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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

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

Making Way for the Mobile Revolution

responsive web design example

The Making Media Connections conference website boasts a responsive web design.

Guest post by Marissa Wasseluk, opinions are that of the author.

When a stranger asks you to use your phone, what are the chances you’d wholeheartedly pass it to them? Personally, I have trouble passing my phone to good friends without trepidation. A phone is an object with deep personal attachment. It’s your personal connection to the rest of the world – the communications tool you carry with you nearly all the time.

If you’re reading this blog in America, there’s a 50% chance that the phone in your pocket is a smartphone. Recent studies show that half of American adults own a smartphone, which means that half of American adults are regularly carrying an Internet browser, audio and video recording devices, games, and social networks on their person

Given these statistics, it is estimated that by 2015, most interactions with the web will occur on a mobile deviceSo in order to stay ahead of the curve, now would be a good time to consider incorporating mobile-friendly messages into your organization’s overall communications strategy.

Here are some things to consider when making your communications mobile:

  • Design your website to be “responsive”
    Responsive web design is a web design approach that aims to create sites that adapt the layout to the viewing platform (tablet, computer, mobile phone) for easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling. This is achieved by using fluid, proportion-based grids, & flexible images. You can tell a site is responsive when you resize a web browser and the website content continually fills the screen.
  • Make your content interactive
    Focus on action; what do you want your users to do? Sign up for your e-newsletter? Donate? Define your goals and make your call to action. Make it 
    obvious, and make it easy. 
  • Keep your content simple
    Small screens mean less time reading, more time skimming. Text-heavy content is less likely read. 
  • Get Personal
    Every social media platform can be done accessed by a mobile device, so remember that your social media efforts are already a part of your mobile strategy.

More resources and tips on utilizing the mobile web are available from the Knight Digital Media Center.

The rise of mobile technology not only changes the way you consume content, but also the way you create it. Charlie Meyerson, freelance mobile journalist and moderator for our Mobile Storytelling panel at Making Media Connections had an astute observation about mobile technologies reshaping the way we tell stories:

 

 

It’s true that there’s an app for just about everything, and digital storytelling is no exception. There are apps that will allow you to take and post short videos, create slideshows, record audio, blog – any tool a journalist can think of using to tell a story is available on a mobile platform!

There is no doubt that mobile technology will revolutionize the way we send and receive messages, and at the rate this communications movement is advancing, it might seem difficult to keep up. But with a little practice and research, you’ll be a mobile mogul long before the mobile revolution!

At Making Media Connections this June, we’ve lined up experts in this field to further discuss what tools you’ll need to create your content on the go, and what to keep in mind for your mobile audience. Join us! 

The Gate newspaper turns WordPress workshop into new website

The Workshop’s New Media Manager Demetrio Maguigad led a training at this year’s Making Media Connections conference to teach nonprofits how to build strong websites in WordPress. The Gate, a community newspaper in Back of the Yards, attended the training, and the new website they built in WordPress is already up! It looks professional, features great visuals on the home page, and easily links to their social media accounts.

WordPress is a powerful, flexible tool that nonprofits can afford. The Workshop’s main website and our blogs have also been built by Maguigad using WordPress. Although I’m not a website expert, I personally can attest to how simple it is to update a WordPress site with new posts like this one.

If you’re interested in building your own WordPress website or blog for your organization, give us a call. In addition to our conference and our regularly scheduled trainings, we offer a number of affordable custom trainings that we tailor to suit your nonprofit’s needs. Email me or call 312-369-6400. Your new website could be easier to produce (and thousands of dollars cheaper) than you think. We hope to hear from you soon.

Be prepared in the mobile tech wilderness

We often associate a boy scout with his trusty Swiss Army knife–an essential tool for survival in the wilderness, a symbol for the motto to always “be prepared.” Savvy nonprofit communicators also need to be prepared when engaging across the media landscape and often times our tool of choice is our mobile device.

We store contact data, we tweet from our fundraiser, we update our organization’s facebook page, we dial into conference calls, and when we realize we had forgotten our mobile device halfway towards the office, we stop and turn back because we know how much we love and depend on these tools every day (well at least I do).

Our audiences and the people we look to engage with also love their mobile devices and depend on them for many things, including finding out more about your nonprofit organization and how they can be a part of your mission. Read the rest of this entry »

There’s Something About McHenry…

There’s something about McHenry County which keeps drawing me back to conduct training. Maybe its the sprawling landscape or the mom and pop shops that still keep their doors open, but most definitely its the people.

At my last training at the Shaw Center for Corporate Training, I was once again delighted to work with about 30 nonprofit staff working from Seniors Centers to Emergency Preparedness to issues of homelessness and affordable housing. Read the rest of this entry »

SEO Secrets: write for people, not machines–except…

Ingrid Gonçalves, communications director at Center for Labor and Community Research from Community Media Workshop on Vimeo.

