Let’s dive in to Community Mapping! You might be an avid user of flickr, and love sharing photos. But that doesn’t mean all your volunteers are. Mapping your community helps you identify where everyone is, likes to be, and wants to engage with you. The Community Mapping exercise is most valuable when you can do it as a full organization or a team of people from across the departments. Plus - If you want to start listening to the community but not sure where they are, there’s a resources slide at the end of the presentation with a link to Build your own Listening Dashboard!
Step 1 – Identify all the groups within your community. As I said before the definitions, community is a huge, nebulous thing. To start mapping the community we need to first identify which groups are within it. Do you have volunteers, interns, or adjunct staff? Maybe you work with schools so you have segments for teachers, administrators, parents, students, and then groups outside of the school. Here are some questions that can help get people talking to start sharing the groups they work with. In my experience, the more diverse group you can get together to have this conversation and work through this planning together, the more complete a picture you can draw of your community. When people who work in services, programs, grant writing and fundraising, for example, all share their view of the groups in the community, not only can you start mapping the network but you can also have really rich discussions about the way different parts of your organization view the community.
The next step is to define the goals that match each group. There are two sets of goals to be discussed here: the first are the goals of that group – what do they want from you, why do they want to come to you, what do they get out of it? The second are the goals your organization has for that group – what are you hoping they will do, how will they contribute, what are you asking for from them? Again, this conversation can be really eye-opening as a part of building the community map, but also as far as encouraging dialogue within your organization and providing clarity around the organizational goals and the way they play out with the community engagement.
The third step is to identify the tools. This means identifying the spaces, platforms, and applications where each group congregates and where you can communicate with them. Even though much of these will be online social technologies, don’t forget about the offline spaces, too. Identifying the mechanisms you can use to communicate with each group can help you target your efforts, but in many cases illuminates areas where only one or a couple groups use a certain platform, while others use another – not only will this help you figure out where to say things, but can dramatically change what you say where.
Here’s what your Community Map could look like. If you’re doing this as a group in the office or at a retreat, you can use a whiteboard or a flip chart, or even have someone do it on their computer so long as everyone can see it in real-time with a projector or something. You’ll see there’s a column for each area we talked about: the groups first, then their goals, your goals, and finally the tools. I also have a template of this chart set up as a public google doc so you can use that link to get the template and save it to your computer for your own use. Before I move to the next section – does anyone have any questions?
Content planning! This is where we start to get a little bit more messy as we pull in even more data to make our plan. The questions on this slide are great questions to help you in your content planning. You’ll see as we work through this planning template how you can start to pull in or create answers to all these questions.
The first step is identifying all the content. Now, for this content map to be as valuable across your organization as possible, you want to be as specific as you can be with this section. I’ve listed some examples to get you started, but really think about all the various pieces of content you have. Instead of listing “blog posts,” instead, list what those blog posts are about: maybe job openings, volunteer opportunities, news about your work, examples of your services or people you have helped. New grants or new programs. There will probably be a lot of things to list. And that’s okay!
The next step focuses on goals. These goals should primarily come from the Community Map where you have two columns’ worth of goals and actions. There will be additional goals as well, but you do want to ensure that the goals you have already identified from the community map are included here. The additional goals could be things like, increase visibility, recruit new funders, find new staff or volunteers, etc.
The third step is listing all the possible outlets. Again, you can draw a lot of these from the community map, but you will probably find that this is an opportunity to be really specific, more specific than you were in the community map. For example, the community map may have identified facebook as a platform that one group uses. And in the content map you may list a facebook page as well as facebook events as you can create an event that’s tied to your page but publicizes and manages RSVPs for a one-time event.
Here’s an example of what your content map might look like. You’ll see that the goals and the content are listed on the left, and then along the right are all the various outlets. I like to use X, O and blank to denote that x=that content is always posted to that outlet; o=content is posted only if relevant; and blank=content is never posted to that outlet. You can use yes no maybe or any other set of indicators that work for you. Again, I’ve created this template as a public google doc so you can use that link to grab the template and save it to your own computer to use with your team. Before we go ahead with the metrics and tracking, does anyone have any questions?
The first step to getting valuable metrics is having access to analytics. I imagine many people on this webinar have used google analytics before or have it hooked up to your organization’s website now. You can use google analytics with a lot of other places you may be investing time and energy online, too! Including blogger and wordpress, wikispaces and even facebook. There are links on the resources slide for more information about how to get set up if you are interested. The point here is that even if the online space isn’t “yours” it is still a place you can and should feel empowered to track and measure.
In addition to creating a listening dashboard, you can use all kinds of tools to ensure you get alerted to important actions. These are just a few of the dozens of applications and companies out there. If you aren’t already using Google Alerts, then get started today! You can even set up google alerts as RSS feeds that are part of your listening dashboard! The one I recommend as well from this list is social mention, as it’s free and you can search for any key word or hashtag etc and see what’s happening across the web.
Here’s where the big template comes in. Even if you’re using google alerts and google analytics, you may not really be able to look at data over time in a critical way. You will have a good sense of where things are going or how people respond to content and actions, but tracking it like this means you can point to specific data to support your case. This template, like the others, is available at that link as a public google doc that you can save and reuse. It is not intended to be an end-all-be-all template, but it is designed to show you just how much you can be tracking. And get you thinking about where you may have more data points to add in. You’ll notice there are tabs for various platforms so that you can concentrate each view to one platform and measure points over time.
Thanks again to all of you for coming! Please feel free to connect with me online for more resources or conversation!
SOCIAL MEDIA DONE RIGHT IN JUST 30 MINUTES A DAY #SM4NP