You Too Can 2.0!
4. OK, so I found them. Now what do I do with them? Once you find a group of people who are supporters of one or more elements of your mission inhabiting a social-networking site, what do you do to utilize their interest? Communicate! It seems simple enough, and it is, but it’s also time consuming. In order for your organization to create a presence for itself, it needs to establish a connection with the members inside a networking platform. That connection could be with videos, blogs or personal messages. Comment on other peoples’/organizations’ pages, ask questions about them, learn from them. We Gen Y folks are opinionated; we like to tell people what we think, especially about political, humanitarian and religious issues. If your organization falls into one of those categories, you can have a field day posting on pages and when people agree or disagree with you, they more than likely will let you know about it. This will open a dialogue, and you can begin to obtain a following of dedicated people who fall into a position of agreement with your arguments. Once this begins to happen, you’ll see a snowball effect.
On Facebook, for example, once people know who and what you are they begin to add elements of their own to your page. Fans of your cause can add stories, news clippings, videos and pictures to your page. This gives them an outlet to be heard and, ultimately, that is why these people go on these sites in the first place — to be seen and heard.
5. How do I cultivate these people into action? This is an aspect of social networking that really takes both creativity and understanding of the Web 2.0 populations. Some quick ideas are creating an event on your social-networking site (most have the capability to do this), and inviting people within your network you think would be interested based on their profiles or group memberships. An event could be as simple as a Moment of Silence for Holocaust Survivors Event on National Holocaust Remembrance Day, or a National Wear Green Day for the Environment Event. These are great and simple ways to engage people, and make them gradually start to become personally attached to your mission by allowing them to display what is important to them.