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Twitter: The 3 Bucket Rule

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Deontae Moore 

If you’ve participated in any of our social media trainings, you’ve probably come across this idea of the 3 buckets. While we try to consider this module for all social media platforms, it’s best practice comes from Twitter.

What does the 3 bucket rule mean?

The “3 Bucket Rule will spur you to a better understanding of what you need to do on social media if your organization needs to develop content.

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The “Me” Bucket

You’ve probably already mastered this one. It’s the self-promotion bucket. You create content that talks about your organization (or brand) and pretty much nothing else. This is fine because you should use social media to tell people who you are and what you are doing. But you do not want everything to be centered around you. However, you still need to tell your story and make sure you’re bringing awareness to your organization – that’s understandable. Consider posting a few times for things you’re doing all while eliminating any signs of the “screaming me-mes.”

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The “Me + Community” Bucket

You want to promote organizations doing what you’re doing or highlight any partner organizations you work with. Doing this builds you as an asset and also gives you content. This bucket also suggest that you share news related to what you do. This is purposely done to make you appear credible and to position your organization as a reliable resource.

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The “Me + People” Bucket

Who are your people? People make up an organization. So, this bucket is essentially to give your organization a human face. You want the personalities of your people to shine through to your organization’s account. It makes your content relatable, authentic and offers a human element to your Twitter account. Retweet some of the things your president or marketing director is saying on their Twitter account – make your audience get a sense of who you are. Content that tends to do best on social media is behind the scenes material – so capitalize on this notion.

We credit the bucket rule to Ms. Amy Guth, a phenomenal communicator. Follow her on Twitter (@amyguth)

Deontae Moore is the Marketing & Digital Media Manager at Community Media Workshop. You can follow him on Twitter here

So, Your Boss Wants to Use Facebook…

Well, here’s a little Facebook 101 to get them started.

Long gone are the days when Facebook was solely for personal use to keep in touch with classmates, friends and family. Now, many nonprofits, brands, and small businesses are using Facebook’s platform to reach their audience. Here at the Workshop, Facebook is a tool we use constantly in our online communications plan to reach our audience, nonprofit communicators. Community Media Workshop has a Facebook fan page for the organization, which allows our co-founder and staff to keep their Facebook profiles separate and for private use. Many founders and executive directors at nonprofits may want to use their Facebook profile on behalf of the organization, however, this is not recommended. Instead, create a Facebook fan page for the organization.

Our resident social media experts are often asked, “what is the difference between a Facebook profile and a page?” Even though it can seem complicated, especially to someone who is new to Facebook, the answer can be put simply: a profile belongs to a person, and a page belongs to an organization or entity, like a nonprofit (and even a cause or a brand).

You can only have one Facebook profile – ’cause there’s only one you 😉

A Facebook profile is your personal “home” on the site where you connect with “friends” and post personal information about yourself including photos and status updates. “Friends” are the profiles of people you allow to view and interact with your profile, and in turn they allow you to view and interact with their profile. Friends will then see updates from your profile in their news feed and you will see their updates in your own news feed. On your profile you can only add 5000 friends. However, you can “follow” a person, which allows you to view any posts that they make public.

A Facebook page is essentially a fan page. You can make pages for your nonprofit, products and services, causes, your favorite band or TV show, and so on. When you create a fan page, fans must click “Like” in order to view updates and interact with the fan page. This is a great way for nonprofits to promote their cause, events, and connect with donors and volunteers.

Profiles and fan pages can tie into one another. At the Workshop, each staff member has a Facebook profile, which we use to log into Facebook and manage the organization’s page as an administrator. This means even though we are logging in with our personal profile information we are choosing to use Facebook as an administrator for Community Media Workshop’s fan page.  Did I confuse you? Sorry, there will be a part two, stay tuned.  In the meantime, sign up for our Social Media 101 training coming up on September 28th. And, enjoy this video that elaborates more on Facebook profiles vs. pages.

 

Post by DeAnndra Bunch

Storytelling with Storify

Guest post by Community Media Workshop board member Teresa Puente

Looking for an innovative way to tell a story?

Try Storify.

Storify uses social media to curate and create stories.

You pull publicly available information from Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram and You Tube. You also can paste a link from anything you find in the web and post it on Storify.

