Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace are the giants of the social media world. But what else is out there? Today, we’ll be starting a short series of blog posts discussing the “Best of the Rest” – which other social media outlets are also worth nonprofits' attention, and why?
Best of the Rest, Part 1
LinkedIn is a social networking site for business and professional networking. Site users can build a network of business contacts that they either know personally or know through a friend. One of LinkedIn’s unique attributes is its focus on a reputation-based system – users vouch for their “connections” (contacts), and the implication is that one’s connections are people that you know and trust in business.
LinkedIn also has a feature called “LinkedIn Groups.” LinkedIn Groups are similar to Facebook groups, but with a business focus. Groups can be formed in any subject matter – for example, alumni groups or industry groups. With Groups, LinkedIn users can find new contacts in relevant areas of interest.
LinkedIn can be especially useful for nonprofits because of its professional focus. It also has a recently-released applications platform that will allow you to integrate your blog content, slideshows, upload files such as resumes or whitepapers, and even display your business travel plans.
Getting started on LinkedIn is easy. At www.linkedin.com, just enter your information into the signup form. After you’ve entered your basic information, you’re also able to upload a resume, import contacts from your email address book, join Groups, and update your profile.
YouTube is a site for posting, sharing, and commenting on videos. YouTube users can upload videos from their computers, create playlists of other users’ videos, and watch and comment on videos. Recently, YouTube has launched special channels specifically for nonprofits. The Non-Profit Channel Program features increased uploading capacity, as well as built-in donation integration.
YouTube in particular can be useful for nonprofits because of its widespread reach and accessibility of medium. Videos can add a personal, yet professional touch to a fundraising campaign. They're also more eye-catching and attention-grabbing than other, more traditional forms of online media.
Signing up for YouTube is, unsurprisingly, just as simple as signing up for LinkedIn. Just go to YouTube.com and click the "Create Account" link in the top right-hand corner. Enter your information, and the on-screen instructions will guide you through the rest of the process of uploading videos.
Do you use LinkedIn? What about YouTube? What, in your opinion, are some of the characteristics of good videos? Should nonprofits be exploring alternative media on the web, such as video? Tell us about it in the comments!