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FOPO: The Latest Phobia and How to Get Rid of It

Posted by Lori Rizzo on May 7, 2015 2:06:48 PM

    
FOPO: Latest Phobia and How to Get Rid of It

I’ll admit it, I am newbie when it comes to the digital marketing world. However, I totally love it and I am uber eager to immerse myself in it.  Since I started my career in the nonprofit space back in 2008 I feel I have learned a lot about nonprofits.  

Now I have been presented the opportunity to cross over into a new role where I am going to get to merge my nonprofit knowledge with digital marketing.  And you would think I would be super excited to do so. I sure thought I was. But then I was hit with a reality you wouldn’t think my personality would have. I am afraid to post things online. You see I am a feisty red-headed Italian from Boston. Holding back on what I say has never been an issue for me. But now as I have this new role representing my organization, I realized that I speak freely in the verbal/face-to-face world but when it comes to the digital world, I have FOPO: Fear of Posting Online. Fear that what I say could be interpreted incorrectly, reflect poorly on my organization or even cause loss of member support. No one in any organization wants to be the person who caused that right? So do you know what I have done when that happens?  Nothing.  I posted nothing. I can recall numerous times where I didn’t think my post was perfect so I posted nothing at all. In this case no news is not necessarily good news.

A few years ago I ran the Denver Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon and a spectator had a sign up that said “your leg pain is temporary but your Facebook post will live forever!” Not only was it funny but how true it really was.  He was right. I had thought about my post-race Facebook post almost the entire time I trained in the previous months. Since I had only told a few people I was training my Facebook post was going to be the time that I shared it with the world, well maybe not the world but my 800+ friends at least.  If everyone managing an organization’s social media or digital marketing are stressing about their post(s) many months in advance, it’s no wonder why there isn’t much being said on social media from within these organizations. Especially when you consider the multitude of traditional and social media platforms used to address supporters.  

Since our online persona is a documented reflection of our actual lives we are extra careful to be sure we portray ourselves as we want to be seen.  But the digital space feels like we have to analyze ourselves and our messages more than usual and it’s in the back of our minds that it’s in writing and saved online forever….YIKES no wonder I have FOPO.  But since we want our digital persona to be as dynamic as our real life persona we have to get over FOPO and show the world how amazing we really are.  In case you still have a slight case of FOPO, there is also the lovely delete button in case something is published that has a grammatical or spelling error (though that’s a separate blog post talking about what 140 characters or less is doing to our language and grammar skills).  The point is that over time, sharing content becomes easier and you’ll tend to wring your hands less over that message.  Your supporters are following you because they want to hear from you so share your message!  

So let’s all agree that we are going to shed our FOPO.  Creating content and a digital presence is easier than you think and gets more comfortable as you do it more often. Just like real-life networking.  So don’t be afraid to digitally network. Be yourself and be proud of your thoughts and ideas.  Chances are you’ll find some great people who want to engage with you and your organization. 

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Topics: nonprofit, Strategies and Tactics, Social Good, Intermediate, Mobile Marketing

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