Monday, July 12, 2010

Weighing the Benefits of Social Media

Today this article about how successful social media has been for some accounting firms appeared in my inbox. A few hours later I read these lines in my son’s blog.
I woke up Friday morning to a text from a friend about Cliff Lee joining the Yankees. I then checked Twitter and read numerous updates from Buster Olney about Lee to New York. I continued to turn to all sources and grabbed the remote. I turned on the television….
The first source my son checked for information was Twitter!

As a result of these two items, a few things have been running through my mind:
1. I have got to figure out how to use Twitter on a regular basis
2. If social media is helping accountants gain more business surely it can help nonprofits
3. Our future clients (for our accounting firm) and future (and some current) donors for nonprofits are using Twitter as a resource
4. While I like blogging, Facebook, and LinkedIn, I don’t find Twitter as convenient but I feel like it is something I need to be involved in.
5. Are nonprofits (and accounting firms) really missing out if they aren’t involved in social media?

I was then reminded of a forwarded article from my associate Liz Vibber about social media from the very practical and informative frogloop blog. It is a very balanced, objective look at the current value of social media and where your best efforts are spent with this communication method. One of the best points the article makes is that you build community and then use that existing community to spread your word in the online world. This is a great starting point for nonprofits that aren’t quite sure what to do about social media.

I note “current value” of social media. If today’s 20 year olds check Twitter first for up to date information, perhaps 5 to 10 years from now nonprofits will see a more significant percentage of their donations come as a result of their social media communications. Both accountants and nonprofits need to figure out the best way to make social media part of their lives. But we both need to take the time to figure out where and how that is best done.