By Del Albright
today's world, communication skills mean you also have some social networking
skills – the Internet – like Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, etc.
The world is on the "socials." So, learn to tweet, post, share a pic,
tag, hashtag, and comment! At least learn to understand these tools and be able
to talk about them. And if you want to support and thank your
partners/sponsors, social networks are crucial. Social media is essential if
you want to expand your reach or grow your cause. It is never too late to jump in.
Twitter has its place but seems to be dying off. It is now ranked the 12th most popular social network (see below). However, if you are in a critical position (organizational or club leader), learning to tweet on Twitter is a big help to your cause and build your club or event. For example, Tweet up a storm if you are an event chair or director. You will build a following to help develop your event (and profit margin).
can benefit from setting up a Twitter feed advertised in event literature or
entrance gates. Participants sign up to get the tweets and updates on their
phones as they enjoy the event. In addition, you can keep folks posted on
changes in the schedule of new times for special activities and hold fun
contests with tweets (for example, "Find Del before 3 pm and win a free
can tweet parking and camping information. You can tweet announcements
affecting the participants. And most importantly, before the event, you can
tweet all your sponsors and raffle donors to give them lots of "love"
in return. Make sure you have "followed" and liked all your sponsors
first. Then, you can "mention" them with the "@" symbol
FACEBOOK: You do not want to read about someone washing their poodle on Facebook. So, OK, don't follow them, but learning to use Facebook is a powerful tool for spreading the word about your cause, club, and event. For example, one of my landuse articles (2014) received well over 10,000 views (reads) overnight. In 2020, I wrote an article on FB about Mega-Wildfires with over 64,000 shares (which means 30 – 50 million people read it, most likely). However, even if you paid for it elsewhere, that number is hard to achieve. And Facebook is free (as of this writing).
can buy Facebook (and Twitter) books (like the ones "for Dummies")
and get a crash course in how to make these socials work for you, spread your
cause, and help keep outdoor activities alive and well.
can set up a specific event or club's Facebook pages, manage the message, and
grow many interested parties that share it in their networks. The cumulative impact is far-reaching and thrives
on its own, creating what is called a "social network."
highly recommend using Facebook "Events" to promote your club, raffle,
event, whatever. From your page, set up a sub-page under the Events tag. First, invite people to join your event. Once they do, they
automatically get your updates and posts to the event page. This saves you a
lot of work in promoting and building your event.
FB Groups: this is one of the most powerful tools FB offers. Private
or public, you can have a group dedicated to your cause, event, family, or
whatever. In addition, you can search a group for specific subjects or posts.
It is a great way to coordinate and share on specific topics.
HASHTAGS: The # (pound) symbol is a hashtag. Hashtags put the mention (post, tweet) on the entire Internet. So, if a business or group watches a hashtag, they will see it immediately. Technically, a hashtag is a word or un-spaced phrase prefixed with the number (pound) sign.
are great for anyone wishing to know how much exposure you are getting. Hashtags
are powerful search tools on social networks. Anyone can follow anything with a
hashtag and sort out other superfluous data.
partners, supporters, and vendors all love hashtags and follow many. Take a
business, let's say JeepBusiness.com. Usually, they follow their hashtag,
especially on Instagram (see below). #jeepbusiness will bring up all posts
about them. So, if you hashtag an entity you want to promote, they will see it
every time you mention it (as promised).
TAGS: Using the "at symbol" @ means tagging someone – different than a hashtag. Tagging them means your post will appear on their social network feed on Facebook (and Instagram). When someone "tags" you in a photo, a copy of the photo is transferred to your profile.
When a friend tags you in a
post, your name appears as a link in their profile. A tag is a link you can
see and click on (follow).
are a great way to show sponsors that you are promoting them. Your tag/post
goes to their page/profile immediately.
tag looks like this @DelAlbright and ensures Del Albright will see what you
posted on his feed. Tags are vital in
promoting businesses that help you promote and grow your cause or market your
product. Tag your partners every chance
a hashtag is a searchable phrase or word someone can follow. A "tag" actually puts your post on
their feed/page without them having to follow anything.
INSTAGRAM: Businesses, opinion leaders, influencers, and media stars often use Instagram to build a tribe of followers. It is quick, easy, short, and sweet, like a tweet, but designed to emphasize the picture and not so much the words.
example, at an event, with Instagram, you use your phone to take an event
picture of your vendor show line-up. Then, you post the pic and promote your
sponsors by showing their flags, banners, booths, etc., in your Instagram app
to your feed. People "like" or
"heart" the pic and share it with others. Immediately, you have happy
sponsors who know you are promoting them.
let's talk about "stories" and "reels." TikTok's copycat,
as some call it, is a powerful way to engage followers and promote the reach of
your posts. Reels allow users to create and watch engaging short videos on the
is a feature of Instagram that allows users to create short videos between 15
and 30 seconds in length. In addition to recording short clips, Instagram
Reels also lets users edit, remix, and add effects and audio to their reels.
Instagram Reels, you can create and watch short, entertaining videos anytime.
In addition to these features, Instagram also provides several options for
making reels more exciting and engaging. Add an extra dash to your reels
through options such as multi-clip videos, easy-to-use text, AI filters,
hashtags (#) to showcase other causes, vendors, and sponsors. They will see you
promoting their support and help you even more next time! We all benefit from
the never-ending circle of networking that comes from social networks.
networks are a substantial part of our world today, and to be an effective
leader in your field, you should find a way to be in the game.