You can pick a topic that is in the news, such as a recent protest, sporting event or anything sources have posted content about on the social media networks.

Or you can create a Storify on an issue that your nonprofit is following. Say you have an event or press conference. You can take photos, videos, tweets or stories from that event and create a Storify of the event itself, of news media coverage of the event or a combination of the two.

Here is how you start:

Login with your Twitter account.

Write a headline for your Storify.

In the box below you can write a lede or a summary.

You build a Storify by using key words or hashtags (#) to search topics on the right.

Drag the content you want to use into the left space. This is where you build your Storify.

Also note that you can write mini text blocks in between each item you curate. You can use this for captions or add additional information about the social media content.

You may want a total of eight to 10 items in your Storify. Make sure there is a balance of tweets, Facebook posts, photos, video an text.

Then you publish your piece. You can share it with others on Twitter. People also can follow you on Storify.

Many news organizations and bloggers are using Storify as a storytelling tool. Once your Storify is published you can share the link or embed it on a blog or website.

It’s a great way to aggregate and curate content as well as share your original content that you have posted on the various social media networks.

See my video tutorial here:

 

Teresa Puente, author of “Chicanísima” blog on the ChicagoNow network is founder of “Latina Voices.com.” A veteran journalist, she is also an Associate Professor of Journalism at Columbia College Chicago and a long-standing board member of Community Media Workshop. Follow her tweets @tcpuente

Internship Tales: My Summer as a New Media Intern at the Community Media Workshop

Guest post by Community Media Workshop new media intern Lucia Anaya

When I began working at Community Media Workshop this summer as a new media intern I was looking to improve my web and social media skills. I had prior experience posting to content management systems (CMS), as well as posting on several types of social media platforms; however, I was unfamiliar with the strategizing and planning it took to successfully engage our followers and measure that engagement; something I hoped to learn through my time at the Workshop.

Lucia Anaya, new arts journalism graduate student at School of the Art Institute of Chicago, earned course credit as an intern at the Workshop through her school’s internship program.

Throughout the summer, I worked alongside New Media Manager Adriana Diaz and fellow new media intern Jennifer Wolan to not only increase followers and likes to the Workshop’s multiple social media platforms, but also engage and keep those new followers interested. We wrote original blog posts, asked readers questions and shared content pertaining to the subjects of that social media platform (i.e. individuals standing up to the violence in their community for the We Are Not Alone Facebook page and city news for the Newstips Twitter). We planned these posts ahead of time, and tracked our progress using social media management software like Sprout Social.

While my title indicated I was an intern, I certainly never felt like one—there were no coffee errands to run, no busy work. I was given the opportunity to not only sit-in but participate in staff meetings, and given responsibilities that were geared to develop my web and social media skills. And though my initial goal was to familiarize myself with strategizing and planning, I came away with much more insight than I ever expected.

It’s been a great three months and while I’m sad my time is over at the Workshop, I’m confident that I’m walking away with essential skills and insight that will help place me in the career I want in the future. The guidance that I received from Adriana, and other Workshop staff members have helped me tremendously and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to work alongside them.

Interested in an internship at the Workshop? Check out opportunities here.

Lucia is a journalist and graduate student at the School for the Art Institute of Chicago. Follow her on Twitter @luciaanaya_ 

Twitter Tips for Non-Profits

Guest post by Community Media Workshop board member Teresa Puente

As Community Media Workshop welcomes a brand new class of social media bootcampers this week; Workshop board member Teresa Puente reminds us that using Twitter is a great way to share information about your nonprofit and expand your networking connections.

Here are 10 helpful tips:

1)   Make sure your Twitter profile is complete and includes a photo. If you have the generic Twitter icon people will know that you are not a serious Twitter user. Always include a link to your website and blog and even a telephone number.

Teresa Puente’s Twitter profile picture.

2)   Twitter is about sharing information. It’s a two-way street. You shouldn’t just tweet out information about your organization. Only one in three tweets should be about the work you do.

3)   You should also tweet about news that impacts people in your field as well as information about groups with similar goals. Tweet about your “frenemies” and this should also nudge them to share information about your work.

