Guest Blog: Manage your Online Brand – Or Others Will!



It is now 2014 and I’m astonished when I continue to hear nonprofit/voluntary sector leaders say the following about building their online brand:

  • “I don’t trust it. It could be damaging”
  • “How do we control what people will say?”
  • “I doubt anyone will listen to what I have to say”
  • “How do we know anyone is even listening?”
  • “I just don’t have the time for that stuff”
  • “I’m not a techie”
  • “It’s better to be safe than sorry”

Make no mistake, whatever online tool people choose, they are commenting on the experience they had interacting with your organization and you are missing the opportunity to leverage their energy… whether it’s positive or negative.

Are you going to let others define your online brand?

Real World Example: @stats_canada (twitter)

Upon seeing that Statistics Canada has a twitter feed, I became very excited. I was poised to receive an unending stream of interesting stats pulled from real Statistics Canada data that I could use to impress my friends and family. However, after reading the tweets more carefully, I realized the twitter feed was satirical and likely not created by Statistics Canada at all.

How could Statistics Canada have been so far behind the curve to allow their brand to be co-opted on such a powerful social media platform?

My Suggestion: take some time to do some google searches of your organization’s name and try to include any variation you can summon. Take note of where people are talking about your organization and what they are saying. What does it say about your online brand if you find nothing beyond your own Facebook posts? Perhaps you’re being safe…rather than sorry.


Darcy McDonald , The Social Margin