How to Not be a Social Media Idiot

I had to share this Bruce Clay article I read the other day, and share some of his wit here on my blog, because it made me laugh. It talks about how as a marketer you need to understand how the social media sites work and have a clear understanding of why you are becoming involved in a particular social media site and what you’d like to do while you’re there instead of just barreling into those communities.

If you joined Facebook to build professional brand equity and now spend your days throwing sheep at your colleagues and trying to bite your customers to turn them into vampires, well then, yeah, you’re a social media idiot and probably hurting your brand. That sure ain’t Facebook’s fault.

…marketers who leap into things with no purpose and spam everyone around them will absolutely tarnish their image. No one wants to be friends with the guy who’s going to sit next to them, talking during the movie and then stick their finger in your ear all day. Marketers have to be cautious when they enter the social sphere. If you don’t know why you’re there, you’re likely to spend your days gift giving, cause-hopping and SuperPoking your day away while branding yourself as a total annoyance.

There are hundreds of social media sites out there, and many aren’t suited for our community – finding volunteers to help solve local community issues. That is why you’ve only seen me comment on Facebook, Craigslist, Meetup, and Gather as the primary communities on this site.

For instance, Linkedin, while great for career networking, is not the best community to join to
find volunteers.

When creating a Facebook account, you should follow the lead of the other Volunteer Centers who have already created profiles there (see my post below) and while it’s tempting to install and use the vampires application in Facebook, it’s probably not the best way to recruit volunteers. However, using the event feature, and posting flyers in your network, will probably be a successful way of getting folks involved.

Let me know how you’ve successfully used social media to recruit volunteers – I’d love to share your story on this blog and during our upcoming workshop at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service.


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