Some of the most popular tweets from the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions were:
HuffPost Religion @HuffPostRelig Oct 18: Sikhs served up thousands of free meals at the #2015Parliament in Salt Lake City http://huff.to/1hKTPfO
The Parliament @InterfaithWorld Oct 17: Each one of us has a role to play, a life that matters. @JaneGoodallInst #2015Parliament #climatechange
SpokaneFAVS @SpokaneFAVS Oct 17: @tracysimmonsm: Jane Goodall is 81 years old and travels 300 days a year to talk about environmentalism #2015Parliament
How do I know these were some of the most popular tweets? I went to the hashtag site for the 2015 Parliament. What is interesting to note is that the most popular tweet from the 10,000 people attending the conference was retweeted only 60 times in the first week after the original tweet.
Think about your organization, with some effort could you get 60 retweets or 46 favorites for a positive message—a way to make connections and change the world for good?
Why do some messages get more attention than others? There is the old adage from journalism, “If it bleeds it leads,” but in the world of transformation and inspiration the messages that are heard the loudest are from people who have the highest profile and are doing something transformative.
The Huffington Post, for example, has a very high profile with a lot of followers and when they talk about the Sikh’s Langer and how they feed thousands of people delicious food in a warm and welcoming atmosphere, people listen, favorite, and retweet. The Sikh community which has been misunderstood, feared, and brutalized recently shared not only food but information and good will with 10,000 people last week. They did an amazing job of sharing about themselves and educating people in a way that helped everyone.
Jane Goodall also featured prominently on twitter at the conference. She is a dynamic speaker with a long history of protecting animals and people. She has recently turned her attention and support towards climate change and making this world nuclear-free. She is effective in getting her message out.
Some of the things any organization has to consider when trying to get their message out are:
- What is the message you want to get out? Can you clarify it down to 140 characters? On Twitter you have 140 characters including a link to your website.
- Who is your audience? Every age, culture, religion, and community is more or less active on individual media channels. Young people are on Instagram. The over 60 crowd reads newspapers but are also on Facebook. The citizens of Spokane can often be found on Facebook but businesses are more likely to be on LinkedIn. Do a survey of your community. Where do they spend the most time? Where do they get their news and sense of connection?
- Use images in your posts both blogs, articles, and status updates. The saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” is still true whether you are sending something to a newspaper, magazine, blog, or social media site. Short videos can also have a great impact. If you Google “Interfaith” there are 9,100,000 websites that come up. That is a lot of competition for viewers. There are 573,000 videos and even fewer images that are titled “Interfaith”. this means if you put up images and videos you are more likely to catch the attention of viewers.
- If you want to get your story out: First, let people know what you are going to do, then do something interesting. Make sure people have a chance to participate if it is an event open to the public. Make sure they know what is going to happen well before the planned event.
Here is some information and tips on using individual media sites, including 15 of the most popular social media sites.
Facebook is a great hub for events that you want to invite friends and family to attend. Then share images and quotes from the event. It is also a great place to have community pages where you can take offline events online to continue the discussion, according to Tracy Simmons, who spoke at the 2015 Parliament on Interfaith Dialogue in the Digital Age.
Twitter forces you to be clear about your message. Use hashtags. Choosing which hashtag you want to use depends on your message, who you want to reach and what event you are planning or attending. Many events have their own hashtag like the #2015Parliament.
LinkedIn is a great place to meet business people interested in similar things and radio show hosts looking for guests. It also has a popular blog feature, known as LinkedIn Pulse. LinkedIn has also recently streamlined their feed to make it easier to see, like and share blogposts and status updates.
Pinterest is like a bulletin board online and runs on images. This is one of the reasons for having a picture on your blog or other posts. Once you write a blog or do a radio show or publish a book you can take the link to the events page and post it to Pinterest. The picture on the page will be automatically picked up but so will the link to the information. Imagine if every week you posted a blog about the upcoming service, sermon, or event with a picture. That link and picture could then be posted on facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and GooglePlus reaching even more people with your message.
Google Plus is a great place to put links for your website, events, books, and blog pages. GooglePlus profiles are directly linked with Google and so help other people find your messages more easily when googling.
Amazon Author’s Pages are an important place for people to see your message if you or key people in your organization have written a book. Information from Twitter, your blog, and calendar can be posted on an Amzon Author’s page in addition to bio or mission statements, pictures, and videos.
About Me is another high profile place to share information about the key players in your organization.
Tumblr is a free blogsite if you don’t have your own blog somewhere else. It can also be used to post links and short pieces that relate to blogs and events elsewhere online.
Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media sites. The challenge is that posting can only be done from a smart phone. The upside is you are reaching people who have smart phones and are the cutting edge of technology.
Flickr is another site for images. If you have an eye catching image, this can be a good place to post it and reach more people.
Vine is a new site for videos. Like Instagram, videos can only be uploaded from a smart phone.
Meetup presents a way to invite people to your events through the creation of a meetup group. Event invatations can also be done through phone messaging, email, Facebook events, evite (which goes to the person’s email) and Classmates (if it is a school related event).
Community Event’s Calendars are another great way to get your message out. SpokaneFAVS provides a place for free listings of community events.
Social media can be overwhelming to be sure. One strategy is to commit to posting one blog a week or month and then share the link and short description about it on a different type of social media site each time. You can also make it easy for yourself to post on multiple sites by creating a PDF file with the name of the site and the link to that site so that when you write a blog you can just open the PDF document and click on successive links to open the places you want to post about it. This is instead of looking up the url or site each time you want to visit to post something.
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