Six Facebook Mistakes That Harm Your Nonprofit Organization
| Posted in Marketing on Apr 1, 2012 by
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With more than 400 million active visitors, Facebook is certainly the most popular social networking site in use. While the site is known for the relaxed social aspect, many organizations and individuals also use it for promotional, informational and professional networking purposes.
Facebook can be a valuable tool for connecting to donors, volunteers and other stakeholders in additiona to colleagues, clients and friends. In fact, surveys suggest that approximately 30% to 40% of businesses are using Facebook to screen service providers, company profiles or potential employees. Donors, Foundations and other funding agencies use Facebook too. Don't make these Facebook mistakes — they might cost you a great opportunity for your nonprofit organization.
- Inappropriate Photos
It may go without saying, but prospective donors don't want to see pictures of you chugging a bottle of wine at your organization’s annual gala or dinner auction. Realizing that you want to maintain your personal brand and organizational mission, seemingly innocent pictures of your personal life will likely not support the image you want to present in your professional life.
- Complaining About Your Current Job
It could be a full status update about how much you hate your job, or how ignorant your boss is, or it could be as innocent as a status update about how your coworker always shows up late. While everyone complains about work sometimes, doing so in a public forum can harm your reputation, image and credibility as well as your organization.
- Contradictory Information
If you say on your resume that your degree is from Johns Hopkins, but your Facebook profile says you attended Kansas State, you're likely to be immediately viewed as someone who lacks integrity. Similarly, if your organization’s profile claims you serve 10,000 individuals while your Form 990 reports 2,000 served, such disparities will make you look dishonest at worst and careless at best.
- Statuses You Wouldn't Want Your Boss or Board to See
Everyone should know to avoid statuses like "I am calling in sick tomorrow so I can have a 3 day weekend.” But you should also be aware of tasteless statuses like "I’m slipping out from work early, meet me at Joe’s Bar". Statuses that imply you are unreliable, deceitful, and basically anything that doesn't make you look as professional as you would like, can seriously undermine your credibility and your dedication to your organization’s mission.
- Guilt by Association
You can't control what your friends post to your profile (although if you see it, you can remove it), nor what they post to their own profiles or to those of mutual friends. If you were tagged, the photo can be found in a name search. If a potential donor, board member or co-worker sees pictures of you with your friend who is drinking at a party in his underwear, it reflects poorly on you, even if the picture of you is completely innocent. It's unfortunate, but you are judged by the company you keep. Take a look at everything connected to your profile, and keep an eye out for anything that reflects you or your organization in a negative light.
- Facebook Can Help You Make Great Connections or Not
The best advice is to lock down your personal profile so that only close friends you approve can see anything on that profile, (although you may not always be able to trust the security). Then, create a second, public profile on Facebook purely for professional use. Regularly monitor your organization’s Facebook activity. Having a social networking profile is a good thing — it presents you and your organization as technologically and professionally savvy. Just make sure your profile is helping to present your best side — not the side where you may not have used the best judgment.
Nonprofit Marketing Social Media Facebook Social Networking Online Reputation Your Style Image Consulting Ginny Baldridge
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