How to be a boring pest on social media

My bank wants me to “like” them on Facebook.

I’d rather eat a bug.

I have no problem with my bank. They do a fine job with my money. The tellers are friendly and professional. But I don’t want to see their inane, boring updates about yet another way to charge me interest.

To me, the ideal relationship with my bank is they handle the business I’ve given them, and I never think about it. It’s not a social relationship. It shouldn’t be one, and it never will be one.

Apparently, though, the bank would like a more intense relationship.

In my case it’s not going to happen. They can approach me by every social media channel in existence. They can have stalkers hang out in front of my house. I still don’t want to be their pal, and I don’t want to waste one more second of my time than I have to interacting with them.

Is your nonprofit acting like my bank? Trying to be people’s pals on Facebook and other social media so you can talk about yourself to them?

Well, stop it!

If you’re going to interact with donors, you need to figure out what they care about. Social media aren’t a giant free classroom; they’re more like a party. If you go in the way my bank does trying to educate and inform, you’re an irrelevant and annoying party-pooper.

And be prepared to learn that your issues are not as universally exciting to people as you think they are.

Social media operates a lot like real life. Those who go on and on about themselves don’t keep getting invited to join conversations.


Comments

8 responses to “How to be a boring pest on social media”

  1. I think that’s a very narrow minded way of looking at communicating with your donors. Our social media is a direct link between the work our charity does and our stakeholders. If they’re not interested in finding out they can don’t have to like it, simple as.
    You’re assuming that everyone on a social network doesn’t care about what anyone else is doing. If people are interested in what you’re doing they’ll be interested in hearing about what you’re doing, regardless of if you’re a charity, individual or business.
    I think your dislike of social media stems from a lack of understanding of why people other than yourself interact with it.

  2. I think that’s a very narrow minded way of looking at communicating with your donors. Our social media is a direct link between the work our charity does and our stakeholders. If they’re not interested in finding out they can don’t have to like it, simple as.
    You’re assuming that everyone on a social network doesn’t care about what anyone else is doing. If people are interested in what you’re doing they’ll be interested in hearing about what you’re doing, regardless of if you’re a charity, individual or business.
    I think your dislike of social media stems from a lack of understanding of why people other than yourself interact with it.

  3. Anyone who isn’t interested in what we have to say wouldn’t “like” us in the first place – just like you did with your bank Jeff. If they get bored with what we have to say then they would “unlike” us.
    We’ve got thousands of “friends” on Facebook; the vast majority don’t interact but they still get info about what’s going on. We try to mix up the content of the messages we send out, but speaking as a professionally qualified fundraiser I find it a great way of getting people involved.

  4. Anyone who isn’t interested in what we have to say wouldn’t “like” us in the first place – just like you did with your bank Jeff. If they get bored with what we have to say then they would “unlike” us.
    We’ve got thousands of “friends” on Facebook; the vast majority don’t interact but they still get info about what’s going on. We try to mix up the content of the messages we send out, but speaking as a professionally qualified fundraiser I find it a great way of getting people involved.

  5. I wonder if many of those who do friend the organizations they support are just curious to see what the page looks like, and having once checked it out, never return. And from the other end, I wonder how many organizations put the Facebook icon there more to say, “see, we’re hip” than having much to say on Facebook itself.

  6. I wonder if many of those who do friend the organizations they support are just curious to see what the page looks like, and having once checked it out, never return. And from the other end, I wonder how many organizations put the Facebook icon there more to say, “see, we’re hip” than having much to say on Facebook itself.

  7. I’ll try my luck debating FOR those corporate pages. First, being a marketer myself, I know for a fact that these pages are accumulating leads and thus, sales. While some might not want to see them on their feed, a big chunk of them actually appreciate these companies who share things that they’re interested in – yes, sometimes those serious “party-pooper posts” do attract customers. Secondly, it’s up to the marketers to be creative enough in their shares to attract potential clients, but not to the point that they delve into pop culture trends (imagine them sharing something about KISS). Lastly, they’re there to create their presence online so that their clients can reach them whenever they have concerns. So, yes, these boring people do use social media and have done a terrific job at it.

  8. I’ll try my luck debating FOR those corporate pages. First, being a marketer myself, I know for a fact that these pages are accumulating leads and thus, sales. While some might not want to see them on their feed, a big chunk of them actually appreciate these companies who share things that they’re interested in – yes, sometimes those serious “party-pooper posts” do attract customers. Secondly, it’s up to the marketers to be creative enough in their shares to attract potential clients, but not to the point that they delve into pop culture trends (imagine them sharing something about KISS). Lastly, they’re there to create their presence online so that their clients can reach them whenever they have concerns. So, yes, these boring people do use social media and have done a terrific job at it.

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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