What Batman quotes can teach us about nonprofit social media

Be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Always be Batman.

Be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Always be Batman.

In honor of the release of The Dark Knight Rises this weekend, I thought we could have a little fun with quotes from various Batman movies. What can Batman (and his rogues gallery) teach us about nonprofit social media?

"Why so serious?" (The Dark Knight) Don't take yourself too seriously! It's OK to laugh at yourself - and your organization - on social media once in awhile. Humor is "sticky" and can help you spread your message - if it's handled well.

"Riddle me this…" (Every appearance of The Riddler, ever) People love mysteries and secrets. They like to be part of an "in-club." They like to solve puzzles. They like having their curiosity piqued. Tease good news with some hints in advance once in awhile, or give your community a puzzle to solve for a prize, to increase engagement and curiosity.

"Sometimes you just can't get rid of a bomb!" (Batman - 1966) With social media comes the joy of dealing with people posting negative things about your organization (AKA "trolls"). And they can be awfully persistent. Trolls must be dealt with occasionally, and the best way to do it is to either block them (if they're abusive), talk to them offline or via private message (if they have legitimate complaints or could be reasoned with) or ignore them (if they're not causing any real harm, or your community is stepping up on your behalf). But you'll never be rid of them forever, so just have a plan in place for how to deal with them.

"Wanna know how I got these scars?" (The Dark Knight) Be transparent. When you mess up, be honest about it. If you handle it well, it'll pay off. If you handle it poorly, you will lose the trust of your community.

"Where does he get those wonderful toys?" (Batman - 1989) Social media monitoring and publishing tools are your friend. Obviously, we're partial to Thrive, but there are a number of solutions out there that will help you track which posts are more successful than others, so you can replicate your successes and avoid repeating messages that don't stick.

"There's a storm coming, Mr. Wayne…" (The Dark Knight Rises) Prepare for crisis. Have a plan in place for when things might go wrong, and know who is responsible for saying what and when. In our one-minute-news-cycle culture, you have to respond immediately or, again, losing trust in your community.