The internet is a real powerhouse for groups and networks who now have the ability to reach much further than ever before. Many groups have no idea of the range of digital resources out there that are free and easy to use. Here’s a lowdown on how to focus your group on digital ways to spread the word.
Have a Plan
If you’re serious about getting things done, then the group needs a communications plan. In addition to postal mail, this should include a home on the Internet, email communications and social media. By having a plan you’ll be able to show some leadership, have a strategy and be clear about who does what in an organized manner. Your mailing list will need to be in order, but you’ll also need to focus on building both email and social media contacts.
Get Your Accounts
One of the first things to do to focus your group on digital is to have social media accounts specifically for your group. These are quick to create and generally are free. Make sure you have a Twitter account, Facebook group, Instagram and other relevant accounts established. This is where so many people get their information now. A web domain name is also vital right from the start for your website or blog. Once you get popular, if you haven’t secured a relevant web domain, you may find someone else has, and they will want to sell it to you at a hefty price. Most web site providers like WordPress.com, Square, Wix, etc. have tools for securing a domain name.
Hashtags are great for groups to use in social media as they immediately access a wider audience. Once a hashtag is inserted into a social media post it can be seen by anyone following that hashtag. It means people not following your group online can see the post and your message. When you have a group hashtag it promotes your work, however you can also join your work to existing hashtags to spread the news. A great example that worked well for a non-profit organization is the Make-A-Wish campaign using the hashtag #SFBatKid. This campaign ended up with 1.7 billion impressions on the hashtag and attracted the attention of Hollywood actors.
Train Group Members in Social Media
It’s worth spending time with group members to train them on how to use social media effectively. This’ll not only enlighten members about the power of social media but also make them all social media dynamos. Ensure that people avoid inappropriate posts as it can have repercussions for your work. Younger members can be ideal at training up more mature colleagues in these techniques.
Share Interesting Content Consistently
One way to build a following and get noticed is to consistently share material via social media and web pages. This gets people coming back and looking for more, attracting followers who are like-minded. Group members can take turns at producing content or working with someone else to do it. The beauty of social media is that it does not need to be detailed written material. You can use visuals like a photo with a caption or video. The Water Is Life campaign produced a powerful video based on first world problems while illustrating how important water is to everyone. They raised a significant sum of money for clean water campaigns by using digital technology in an innovative way.
Groups and networks who make the most of digital technology find it’s a powerful catalyst for making things happen. Don’t avoid this amazing channel just because you might not be experienced with it or aren’t great with computers. There’s a ton of resources out there to help you. Try searching “social media for beginners,” and similar phrases on Google or DuckDuckGo. You’ll be delighted to see how much clear, simple information is out there, and in no time you’ll be putting this enormous free tool to work for your group.
Main image: #WOCInTechChat