As part of my personal resolutions for 2012, I have committed to use social media. I know, I know - better late than never. But to be honest I haven't embraced it because the few times I have engaged in it, not much happened. Being a person who likes instant results, I immediately lost interest and questioned its effectiveness. But millions of people and businesses benefiting from it can't be wrong, right?
As I think of why I don't engage in social media more actively, it dawns on me that nonprofits might have a similar view of mobile. Success in social media is what you put into it, much like the gym. If you don't post or tweet, no one hears, you feel like you are failing and you stop logging in; if you don't go work out, you don't feel any healthier, and you eventually stop going to the gym. So is it the same for mobile engagement?
Over 95% of Americans have a mobile device and over 73% of people use text messaging. So, communicating to constituents through mobile is important and effective. If you don't ask your constituents for their mobile number, you won’t get their mobile number. So take the first step, ask for mobile numbers. It won’t cost your organization any money and will take very little time. Once you have the number, you can at least decide to do something with it. Like share information about your organization, mission or volunteer opportunities and ask for their support.
Every New Year brings talk of "getting in shape" and "committing to your goals." Let's take that New Year’s approach and apply it to mobile. Embrace mobile for all it can do for your organization and advocate for its use. Make the resolution to whip your mobile strategy into shape and share in our commitment to making mobile successful in 2012! This commitment will not come easy, but few things worth doing truly are easy.
Need a jump start to get motivated? Be the hero of your organization and drive your team to leverage existing collateral sources and event registration forms to collect mobile numbers. Drive your IT department to add a widget to your website and start collecting mobile numbers every time a new or existing constituent visits your website.
There are so many benefits to using mobile. It’s immediate; used by most of the population; and easy to use. Hey, it's even green - no paper usage. It is a critical tool that will enhance your existing communications strategies. Mobile is the next thing in constituent engagement. So get a mobile strategy- it will help you to meet your 2012 goals!