When Ingrid Gonçalves said during a round of introductions that she had five Web sites to create or update, I knew I had to try out the flip camera to get her story. It turns out to be a great story, not so much for how unusual it is, but for how typical it is, I think you’ll agree! (Apologies, this time the wrist is really shaky–I’m still learning!)

Ingrid was one of about 20 folks at this morning’s search engine optimization workshop this morning, led by
Tim Frick from Mightybytes. Tim delivered a workshop highlighting how to get found online, drawing on info from his forthcoming book tentatively titled Return on Engagement from Focal Press.

Below the fold here you will find, in the somewhat unlikely event that anyone finds it useful, my more or less complete notes on Tim’s presentation, which I found useful in charting some benchmarks for SEO. In a nutshell, here’s the Tim Frick program (of course it makes more sense when you see him lay it out, but still, it’s a good one):

  1. Content, content, content–Have a content strategy and implement
  2. Install an analytics package so you know what your Web visitors are doing when, etc.
  3. Use alerts to see who is talking about you
  4. Track user behavior and adjust your approach as appropriate
  5. Rinse, lather, repeat (in other words, go back to step one, fine tune your site–“it’s never done” Tim says)

What do you think– is this an accurate description of what you do right now? Or what you aspire to be doing? Let me know in the comments or by email! Meantime enjoy Ingrid’s story and if you want more, click to see some notes in the rest of this (phew) looong post (hopefully, doing justice to Tim’s presentation): Read the rest of this entry »

Health Care Never Trends

Have you read the “Obama plan” for health care? I finally started this morning.

If you’re like me you’ve probably finally started to pay attention now that the debate has reached a crisis (I know, I’m not proud of my ignorance, but what can you say). Getting caught up to the headlines got me curious about how some longtime local health-care advocacy organizations have been dealing with the related issues of finding their issue in the spotlight and moving their work onto the Web, and next week I’ll share some case-study-type thoughts from a couple of local organizations, with a little about both their take on the debate and how they are handling the attention.

Meantime, I did some background research, and the first thing I found was the “Obama Plan,” more or less. It’s right here, with specifics and everything. I got there from whitehouse.gov but the page, “Healthreform.gov” is officially maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services. Read the rest of this entry »

Budget follies: message and audience

As friends at social service agencies are getting set to layoff staff in the coming weeks and organizing rallies in the hope that they can stop it, we get the sense of the limits of the power of effective communication.

The situation, which calls to mind the phrase “if you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention” is that governor and Legislature are at a standstill in fixing problems a long time in the making. Governor Pat Quinn says the current budget “creates a $9.2 billion dollar funding gap and forces deep and distressing cuts to our vital social service agencies” on his home page. Rich Miller’s authoritative Capitol Fax (fair warning, if you haven’t been following along, you may have to spend 15 minutes or so reading to get a sense of what’s going on in springfield) documents that legislators feel Rod Blagojevich’s replacement has done a less than stellar job of convincing them to support his income-tax increase solution.That’s the simplistic (maybe overly so) sum-up of the situation.

The news coverage has been good, as a recent google news search shows. Some favorite columnists such as Mary Schmich and Phil Kadner, have both had nice stories on local rallies, for example. (Mary’s story ends with a great quote from a picket sign: “the state budget is a bigger mess than my room.”)

Read the rest of this entry »

Candy might help you pitch this citizen journalist

Just picking up on the theme of new news, in the “truth is stranger than fiction” category:

Dan Pacheco is no slouch in the world of citizen journalism: his printcasting.com site promises to help you “start your own local magazine in minutes” (intrigued? I am) and has grant support from the Knight Foundation. But as he posted June 15, “Citizen Media Goes Fisher Price” (also at PBS MediaShift Idea Lab, where I first read it) his daughter scooped him and the rest of the news media with a tornado picture she snapped with a Fisher-Price camera in the suburbs of Denver earlier this week.

In a nutshell, there’d been some freaky weather in the Denver area for several days, so Dan was on the lookout already for tornados; his daughter walked into the home office to tell him she’d spotted a weird cloud, he went to grab his camera, tweeted it , and started taking pictures. The 6-year-old naturally grabbed her camera as well (who knew fisher price made a $64 digital camera?) And they all ended up on the local TV news. Anyway, read it there, at his blog, as Dan tells the story great, with video and pictures.

His takeaway is that “a confluence of inexpensive, accessible consumer technology, and microblogging sites like Twitter and Facebook, has lowered the barriers of entry so far to make me think we’re witnessing the birth of a completely new — and arguably better — breaking news system that involves everyone.”

Yes! but also, that new system is still going to incorporate some kind of Big Media that reaches out to wider audiences.(Like, in this story CBS 4, the local TV news guys). That role is still key to a better news ecosystem. Anyway, I get a kick out of imagining a 6-year-old on the weather–or any other–beat.

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