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My Mom Uses Twitter

Recap and video from our recent Microbrews and Micro-blog Knowledge Sharing event.

Thanks to everyone for coming to our Microbrews and Micro-blogs (and regular-sized blogs, too) knowledge sharing event earlier this month. We thought people might be just coming for the beer, and were glad to see attendees even more interested in discussing social media than they were in the keg. (At least that's what they told us.)

The Organizational Blog

Sarah Francis from MomsRising shared insights into their successful organizational blog.  First things first: their blog is the centerpiece of their website—not tucked away in the back of their site, lucky to receive a bi-monthly update. (PS: Don’t. Do. This.)  MomsRising staff members seek out a variety of influential bloggers to feed their blog—carefully nurturing and maintaining these relationships. They know their audience and can play to the house, and they are consistent in how they use their blog and website, ultimately resulting in offline action.

Watch Sarah Francis give tips on organizational blogging:

Followed by an engaging Q and A:


Twittering for Change

Cascade Bicycle Club Advocacy Director David Hiller’s no-nonsense approach to Twitter reminded us again of this tool’s value beyond the “I’m going to go get a sandwich” tweet.  The CBC has 11,000 members, with about 1200 Twitter followers. During a recent session, Hiller tweeted out to CBC’s members asking them to call lawmakers in real time, resulting in 15 or so quick contacts to key decision-makers right when he needed them. Starting a Twitter program? Hiller has a few suggestions: 1) don’t alienate legislators by tweet-tattling on them, at the end of the day—you don’t want to burn political relationships; 2) trust is paramount to your community—they have to trust you’re going to provide valuable content; 3) hashtags # are important (essentially tags for your content);  and 4) #FollowFriday is a good time to build your base.

Watch and learn from David Hiller:

So many questions to answer:

The Power of the Neighborhood Blog

Scott Durham from Central District News gave this great advice: if you want a blogger to write about your issue, make sure to highlight what is interesting to that blogger’s readers. Scott writes about the Central District for Central District readers, so if you want him to blog about your environmental (or other) issue, you need to explain how that issue is affecting Central District residents.  Press releases?  Scott couldn’t remember the last time he blogged based on a press release (although he receives hundreds each week).  Want coverage of the transit bill you’re pushing?  Make certain you explain exactly how it would impact residents in the Central District.  It’s more work to pitch stories to individual bloggers than sending a single press release to all of your media contacts, but also your opportunity to target and refine your message to the people that matter, and reach people you might never reach through traditional media.

Listen to Scott talk about getting your issue covered:

Followed by a Q and A:

Finally, we were mildly shocked to hear the early twenty-somethings confide that they never really use Twitter (“Umm, I’ve seen my mom use it”), instead opting for Facebook and a little something we like to call texting. Twitter users tend to skew older than Facebook users, opening up some interesting opportunities around engagement and fundraising with your community.

Speaking of Facebook, our next knowledge sharing event will be in early September, and it's all about Facebook. The event is free, just make sure to hold your spot with this RSVP.

Microblogging and Microbrews
Microblogging and Microbrews
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