Over the last number of weeks I’ve had the privilege of coaching a few people on social media. Web 2.0 and social networking are currently catch phrases and “in” topics right now; however, most people and nonprofits are still at the very beginning of understanding and harnessing their power. For this reason I believe many are taking the “wait and see” approach to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other online tools.
Getting started early is important because you are given the power to control your message. Building community online can be done by anyone it does not have to be done by you. But, if someone else starts the first group to talk about your organization that will most likely be the group that everyone joins later.
Let me give an example, a college student started a Facebook group for his college before the school and it now has over 900 members. Anyone searching for a group related to the college sees his group as the largest and joins it. If this student became frustrated with the school he could say and post whatever he wanted because the school did not start the group.
Hopefully I have not sounded too gloom and doom regarding social media. My next couple posts will be about getting started and how to succeed using web 2.0.