Marketing Nonprofit Causes on Chronicle of Philanthropy posted Tuesday, May 20, 2008:
Question from Ken D. Grunke, Pillars:
Hi Seth. Would you share your suggestions for how nonprofits should approach the social networking for the first time? I have heard you should be accessing multiple social networking sites and then I have heard that you should only be concentrating on one.
The networks are irrelevant. What’s relevant is the network. Who, not how many. Who, not where.
If your organization can only successfully focus on one thing at a time, then do that. But most urgently, make the relationships you build worthwhile. You don’t need 1000 shallow relationships, you don’t need a long list of friends. What you need is deep relationships, people willing to mortgage their house to support you, willing to host a party to support you, willing to devote a vacation to support you. That’s not about volume, nor is it about the site. It’s about how you build relationships that matter.
Seth goes on to talk about how the terms we use for marketing “miss the mark” (pun mine and intended). He says that “target audience” is not the right way to approach marketing, that it’s more about farming and cultivation.
His advice to all non-profits, and this applies to companies as well, is to do the basics: make big promises, deliver.
“Tell stories people want to hear. Create a service worth talking about. Make it easy for others to spread the word. Get permission from people to follow up and then repeat! The basics are what most organizations are missing. Obsessing about this is far more effective than managing the latest fad.”
Seth gives some specifics on why Kiva is remarkable:
1. Kiva grows by connecting people in a way that online folks find remarkable. So they blog about it and talk about it and bring in others.
2. Meanwhile, those benefiting from Kiva’s connection also talk about it. So they bring in new benefactors.
3. Since all Kiva does is connect the two, they scale and scale and scale.
The great question that comes out of this question/answer period with Seth is “if someone talks about you, what do they say?”
Are you remarkable? Are you connecting to people 1-to-1 so that they can go and talk 1-to-many?
Back to my presentation in Kelowna to the Chief Marketing Executives: none of these social media marketing tools work unless you’re doing the basics.