Promote early and often. Involve NTEN, community partners, co-organizers, and attendees. Give your community the tools to help you promote and engage before, during, and after your event.
Organizers are required to add their events to NTEN’s event calendar. NTEN’s community manager will review and publish events at least once a week. (Note: You must be logged into your NTEN account to use this form.)
Sample Sharing Text
Make it easy for your community to help you promote by giving them some sample sharing text that they can adapt and share. Pro tip: Make sure you are sharing this text as well.
In the example below, Michelle Regal, an organizer from the Women in Nonprofit Tech online group, included a request for promotional help in a personalized bulk message. A simple “Help Us Promote: The #nptechwomen call w @tiffani is gonna rock! Join us on 1/21 @ 10am PT: http://ow.ly/WId6H” resulted in numerous community tweets throughout the day.
Social Media Platforms
First and foremost, the best social media platforms are the ones you will actually use. Many groups make the mistake of creating accounts on numerous platforms that the group ultimately can’t sustain. Tumbleweeds do not inspire the community to get involved.
When you’re first starting out, we recommend that you only a hashtag. It can be used across platforms and you’ll have one less thing to worry about. Instead, use your personal accounts to engage and share. As you become more settled and the group has proven itself to be sustainable–and if you really think you need it—slowly add a in a platform. Survey your community to see what platform they use the most and use that one.
But, whatever you choose, make sure to consistently use it.
Do your research to find relevant local hashtags you can piggyback onto and potentially reach new audiences. For example in Portland, Oregon a popular hashtag is #PDXtech.
Nonprofit Tech Club Victoria’s S.J.T said, “In promoting our events, we use other hashtags to indicate geography, such as #YYJ (the airport code for Victoria) or #YYJevents, so that those following the hashtag know about the events even if they don’t know our organization yet.”
Engage with Your Community
The more you engage, the more likely your community will start sharing and helping each other without a lot of prodding. If you promote a hashtag or social accounts, the organizers need to use them too. If you ask your community to live-tweet or otherwise engage socially, engage with them–re-share, like, and respond.
Keep this in mind when assigning co-organizer and volunteer duties. Good examples of tasks for event-specific, short-term volunteers are live-tweeting and taking pictures for future use on social media.
Above all, regardless of whether it’s before, during or after an event, do not let a community member’s question or contribution go unnoticed.
Nonprofit Tech Club Victoria’s S.J.T says, “We live-tweet our events using the hashtag #Net2Vic and retweet other attendees using the same hashtag. After each each event, we also compile highlights using Storify so that others can see the main takeaways or attendees can recap the key points… Posting event photos on social media (we give attendees the chance to opt out of photos if they prefer) are also a great way to re-engage attendees after the fact when they tag or share photos.”
Nonprofit Tech Club NYC organizer J.B. gives a good reminder about involving presenters in social engagement during events:
“Capturing tweets and photos with our #501TechNYC tag and making a Storify can be really valuable if speakers are properly prepared to share their content in tweetable bites or have lots of media to share (photos, videos, links, etc.). We’ve even had a few speakers time their presentations and create content to auto-tweet around the appropriate time. It’s helped keep our live audience engaged and also involve more [nonprofit techies] on the Twitterverse.”