• Great post, Geoff! The amount of social media platforms is dizzying these days, and like every non-profit geek I love to check them all out and get a feel for what they might offer, but the bottom line is that I only have so much time in each day and the part of it that I spend on social networks has to be where my supporters, donors and volunteers are. Period. I think the only question you need to ask yourself when deciding whether to spend hours or days setting up content on the platform du jour is whether any of your constituents are there. If they are…have at it, if not, don’t waste time creating content and trying to drive them from the social network they use to the new one they don’t. 

    I know I haven’t commented in awhile (part of my own social media fatigue!) but I’m still reading your blog as often as I can :)

  • “As to the shiny object siren song, well, it’s always good to keep an open mind to tools, but you need not heed the false assumption of an omnipresent identity. In reality, your stakeholders have already fractured their media use. Now its time to follow them.” 

    This was great. Totally agree. No need to heed to the pressure of “being everywhere” because “everywhere” doesn’t apply to everyone. Kudos.

  • What’s the preferred social network for those of Scottish descent (me being in the direct bloodline of Gospatric I)?

  • I’m with you, Geoff. You need to know where your customers are and what you are trying to achieve, and then pick the right tools to reach those people and accomplish your goals.

    • Thanks, Neicole. And you can always move to new tools if appropriate. BTW< tried to comment on your blog last night and it had some issues accepting the comment. Just an FYI.

  • Nice post, nice perspective.  I am feeling a bit of fatigue myself (but am recently delighted by Instagram having just made the switch from Droid to an iPhone) and wonder what this will look like in 2 years. I think the great scattering will continue, people will settle in…but will it be with the same overall disdain people hold for email?  

    • I, too, love Instagram. One of my first go tos when I am tooling around.  I do think some of these socnets will get the rep you are talking about, and G+ is one of them if they make themselves dominant via SEM.

  • Seems like many of these folks building these mini-social networks could team up and build businesses to solve problems or innovate a sector to reduce costs and create jobs we would all be better served. I know I think I am seriously consider scaling way back!  Good assessment Geoff!

    • I just don’t know how all the small ones stay in business.  I wonder. Hope you are doing well, Keith. Thanks for your grace!

      • I do believe it is advertising, which I think is another bubble about to happen, once numbers come home to roost! Spending so much on advertising and noone converting to buy is going to be a problem in 2012!

  • You always speak the truth, Geoff, even when it’s unpopular.  I’m glad you did on this topic. I think nonprofits need permission to stop hopping around at the behest of every social media expert. “Follow” is the right term….nonprofits follow their constituents.  They don’t prescribe what donors and volunteers should be doing. I doubt that any nonprofit supporter started a particular social media platform because their nonprofit did. They go on those platforms to follow their friends or family first and then might include their favorite causes or the causes of their friends. Or, in the case of our super hero supporters, they might lead their cause to a particular platform. Thanks for this thoughtful post!

    • I agree. The Pinterest example of late is a good reason for that. We know generally that most nonprofits have a strong donor base leaning towards women. But not all. Are the donors young women? If not, unlikely that pinterest is the right answer yet. Yet we are getting a wholesale Pinterest pitch, which I don’t think is smart.

      You can make the same argument for G+ going the other way BUT there is the free SEO component.  Anyway.  Thank you for the affirmation, I appreciate it Joanne.

  • Sure, many “experts” believe you should be everywhere (and those with staffs to support it do quite well at that strategy, like AARP), but at the same time, there are still tons of nonprofits questioning whether they should be on social media at all (I ranted about this last week: ). I think your response lies in the sensible middle: be strategic and use what makes sense for your organization.

    The risk of this approach, though, is simply getting entrenched in one or two particular networks without testing or trying new networks that pop up, and you never know what new networks might, in fact, be strategic for your organization. I’d say that everything is worth experimenting with, at least for a little while. It’s good to know what’s out there and how it’s being used (and how that usage is evolving). I think KaBOOM! does a good job of this ( But one shouldn’t experiment to the point where your primary networks or overall strategy suffer.

    • I agree. It’s always, always about the people. If your parents and funders are on Pinterest, use it!  But also use the tools they are most likely to use. I also think that there are so many tools for different things that you have a bit of a choice as to which one best matches your culture. For example, I could be good at LinkedIn, but I don’t need to be.  I have other choices.

  • Here here Geoff. Totally with you on this one. So many social networks we need to “jump in before we become irrelevant” it’s insane. Google+ might be forcing our hands on joining and sharing content there, but that’s another story for another time.

    To your main point that social media is fracturing I hope it fractures faster. Perhaps then we can simply go where our customers are and not be spread so thin sharing the same stuff all over the place, or having to come up with content for each network.

    I long for the days long ago when all there was was blogging, Twitter was new and we could form great relationships on it, and Facebook required a college email address.

  • cool..! creative

  • Word.

    I’ve been invited to Pinterest, but despite the rave reviews from a friend, I just can’t seem to bring myself to give a damn about curating a collection of stuff or whatever. We need to be where our customers are, but we are customers no different than them, so why the need for brands in public spaces. 

    Hell. We’ve seen how heinous “Citizens United” worked out for us, when corporations are given the same freedom as citizens. Is that really what we want from the digital, social web? Methinks not. 

    Fracture is inevitable. We are herd animals plain and simple. What we need to do is figure out how to selectively aggregate without isolating ourselves from the benefits of diversity. We all have things in common which enable us to realize the potential of our differences. 

  • I could not care less about many of the social networks.

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