We had the pleasure of conducting a Hands-On Social Media Training for the Central Indiana Association of Volunteer Administrators (CIAVA) yesterday. It was a fun afternoon and we were introduced to many awesome Indy nonprofits.
Social media is something that nonprofits in Indianapolis are embracing–but we’re seeing that they are embracing it at different speeds. Some were early adopters, have been using it for years, and have solid social media plans in place. Others are just starting out and are feeling their way through the (sometimes confusing) labyrinth of social media outlets.
Many of the participants at our training yesterday were just beginning their social media journey and were learning about some tools for the first time. Our goal was to educate them about why social media is important and how nonprofits can embrace it to enhance their marketing, public relations, and volunteer departments, as well as to give them time to play around on social media and increase their comfort levels social media so that they can effectively advocate for it at their organizations.
It was a different kind of experience for us to work with social media beginners–but one that we feel is necessary and very important. In order for one to fully “get” social media, it is important that we provide the space and time to increase comfort with it.
So here’s my advice to all nonprofits out there–take time to work with your staff on social media. If it’s something that your organization values, it’s important that it’s valued by everyone. Some amazing mentorships can come from helping one another to feel more comfortable with social media.
And for all you beginners out there–don’t worry, we’re all learners. Social media changes all the time, so even those of us with more experience are continually learning about it. Take time to explore social media, ask questions, gain more comfort with it, and never stop learning. If you find that social media isn’t your thing, that’s okay too. Recognizing the value it can bring is the key thing.
Next week I’ll talk about how to effectively utilize volunteers and/or interns to boost your organization’s social media presence.