Social media fundamentals series finale: Personal use & Finding time

I recently wrote an article for the International Association of Business Communicators’ CW Bulletin about the ten fundamentals of social media every charity and nonprofit should know. I am also sharing them here in a series of posts so that I can go into more detail about each than I could in the article and so we can discuss them individually. I should note that while my audience for the article was people involved with charities or nonprofits, these fundamentals are relevant to everyone on social media especially any small to mid-sized business or organization.

Here is the final post in the series.

If you were so keen as to compare my series of posts on my blog with the 10 basics of social media I list in the IABC article, you would notice that I’ve skipped a couple. That’s because I’ve already written about a couple of key factors everyone should know about social media: How personal use influences professional use & How to find time for social media. So I decided to save them to the last and share them together with links to the original posts. Enjoy!

Your personal use of social media informs your professional use

Before you can effectively use any form of social media for your organization, you must have a personal experience with it. Without that firsthand knowledge, you will find it difficult to be successful in that space.

I never wanted to be on Facebook or Twitter but as Director of Communications for our local YMCAs, I felt that I needed to explore the opportunities offered by these platforms. By having a personal account, I learned how they work, how people interact and the expectations of users such as frequency of posts. It is a great opportunity to observe how other organizations are using a platform and what works or doesn’t work. I looked to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario as a model for what to do.
Through your own experience you can learn how to best use a platform or you may discover that a platform is not a fit for your organization to reach its target audiences.

Read my original post on how your personal experience with social media influences your professional use.

Finding time is about changing priorities

You already make decisions on how to invest your time. It comes down to setting priorities. Using social media is likely a much better use of your time than some of the ways you are currently using your time–some of which such as print newsletter you may not even need to be doing. At one time, we were too busy for e-mail but we changed our priorities and now many of us will not leave our desks without it. What gives way differs with the situation but we always find a way if we value the change.

You must invest enough of your time to develop relationships and participate in one or more communities to enjoy the benefits of social media. You need to want to make social media a priority before you make your investment of time but just as when investing money, you do not need to start out big. It is possible to make an entry level investment and ramp it up as you start to see results.

Read my original post on how to find time for social media by changing your priorities.

The complete fundamentals of social media series

  1. Your personal experience with social media informs your professional use
  2. Be genuine
  3. Be social. Build relationships.
  4. Social media is about community
  5. Think of social media as a behaviour
  6. There is a difference between having an account and using it
  7. There are no quick wins in social media. It’s all about the long game.
  8. Where do you find the time?
  9. Choose which social media fits best with you and your organization
  10. Add value. Share content that is interesting or useful.
  11. Finale: How your personal use informs your professional use & How to find time for social media