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“Real conversation and reconciliation”


I read an interesting quotation from a recent interview with Hillary Clinton.  Per Mashable:

The former Secretary of State also laid out some lofty expectations for the future of social media, an area she hopes will mature over time. “We have a lot of people communicating, but they’re not listening and they’re not looking for common ground that they could occupy together,” she said. “It is a fact of social media right now that too often people use it as a weapon instead of an opportunity.”

Clinton added that she hopes people will someday use social media for “real conversation” and “reconciliation,” and not just for arguing and bickering over differences.


I follow many OPOs and non-profits related to donation and transplantation across social media. Here are  the things I have noticed:  Everyone has competent people tweeting/posting. That’s great! No big hiccups (though, if you are cross-posting your Facebook status updates as “fb.me…” links to Twitter, PLEASE STOP–you know who you are).

Yet, I notice a serious deficit. Those of us who run social media accounts are not always listening and, even more bothersome, not engaging.

How many times in a month does your OPO post the same “myth” or “fact” statement, and get zero favorites, comments, retweets?

A lot. I know, because sometimes I count. The answer to that question is A WHOLE LOT.

If you and your organization want to influence and persuade people who are NOT registered, what do you need to do? Do you repeat the same posts and hope against hope that those posts somehow mysteriously, ephemerally, leave the circle of your die-hard supporters and make it out into the wild world beyond your followers?

Is that working for you?

Are you getting the results you want as you post, re-post, and re-re-post the same information that is NOT getting likes, shares, re-tweets, and comments?


Could you post to inquire, discuss, and engage with the people who ARE NOT in agreement (yet) with donation and transplantation?

Could you listen to their reasons for not registering, and engage in civil and productive discourse that might lead to more registrations and more awareness?

Could you seek conversation and reconciliation by engaging OTHERS, not just your die-hard, supportive audience?

I have described the Twitter experience (on more than one occasion) as millions of people shouting in a room with no one listening. BE THE FIRST ONE TO LISTEN. That would be an innovation in social media for OPOs! Start actual conversations on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Alignable, etc. If you ask a question, respond to every response! If you want real feedback, ask for it and use it and engage with it.

Actual conversations, where the dialog goes both ways, would be a massive change for our field. Instead of thinking “I posted at optimal frequency for all of our social media platforms!” (<—please do not reach for goals like this), try “I posted/replied/engaged XXX number of people who are NOT generally engaged with us today!”.

Are you starting conversations, or shouting in a loud and crowded room? Can you be the first to listen, and, in doing so, reconcile?

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