Sustainability & SocialMediaImproving communityengagement by creating adigital community of practice.
What is Sustainability?Sustainability is the capacity to endure, ithas environmental; economic, andsocial dimensions.It is also the responsible management ofresource use.
Sustainability is more than just a ‘buzz’ word.In ecology the word describes howbiological systems remain diverse andproductive over time.In humans and communities , sustainability isthe potential for long-term maintenance ofwell being; which has ecological, economic,educational, political and culturaldimensions.
Communities Of PracticeA community of practice is the comingtogether of groups of people who sharea common interest, goal or sharedidentity, in order to participate incollective learning or discourse.
Digital C.o.P• By using social media, and online resourcesor tools we can create a digital community ofpractice.• This should not only increase communityengagement and lead to improvedsustainability, but will also allowpractitioners and community members tohave a greater understanding of theircommunity; characteristics, orientation, andcurrent configuration (Wenger et al. 2013)
Social media.There are hundreds of differentsocial media sites too many tocover in one document so for thepurpose of this piece I willconcentrate on the two largestsites. Facebook and Twitter• www.facebook.com• www.twitter.com
If a community group establishes a Facebookpage and Twitter account then invites currentmembers and other groups that they workwith in partnership to join these pages theyhave taken the first step into socialnetworking.One of the principle benefits to using thismedium is that it is already familiartechnology to many staff members thusreducing the need for training which in turnreduces costs and supports sustainability.
Going viralViral advertising is the use of social networkingsites like Facebook and Twitter to informcommunity members of available services,upcoming events, timetable changes……etcThese sites can be updated in real time by theadministrators, and information, surveys orfeed back forums can be accessed bymembers 24/7 and in many cases in anylocation via mobile technology such assmart-phones, laptops or ipads.
Going viralNow the average Facebook user has around200 hundred friends although communitygroups and organisations can reach well inexcess of these numbers.For example ‘The Only Way Is Coatbridge’Facebook group has 16,827 likes · 23,044talking about it!That’s the equivalent of nearly half of the townliking the page and more than half of themdiscussing or sharing articles from it.
It’s good to share.How many times have you been trying todecide whether or not to watch a movieand so you ask a mate? And based onyour mates review or recommendationyou make your decision, viraladvertising employs that principle.
It’s good to share• Community members and practitioners can engage with oneanother in an online environment which allows them to shareand link various media resources. (see examples below)• Image http://tinyurl.com/c87k2yd (picture of a communitynotice board)• Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-eVF_G_p-Y (I WillNot Let An Exam Result Decide My Fate||Spoken Word poetry)• Musichttp://soundcloud.com/search?q%5Bfulltext%5D=community(community themed tracks on soundcloud)• Fund raising www.gofundme.com/9s44g (Successfulcampaign to provide a specialised wheelchair this wasachieved in less than a week thanks to viral advertising andsocial media)
Tips to boost engagement1. Posting between 8am and 7pm will receive 20% moreengagement than posting at other times2. Wednesdays and Sundays are the best days to post on yourcommunity Facebook or Twitter pages.3. Posting 3 or 4 quality materials will receive more likes andcomments than posting more often with lower quality.4. If you use 80 characters or less, there is a 66% higherengagement than longer posts5. If you ask questions, you are both inviting engagement andgiving them a prompt to help them get started. The key is toask questions that your members will care enough about( This is where your knowledge of the community will comein handy but also this will help you gain a betterunderstanding of your community as it evolves and grows)
Tips to Boost Enagement6. Fill in the blank posts are 9 times more effective thanregular posts.7. Keep it simple; don’t overwhelm your members withtoo much complicated information.8. Members may want to learn more about you andwhat you have to offer – but they want to talkabout themselves, they need to feel that they canrelate to the topic.9. Use images in your Facebook posts to tell a story,catching users’ eyes as they scroll through theirFacebook feed, and as a launching point forconversations.10. Keep it topical, don’t be afraid to use current eventsas a way of engaging.
When posting on social media it is important to be funand dynamic as well as informative or educational. Itis ok to post a funny picture that you have comeacross on the internet, but it will promoteengagement if you ask people to share a funnypicture they have found or even have a captioncontest.Keeping posts shorter will allow members to read themin full as they scroll through their timeline. If you areposting a link to another site, article or video give abrief description beside the url.Remember however that when posting on yourcommunity Facebook or Twitter that you are thehuman personification of the organisation.
• Be Bold• Be Creative• Be responsive• Be dynamic• Be human
Online resources and toolsVideo sharinghttp://youtube.comSurveys- http://www.surveymonkey.com/Online petitions http://www.change.org/en-GBProject fund raisinghttp://www.kickstarter.com/Charity fund raisinghttp://www.gofundme.com/Free-Cycling http://www.freecycle.org/Image sharing http://www.instagram.com/Podcastinghttp://www.moozi.ccPresentations http://www.slideshare.net