4)   Tweet often but not multiple tweets in a row. If you tweet too much at once, people will miss the bulk of your tweets.

5)   You should have a schedule for tweeting based on time constraints. Try using a program like HootSuite to schedule your tweets 15 to 30 minutes apart. You can schedule tweets in the morning and for the afternoon or evening.

6)   Look up who your favorite journalists, nonprofit or policy makers are following and follow some of their followers.

7)   You also can find new people to follow by searching for keywords in your field using the #.

8)   You also should use some of those keywords at the end of your own tweets.

9)   Always include a link in your tweets. You need a value added to the tweet and use links that provide your followers with additional information.

10) Engage journalists and influential people on Twitter by asking questions or even complimenting their work. It might lead to a new contact, story or more.

Teresa Puente, author of “Chicanísima” blog on the ChicagoNow network is founder of “Latina Voices.com.” A veteran journalist, she is also an Associate Professor of Journalism at Columbia College Chicago and a long-standing board member of Community Media Workshop. Follow her tweets @tcpuente

 

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a 6-second video clip worth?

 

Guest post by DeAnndra B.

 

Vine

This is not an endorsement for Vine nor is it a step-by-step guide of how to use Vine. *cue dramatic instrumental movie music* This is about my journey three weeks using the Vine app with iPhone. Let’s begin.

 Twitter’s Vine is a mobile-only app that allows users to create 6-second looped videos that are posted within the app. This concept seemed so cool to me, but I was weary of how the app would be used for good, and the not-so good that often exists in the social media world. Vine was introduced to the Apple App Store for iOS devices in late January of this year. Sites like Mashable and TechCrunch had helped announce the app’s arrival and it seemed as if everyone was buzzing about Vine. To add to the online buzz, the app’s own Blog posted Vines created by the Brooklyn Nets, RedVines, Paul McCartney and other celebrities and brands.

As a communicator attempting to stay on top of the latest trends in social media, I downloaded Vine immediately. And for a few weeks that was all I did with the app even though it was clearly gaining popularity amongst my peers. We discussed Vine briefly at The Workshop, since we’re all iPhone users, and no one really had an opinion about it other than “it seems cool”. I decided I would try to learn more about Vine, find out how cool it really is, and maybe even become a successful regular user. I figured that I could work Vine into The Workshop’s social media plan, and potentially a mobile communications plan.

I will admit that I struggled with exactly what and how to vine and when was an appropriate to vine. Using Vine was a little more challenging than I had expected. This little six-second video was taking more time to plan and shoot than it would actually run in the app. For about two weeks I shot videos of trainings, videos featuring our media guide, and doodles scribbles notes from marketing meetings. Most of them were posted to my Vine and  Twitter accounts. Many did not make the cut for one reason or another, including my phone dying in the middle of posting. Really, I was challenged because I was over thinking the process and what the finished product should be. There is no editing with Vine; it’s simple and what you shoot, is what you get.

Once I stopped over thinking how to make the perfect Vine, it became more natural, fun, and I wanted to Vine everything. While I still consider myself a Vine amateur, I can say that The Workshop has incorporated Vine into our own social media plan. Here’s why: content is king and mobile is taking over. 

    • Vine allows non-profits and brands to connect with their audience on their iOS mobile device. There are not many social media apps that are mobile-based and/ or mobile-only apps. If you’re looking for a new way to connect with your audience and share content on-the-go quickly, consider Vine. Share quick content from a forum, a rally, or even something in your office like a cat at The Humane Society.  Use Vine to tell a story, share your organization’s messages, or create a call to action.
    • Non-profits and brands can create unique visual content with the app and easily share it with their Twitter and Facebook followers. Now you have instantly updated your Facebook at least once for the day and you have an automatic Tweet to share. In addition, you can create a short paragraph discussing your daily Vine, and now you have a blog post. Which brings me to my next point…
    • You can embed Vines for use on the web!  Add a Vine to your blog or e-newsletter by embedding it like I did below with one of The Workshop’s Vines. I’m sure this is an option for any webpage on your website as well.

[By the way, feel free to take our social media survey.]

