Non-Profit Social Media: How do Twitter and Facebook differ?

Today I came across this article 5 Important Differences Between Twitter and Facebook, and wondered “how can these differences affect the social media presence of non-profits?” Yes, I know, seems like I might have some invested interest in this topic. While I’m interested in social media strategy in general, I volunteer for a non-profit and am always looking for ways to get our message out. So here is what I gathered from this article.

While Twitter takes only about 13% of the US market, it’s often a more niche group of followers (minus all the spam of course!). And while “a Tweet has by far a much shorter lifespan than a Facebook update” there’s a better chance to reach someone who really cares about your cause. For example, the American Red Cross has been able to successfully translate Twitter support into donations for disaster relief. While this is an outlying case, without Twitter those funds would have been lost.

Sometimes I personally feel that Facebook “likes” are a way to make your followers think you identify with a brand’s message, even if you don’t. For example, someone might follow the American Cancer Society, because they generally care about their cause, but they won’t really engage with the brand by donating, reposting, or attending an event.

However, Facebook can be used for “timeless news and updates.” I see this as a big win for wanting to convey a steady message, or have a good timeline for events, relevant news and friend interaction. Used often, this could also be a great way to interact with friends by responding with rich feedback to posts. According to an article, Facebook: Is it Worth your Nonprofit’s Time? “80% of nonprofit staff said that Facebook helped them build better relationships with their existing constituents by helping nonprofits stay in touch and build community around their issue.”

So if I’m a non-profit, do I use Twitter, Facebook or both? I feel if you have a consistence flow of content and time, use both. There will be overlap somewhere, but with Twitter you can post quick and often, ideally more updates and interaction with  specific “interest.” And then with Facebook, a slower cadence of news and updates with people who “like” your actual organization. But remember that social media needs interaction from both sides! If someone DM (direct messages) you on Twitter, or posts a question on Facebook answer them back, and always thank people for “liking” or “following” you.

Want to read more about non-profit social media tips?

Red Riding Hood…not a breathtaking vision of an old legend (in film or hardback)

According to Warner Brothers, Red Riding Hood is a “breathtaking vision of a 700 year old legend,” but this is so wrong. With the snowy mountain village of Daggerhorn set in Vancouver (absent of actual snow and surrounded by blurry CG mountains), the only interesting thing about the film is the print novel and multimedia e-book created alongside filming. I’m not sure how many movies do this, but it is a pretty cool trifecta, especially considering the movie had mediocre acting, effects, and is confusingly set in “medieval — or post-apocalyptic” times…or simply 700 years ago. Movie reviewer Roger Moore, from the Orlando Sentinel said it perfectly, “for all the heaving bosoms, the big-eyed flirtation and the cool fairytale hair products, it doesn’t work.”

Director Catherine Hardwicke mentions to the LA Times, “I was realizing as we were prepping for the movie that I felt sad for the back stories of these characters. I wanted to know more about those people.” So what did she do? She hired first time author Sarah Blakley-Cartwright to fill in the blanks! It’s worked for blockbusters like Harry Potter and Twilight, but those books were written before, and by established authors. I do think it’s slightly genius to realize you can create a dedicated fan base by giving them something else to do than just watch your movie…but…

In January, when the book was released, it hit No 1 on the NYT best seller’s list, but it was missing the ending! If you look at the reviews on Amazon you’ll find a whole bunch of frustrated customers. Including comments like “Rip off!” and “publishing company scams customers with incomplete product,” and “SHAME ON YOU to anyone affiliated with this con,” I’ve yet to see a response to these comments. The e-book will release what publishers call “bonus chapters” a few days after the film releases, but in actuality it’s the missing ending. This might have been a smart marketing tactic IF you told your customers you were selling them an incomplete story.

You can check out the author, director and screenwriter chatting about the novel in these video clips.

