Social media. We all know about it and use it all the time, as here you are. It’s almost impossible to imagine a life without it now. But, do we use it to its maximum capacity? How many of us have the time to really get to know the capabilities of what is at our finger tips? I compare it to getting a new phone. For the first hour or so I figure out how to switch it on, upload my contacts and maybe send an email, then if you are anything like me, get bored or need to move on to something else. It takes my 4 year old daughter, after playing with the new phone for a while to tell me how to upload photo’s to my Dropbox account and sync my calendar – I kid you not!
It’s the same with social media. We all have Facebook pages (if you don’t you should) and Twitter accounts but do we use them to their maximum capacities? With other social media tools at our finger tips such as Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and now Snapchat growing in popularity, how do we keep up or know how to use them to make the most of what it is capable of to really benefit us, it is a modern science?
That’s why we need to call in the experts. There seem to be more and more people who ‘know’ about social media and how to use it, but who REALLY knows? My call is to look to someone who has been there, done that and sold the T-shirt to raise money for their cause. For example this month’s First Friday Fundraiser session in Amsterdam asked expert, Walter van Kaam, for his expertise and advice on how we use this amazing and FREE technology to not only promote our organisations but bring extra income from it too.
What I am saying isn’t new, Social Media has been around for a number of years now, but it is ever evolving and developing, and with that so do we need to be adapting. Knowing when to place your tweet with the right number of characters and what words get the best SEO on your website is a science. To keep up we either need to spend hours getting to fully know Facebook, Twitter and the rest from the inside out, OR we concentrate on what we ourselves are good at and ask the ‘real’ experts to help us to gain exposure, PR, income or whatever the objective is.
Let’s make the most of the technological opportunities we have and embrace all of the (well chosen) good advice we can fit into our busy schedules. From a technological point of view, I don’t believe we (as fundraisers) have ever had it so good!
Helen Maynard-Hill, Director, IFC Netherlands