Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Don't Go By the Numbers

From a website you should not visit
I really hate those 'services' that promise to get you hundreds or thousands of followers, likes, or whatever. It's not honest, for one thing. Having lots of followers who are not engaged with you and disinterested in your content can serve only one purpose - to fool other people. Maybe to make them think you're more popular than you are so you can attract more followers or so you can use the inflated numbers to get advertisers or something else that requires a good showing. But those numbers are like expensive furnishings in a structurally unsound building.

Content and Interaction Will Drive the Numbers

As a small nonprofit, your content and the way you interact with people on your website, your Twitter account, your Facebook page, etc., is your best advertising. It's okay to promote yourself, but no one wants to listen to a channel that airs nothing but commercials. And it's smart to highlight some of the things you're doing - events, milestones, your partners. But mix it up a little - even if something doesn't directly have to do with your nonprofit, it could be interesting to your social community. If it catches your eye and gets you excited and thinking about possibilities in your own neighborhood, then chances are it will appeal to your social media friends, too.

Don't be afraid to feature staff as well - it never hurts to put faces to the work you're doing. But don't make it one of those bland profiles - it should be about what that person is doing and the personal touch they bring to the work.

And if someone in your community is doing something interesting, call attention to it.

In the main, whatever picture or story or video that touches on what your small nonprofit is doing or affected by or could find useful can be considered for content.

You may start out with a small audience, but don't focus on that. Focus on communicating, being enthusiastic about what you're doing and what your community is talking about and working on - the numbers will come.

Update:

Here's a screenshot from a presentation by Darren Barefoot and Theo Lamb, which speaks to content:



By The Way

Nonprofit Tech 2.0 has good news about numbers - particularly one which seems to be magic.

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