Social Media is a Big Waste of Time | npENGAGE

Social Media is a Big Waste of Time

By on Jul 10, 2009


That's right, I said it. You've all been thinking it. Admit it. A lot of time is spent these days talking about social media and working on social media. But is it all just a big waste of time?

Social media is a big waste of your organization's time if…

  • You haven't clearly defined the audience you're trying to engage
  • You don't have a clear goals for what you want them to do
  • You aren't measuring what people are doing or responding to
  • You haven't defined success and what the value of it is
  • You are only doing this because someone else told you to

Time is probably the most precious resource in the universe. They aren't making any more of it. And organizations are always trying to find ways to do more with less.

If you aren't being focused, goal oriented, measurement minded, and doing it for the right valuable reasons, then your time might be best spent on other endeavors.


Steve MacLaughlin is the Vice President of Data & Analytics at Blackbaud and bestselling author of Data Driven Nonprofits.

MacLaughlin has been featured as a fundraising and nonprofit expert in many mainstream publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, USA Today, The NonProfit Times, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Bloomberg, and has appeared on NPR.

He is a frequent speaker at events including the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), American Marketing Association (AMA), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Direct Marketing Fundraisers Association (DMFA), Giving Institute Summer Symposium, National Association of Independent School (NAIS), Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC), Institute of Fundraising National Convention (United Kingdom), Civil Society Conference (Netherlands), International Fundraising Congress (Netherlands), Ask Direct Fundraising Summer School (Ireland), and a keynote speaker at several conferences across the social good sector.

Steve previously served on the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) Board of Directors and is currently an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University.

He is a frequent blogger, published author of a chapter in the book People to People Fundraising: Social Networking and Web 2.0 for Charities, and is a co-editor of the book Internet Management for Nonprofits: Strategies, Tools & Trade Secrets. His latest book, Data Driven Nonprofits, became a bestseller in 2016.

Steve earned both his undergraduate degree and a Master of Science degree in Interactive Media from Indiana University.

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