Upping Our Social Media Ante

From donor engagement to public action, social media has permanently disrupted traditional advocacy efforts.  So often I get frustrated by those who “like” something on social media, but do not take action beyond the comfort of their own computer.  I originally thought inaction was attributed to the state of our society, but after a little bit of reading, I’ve learned it is more of a facet of the efforts of the organizations generating the posts.

For organizations with a social media presence, incorporating this platform within their donor engagement models and developing useful metrics around online organizing will cultivate a more robust impact that can eventually move offline.

Social media has permanently disrupted the traditional donor engagement model.  Donor engagement is no longer linear.  There are new entry points to supporters (e.g. online giving and viral video campaigns) and more opportunities for them to not only be influenced, but be influential as well.  Groups need to develop new engagement models that account for peer-to-peer influence and diversify their calls to action.  If supporters are only asked to donate then that will be all that they think they can do.

Organizations are enabling the online “slacktivist” dilemma.  Diversifying calls to action will move online supporters into more active rolls that can eventually be moved offline.

Slacktivism is used to describe easy, “feel good,” actions on an issue that have little to no practical impact beyond personal satisfaction.

Groups should look at “likes” as people raising their hands on an issue.  If all you care about are the number of “likes” you get on a post, then that is all you will accomplish – one-dimensional, surface level progress.  You have to follow up with further action items to really leverage and mobilize this constituency base.  Groups are enabling “slacktivism.”  They are not asking the right questions and are tracking the wrong metrics, which is in turn allowing the slacker tendencies of the public to exist.

I encourage everyone who tries to mobilize and/or fundraise on social media to take a few minutes out of their day to read the following pieces.  I have found them incredibly insightful to the world of online organizing and the role of social media in the once traditional advocacy space.