These rings are true whether you are talking about an organization or an individual. You can put yourself in the gray circle.
Community – These are people you can share with directly. You know them, you know how to reach them. You probably even know what they like, think, do.
To reach the network with a message, it needs to go through someone in the community. Phone tag.
The crowd is really the rest of the world, at the largest scope, but usually seen as all those in the city or region or topic area you wish you could talk to but don’t have a connection to yet.
The way we communicate with each layer, and what we communicate, is different.
For many people and organizations, our natural instinct is to try to map it all out, create our PLAN for how it will all go. Unfortunately, working with communities is rarely straightforward and simple. The benefit, though, is that even though it isn’t going to go exactly to plan, you can make some assumptions and some estimates because, after all, you do know these people and you can ask them for feedback directly.
Working with the crowd on the other hand, means you could end up with way too many voices for anyone to really feel satisfied. Most often, connecting with the crowd takes the form of crowdsourcing. Is anyone familiar with that term? Crowdsourcing means putting out an end-product or output to the greater public and letting people respond. This could mean a contest for a new logo or a new application, or it could mean launching a public search for a campaign video, etc. Ultimately, in order for most crowd engagement to “work”, you have to pick a judge.
For many individuals looking to manage engagement on social tools alone, scale is really an issue. Focusing on your community first means you can treat the unique flowers directly. The big crowd is tempting, but if you don’t have the capacity to maintain it, you can be in for trouble.
Sometimes what you want to do and the tools at your disposal just don’t match. Sometimes that means focusing on the crowd. It isn’t right for every project or process. Especially when you need things to be very specific or follow tight criteria, you are working very quickly or flexibly where communication with the crowd could be difficult or time consuming (or even confusing), and when you already know what you want (be honest). Focusing on the crowd, especially if you are just one person, can be unrealistic simply from your level of capacity.
It is best to focus on the people and groups in your community first, but engage in a public space – that way you can make a great space for those already connected and engaged while still inviting others to join you.
There are a few elements to engaging with your community and the crowd that are important to think about as they impact your strategies and content.
The first is time: Do you want to communicate just once, or do you want to have a long-term conversation. One time or sustained. Community wants to be your long-term, sustained relationship. The crowd doesn’t know you, though, so a one-time piece of content is easier to pay attention to, absorb, react to, and possibly even share.
The next is action: is your ask or offer something passive or active? The community is interested in taking action for you, but the crowd doesn’t necessarily know you or trust you so something passive like learning more, watching a short video, or reading an article is must more appealing – especially when it is something that could help or interest them, whether or not they are interested in you.
The last element is the audience. If you are trying to connect with only the community, you may not even need to interact in public. If you are trying to reach only the crowd, then your strategies are going to be dramatically different. You also have the option of a hybrid, as I mentioned before, where you may focus on the community, but provide opportunities for the crowd to see and join.
Now that you know who you want to talk to, and maybe even how, let’s talk about the content – the what part!
When it comes to creating great content, there are four important elements, especially with social media. You’ll notice that the goal is in the middle of all three because it is always the core of your success and the first step in any decision. The people you want to talk to are closely connected to the goal and if one changes, the other may react. Your tools are defined both by the goal of what you want to do, but also by the people – are they tools that that audience uses and likes? And the content – is that a platform or application that supports that kind of content? Similarly, the content is defined by the goal, but also by the tools at your disposal and the people who will consume it.
So, what is the content you want to share? Do you want to be sharing what you know and learn with other volunteers? Inspiring and recruiting your friends to volunteer with you? Or are you trying to promote the organization? Maybe even using these tools to document and share back with the organization all that you’re doing. What you want to be doing with your voice and story via social media will shape the tools and content. Anyone in here want to share what you are now or want to start doing?
Many people think of social media as something that exists in their browser when they are looking at facebook. But social media can be many things.
I want to share a few tips and tracks for using twitter, facebook, and linked in to share content and engage your community.
Replies to bring people into conversation
Twitter specific tools – twitalyzer for analytics, 14blocks for best time to tweet, hashtags to learn about hashtags, storify to compile tweets, URL shorteners, tweetdeck/hootsuite to manage and schedule etc.
Track content people respond to.
Images drive traffic on facebook and are prioritized in newsfeed.
Facebook tools – edgerank for newsfeed ranking, booshaka ranks engagement, use the app from your phone, can post to facebook while posting to twitter, hold a live chat.
Great subgroups to stay connected to the org but focus on a topic, project, or local area.
Share messages to your contacts with location or sector specific options.
Can connect apps to linkedin like slideshare for presentations, blogs, etc.
Mastering social networking as a volunteer
MASTERING SOCIAL NETWORKING AS A VOLUNTEER @NewYorkCares #Lead2012
AGENDA <ul><li>Connecting with the Community & Crowd </li></ul><ul><li>Creating Great Content </li></ul><ul><li>Strategies for Building Buzz </li></ul><ul><li>Questions & Discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul>
YOUR STORY <ul><li>Sharing your knowledge and experience with other volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Inspiring your friends & family to join you </li></ul><ul><li>Showcasing your work/organization to the crowd </li></ul><ul><li>Reporting your contributions to NYCares </li></ul>
YOUR TOOLS <ul><li>Phone </li></ul><ul><li>Computer </li></ul><ul><li>Software (open source options for most everything you may need) </li></ul><ul><li>Social networks </li></ul>