Hi, my name is Betsy, and I don’t Twitter. (This is where you respond, “Hi, Betsy.”) I am slowly, reluctantly coming to the conclusion that I am going to have to jump on the Twitter train if I am going to be able to help small non-profits develop a contemporary, effective marketing and communications capability. No matter how important this form of “micro-blogging” is becoming, let me just say that following others – receiving tweets about what they’re doing and thinking – or developing a following of people who will follow my tweets – just plain creeps me out.
However (eye roll, sigh), I do think that I need to “play in traffic”, which means jump aboard so I can at least evaluate first-hand how quickly this form of texting will evolve into something that is more mainstream.
Why I think it may matter: social media, including Twitter, have the potential of building relationships between and among volunteers, donors and organizations. Wherever and however people are “meeting”, non-profits will need to have a presence. They will need to understand the social do’s and don’ts, and they will need to think about how they convey their brand within those constraints.
I also understand the reluctance factor for people like me, born before 1980. I was not “born digital”, to borrow the phrase from John Palfrey and Urs Gasser’s new book (worth reading, by the way). I did not learn to create friendships online, like my daughter, who had created a whole set of relationships via Facebook before she ever arrived on her college campus. I got dragged into LinkedIn after four or five people had invited me. I dislike counting my connections, and I’m not crazy knowing how many connections some people have amassed.
I’ve heard many marketers and communicators rationalize why their organization doesn’t need a blog, or an e-newsletter, much less a page on Facebook or to Twitter. Usually, they say that the demographics are too young, or that their donors and volunteers aren’t there. Or that no real money is getting raised that way.
As I play in traffic, however (no sigh or eye roll this time), I am amazed at how quickly the landscape is shifting, and some of the results I’m seeing achieved. A 79 year old just responded to an e-survey. So did a 28 year old. An e-newsletter appeal generated an immediate online donation of $2,000. That isn’t supposed to happen, if you read the literature.
So, never say never. We as marketers, communicators and supporters of causes need to make sure that we overcome our personal reluctance and try out these new tools for ourselves. Thanks for your support!