20 Ways to Connect Communities via Social Networks

Let's take inventory, okay? Get out a sheet of paper. Make three columns. Label one "group," a second "connected" and the third "disconnected." Connected means plugged in online via twitter, Facebook and Linked, etc. Disconnected means analog or email only.

Now, list all of your groups in three categories: business, social and peripheral.

In each column, check either connected or disconnected.

What do you come up with? How connected are the groups you care about?

You, yes you, can be the catalyst to getting your [professional, company, faith, school, nonprofit or social] group connected online. Here's how . . .

20 Ways to Connect Your Communities Via Social Networks

1. Take inventory to see who's already on Facebook, LinkedIn and twitter
2. Invite your members via email to join your Facebook or LinkedIn group
3. Train members on how to share invitations
4. Create social networking opportunities
5. Recruit social networking ambassadors with active communities
6. Set up a social anchor on the platforms where your people are
7. Use PitchEngine.com to distribute free, sharable press releases
8. Ask for content and show them how to share it
9. Put cameras in hands at events and upload later
10. Live stream via ustream.com
11. Encourage twittering with a #hashtag identifier
12. Publicize the #hashtag
13. Ask questions that can only be answered on the social network
14. Pass on relevant news right away
15. Spread interesting ideas to keep people intrigued
16. Set up a place where people can see who's coming - eventbrite.com is great for this
17. When people sign up, go beyond asking for an email address - ask for their twitter id
18. Link back to home base to drive traffic and recruit new members
19. Connect with other community groups
20. Become a community portal

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