To the Point: Is Your Boss Facebook-phobic?
So you've done your homework, and you're convinced that your organization should dabble in social networking. You're not alone — according to ThePort Network, Common Knowledge and NTEN, 74.1 percent of nonprofits have a presence on Facebook, and 30.6 percent have social-networking communities on their own sites.
You might be pretty excited by your new insights. But you might well run into resistance from above. Maybe your boss is a Facebook-phobic, social-media skeptic. What do you do to persuade your stone-age executive director to embrace Web 2.0? Assuming social-media initiatives make sense for your organization, here's how to go about persuading your boss to let you experiment.
1. Change the subject
If you're having a debate over the value of social media, you're having the wrong discussion. The goal should not be to convince your boss that social networking is great. Your objective should be to show what you want to achieve for your boss — with Web 2.0 being the means, not the end. (See No. 2 below.)
2. Make it about what your boss already wants
Don't position your Web 2.0 idea as a social-media initiative; frame it as your initiative to support your boss's goals, in your boss's language. Show how you're going to help raise the money, build that e-mail list, change your audience behavior or generate media interest.
3. Make it about the audience
A good way to depersonalize the Web 2.0 debate is to make it about your target audience's preferences rather than a philosophical tug of war between you and said boss. A little audience research is great fodder for advancing your agenda. Show how many of your donors already use Flickr, or share e-mails from supporters asking how they can find you on Facebook. If you can show demand from existing supporters — or interest from new ones — you'll have a better case.