News story

To tweet or not to tweet? That is the question...

London, UKLearning NewsCharity Learning Consortium

Are your senior managers distinctly lukewarm about embracing social media? In the latest Charity Learning Consortium blog, Lawrence Clarke examines some possible reasons behind their lack of enthusiasm and explains why understanding your organisation’s values, and aligning social media policy to them, is so critical.

For a social enterprise, charity or a not-for-profit organisation the answer to ‘To tweet or not to tweet?’ should be obvious, says Lawrence Clarke on The Charity Learning Consortium's blog

“One would expect these bodies to see a need for social media tools - such as blogs and discussion forums - to improve their communications and the sharing of knowledge and experience.... So why is there not an open and immediate adoption of the complete package by all?”

The hard but rarely discussed truth, says Lawrence, lead consultant at social media experts SiftGroups, is that the word ‘social’ does not sit comfortably with any organisation founded before the mass up-take of social media: “The context for ‘social’ is me and my personal connections. ‘Social’ has nothing to do with business or organisations.”

“Add the word ‘media’ and we’re talking about a new type of communication channel – developed by individuals in college dorms with the express intention of making their social lives easier and more interesting....This is the environment that many senior managers are reluctant to unconditionally embrace.”

As long as senior decision makers see no reason to use social media to engage internally, no business or organisation can expect to fruitfully engage on social media networks, he says.

“There may be good reasons why your organisation is having trouble making sense of social media as a tool for engagement. And it may require uncomfortable levels of internal cultural change”

To read this article in full, go to the Charity Learning Consortium (CLC) blog. You can sign up to receive our eNewsletter – which contains our blog entries - on the CLC website, just fill in the ‘Stay Connected’ box on the home page.

Lawrence Clarke is the Head of Consultancy at SiftGroups, and together with Nick Torday – SiftGroups charity specialist - will be leading a workshop on social networking at our members meeting on 8 June.