Leveraging Social Media
Social networking is a great way to keep your club, class, or group members engaged and to promote activities and events. If you have a class or club website, remember to post links to your social networking sites so that members know to join. Does your group have a social media group that is not listed below? Email the marketing and communications team.
Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with friends, family, acquaintances, and of course, classmates! Through Facebook, one can share photographs, event information, updates, and much more. Below are a few helpful hints for volunteers and alumnae who are interested in using Facebook.
- How to join: Setting up a Facebook account is easy. Simply go to the Facebook homepage and you will be prompted to sign up. Read more about how to join Facebook.
- Creating a profile: Your “profile” shows information such as your name, hometown, college, etc. You can provide as little or as much information about yourself as you’d like. Once you create your profile you can search for “friends” by using the search bar at the top of the page. You may also search for and join groups, such as those listed below.
- What is a news feed? A newsfeed is the screen that shows up when you log in, showing you what your friends and groups have “posted” lately. It may be photographs, links to articles, videos, or just thoughts/reflections.
- What about my privacy? Privacy is often a concern to those new to social media, especially Facebook. Fortunately, you can control how much information you share, and how much information you receive. You may also control the amount of email Facebook sends you and much more. Learn how to control your privacy.
- Setting up a Facebook group or page: A great way to engage members of your class or club is to create a customized Facebook Group or Facebook Page. But just setting up a group or page is not enough. You must engage your audience with relevant and interesting posts. Some good topic ideas include wishing members happy birthday, reminders about events, congratulating members of your group on recent milestones or accomplishments, selecting subject themes and asking people to post about them (example: what are you thankful for this holiday season? etc.), and reposting things from the Alumnae Association Facebook page.
LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site and is mainly used for professional networking. The Alumnae Association hosts a group on LinkedIn specifically for Mount Holyoke alumnae and students to connect, engage, and network. You can post events and information relevant to networking and professional development here, or you may create a subgroup for a profession, interest, or geographical area.
- How to join: Much like Facebook, joining LinkedIn is very easy. Simply visit the LinkedIn homepage and you will be prompted with instructions. Click here for an overview of LinkedIn.
- Creating a profile: Your LinkedIn “profile” gives information about your professional life, such as past and current employers, special skills, and professional interests. It’s much like a resume that others in your network can view.
- How to use: Much like you have “friends” on Facebook, you have “contacts” in LinkedIn. These may be friends, current or former coworkers, industry acquaintances, etc. You must either invite someone to be a contact, or they must invite you. You can also join groups such as industry-specific groups, your alma mater group (join the Alumnae Association group!), or groups of people with similar professional interests. Joining groups helps you to not only network, but share and find information, ideas, and more.
- Creating a LinkedIn subgroup: Would you like to create a specific group for MHC alumnae? You may create a “subgroup” of the main Alumnae Association group. Please email the Association marketing and communications team if you are interested.
- Running a successful subgroup: Watch this video about how to create a group.
Twitter is a social network in which people post small bursts of information called Tweets. Each Tweet is 140 characters long, and many include links to videos, news items, and more. Twitter is a lesser-used social media platform for alumnae groups, but can still be a great way to keep members of your group engaged if you feel that many of them already use Twitter.
- Overview & glossary: Much like Facebook, you have a profile and a newsfeed, and instead of friends you have “followers.” The difference between Twitter and Facebook has to do with the length of the information you post. A “Tweet,” is the information you share and is limited to 140 characters. A “handle,” is your username. You can mention another user in your Tweets by preceding it with the @ symbol (e.g., “Happy Mountain Day @ritajones!” Rita Jones would then be able to see this Tweet). When you “Retweet” something, it just means that you share what someone else has Tweeted so that your followers can see it as well. Learn more about the basics of Twitter.
- Should I create a Twitter account? When deciding whether your group needs a Twitter account ask yourself the following questions: Are many members of the group already on Twitter? Does the group have a lot of information that it can disseminate in 140 characters or less? Will you be able to keep up with a Twitter account? (Because Tweets are short, people and groups post often, meaning your Tweets can get lost in the shuffle if you don’t Tweet enough.)
- Best practices: Tweet often, at least a few times a week. Share information about upcoming events, links, and articles pertaining to the interests of your group, and information about members of your group (wish them a happy birthday, congratulate accomplishments, etc.). Also, try to Retweet interesting information or Tweets from members of the group or the Mount Holyoke community in general.