How and why to be nice on social media

William Penn quote

William Penn quote

It's really tempting to use social media as a playground for angst. So much so that it's easy to forget social media's often-untapped potential to be a force for good in the world.

Clearly, as nonprofiteers, we're all using social media as a means toward the end of doing good for our cause. But maybe it's time we think on a more granular level. It's easy to effect a persona of "niceness" in general, but are we only being nice to the masses? How about individuals?

Social media, after all, offers us unprecedented opportunities to cultivate one-on-one relationships with members/donors and potential members/donors. By being extra-nice (without being phony) to an individual, you can build passion for your organization, and, by extension, your cause.

So the question becomes: How can you use social media to brighten somebody's day, today? 

Some ideas:

  1. Say "thank you."
  2. Commit random acts of awesomeness (like Zappos does).
  3. Post things that make people laugh. (At the risk of sounding like Pollyanna, you'd be amazed how a smile or a laugh can turn someone's day around.)
  4. Express genuine empathy toward individuals who are suffering.

All of these things help you humanize your brand, and make people much more interested in helping to spread your message.

What tips would you offer? How do you use social media to brighten people's days?

Further reading:The Whuffie Factor by Tara Hunt.