Ok, so the course is ending and we are almost finished, it is pretty hard to believe to be honest. The past week has been crazy and trying to meet all deadlines on time has been challenging and if I may say, a little bit stressful and maybe sometimes I have lost the having fun part of it as well, but I am learning and I think this is a one part of the process.
During the project I have learned lots about social media, crowd founding and crowd sourcing platforms and how they work and how to use them in practice. Now I understand the power of online networks and that by using these online tools efficiently NGOs can get free publicity and it’s easy way to market your organization for free, get more volunteers and donators.
So it’s known that internet is full of tools to make your organization succeed but unfortunately you need to put some time and effort to get all the benefits of them. You need to define what is the group of people you want to reach and how are they behaving on social media. What kind of online tools they are using and what do you need to do to add them into your online networks. It’s like making a business plan really, you need to think what unique things are in your organization and how to present yourself in an attractive way. Some of these things organizations might be aware of but they don’t have time and resources to do anything about it and this is the point where we come in.
All of these are problems what our NGO, Children of Mexico has. They have slowly growing organization and they are eager to expand the number of volunteers and donators. They have a special need for professional volunteers and they want to get more donators and expand their target audience and they are interested in marketing their organization on social media like Facebook and Twitter. Problems they have are lack of time and lack of talented volunteers who are able to carry out projects like a new design for website etc.
If I need to name one theme which would be the most use towards goals of our NGO I would say the theme number one. Many of problems the NGO has can be solved by more efficient use of social media and by using the right social media platform. Of course the first advise from us to them was that they should improve the visual appearance of the Facebook page and post more regularly but when we dug deeper into their problems we wanted to present them a solution which would actually solve one of the problems. This solution is an app which is helping them to manage social media platforms and connects them together. Buffer app (there are others as well) gives them an option to write their posts beforehand and post them at the same time in every social media the organization is using. In order to get more volunteers among their already existing followers they should use Facebook more efficiently and post “wanted adds” and little stories of volunteers who are working for them. Of course this should be done in an attractive way and tell what are the benefits. They could tell about the experience you gain by volunteering and what unique things there are in Children of Mexico, for example they try to help Mexican organizations to become independent from foreign founding. In order to create wider networks they can also use Facebook and this is something you can do by being active and liking other organizations and interesting people and share they posts on your wall and mention them on the posts.
One thing my group didn’t pay attention to was how to create networks by reaching an audience which will deliver your message to their own networks, how to use networks indirectly. This was a one idea I got from a meeting with Nancy. It’s an interesting idea to think that what could you do to reach many networks only being a part of one of them. What is the group of people I should connect first and what is the right place to reach them? In order to expand their target group from people age 35-50 to older people (60-80) Children of Mexico could start to use Instagram which is the social media what young people from 12 to 24 years are mainly using today and try to reach younger people who have a big influence to their parents and their parents for their parents etc. This is only a quickly sketched idea but this is something I would like to think more.