Social Media: It’s Not Just Facebook and Twitter Anymore!

by Hadassah Levy

You get it. No respectable NPO doesn’t have a presence on Facebook and Twitter in 2012. Maybe you are a little more familiar with the social media world and you know that LinkedIn and Google+ can bring attention to your organizations as well. But if you are really web 2.0 savvy, you know that the entire web has metamorphosed into one big social community.

Social has transformed the web into one big sharing platform. Communities devoted to all sorts of niches exist across platforms. People interested in a specific subject are talking to each other on Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Flickr and YouTube. Even Google searches are now showing results based on who you interact with online. The key to getting your message heard is to be a part of relevant communities.

Some of the platforms where your community might be hanging out are:

  • Blogs – Start with the blogs you are already reading and do some Google searches to expand your repertoire. Comment on blog posts, personally contact some of the more influential or interesting bloggers, offer to write guest posts. Invite comments on your organization’s blog and work on forming a relationship with your readers.
  • Groups and forums – Yahoo, Google and LinkedIn all have groups/email lists surrounding specific topics. These are great places to share your expertise and point people to your organization.
  • YouTube – Not only do people often search for videos directly on YouTube, videos are also appearing way up high in Google’s search results. Give your video a title someone might search for and include a substantial description. And remember, in these days of iPhones and Flip cameras, fancy equipment and high quality filming are not necessary.
  • Image galleries – If you photograph events or have other pictures relevant to your organization, they can be posted on multiple platforms. Your website, Facebook, Flickr and Wikimedia are a good start. People love to find and tag themselves in pictures, so give them the opportunity.
  • Bookmarking sites – Depending on your niche, you may find that your community is voting for content on sites like Reddit, Digg and StumbleUpon. Become active on these sites and join your community in rating relevant material.
  • Question and answer sites – A great way to show that you know what you are talking about is to answer questions on Q&A sites. Many of them also allow you to link directly to relevant content on your own website or blog. Check out WikiAnswers, Yahoo Answers, Quora and LinkedIn Answers.
  • Social networks – As you get more involved in your community, you begin to get a feel for what individual members are interested in. This allows you to tag specific people (on Twitter, Facebook, Google + and LinkedIn) on content you think they will enjoy and be likely to share with their communities.

As the social web becomes a main news source for many people, these types of platforms are likely to proliferate. NPOs should be taking advantage of these free tools to get the message out about their cause.

Hadassah Levy is a website manager and marketer for Jewish Ideas Daily. Jewish Ideas Daily is a one-stop source of opinion and insight that focuses on a broad range of Jewish topics, including Israel, Jewish thought, Jewish culture and Jewish history. A recent widely read article was “Orthosexuality,” by Elli Fischer.