I’m going!

Well thanks to a whole lot of people pulling a whole lot of strings I’m going to NTen!  I couldn’t be more excited.  There are so many different breakout sessions I want to go to that I’m working from this point forward on cloning myself.  I’ll be sitting on the panel of “Cross Platform Events That Rock” with the greats, Susan Tenby, Evonne Heyning and Megan E Keane.

While I’m there I’ll be writing regular posts about all the great things I’m learning (and for you CVM peeps, I’m also working on a presentation for our conference that I’m so excited about I could burst… yeah, I’m excitable I guess!) but in the meantime I’ve got lots more info to share with you.

One of the great mistakes I see nonprofits and others making on twitter and Facebook is being too impersonal.  Most people think that they’re speaking for their organization but we the people, you and me, we want to talk to people, not nameless entities.  Sure, big huge corporations might get away with this, but us nonprofits, we really need to stay away from being a faceless, soulless thing.

But maybe you think that those posts that seem too personal are just dumb.  “White is the color of the breakfast jelly bean” happened to be a much-loved post I made one morning.  Why loved?  Because most everyone has been there… eating candy or some such horrible non-breakfasty food early in the morning.  It established me as a human not a robot and it gave people something to relate to.  No, I don’t post like that every day, but that day I was exhausted and it just came out.  Not planned, just real.  So try that… be not planned, just real.

This article also speaks to my other issue with nonprofits on these social media platforms.  I can’t tell you how often people come into Second Life, one of the many social platforms I use, and immediately want to raise money.  They don’t even know what Second Life is but they want people to immediately give to them.  Really?

Would you do this in real life?  Just walk into a room and start asking for cash?  I doubt it.  Why would you do that anywhere?  It’s rude, but more importantly it doesn’t work.

When you focus on donations you’re completely missing the point- this will be a major point of my CVM Conference presentation… if you don’t believe me now I guarantee you’ll believe me after coming to the conference.  What you really want is people talking about you.  This is way more powerful than just asking for cash.  As Laura writes “would you rather chat with someone who has the potential to make you one sale or chat with someone who has the potential to promote your business to hundreds or thousands of others”  Substitute sale with donation and business with nonprofit and ask yourself this question.  The answer is obvious isn’t it?

Finally, you may get pushback, from others in your organization or maybe your own fear, about losing control of your brand, of your message.  Well, again, get over it.  You will lose control.  It’s usually not a bad thing.  Enter Mister Splashy Pants…

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About Jessica Dally

A random blog about travel, personal transformation, riding motorcycles solo, social media and whatever else seems interesting at the moment. View all posts by Jessica Dally

2 responses to “I’m going!

  • Scot More

    My experience with social networking, as it pertains to the causes and non-profits I represent, is that people want to know who I am before my work or passions. My work is my life and my life is my work. This was not always true for me. I was raised with a strong work ethic were you left your personal life at the door when going to work. Today I live the exact opposite and live my life transparently. I am aware that, for now, I am in the minority but feel that we are all shifting in this direction. As with any social change, some will embrace this but most will be resistant. This is human nature.

    I rarely ask for monies to support my causes. The money seams to mysteriously appear when needed. Matter of fact, this year donations have increased! You would think that they would be down because of the economy. Every week, I have donations and checks simply showing up in my office, Unsolicited!!!!!! The common denominator of all these donations mysteriously appearing is that my orgs have developed a positive and trusted relationship with the community. I cannot take personal responsibility for this. But, It does come from living and working my life authentically and transparently. My personal life has brought value to my work and job security. Although, there are some in my org who question the blurred lines of social networking.

    I Love your story of the white jellybean for breakfast. People trust those who are human. In my former ACT UP days when AIDS first came out, we were trying to bring the cause to the people. Today, bringing the people to the cause produces real and lasting change. How I do this is living my life transparently. I will always make mistakes. My hope is that I learn from those mistakes. Social networking is not only a tool to promote my causes, it’s a tool of personal growth as well.

    Make this a Great Day:

  • Jessica Dally

    Scot, your comments are so perfect and true. No one trusts a faceless entity but we can know people and believe what they say. And what you’re saying about donations is so true too. If all an organization ever does to promote themselves is ask for help it eventually gets very annoying. But if you spend your time instead telling your story, making me understand why your important and why what you do matters you won’t even need to ask! Thanks for your great insight.

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