As I prepare for my departure from the Network, I wanted to pass along my knowledge from launching and maintaining our campaigns on social media. Before I dive in I wanted to point out that LGBT individuals are more likely to use social media than the general population. With that being said, here is the preview for my social media webinar being held on Wednesday June 30th at 12pm EST! (Register here…)
1) Twitter: This was the network’s first bout with social media outside emails to our discussion listserv and newsletters. Twitter is a site that allows you to post quick updates of 140 characters or less (or what is also known as a “tweet”). Its a great promotion tool to disperse information to a wide array of individuals. You can also link to articles, parts of your website, or other messages from people who’s tweets you follow. There are different tools to magnify the productivity of twitter, such as hootsuite.com which allows you to post tweets immediately or schedule them for a future date.
2) Facebook: Personally, I believe that Facebook is the most widely used and easily accessible social media tool out there. Last fall it was suggested it would be the 4th largest country in the world if it was a nation. A malleable medium, Facebook has multiple applications to magnify your page and encourage your friends to interact with you on your account. I have to say that looking back since our Facebook’s inception in October, about 75% of our members (guess-estimation) have not been active with the network prior to our facebook, so its a great way to incorporate individuals not usually familar with your organization. Some other hints:
You can link your twitter account to your facebook status. This has mixed pros and cons because while you can hit two different mediums with one update, if you use twitter talk in your facebook status it might not be as welcoming or targeted.
While the Network does have a friend page, having a fan page for your organization allows you to receive weekly updates from Facebook on page traffic including number of views and new members. With the new realm of social media changing and altering so frequently, its quite hard to evaluate these mediums overall so the more data you can collect to show oomph the better!
3) Blog: Sites such as blogger and wordpress are online publishing tools. The network uses their blog to highlight new resources and stories that surround LGBT tobacco control. My experience has been that Facebook has more online traffic than a blog. That doesn’t mean blogging should be ignored however! My suggestion? Post any blogs you have in your Facebook status. This allows you to get your information out there to audiences that might not usually be exposed to your information (e.g., twitter followers who might not read blogs regularly). You can shorten the web URLs by using sites such as tinyurl.com and bit.ly.
Youtube is great for uploading videos to put in your blog or facebook. As an individual medium it does not get as much traffic as the other sites, but it can add some flair to your other multimedia venues.
In conclusion, each of these social mediums have pros and cons in their use. I found this really cool rundown of the vast influence of social media on the masses.
Thanks for reading, and hope that you will join us (register here for call-in information) on June 30th at 12pm EST to learn more!