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“What would you do if you didn’t have to worry about money”

If you do any work with nonprofit organizations as a leader, board member, advisor, consultant, etc. this is one of the best questions you can ask to cut the core of what many organizations can, want to and probably should do (another is “if you had more time, what would you do with it” but that’s for another time). This question is especially relevant when discussing social media ROI and the value things like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. can have for organizations. In that context, think: If you didn’t have to worry about money, how would you approach social media differently?

Wouldn’t you be more fun? Wouldn’t you share other people’s stuff more? Wouldn’t you give your followers more of what they want and less of what you need them to want? If you didn’t have to worry about money, or the straight up social media ROI, you’d be a lot more effective and engaging on social media which would in turn provide more ROI! ROI is great when measuring value to business but can be horrible when measuring value to humans.

When people ask about social media ROI the question is not about the value of social media but the value in relation to the resource investment required. This is important because there is, unequivocally, huge value in social media. And for all organizations of all sizes with all ages and demographics of donors. Why? Because it’s a communication and connection tool. I love the push back question to “what’s the social media ROI?”:  ”what’s the telephone ROI?”. Someone calls you, you answer it and have a conversation. You want to talk to someone? You pick up the phone and call them and have a conversation? Email operates the same way and social media is an extension of the evolution of connection and conversation. It seems ridiculous to measure the ROI of the phone but that’s what we often try to do with social media ROI. One of the biggest differences here is we have oodles of data in social media whereas “tracking” the phone (beyond minutes I suppose) is tricky. Just because you can measure something, doesn’t mean you should.

Now I’m not some huge social media advocate that you should just do it and do it blindly. And before you start worrying about being awesome on social media, you should worry about being awesome… in general. Are you an awesome organization that is having a great impact? If not, then you should worry about that first. Are you caring for your donors, respecting their time and providing value to them? If not, then you should do that first. Are you providing great offers and opportunities for people to give and get involved? If not, then you should worry about that first. Your social media doesn’t make you a great or bad organization. You are a great or bad organization and social media exposes that.

So be a great and awesome organization first. Then look at social media and keep in mind when you are looking for money, it is about you. When you are looking for engagement, it is about them. The funny thing is, without true engagement you are limiting your money potential! So try it for a week. Try it for a month. Don’t worry about measuring every post and Tweet. Don’t worry about what traffic you get. The donations you earn. The emails you acquire. Just try to be an awesome organization full of awesome humans trying to connect with other awesome humans for a month. And you can’t be awesome if you only worry about money. So stop worrying about money and start worrying about awesome. And as Scott Stratten of UnMarketing says, “Awesome has ROI”.

Sweet (Possible) Tweets About Social Media ROI From This Post:

If you didn’t have to worry about money, how’d you approach social media differently? 


Give your followers more of what they want and less of what you need them to want


ROI is great when measuring value to business but can be horrible measuring value to humans.


Just because you can measure something, doesn’t mean you should. 


Before you worry about being awesome on social media, worry about being awesome… in general.


Your social media doesn’t make you a great/bad org. You’re a great/bad org & social media exposes that.


When you are looking for money, it is about you. When you are looking for engagement, it is about them.


Stop worrying about money and start worrying about awesome.


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