GYAN Workshop on Social Media for Non-profits- Participant’s appreciation

“A workshop on Social Media? Do YOU need it?” This was the reaction of someone near and dear, when I said I was attending one. Considering that practically anyone (this includes a wide range of ages) who uses the Internet is on at least one of the SMs (Social Media), I was not too surprised at the question. And of course, when the announcement of the workshop came to my mailbox, I was sure that at least one person from my organization needed to attend this one. After all, when we say that we teach health professionals and all Internet users how to SEARCH for health information (and raising every so many eyebrows for this), I knew for sure that this workshop would be one where I would pick up anything between one and trillion new thoughts and / or tips. I ended up being the person to attend.

Sure enough, I was not disappointed. If I thought that I was wonderful at teaching people how to “think systematically and be organized” when searching for information, I can only say that our trainer Deepam Yogi was a level more systematic and organized in her thoughts about Social Media and she ensured that she dinned these thoughts into us participants. Six of us from four different  NGOs attended the session. Each of us were (or thought we were!) good at different Social Media. And as it happens in such workshops, it was true that each of us knew different things about each SM but also learned how much we did not know!

The workshop started with Deepam telling us the most important thing – “Using Social Media to get results is a slow process, and involves lots of learning and hard work”. She made each of us choose one (I chose You Tube) and had us answer a bunch of questions. The workshop on Day 1 had to end a bit abruptly due to some external reasons and continued the next Saturday. Meanwhile I had time to research You Tube a bit more (and in the process sneaked time out to watch some old Hindi Movies that I’d been wanting to for years… thanks for that, Deepam!), and learn some stuff to discuss

I am not going to share all our learnings here. I think anyone reading this, must ask for another session with Deepam.  We learned several tips and uses. We also learned a bit about how each of our organizations used SMs

I will share some of our learning to when the appetite of those who read this, to ask for another session by Deepam 🙂

  1. Do not put up the same stuff on all SMs – that is “overload of same news”. Remember that LinkedIN is for resumes and stuff within them (like your publications), Facebook is for sharing things by which your organization will be “Liked”, Twitter is for sharing quick news / tips, Pinterest is for sharing visual stuff, You Tube for videos and Blogs are for sharing pieces where you want people to (ideally) agree with you. Focus your SM inputs based on these
  2. You do not need to use all SMs – choose the ones that match your work best.
  3. Go through the Help Sections of every SM will make you much better at what you do.
  4. And here is the last – if you are serious about SM, hire someone / have a great volunteer to manage your organization’s SM work. If you cannot, plan some compulsory time every day and have a time table by which you will accomplish your updates!

Thanks Deepam and thank you iVolunteer for this event!

Vasumathi Sriganesh
QMed Knowledge Foundation
vasu [at] qmedkf [dot] org [dot] in

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