Why Your Organization needs Facebook. Even if you DON’T think it does!

Lately I have been talking with a few individuals about social media in the nonprofit sector. It seems that every conversation I have about social media always defaults to a discussion about Facebook, with Twitter being a close second. I myself am not a huge Fan (no pun intended) of Facebook, but I understand why organizations need to have their own profile page. The simple answer is:

IT’S WHERE EVERYONE IS!

I know, blue right. But seriously, the popular social media site has over 500 million users (according to Facebook itself), although other indications put it at over 600 million. Furthermore, from Facebook:

  • 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day
  • Average user has 130 friends
  • People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook
  • That’s huge and I don’t think organizations can neglect that kind of popularity.

So why am I not a huge fan. Well I am a user myself, but the main reason comes down to how people use the site, or any social media site. Now I want to put in my asterisk* here because this is ultimately an individual decision that can be fairly value laden. That being said, Facebook to me is a place for friends and family, not so much so for professional associations. I don’t have a ton of friends on Facebook and I don’t do a whole lot with it. For me, Twitter or LinkedIn are sites where I go to do the things I might not do with Facebook and vice versa. Now I also don’t take myself too seriously on this note because I will occasional post something political, for example, on my Facebook profile which can cause some De-Friending or other interesting conversations. On the other social media sites I welcome that conversation, but Facebook is more of a place for my family members to catch up with what I’m doing. “But isn’t that what a blog is for?” Yes! But it’s easier for my family to view things on Facebook because that is where they go.

BINGO!!!

That is to say, the same reason why nonprofit organizations need to have a Facebook page even if they feel it’s not worth it, Because that is where users go! This also extends into the larger discussion about any social media site, but organizations also need to be strategic in choosing which sites to use that align with their mission focus. The fact is that Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn are not going away anytime soon, and they offer incredible potential for organizations to implement creative and innovative ideas to further their work.

But I still wonder what you think? Should organizations be thinking about what these sites mean for building community before they begin using them? Where should an organization begin with social media? Are these questions even relevant or are we already past this type of discussion because of the vast adoption of social media within the nonprofit sector? Leave a comment and as always, thanks for stopping by.

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About jimmysw
Assistant Professor of Social Work with a focus on Social Media, Social Work Education and all things technology.

One Response to Why Your Organization needs Facebook. Even if you DON’T think it does!

  1. […] Why Your Organization needs Facebook. Even if you DON’T think it does! « Jimmysw's Blog […]

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