Using Social Media in Your Strategy


Between the creation of the idea of “slacktivism” and the general questioning of the importance of social media in creating movements or change, there are a lot of people claiming that a Like on Facebook or a tweet on Twitter don’t mean much. “Clicking a mouse is so easy. Does it do anything concrete?” they question. Last week I came across this great piece on the role that social media can play in creating social change called Can a “Like” Save a Life? on the Stanford Social Innovation Review blog.

The author outlines the ways that social media contributes to the larger good, by pointing out the unique things that social media platforms can offer to further nonprofit organizations. My favorite of her points was the power of influencers. No matter what the cause is, if you get the right people talking about it on social media, it’s gold. It’s just the same as offline communications.

I encourage you to read the piece. The takeaway I came away with was that online efforts should be one component of your marketing strategy. It’s not the solution to everything but it’s still important for you to incorporate. Whether you like it or not, many of our activity is happening online, so nonprofits better be there, too.


31 Day Reset: Day 24 – Make New Friends

I’m participating in the 31 Days to Reset Your Life program at Happy Black Woman. The program is designed to help you evaluate your goals and priorities and think of them in the context of your life today and how you might be able to refocus on what’s important. Read on to learn about my experience with the challenge!

The Day 24 exercise serves to underscore the progress we’ve made the past two days with creating a Reset Project and finding a community to support it. Rosetta has asked us to go one step further and make new friends and connections within these communities who have similar goals. The argument is that with like minded people around us, we’re more likely to continue to act on our Reset Project.

I’m all about this, except with my challenge of even finding a supportive community to help me focus on resetting my finances, finding new friends in the community is even more difficult. So, I did what I could. I went to the Facebook page to find these new connections (which I mentioned yesterday).

First I took a look at my current Facebook friends who also are a part of this online community. One of them was Emily Baime, whom I love, but I would hardly say I need to reconnect with her as I did just venture to Sacramento to visit earlier this month. The other one is a friend who I haven’t actually spoken to in probably close to four years. Perfect. So, I messaged him to reconnect, mentioned I saw him there, and asked if he has any advice or tips on improving my financial literacy.

The next two connections were a little more awkward for me. I went onto’s Facebook page and looked at who had posted on the page or mentioned lately. I took two people, both who mentioned loving the service or involving it in their new year’s resolutions, and sent them messages. Messaging strangers online isn’t exactly something I’ve done in the past fifteen years, so I definitely felt like I put myself out there a bit. But we’ll see what happens!

Again, if you have a better suggestion about a community or peers I could connect with to improve my financial literacy, please send it my way!


31 Day Reset: Day 21 – The Power of Unfriending

I’m participating in the 31 Days to Reset Your Life program at Happy Black Woman. The program is designed to help you evaluate your goals and priorities and think of them in the context of your life today and how you might be able to refocus on what’s important. Read on to learn about my experience with the challenge!

Today’s activity was to cut the negative people out of your life. This is something I spent a lot of time focusing on around eight years ago, and I would say looking at my friend base now, I did a pretty good job of it. I always make a conscious effort to spend time only with people who invigorate me, give me hope, and simply make me happy.

One area I’m not so good with is on the internet. I’ve friended people on Facebook simply because they sent a request and followed people on Twitter because it seemed like a good idea at the time. Well there’s no denying that I spend a good amount of time on Facebook and Twitter, so I decided to take that piece of advice from Rosetta and work on that today.

Facebook has a feature that I haven’t paid much attention to until now, and it was perfect for today’s exercise. For each of your friends, there are three levels of “subscription” you can have – you can opt to view only important activity, most activity, or all activity. You can also unsubscribe to see updates from someone altogether. Even within that, you can choose which type of updates  you want to see (about life, etc), but I didn’t go that far.

I simply went down my news feed and for about 80% of people I switched the setting from most updates to only important updates. For people I don’t feel a strong connection to, or who I was close with in the past but don’t necessarily want to dwell on memories about, I either unsubscribed to their updates or unfriended them altogether. And my close friends I subscribed to all updates.

Now all this Facebook speak really has me sounding kind of silly. Even my boyfriend and accountability partner was skeptical. But I feel strongly that the time I put in to this will make me happier.  I have removed the reminders of things about my past I don’t want to dwell on. And I have highlighted friends who I love and give me life. A byproduct of this is also that I will have less updates, so hopefully I won’t waste so much time online.

Next will be to unfollow people on Twitter. I hope to do this soon. But I wanted to focus on Facebook first because there are more emotions attached to it. Whether we like it or not, our emotions are wrapped up in the online world. We might as well take control.


31 Day Reset: Day 17 – No Facebook, Twitter or Blogging for 24 Hours

I’m participating in the 31 Days to Reset Your Life program at Happy Black Woman. The program is designed to help you evaluate your goals and priorities and think of them in the context of your life today and how you might be able to refocus on what’s important. Read on to learn about my experience with the challenge!

Well, well. Isn’t this challenge timely after Day 16’s response! The exercise is really to not watch TV for 24 hours, but since I don’t have TV, I translated this exercise to non-social media activity.

My first instinct was to cheat. I told my boyfriend and accountability partner that I was going to start my 24 hours on Friday at 5:00, even though it was Saturday at 11:00. Friday was our four year anniversary so I had spent all evening cooking and away from the computer, anyway. No way, he said. Do an actual day, from wake up to bedtime.

So, I didn’t Facebook, tweet, or blog all of Saturday. I did read some emails because some family stuff was happening but I didn’t respond to anything. One of the hardest things to ignore was that I had a blog comment that was waiting to be approved. I know how I feel when I’m on the other side of that situation, so I felt bad.

Overall, it wasn’t too bad. I often use these sites to fill empty gaps in time; I definitely wanted to check it when I was waiting for my mom and sister in the car. But overall I was fine.

I did cheat once. We watched a movie. But we had been sitting within it for two weeks and hadn’t had time until then to watch it! I justified it by saying it had a pre-determined set of time, so it wasn’t necessarily wasting time.


I Need Help Asking for Help

I hate asking for help. I despise it. It makes my skin crawl. It makes me nervous. If you’re friends with me on Facebook you saw my recent post asking for help with loading our moving truck next week… well, that post almost didn’t happen, many times. I seriously thought about it for a week. Should I post a message asking for help? Should I sound desperate? Should it be funny? What is everyone going to say? Are people going to be mad that I am asking for help?

That’s where I stopped myself. Why the heck would people be mad at me for putting it out there that I need help? I have this feeling that people will think less of me if I ask for favors, like they will resent me or something, the girl who always wants a handout. But really, we all need help sometimes. I can’t count the number of times I’ve done favors for friends, and of course, they have done them for me. That’s what friendship is all about. So, I asked myself one question.

What’s the worst that will happen?

It’s not like someone’s going to comment back, “Wow, Chapin, you’re pathetic for needing help, and I’m really mad at you for posting this status. I’m not going to be your friend anymore.” And even if that did happen – do I really want to be friends with someone like that anyway??

Really – the worst that would happen would be that no one would volunteer to help. And, that’s kind of what happened – no one volunteered to help on Friday, but I did get more help for Sunday! That wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t post that question – if I didn’t ask for help.

It took me so long to decide whether to post it. But when I had decided I was going to, that was it. I posted it this morning before work – I never do anything that early in the morning!! I nervously checked to see what comments I got back all day. When the internet was down when I got to work, I felt anxious. What if someone posted a response??

It made me nervous putting myself out there like that. I will always be the strong woman who has everything going for her. It’s hard to admit that sometimes I can’t figure it all out on my own. I need help.

And that’s nothing to be ashamed of.