As promised I wanted to share with you a few things I’ve learned from my blog postings about Haiti around the idea of social media.
The first is that twitter can be extremely powerful. The night I posted the first post on Haiti I kept going back to the bit.ly site to check my stats on the link.
For those of you who don’t know what bit.ly is, here’s a quick low down. Twitter limits you to 140 characters but as we all know a website link could easily take up all of that, so there are tools that shorten these urls to something more twitter user-friendly. The great part about bit.ly is that it shortens the URL you’re posting but also tracks how many times that new URL is clicked. Basically it’s instant stats for you to see if people are really clicking on the link you’ve posted. That’s powerful stuff or can be.
In the case of the first Haiti post I watched as the clicks increased to over 400 in less than 24 hours. Think about that for a second. 400 times people clicked on that link. Sure, some of them didn’t read my post but many did. That’s a lot more people than none.
So there we are, Lesson #1 Twitter can be extremely powerful if your message is powerful.
Lesson #2 I posted on the first Haiti blog post. Not everyone on twitter is on Facebook. Why is this important? Well, that gets to
Lesson #3 Twitter has the ability to be a far more wide-reaching tool then either email or Facebook when it comes to nonprofits. Here’s a quote from the article I found just as I was posting this Haiti information:
“The more nonprofits were active on Twitter and tweeted, the more their followers retweeted their tweets which helped grow their Twitter following”.
When I first read this article about how much more traffic nonprofits were getting out of twitter I was quick to think, yes, but are these followers people who care or just spam bots following everyone in hopes of being followed back. Of course that’s always part of the story, but think about this, if someone is retweeting your message then it’s getting out to a whole group of people you haven’t reached before. That’s relevant. That’s important. That’s powerful.
So my new lesson and tactic is to spend less time on Facebook (where, interestingly enough, not one person commented on the Haiti post or reposted… telling no?) and more time on twitter.
And one last little bit of info for you… just in case you still think social media is irrelevant or unimportant (or have someone at your organization that thinks this way), here’s a great video passed to me from my friend Larry. While I don’t know that this is how you want to sell it to your ED or board
“Social Media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the Web”.
Think about that.