“Conversation in the Clouds”
by Swamibu on Flickr

The Chronicle of Philanthropy hosted a live chat earlier this week with Beth Kanter (Beth’s Blog) and Jonathon Coleman (The Nature Conservancy) called “Building Your Online Presence on a Tight Budget.

Beth and Jonathon are two of my favorite social media experts, so I took a few minutes to read the transcript today.

I recommend that you look over the whole transcript yourself, but here are a few points that stood out for me:

– Beth has an insane amount of material online and available to you! I knew this already, and it’s one of the reasons she is a favorite, but all of the links she shared during the chat definitely reinforce the value of the treasure trove that is her blog, wiki, etc.

– Lots of people are questioning the amount of time they need to invest in social networking sites like Facebook and what you get out of them for all that time. The metrics are still evolving, but focusing on what you learn from the conversation versus more standard fundraising or marketing metrics is the way to go right now.

– Search engine optimization and linking strategies are still incredibly important to the success of your website, as is great content.

– You don’t need much money to be a rock star in the nonprofit world online (although it certainly helps). What you do need is big buckets full of time. Time to read all the great how-to and what-for material out there. Time to sort through your options. Time to experiment. Time to participate in the conversation. Time to contribute in meaningful ways. So I take that back. You do need money to pay your staff for all this time they are spending working on your social media strategy!

– There’s some tension between the idea of using social media for publicity or promotion and using it more strictly as a conversation tool. I don’t think these two ideas are mutually exclusive — having good conversations with people can be a type of promotion — but I do agree that the conversation should come first.

– Nonprofits are overwhelmed by the options and the long list of to-dos associated with doing social media and online marketing right. I hope this blog and my nonprofit marketing webinar series are helping you feel less overwhelmed and more like you can tackle these tasks with confidence!

Published On: July 18, 2008|Categories: Social Media|