by Gustavo Torrez
Program Manager, Network for LGBT Health Equity
A project of The Fenway Institute in Boston, MA
Reporting from Netroots Nation, Minneapolis MN
As you may know two major goals of the Networks are to link people and information. Utilizing social media has allowed us to expand our reach and do just that, BUT in real time. There are so many tools out there to help us utilize social media in our every day efforts to help us expand our reach.
One rule that was talked about today takes us back to the age old saying “its about quality not quantity” and that saying applies to the use of social media quite well. When we look at measuring our reach we consistently hear people asking well how many followers/fans/friends do you have. I feel we base our reach by the amount of followers/fans/friends and by doing this we miss the boat. The presenter was talking about what is an effective measure of your reach and made some great points. Sure you might have 10,000K+ followers/Friends/Likes but that does not effectively measure your reach. It’s more than that, the true measure is the amount of views, post likes, shares, mentions, retweets etc…that you may have. I completely agree with this, we don’t have to have a lot of followers/friends/fans to be effective. The people that are sharing our information are the ones that we truly look for. They are the ones expanding our reach to their networks…
The presenter was also talking about growing your network and said we should “allow your network to grow organically”. I fell it becomes that friend of a friend philosophy, we trust and have more confidents in a good reference. In addition, if people like your product and the information they receive they will be more incline to share your info and talk about your work.
Another point the presenter made summed up social media in one phrase “social media is about being social”. Its important to be human by respond and interacting with people on social media sites. Yes, this can be time consuming but it’s about finding a balance to effectively reach your audience. Additionally, the presenter made a great point about sharing what other are doing…. Cross post information, if it aligns with your mission, goals, etc share it on your page. Sharing what others are doing on your sites is another great way to expanding your reach and build relationships with other organizations etc.
Beside some of this great information there were some great tools shared today. Below you will find some great resources to assist you in your social media efforts.
Bit.ly – This site offers customized URL shortening for free. We all know that if we link to a page on our website it ends up being super long, but if we want to share the link on twitter we would exceed our charters plus some. So copying and pasting your URL into the bit.ly URL generator you can get a shortned URL. You can even take what they give you and customize it to match your campaign by clicking the customize tab right under your new URL.
Act.ly – this site is a free online twitter petition tool. Sign up and launch your petition I just learned about this resource and it seem like a must do. From my understanding you can not only keep track of who retweets you but you get a map of where people are signing your petition.
Twitalyzer.com – this site can tell you how many people you reach in Twitter and exactly when you need to be active to reach them. Not only that, Twitalyzer knows who is in your social network and we know where they live, allowing you to be more targeted in your outreach efforts.
Lastly Thrivesocialmedia.com. At Thrive they work to build social media systems that work for you. The will begin with an analysis of the programs unique value-proposition, who your are targeting and how those individuals can best be reached. After the initial analysis they create the resources needed and a plan for success using cutting edge technology and services like blogs, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Well I think that is enough for now, but I can assure you I will be back with more tools and resources soon…