How I United a Community via Social Media

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On September 26th, 2017 my community received shocking news that 29 schools in our area were slated for closure due to a change in provincial funding for vacant pupil spaces. Action had to be taken immediately, there was tremendous information to share and the need to recruit volunteers to come up with strategies to help save our schools. Below you will find a list of Social Media tools that we used to help unite people from across the province of Ontario in a matter of days.

Gone are the days where we had to write letters, get them photocopied and mail them out and wait for a response. Gone are the days where we needed to make phone calls and leave messages and play endless telephone tag since people have different schedules. We live in the time of here and now. When we have news to share, we can do it immediately via social media and that information can been seen by millions of people from around the world. Recently, due to the unfortunate circumstance of my local school being slated for closure, I found myself being at the head of a six month campaign to not only fight for my school but help others do the same for their own communities.

Here are the top 10 strategies that I used via Facebook to link a community in a matter of days:

1. Create Facebook page and post relevant information Save RO Secondary
2. Invite friends and contacts affected by the cause to follow the page
3. Boost the page
4. Create a hashtag that could be used throughout the campaign    #SaveSouthStormontSchools
5. Use images along with text to bring attention to the various posts
6. Create Facebook events for upcoming meetings and fundraising events
7. Invite friends and relevant contacts to attend those events
8. Boost events
9. Follow similar pages of local schools faced with the same issue so that ideas and strategies can be shared
10. Become part of groups that are championing for change in funding for the entire province Ontario Alliance Against School Closures

How did doing these 10 things benefit our campaign you ask?

• Within the first month we had over 700 followers
• A brand for our campaign was created and maintained throughout
• We were able to ensure that correct information was shared to our community
• The public was engaged and asking questions and making comments
• Other communities were united and shared resources
• Events were well attended and fundraising was successful
• Media started to follow our cause and requests for interviews flowed
• Media articles were easily shared province wide

Social media is called “An Organizational Game Changer” by Ruth McCambridge, Editor and Chief for the Nonprofit Quarterly. Social Media as an Organizational Game Changer

Communication can be instant and responses can at times be overwhelming. In the beginning of the campaign the messages and comments were difficult to keep up with but having the ability to interact with hundreds of people with one post made it a most valuable tool in our campaign.

Have you ever used Social Media to bring people together for a common cause? Please comment how!

Twitter post:
Need to galvanize a group in a hurry? #PoliticsTransformed Facebook is your Social Media tool of choice!   http://bit.ly/2nadvB3

Facebook post:
Uniting small communities is difficult, but social media helped make it possible in the fight to save schools in Eastern Ontario. Read more here: http://bit.ly/2nadvB3

 

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2 thoughts on “How I United a Community via Social Media

  1. This is good information to have handy. I can’t say that I’ve ever used Social Media in this way but it is something to consider for the future. Can you tell us your results. Were you successful in keeping schools open?

  2. Sadly, we were only partially successful; we managed to save our elementary school but not our secondary school. We lost our school by one vote on March 23rd.

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