Is Your Message on MySpace?
The early results of DOW’s efforts are encouraging. DOW can directly attribute 116 actions to its growing network of MySpace.com friends. These numbers are very small compared with what the organization can generate through its online direct-response efforts, but it considers the conversion rates to be promising.
Perhaps most exciting is the fact that a number of passionate individuals have taken it upon themselves to help advance the work of DOW by creating their own personal campaign pages. For example, the MySpace.com group http://groups.myspace.com/savethewolves has more than 1,100 members and links to an advocacy campaign page on DOW’s Web site.
So far, DOW has not actively encouraged existing e-mail subscribers to participate in the organization’s MySpace.com community. It is, however, considering surveying members and then reaching out to any individuals who indicate that they have personal social network pages.
Social networking sites have proliferated in the last few years, and certain ones such as MySpace.com have now begun attracting huge volumes of traffic and members. While current results for most organizations exploring an online social networking strategy have been modest, these sites represent an interesting and cost-effective way for nonprofits to reach new and younger constituents. Since creating a simple social network presence and testing constituent recruitment strategies requires a minimal amount of time, nonprofit organizations should consider experimenting on these sites to help better understand the potential benefits of online social networking for their organizations.
Vinay Bhagat is founder, chairman and chief strategy officer at Convio.