“Likeable” means friendly, thoughtful, generous, human. “Likeable” also means something that people will mark like on Facebook. Nonprofit organizations need to be likeable, in both senses.
Why must nonprofits be likeable online? We have known for a long time that word of mouth defines who we are. In the age of social media, a friend’s recommendation can travel farther–and faster–than ever before. To keep on getting clients, Board members, volunteers, and donors, we need friends who will speak up for us.
Dave Kerpen’s book Likeable Social Media appeared in 2010 with a bold message: the same qualities that make us likeable in real life can help our organizations win likes on Facebook. We don’t have to be Mad Men or social media gurus. We just need to think like the people we are trying to attract and give them what need.
In 2013, many of us are still trying to master social media. Here are three ways to read Kerpen’s book to make your organization more likeable.
- For education. Are you on social media but not sure why, or what to do with it? Read the Introduction, then skip to the Appendix for a smart overview of the various social media. Then read the book, starting with Chapter 1 but going on to the chapters that interest you most.
- For inspiration. Do you sometimes feel like your Facebook posts are the same old same old? Are you tweeting more and enjoying it less? Look for some of the stories Kerpen tells about everybody from Omaha Steaks to the Stride Rite Foundation. Think. “How can we do something like that?”
- For action. Maybe you get it about likeability, engaging your audience, and attracting support and respect by giving information away. But how can you start moving your nonprofit in the right direction? I suggest making the Action Items at the end of each chapter into your social media workplan.
“Whether your organization is already deeply engaged with its customers or is far from it, the process of becoming further involved starts with one person, and one action.” -Dave Kerpen You are that person. Read this book and take your first step.