Soul searching in the booth, a look at unscripted chance

Reality television influences culture, but how? It plays hard on the concept of real, even though viewers know things are staged. Confessional booths are a main focus in most reality shows; they offer a place for contestants to pour their heart out and recap the day’s events. Do viewers feel a personal connection to the cast when they go into these little rooms? Or is this an uncreative mimic of a story tactic that needs to retire? These booths can be very captivating or completely overdone by sensationalizing common life to the point that reality is no longer captured. Within this paper I will look at these confessional booths to determine if they are an excuse for a lack of compelling content, because that will help understand a shift in the reality TV genre and how we as a culture are affected by these false portrayals of real life.

Click here to view the full paper: Soul Searching in the Booth

Snoqualmie Falls Video Project

I’m not even close to being at the elementary level of film making, I’ve only recently thought about making some. Here is a project I did for the MCDM program about the Snoqualmie Fall Hydroelectric plant. You can find out more details about the 100+ year old underground powerplant here. To see some of my photos of the falls, visit my Flickr page. I’ll add the link to the full MCDM video project when it’s done.

The Incredibly Virally Contagious Internet

After watching the video, “Bill Wasik Takes Modern Media to Task” I got to thinking about how the Internet has completely changed our lives. If it weren’t for the Internet how would we realize how truly strange and interesting people can become? In the insightful video, Wasik talks about how the Internet allows the little guy to compete with big media, the little guy of course being someone who couldn’t have paid for traditional media before the Internet.

One of my favorite quotes simplifies the complexity of the Internet: “someone can throw up some YouTube video that took them 20 minutes to make using just the tools that were available to them in the basement of their garage, and if it’s good enough or if its grabby enough, it can get millions and millions of hits in the span of just a few days.” But the million dollar question is “what do with do with all those hits?”

I don’t think we often realize the Internet is a repository for so much real stuff, or as Wasik calls it, accessible culture. There are so many amateur videos of irrelevant stuff, but the sheer volume of all this irrelevance actually makes it very relevant. But there are also plenty of sites that offer resources in about any category you can image. He discusses the Internet as being a distraction, “the internet is always dangling in front of us this incredibly virally contagious” content, but the need for this content helps define our technology savvy culture. With so much opportunity at our fingertips we’re feeding our own “niche patterns…and market opportunities.”

Web Video; shape, size and color

Tod Sacerdoti in a post about The Most-Watched Show On The Internet? states, “a ‘show’ is any periodically produced branded content.” If a show is originally broadcast on TV, do we still consider it a web video? What about short videos produced but not branded like some stuff on YouTube Shows? Or possibly amateur series like Backyard FX? With TV online consumption becoming more and more popular should it be important that we determine was constitutes a show?

A NYT article Rise of Web Video, Beyond 2-Minute Clips mentions, “About 150 million Internet users in the United States watch about 14.5 billion videos a month.” With this large number sure to grow, its obvious online video will be important in the future, but maybe we need to not try and categorize it against preexisting content. Just because we are used to series and episodes, doesn’t mean web video needs to fall into these categories to be relevant for mainstream viewing. Merriam-Webster online defines show as something that demonstrates or presents something.  I tend to think like Sacerdoti and believe that just as long as there is some awareness of a theme or goal then it is a show. Continue reading

Our Social Media Future

Once the initial novelty of cyber-stalking your high school friends diminish, you’re stuck with asking yourself “now what?” Social media has a place in our culture and everyone is a piece of it, even if they’re not involved. The future of social media is what we the community makes it, to integrate neatly into our lives.

Just look at Twitter, it’s the guilty pleasure of the “I need it now” crowd, and rapidly spreading. According to a TechCrunch article Is Twitter The CNN Of The New Media Generation?, the “pursuit of ‘now’ is conditioning us to expect information as it happens, whether it’s accurate or developing.” This trend is changing the way we have consumed media in the past, creating a cultural shift. We’re now living in an era where we create the news, we seek out the news; it’s no longer created and distributed to us on someone else’s time schedule. We choose what news is worthy. Continue reading