Social Media’s Bad Side
|August 23, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Management, Technology||
Does all that is good about social media outweigh all that is bad?
Over at the Nonprofit Tech 2.0 Blog there is an interesting discussion going on about how social media can have a negative impact on nonprofits with loads of valuable advice for how to address such situations. The post, Three Ways Social Media Has Negatively Affected the Nonprofit Sector (and What We Can Do About It) lists some major drawbacks to engaging with the public via social media including, dealing with response/concern fatigue from the sheer amount of need and bad news, internet trolls and burnout from constant connectivity and managing the first 2 items.
I want to add a couple more:
That Whooshing Sound You Are Hearing…
Even if you are doing it right, social media can be a timesuck. While a weekly planner or editorial calendar can help keep your posting organized, timely and on track, there are just too many blogs to read, too many items in the newsfeed and too many updates to write. I have heard more than a few half-tense, half-hysterical (the good kind) anecdotes from staff who simply do not have the time to regularly respond to every comment or tweet, promote other nonprofits or community organizations (and based on how quid pro quo works – they are then not promoted in turn), or measure/compile/track/report on social media data.
First, give yourself a bit of a break – even the highly disciplined among us have found themselves down the rabbit hole after a couple of mouse clicks and have had to temporarily pull back from all-things-social-media to meet a deadline. However, a well-managed social media strategy and all it entails does take more than 10 minutes a day and should not be tacked onto the already lengthy list of duties of someone carrying a full-time workload. Explore any options available for making your organization’s social media strategy the best it can be, not an afterthought.
The Big Top
Sometimes it’s a bit of a virtual 3-ring-circus, isn’t it? Do you feel like a ringmaster introducing and cheering for the acts under your nonprofit tent but not able to see even one face in the audience? At times the zeal with which we embrace social media to usher our nonprofit into Web 2.0/3.0 can go a bit overboard, to the detriment of our own personal connectedness. If you now look forward to meetings because in them you get the face-to-face discussion you miss – start making some more appointments outside of your office! Social media is meant to enhance, not replace in-person interaction with your community, clients, volunteers and peers.
How have you balanced the good with the bad? Do you have any cautionary social media tales to share?