone who can and hire them. The "bottom line" that Craig Newmark notes is good news for very small nonprofits, because it means that social media is an area in which you can compete with the big dogs and still come out on top. Your small nonprofit can engage your community, build a base of supporters, create a whole new level of participation - make a win for your mission. But you can't win, if you don't try.

What are you doing to improve your social media outreach? How is it working for you? Tell me by leaving a contribution in the comment box.

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