For many organizations, the ongoing pandemic has not only brought to light new issues that needed to be raised and lobbied; it's also presented a whole new way of cultivating relationships with stakeholders. As highlighted in our previous post, with events being canceled left and right in observance of social distancing protocols, ‘Nonprofits in the Current Chaotic Time’ have to find a safer, more creative way to foster, maintain, and create relationships.
This challenge is not isolated to nonprofits. In fact, with the crisis affecting the way people normally network it is growing more and more important for all kinds of organizations to be aware of the changes that have impacted networking this year. To help keep you updated, here are some of them:
Virtual events are more popular than ever
Even before the pandemic started, applications that enabled virtual events and meetings were already being used by organizations around the world – albeit sparingly. These days with friction points still being limited whenever possible, virtual events that utilize cutting edge technology are more popular than ever before. Aside from allowing get-togethers to persist, virtual events also enable organizations to have greater audience reach, provide opportunities for brand strategy improvement and permit the speedy collection of valuable data that often contains valuable insights. With virtual events slowly becoming the norm, VentureBeat advises organizations who are planning to initiate one to focus on building an agenda, finding an appropriate tool, and keeping things engaging throughout the event.
Building online relationships is key
Through the years, social media platforms have successfully evolved from merely helping family and friends stay connected to allowing brands to connect with clients and advertise directly. This new reality, in addition to the growing number of people engaged in social media one way or another, makes it incredibly important for organizations to build online relationships. To successfully turn these online relationships into meaningful ones, organizations must zoom in on actively engaging with posts and messages from others. It would also be a good idea to create relevant and informative content that can stir healthy discussions. Ayima Hong Kong’s Kickstart campaign details how content, SEO, and link development can potentially boost your brand’s overall reputation by becoming an instrumental tool in building your network further by targeting specific audiences. By creating engaging, and informative content, you'll be able to connect and network with more people and create a larger following online. People want to engage with brands, especially with a non-profit, and if your site has content that aligns with their interests they will more likely make an active move to support your goals.
Creativity and authenticity are encouraged
Networking has come a long way. Gone are the days in which networking events were excessively formal, entirely business-like, and highly strategic. These days, people crave more creativity and authenticity. Bearing that in mind, it would be in the best interest of your organization to build networking events around engaging, timely and relatable ideas. Try asking questions that will start a dialogue and allow your nonprofit to engage with others on a deeper level. An article by Forbes also detailed how now is the perfect time for organizations to come together (virtually, of course) and work with one another to pool resources and inspire creative problem-solving.
The events of 2020 have transformed how non-profits and organizations operate. Yet, using the right tools and practices it is still possible to build and maintain an effective network to build your brand.