First, a huge THANK YOU to Josh Gordon of Josh Gordon Creative and John Smith of Milk Crate Studio for volunteering their time to teach seven excited HCGN folks all about social media and blogging. Here are some things we learned:
What is Social Media?
- Being social on the web
- Sharing comments, photos, events, etc.
What is this Facebook thing?
- A way to share information such as photos, events, and news with your networks
- Different types of sharing: Profiles (personal), Pages (business/community group- not personal), Groups (common interest or activity shared among facebook friends)
- So many member that Facebook would be the third largest country in the world
- Focus on personal information and having ‘friends’
Tweeting on Twitter?
- Messages can only have 140 characters (including spaces)
- Don’t need to share personal information. Can follow others or interact without needing to share details such as name or location.
- What do those symbols mean:
- @ (at symbol) targets message at someone (ie. If you add ‘@HCGN’ to a tweet it will show up on the HCGN twitter site separately for other tweets)
- # (hashtag or pound symbol) puts a tweet into a category or conversation.
- Can choose to ‘follow’ certain hashtags.
- Can make anything a hashtage and if enough people use it, it becomes a ‘trend’
- #FF = Follow Friday used in a tweet to recommend users your followers should follow each Friday
- #HamOnt = Hamilton, Ontario specific tweets
Why use these sites?
- Customer service – fast responses to questions
- Sharing pictures
- Documenting/Journal (private or public)
- Sharing knowledge
- Sharing opinions
- Following leaders in your profession or hobby
These are some other websites that provide tools for you to share quickly through one or more site.
- Hootsuite – share from multiple accounts including Facebook, Twitter and others, at the same time
- Timely.is – get a sense of the best time to send tweets and schedule them to be sent out later
- Bufferapp.com: Cannon for your tweets – loads up lots of tweets and schedule when they go off. Could set up tweets to go off during an event when you will be busy with other things.
What about Blogging?
- Sharing writing and/or photos and video, usually article base with a date and author
- Most are free
- Often people can comment or subscribe
- Good sites:
Why is this good for community projects?
- Quick and effective way to share cause without paper
- No printing flyers or designing posters
- Free services and advertising
- For a community group or business, it is good to connect a person to your social media outlets. For example, you can put details about who is sharing in your information section on twitter or personalize who posts on a blog.
- Don’t have time to be active every day all day? Post when you will available (ie. everyday from 10-11 we will respond to message) to avoid frustration or confusion.
- Don’t delete criticism, just address it.
- Don’t post it if you wouldn’t say it out loud. Even if you delete something, it can be shared and spread without your control.
- The same team or person should manage all different accounts – it’s all about consistency. For example, you don’t want Facebook up to date while twitter is years behind.
- Try to do at least one post up each day to stay current. Use tools like those mentioned above with scheduling options if you know you won’t have time to share in the coming days.
- Don’t neglect to have an e-mail and phone number, as well. Some people will never use these tools but they shouldn’t be excluded from your group. In addition, some people may use them but not be interested in joining a group or page. For an event or community group, always have an e-mail and/or phone number for supporters to choose from.
- If you need to keep a tight leash on things and not allow users to post or comment on your profile it does remove some benefits but still shows you are current and allows others to easily share updates about your group.
Do you have tips or advice for using social media and blogs? Share them in the comments section!