"Success" in social media has historically meant acquiring a large number of fans and followers. Savvy nonprofiteers know it's about much more than that. It's about creating authentic, meaningful relationships that drive actions benefitting your organization: getting more members, volunteers, and donations.
Danielle Brigida from the National Wildlife Federation -- one of our amazing panelists for the upcoming presentation at the 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference, "Let's Go Stalking! Fun with Social CRMs" -- when asked if she thought relationships really matter in social media, said:
I don't think they matter, I KNOW they matter. Relationships are what brings the "social" aspect to social media. Without them, you're just reading content or broadcasting, and that's not nearly as insightful. I think relationships matter to nonprofits because the better we know our constituents and treat them like friends, the more likely we can learn from them, improve our ways and earn their loyalty.
Research has shown, however, that the average person's brain can only manage about 150 quality relationships. How then can organizations manage the hundreds, if not tens of thousands, of relationships in the social media world?