New Friends...Old Friends, We're All Friends Here

Remember that old folk song you used to sing around the campfire?
Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold.
A circle is round, it has no end. That's how long, I will be your friend.

Perhaps, like me, you spend your mornings (or afternoons, or evenings) napping...I mean.... checking your Facebook and Twitter accounts. And if you are like me, you like to see how many new pack members, friends and followers you have. It’s easy to get caught up in the race to have the best online social media outreach. But, remember all those "other" friends and followers you already have? I’m talking about those “offline” ones. The ones who come to your annual event every year. The ones who send you a check with every holiday mail appeal. The ones that give you a nice basket of bone shaped chew toys on your birth-...wait...what? Not everyone likes chew toys for their birthday? Noted.

When a new trend emerges, it seems past trends are proclaimed to be dead or dying. In fundraising, this couldn’t be further from the truth. As new ideas emerge, a past successful strategy is a foundation that can be further enhanced, rather than replaced, by the new one.

Organizations (read: yours) need to consider the balance that can exist in your overall marketing strategies. Replacing an already successful annual event with a Twitter promotion might not get you the results you are looking for. And scrapping your advertising budget for “free” Facebook promotion might seem like a great way to slash your expenses, but your returns could be slashed just as easily. 

A better strategy is to use new media to enhance your already-successful strategies. Integrate a Twitter promotion into your annual event. Using hashtags to promote an event or cause of yours gets an easily trackable Twitter conversation going between you and those interested in the cause. Use your traditional advertising to drive the public to your Facebook profile. The best strategies have online and offline components to it.

"Ol reliable" friends are too valuable to leave behind in the race to jump on the next trend bandwagon. Keep them all in your circle by finding a nice balance for the new and tried and true. Finding that balance that works for you may take some effort, but you will be able to make new friends and keep the old.

So, how are you balancing your new and old media friends?



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