HOW NOT TO LET SOCIAL MEDIA BLUNDERS SINK YOUR SUPPORT RAISING SHIP

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By on November 3, 2015   /   28 Comments

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What you may go through to finally sit down with a person for a support appointment can feel like a sea battle of volleying shots sometimes—making calls, leaving messages, missing returned calls, texting, rescheduling, etc. You can expend so much time and emotion on just getting the appointment that you are totally worn out by the time you actually meet! And if you are anything like me, you begin to rationalize, “there has to be a better way!”

Unfortunately, this line of thinking can lead to taking shortcuts that won’t help you get to full support, and might even torpedo your well laid plans altogether!

One of these shortcuts could be misusing social media to raise your support. I have made many mistakes in this area, so let’s all be aware and proceed with caution as we integrate the use of social media into our personal support raising journey. I just want to note that I’ve had some success in using social media to reconnect with people for gaining an appointment, but that’s very different than what I’m discussing here.

Social media is definitely not the secret weapon to get people to join your team. It is rarely the best medium to post financial goals, secure a support appointment, and it certainly is never the place to do an “ask!”

I absolutely believe God can miraculously answer any request we make, even if it’s done in a very inappropriate way. Yet, as well crafted as the following post “taken from real life” is, people very rarely respond positively to social media messages like: “Our goal is to reach 50 percent of our monthly support by December 1st. That means we need 10-15 new financial partners of $75-200 per month in the next 17 days. It’s a big ask, but our God is bigger! Would you consider joining us? We would love to sit down and share our vision and goals with you in person, so contact me as soon as possible so we can line something up!”

Why do I consider this to be an “Oops” post, and why do these sort of posts almost never work? Well, let’s climb aboard the mind of your social media “friends,” who read your post, and see what they may be thinking:

  • It’s not personal. If you had really wanted to meet with me individually, you would have contacted me directly.
  • If it’s everyone’s problem, it’s not my problem.
  • If I don’t respond to your post, I might be offended if you do call me later for a face-to-face appointment. Why? Because essentially I already said “no” when I decided not to “like” or comment on your post.
  • You’re assuming I will read your post and go out of my way to initiate communication or meet with you with the intent of giving you money (even though I haven’t asked God if He wants me to share in your vision).

Can you see why this quick and dirty social media tactic could backfire on you and send your support raising ship down to its watery grave? I know you’re busy, and it takes just a moment to punch this passionate plea out and hit the “POST” button, but sending it could have harmful, long-term repercussions on your team.

So take a deep breath, avoid firing away on social media, and reconsider what your needs and goals are. Pray about it and write them down. Share them with God, your spouse, your supervisor, and support raising coach. Then exercise self control and don’t broadcast those goals via social media, fantasizing you’ll be overwhelmed with responses!

From my experience, this leads to very little fruit. Yes, you may get a few replies, but what about the dozens…or even hundreds…who saw the post and did not respond. What if they now may have the perception that you are a beggar who doesn’t really care about them (or your vision!) enough to contact them personally and directly?

Yes, I may utilize social media to specifically contact someone, or to reconnect with an old friend, and certainly to track along with their lives and family. And I do occasionally post general information, non-financial prayer requests and praises, and pictures about our family and ministry so others can follow us. But, when it comes to asking others to consider joining our vision and support team, I have a conviction that it needs to be direct and personal. “Face-to-face” asks, full of vision and passion, will almost always float your support boat in a way that’s far more effective than any social media shortcut.

What do you think?

  • Are there other reasons why social media support raising doesn’t work very well?
  • Can you think of an example where certain unique social media postings can help your support raising efforts?
  • Have you seen someone who used their social media account to post something that may have damaged their support team, or would probably be looked upon unfavorably by their supporters?
  • Starting this week, what can you do differently to start using social media in a wise and self-controlled way?
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