When it comes to Social Media, there is a disconnect between the local, grass roots community and national headquarters. They are talking to different audiences about different things.
The community has a narrow local focus, interested in executing day-to-day operational outcomes: making sure volunteers show up on time, checking the weather forecast to trigger rain date plans, complimenting the longest-serving member, and recognizing the top fund-raiser. National headquarters is concerned about how its brand is represented with grant makers, partners, volunteers and prospective donors.
One is concerned about broadcasting, the other narrowcasting.
The other disconnect comes from the audience itself. We have become more selective in who and what we respond to. National messages are not always suited to local community volunteers while messages about changes in rain date are not appropriate for grant makers or high value donors.
How to reconcile the two?
National can bring the message to the local community, but the local community needs to remain the ultimate arbiters of what and how the message is delivered. Shades of “you can bring the horse to water….” But how to nudge them forward. Here are some ideas:
- A clearing house of what works and doesn’t work across the organization
- Ideas, suggestions and messages affiliates can adapt to their community
- Train and inform affiliates on different Social Media channels
- The infrastructure to promote coordination and collaboration
Today non-profits and the private sector address each solution separately: agencies, consultants, bloggers on one side, seminars, trade shows, trainers, webinars, … It is fragmented and expensive. Getting a federation with hundreds of affiliates on the same page only adds to the cost and complexity.
The solution is to manage your online presence by providing a single rich source of information, a process management system and clear guidelines for developing and maintaining your social media content.