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Let’s put “Social” back into “Social Media”

Posted on Jan 7th, 2012 by

Don’t you hate it when organisations are using social media merely as a “broadcast medium”? You know the types…, those who only tweet links to their own websites, only publish their own publications on Facebook,… Those who never reply when you send them a message on Twitter, and hardly monitor their social media channels.

No surprise none of these organisations are very successful in the social media scene.

Social media is first and foremost about being “social”: interacting with your audience, conversing with your peers. It is also – and certainly in the nonprofit sector – about helping others, with their causes.

Nonprofits regularly use social media to support campaigns, events, conferences,… But for each event, social media can only be as successful as the size of crowd you reach. And to reach a crowd, you need a social media “followership”, you need a “social media momentum”. This take time, and your crowd can never be large enough.

I have been frustrated over the past year, how organisations have to start from scratch for each event, rallying “social media activists” to help bring out their campaign’s message. A bit like I did for the Addis Sharefair, the CGIAR Horn of Africa event and the Water and Food forum. That takes time and efforts which are better allocated to other, more useful tasks.

After the Rome Sharefair last September, a couple of us, social media agitators, decided to make a change: we started a Google discussion forum (a “Google Group”), gathering social media coordinators from nonprofit organisations, social media activists and fanatics alike.

In short, our group “Social Media for NonProfit” or “SM4NP”, gathers people with “their fingers on larger social media accounts”. We assemble social media enthusiasts who can help each other in spreading news, events, appeals, queries,. for nonprofit causes. Assisting each other, we mutually benefit from plugging into each other’s networks.

In the past, we have helped in spreading single messages like

“We have a webcast on Monday on (subject) at (time), please spread the message”


“Check this announcement. Looking for a reblog in Spanish and Chinese (link)”

up to

“Organising onsite/offsite social reporting volunteers around #COP17 – If interested email and we’ll register you on the discussion forum”

We aim to gather people with a larger social media networks, often via the organisations they work for, people running popular 
blogs, etc.. but we just as well welcome newbies, and will be more than helpful in getting them on the right social media path. (Amen!)

If you are interested in joining our group:

  • apply for a membership (yes, you will need a Google account), or
  • send me an email  peter (at) blogtips (dot) org, or
  • even easier, just leave your email address in a comment on this post.

Hope you help us putting the word “social” back into “Social Media” !

3 Comments to “Let’s put “Social” back into “Social Media””

  1. I’d love to join the group! Thanks!

  2. Alice says:

    Hi, really love the idea. I’m from TEACHAfrica and we’d love to join the group. Thanks!

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