Dumbing down Social Media

Social media has made me feel so dumb over the last month. Mainly, because I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to say or who I was talking to. Trying to schedule tweets and use the right hash tags at the right time for a non-profit was exhausting at first. The thing about social media is, you can put so much effort into post and tweets and get little or no feed back. It makes you feel like you failed. You had a bad social media day… so what?

Branding all your social media accounts with the same profile logo helps users follow you from one source like, Twitter for example to another like, Instagram .

I started researching immediately, about peak times and content tricks to up followers and likes. In my frustration, I found myself asking, “What is the purpose of using social media for a non-profit and is it even necessary?” Social media is the way that the organization can relate with people and society, and spend time talking to people about topics that are interesting and enjoyable. Being social is important and engaging your internet audience in the world we live in can promote what an organization is all about. Word of mouth is no longer down at Pop’s grocery store, it is from little ole’ Bristol, TN to NYC to Australia and then to Africa in about 3 clicks. This kind of word of mouth can be extremely useful in making people aware of the mission the non-profit and how to become involved!

There is only one problem… Most people don’t enjoy talking about orphans. In the non-profit world, people have been thinking over a question for a while, “How can I get people interested in the mission or cause on social media?”

Maybe we have been asking the wrong question when it comes to social media. Maybe we should be asking, “What kind of content can I provide that is enjoyable to my friends and followers?” “What does our audience find helpful or useful to their lives?”

I know that I am interested in orphans, but maybe posting links to current news from countries that we support orphanages in could peak interest. Posting pictures and telling personalized stories of orphans could also be a way to connect socially. Coming up with questions to encourage the audience to leave a comment or begin a thought process is one strategy that I am trying utilize.

I try to imagine myself in a crowded room, how would I stand out? Would I stand up on table and scream that our Father’s Day special is a $25 polo and all the money goes to orphan care? Would I find other people associated with orphan care and try to start a conversation? It helps me to feel not so lost when it comes to social media, if I imagine this kind of social situation. It’s about the people in that room when you are standing there, just like its about the audience in social media. They want to hear success stories and achievements from SOW.

Your social media audience is unique and wants to share content that displays their belief system. As a Christian non-profit, the belief system of Christ as Savior should be a central sharing point across all social media.

As your friends are scrolling down their Facebook news feed on their smartphone, your post has to be eye catching or it may just be dismissed without a second glance. Most experts recommend posting several different types of content, such as videos, links, photos, and articles. Expand from what you usually do.

Non-profits are started out of passion, but is our passion for orphans being transmitted through what we post? Make people sad, happy, and outraged! So much that they have to share. This is what we are passionate about and this is why you should be passionate about this too! Share the orphan crisis (or whatever your cause is) in a way that it moves people in action, even if that action is just hitting the like or share button!

Story By: Abigail Causey

Photos By: Mia Baker

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