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Social Media and Non Profits: You Already Know More Than You Think (Video)

A video to reassure people who feel they should bring their nonprofit into social media engagement, but feel they don’t know anything at all about it. In fact, you will see, you know a lot more than you might think!


This is a video from Connect, Communicate, Change: Social Media for the Non-Profit Sector, at www.connect-communicate-change.com.

Hi, this is Philippa Willitts from Connect Communicate Change: Social Media for the Non Profit Sector.

Today I want to reassure people – I know a lot of people who are very frightened of social media. They feel like it’s overwhelming, there are too many options, they don’t understand it, they don’t know what to do, and I want to provide a bit of a reassurance that actually, it’s not scary as you think it is, and you already know more than you think.

First of all you have heard of Facebook, you’ve heard of Twitter, you’ve heard of YouTube, you’ve heard of blogging, and there’s a good chance you actually know what some of those are. You know what YouTube is, you know that it’s the place to go to look up videos, you know that there is music on there, there are talks on there, there are millions of cats on there. You know what YouTube is and it might be difficult to immediately think of a way that your non-profit organization could use YouTube but you know that it exists, and that it’s an option.

Then there’s Facebook. You might be on this yourself, to keep in touch with your friends, or to keep an eye on what your kids are doing, or to play games and farm all day long. But even if you’re not on there yourself, you know that lots of people use it, you know they use it to keep in touch with people, and to share stories, and share news, and share their photos. So even if you don’t use it yourself, or even if you can’t quite imagine how your organization can use it, you probably know about Facebook than you think.

Then there’s Twitter, there is the widespread misconception that Twitter is primarily for posting about what you had for breakfast. The reality is if the people you follow who post what they had for breakfast then you’re probably following the wrong people, unless it was an exceptional breakfast. But you probably know whether you use Twitter or not, you probably know that it’s another way of communicating with people. You can chat with people there, and that there is a character limit in the messages that you post, so they have to be short. You may or may not know that that’s 140 characters but it is. Every message on Twitter has to be less than 140 characters and so people communicate with each other, they chat with friends, chat with other Twitter users, and also share news, share stories, link to interesting things they’ve read, programs they enjoyed, books they’re reading.

So whether or not you use YouTube, Facebook or Twitter, you do have an idea, at least, of what they do. So you do know a bit about social media.

The other key aspect of social media that you have almost certainly heard of is blogs and blogging. You know that they are websites where people can write posts, and that they appear chronologically, and that some blogs are personal, people write about their day, people write about raising their kids. Some are based on an interest like there are blogs about crafts, so some people blog about knitting, some people blog about baking, some people blog about their favorite TV programs. And then you probably also know that there are business blogs as well, where companies write blogs about – now this can vary, it can be blogs about “we’ve got a new promotion and if you use this code you get 10% off”, or “check out our new range of jeans”. Another type of company blog is more personal so it’s written by staff of a company, but not directly promoting their products.

So even before I told you that, you know that blogs exist, and that blogs are social media because it’s about using a medium to be social.

You may know what LinkedIn is; you might have used it if you are looking for a job, or just because you were invited to it, and you signed up and you never looked again.

You might know what Flickr is, which is a photo-sharing website.

You might know what MySpace is; you might have heard someone talk about their Klout score.

You might have heard about Google+ and the sudden interest in it, and people not being quite sure what it means and where it will land in the market against Twitter and Facebook.

You might have heard of, well you’ve probably heard of Wikipedia which is a massive online encyclopedia edited by anyone. So if you have an expertise in something, you can go to Wikipedia and provide information. You might have also heard of it because sometimes, because of its nature, because it’s open for anybody to edit, that function sometimes is abused and so occasionally errant untruths are placed in otherwise truthful articles and you hear about this when a journalist is lazy and uses Wikipedia for their research, and one of these errant untruths ends up in The Guardian or The Daily Mail.

So while you might feel a little wary about launching your organization on social media, it’s probably not that you don’t understand social media as much as you might think it is, it might be more that you’re overwhelmed by the options, or you’re scared of doing it wrong, or all you know about Facebook is what you already do on it personally and you can’t see how that could work at work at all. It’s not that you’re clueless about social media, you almost certainly have an idea of what some of the main key social networking sites are on what they do, and how they are used, it’s just a matter of working out which ones to use for your organization and how best to use them. Thank you for listening.

Thank you for watching. Visit our website at www.connect-communicate-change.com for information about, and insight into, social media for the voluntary and not for profit sector.