How to turn slacktivists into activists with social media

From Mashable: Social media provides a new first step on the engagement ladder. The methodology of approaching stakeholders and encouraging them to take deeper actions requires acceptance of their current level of activism, and well-crafted approaches towards deeper commitment.

“There are some slacktivists that will become fundraisers, but if you are messaging correctly, they will mostly self-select,” said Dan Morrison, CEO and Founder of Citizen Effect. “But the fastest way to lose slacktivists is to ask them [to do] what they hate doing the most — getting off their butt and [doing] something. My advice? Send out great content targeted at recruiting more fundraisers and driving people to donate, and empower the slacktivists to spread the word for you.”

“It is important to know how to meet people where they are at, and craft your conversation starters and calls to action appropriately so as to match the specific interest and commitment,” said Beth Kanter, co-author of The Networked Nonprofit.  “Organizations need to have good processes and strategies for stewarding people toward ever higher levels of engagement with their causes and campaigns.”

Activist behavior and attitudes on social networks challenge non-profits to deploy new forms of engagement. Instead of simple “donate now” links, non-profits must create meaningful and repeatable ways for activists to take small action steps and foster long-term relationship development.

“Nobody joins these ‘I bet this potato can get more fans than seal clubbers’ type groups so that they can be involved in the group,” said Lewis. “They join them to make a statement. Facebook Causes is similar. Yes, some non-profits including us are raising real money. But its more about showing the world you believe in something, and showing your support.”

“Don’t focus on asking them to give, focus on asking them to retweet any and everything you tweet, post on their wall, forward e-mails, etc.,” said Morrison. “Focus on that, because that fits in their behavior pattern. Now, every once in a while, you can make a [money] appeal [to] the ones that [send] you a signal that they may be emerging from slacktivism.  If you build a relationship with them, they will naturally graduate up the value chain. You can give them a nudge, but trying to force them will make them leave in droves.”

[Read full article on Mashable…]