- Mon, June 04 2012
- Filed under: Social networking and web 2.0
I get asked how to do this all the time. It’s an important question in an era when charity rating sites allow reviews of nonprofits and anyone can proffer opinions good and bad online.
A recent post by Inkling Media did a great job answering. Ken Mueller listed bad ways to try to solicit good reviews. I agree all of them are to be avoided. He also shared a tip on the right way to do this. I recommend subscribing to his blog. I do, and it’s very good.
1. Doing it yourself - pretending to be a fan of your organization online. This is horrible, and it has caused real pain when the inevitable truth comes out. It always does. DO NOT DO THIS. EVER. If you ask your best friend or consultant to do it for you, have them disclose who they are. Keep it honest.
2. Paying someone to do it. Sleazy. If anyone were to find out, it would really hurt your reputation. The toll on your brand would far outweigh any small gain from a fake plaudit.
3. Bribing—Offering people blatant incentives to go post a review. Or offering a quid pro quo. (I’ll say nice things about your charity if you do the same for me.)
So what are good ways? Ken says there is only one and I AGREE. He says, do your job well and encourage reviews.
I’ll give you some examples that I’ve done myself.
1. Someone writes you or comes up to you and says, “I love your organization.” When this happens to me, I say thanks and ask if they’d be willing to post that online. Or if I ask if I could share their quote as a testimonial on my website.
2. Someone donates because they love you. On the donation thank-you page on your site, include social sharing links so people can spread the word.
3. In your outreach, note if you’re listed on Guidestar, Great Nonprofits and Charity Navigator and that those sites invite charity reviews. Your supporters may not know about that, and if they love you, they might take the time to post a review. If they’re annoyed, they may do the same. So be prepared for all forms of feedback! I’ll post on that later this week. Stay tuned.