 

Vine is also easy to use as far as design and functionality are concerned. In my opinion, Vine has some functional similarities to Instagram. You can create a profile, including an avatar, link to your Twitter account, follow other profiles, “like” Vines by tapping the smiley face underneath the post and comment. Additionally, you have the option to mute or un-mute the audio on any Vine.

Here’s a little more of what I learned while using the app:

  • A viral Vine post may take a little planning and a bit of a director’s eye, but no experience is necessary.
  • Vine automatically saves the video to the camera roll on the device. So, if your phone dies in the middle of a Vine, all is not lost.
  • I haven’t discovered a way to link to your profile other than users finding you through the app via name, Twitter account, or email.
  • Use the explore tab to search for people, trending hashtags, or popular Vines including Editor’s Picks, Popular Now, and Trending.
  • By nature of the app, creativity is gold. Be as creative with your 6-seconds as you want incorporating text and different sounds.

Lastly, have you seen this Vine resume by Dawn Siff?  And, she actually landed a job!

What do you think of the Vine app? Have you created any Vines already? If so, please share them with The Workshop and follow us on Vine (at) The Workshop.

 

 

 

 

Should Your Nonprofit Have a Pinterest Presence?

guest post by Marissa Wasseluk, originally posted here.

While covering the “Top 5 Social Media Platforms” during a recent social media training, one participant asked me, “Do our organizations really need to be on Pinterest?”

To which I answered yes, and no.

We’ve seen some nonprofits use the platform effectively because they know how to speak to their audience and can pull from a plethora visual content. Some nonprofits create boards centered around a specific fundraising and/or awareness campaign.

Since most website referrals today come from Pinterest, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to be on the platform. But before you add another online to-do to your communications plan, ask yourself a few questions first.

Question #1 –  Is your audience on Pinterest?

The general pinning audience** is:

  • Females between the ages of 25 – 54
  • Have an income between $25,000 – $75,000
  • Are visually stimulated & like “collecting”

Stats collected from ComScore – except for that last one, that last stat was all me and my keen powers of observation.

**It should be noted that these stats reflect American trends. In the UK your average pinner is male.

Question #2 – Is your site or your content ‘pin-able’?

Do you post pictures worth a thousand words on your site? Can you get your point across with a picture? Do you make your content easy to share?

Question #3 – Will you change your current communications plan to accommodate the Pinterest platform? 

The rise of Pinterest definitely changes the digital communication game. Its rapid growth is proof of how visually-driven digital consumers are. Does this mean digital producers should create more visually stimulating content?

*cough*yes*cough* A smart digital marketer or blogger would change the format of their posts to accommodate this pin-nomenon (hehehe). They would make their content graphic-rich and add the Pinterest button to their posts.

So if you’ve answered “yes” to these questions, you may want to add Pinterest to your organization’s social media plan!

Need Pinspiration? Take a look at the Workshop’s Pinterest presence! Or, Take a Look at Nonprofit Pinterest Strategies!

Romney vs. Big Bird : A Nonprofit Communications Win

sesame street communications strategy

Guest post by Marissa Wasseluk (opinions reflect that of the author)

As we anticipate the last American presidential debate of this election season, I look back to the first and the communications crisis that almost came out of it. I just want to be sure to give big kudos and a powerful, slow clap to the communications team at Sesame Workshop.

The nonprofit behind the beloved children’s educational television program Sesame Street unwittingly found itself a central figure of political discourse when during the first U.S. presidential debate of 2012, candidate Mitt Romney declared his plan to cut government funding to PBS in spite of his personal love for one of the show’s mascots, Big Bird.

Almost instantly a wave of Big Bird memes exploded across the Internet – the hashtags #bigbird and #savebigbird trended on Twitter, while pictures of the muppet attached to political propaganda phrases took up web real estate. It seemed everyone in America was googling “Big Bird”.

They needed to make a statement, and quickly. Inaction would mean losing control of the brand they had worked over thirty years to create.

Less than 24 hours since the bird became even more famous, the Sesame Street twitter account sent out this tongue-in-cheek message:

 

The Twitter account then retweeted  another tweet from Sesame Workshop (the nonprofit has a separate Twitter account, which makes a lot of sense since the show itself is popular enough to have its own audience and can stand in the social media sphere as its own entity). It stated:

Another tweet followed with a link to the Workshop’s longer-than-140-characters statement, which took end users to their blog. As far as nonprofit crisis communications go, this plan was incredibly executed. Sesame Workshop did not shrink from the spotlight, but instead used it as an opportunity to shed light on the work that they do.

