Webinar: 12 Common Mistakes Nonprofits Make in Social Media

Myself, together with more than 600(!) people around the globe attended Heather Manfield's free webinar 12 Common Mistakes Nonprofits Make in Social Media. Lots of useful stuff, explained with passion and well illustrated on-the-spot.

"Social Media isn't new - it's old" said Heather: "Although most people started to use social media back in 2006, platforms like Myspace, Blogger & Wordpress already started in 2003 - almost a decade ago!"

So no excuse: also nonprofits have to adapt the way they communicate with supporters, donors, and volunteers. Instead of talking about best practices, what are the 12 (2 were added to the original 10) common mistakes nonprofits make in social media?

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Comment by Lize De Clercq on June 7, 2012 at 16:55

Thanks Christine - that's a very valuable remark. I will keep these words in mind - I am indeed struggling sometimes with my two avatars @lizebcn & @tc_europe. Will start to use both of them again - same on Facebook!

Comment by Christine Prefontaine on June 7, 2012 at 16:50

Great summary, Lize! The one thing I'd mention is related to #5: whether to put out content as an organization or as an individual.

I don't think you can say "always communicate as your organization" — certainly each organization needs to have a strong new media presence, but individuals are also important. No more one-way, official broadcast. Engagement requires dialogue, trust, and relationships. This means real people, faces, and voices. For twitter, especially, people want to tweet to other people (see the attached example from a presentation by Debra Askanase).

This means that the lines between personal and professional get blurry. That's part of this. It also means more decentralized communications. More people in the organization empowered to speak for it. Not all orgs are "new media ready" — some are still too top-down. Start by discussing internally and creating a social media policy. (There's a great online tool for this: socialmedia.policytool.net.)

Hope all is well, you're an awesome community facilitator and I love following your work! 

Comment by Markus on June 7, 2012 at 16:34

and google plus??

Comment by Lize De Clercq on June 7, 2012 at 16:12
Comment by Markus on June 7, 2012 at 14:00

Now I have "Shared" AND "liked" it. In fact I had only put it on some groups as I find that people are telling me they do not read social media nowadays - strangely these are journalists and those that due to their work in communications are actually broadcasting.

I agree - following without having to ask has its advantages. I posted my stuff to sell publically:


and also with Bookmooch:


and it is great that I don't have to give everyone permission to read it nor message on them. But I have tried tweeting and have yet to find its advantage over the others as yet for my purposes, including event promotion.

Although it has a place with political dissent as recent legal cases against censorship attempts in the uk have shown.

Comment by Lize De Clercq on June 7, 2012 at 13:29

Thanks but do you mean you shared the link on Facebook? If you do it through the button underneath the article it will show up in the activity stream on the homepage of this community site :)

"Liking" the article you can do only now - as I just post the link as a status update on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/TelecentreEurope

As for Twitter: tweets are useful to follow up news very often - and indeed more used in professional (communication) environments. The biggest difference - I think - is that you can decide to follow the tweets of someone without he/she having to accept your "friend request".

Comment by Markus on June 7, 2012 at 12:46

Its been Facebook liked already - but not tweeted, I personally don't find tweets useful. Although I have tried Google Buzz and other "liking systems" I find that tweets only have limited use, mostly by the media.

Comment by Lize De Clercq on June 7, 2012 at 12:24

Thanks for your feedback Markus. I hope the article can help you to convince the reluctant ones.

Comment by Markus on June 7, 2012 at 12:05

Spot on!! Really good advice and analyses. I find many of these mistakes made again and again. When I try and educate people, especially that they need to take a professional approach and think of time and money resources, they are often dismissive in thinking because their own or organizational culture is one way people will adapt to that rather than the other way around.

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