Despite what people think, slacktivism, a feel-good measure that requires little personal effort or sacrifice on the part of an individual that has little practical impact in actually helping the involved cause, is still alive and well.
While we want to believe that individuals are beyond clicking for good and that it actually makes a difference, it doesn’t. So how do we move beyond the “like”? Here are some thoughts:
1. Gather advocates – How does one find and activate online advocates? Start with where your donors are. This means you find out where your community and followers are, whether on Facebook or on Twitter or on Pinterest, and start with them.
2. Allow ideas to develop – Experiment to find out which content or what ideas work for your mission and your people.
3. Forge an authentic voice – What is the social media voice of your organization? For example, is your organization voice more academic or advocacy, more local or more global?
4. Create sustained conversations – Many nonprofits find success in hosting Twitter chats—scheduled Twitter conversations held on a regular basis with a hashtag unique to your organization or issue to talk about key issues.
5. Be approachable – Social media is best used for two-way conversations, not simply to push content to followers. Retweet others’ tweets, share links to other nonprofits’ or organizations’ announcements, and highlight your volunteers and donors.
6. Identify your core demographic – Go where your donors and advocates are.
7. Don’t equate social media with dumbed-down conversation. – Many advocacy-based nonprofits find Twitter brings in new followers and builds offline conversations.