From one Workshop to another, I say, well done.

Things to follow: cupcakes, new Facebook tools, blogs and… Gotye videos(?)

 

Everyone loves cupcakes… Here at the Workshop, we love cupcakes AND social media. So it shouldn’t surprise you that we follow both Flirty Cupcakes and the Food Truck Freak to find out where we can hunt down not only our favorite fluffy and sweet mid-day treats, but some other really great mobile food too! Yesterday, July 12 was declared Food Truck Day by the University of Chicago’s IJ Clinic on Entrepreneurship. The first 19 people in line at each food truck stop received free treats! How cool is that? The declaration was initiated to help build awareness around the upcoming July 19th city hearing on Food Trucks. A new ordinance would propose limiting available spaces food trucks could park and vend in the city.

When I asked our Operation Manager, Maggie Walker about how she started following Flirty Cupcakes she said, “I saw a link posted by someone I follow on Twitter and that’s how I found out about them. I don’t use Twitter that much so I began following them on Facebook instead.”

So now, the rest of the staff is well-informed about when the cupcake truck will be in front of our office. But what I find interesting is how most of us are using Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and other social tools to share information and keep each other informed. For nonprofit communicators, how do we wield this power to communicate our messages and keep our audiences informed about our causes? We can learn a lot from each other. Perhaps that is why the whole #ff (Follow Friday) on Twitter has become so popular and is now an embedded cultural practice on the social web.

Here’s what we are following lately… Read the rest of this entry »

Kindle your social media power: Pinterest explained

I’m really excited about our upcoming Making Media Connections Conference. I’ll be leading a half-day workshop on Social Media planning… covering practical  and strategic approaches to social media for nonprofits. In this workshop we will be covering the core concepts and exercises from my semester long course on social media at Columbia College Chicago. We’ll go over preparing your social media policy, steps towards creating your plan and get the big picture to help you approach the tools the right way. If you haven’t registered already, do it now!

Pinterest has gained much popularity in the past few months and will be one platform we will be talking about in our workshop. Below is a primer on the new social platform (and an excerpt from her final course essay) written by one of my students in my Social Media & PR Strategies course this past Winter. 

Hope to see you at #mmc2012!

– Demetrio Maguigad

 

Pinterest Explained 

Guest post by Shelby Gardner, Columbia College Chicago, Intern at Student PIRGs

 

 

Pinterest… What is it?

Pinterest is as a virtual bulletin board to categorize and ‘pin’ things that interests an individual. The Next Web (TNW) describes it as “a way for people to ‘window shop’ for anything whether it’s a physical object or an intangible object like quotes.”

To grasp how Pinterest works, you need to know three terms. Pin, Repin, and Boards.

Pin: an image added to Pinterest either from a link, a site, or uploaded image that can include captions. Repin: once something is pinned, it can be repined by other Pinterest users, a big factor that leverages the site. Board: this is where your pins are. You can have separate boards for various subjects. Users set up boards of pins that fit together. When a board is created, the user must categorize it into one of the 13 default categories. The user is free to name the board what ever they desire.

The most popular pins category on Pinterest is Food & Drink, then DIY & Crafts, and third is Women’s Apparel. However, the statistics of most popular boards are very different, with the top ranked as Remaining Categories and Home and Décor second.

The main page is where you browse pins via thumbnails, which allows top users to grow even more popular. With 32 different topic areas, users can browse everything from fitness to art and science. Users can like or comment on other pins. The average activity of popular ‘Pinners’ consists of 2,600 pins, 33 boards, and following around 400 users. Pinners can use the site to purchase things.  About 20% of users have purchased items they found on someone’s Pinboard.

15 Tips and Tricks

Read the rest of this entry »

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        By Stephen Franklin Community Media Workshop   A 3-year-old child died on a plane from Chicago to Poland. This, Magdalena Pantelis instantly knew, was a story her readers would care about. But she needed more detail to write about it for the Polish Daily News, the nation’s oldest daily newspaper in Polish, founded Jan. […]