Sharing Charity Event Posts: YOU can make an IMPACT!

While scrolling through your newsfeeds on any platform you may occasionally run across things going on in your area.  How often do you feel compelled to share those posts?   I know that I am more likely to share if it is an event or group that I know a little something about.  Of course, I’m also very likely to share pictures from local animal groups too.  I want every fur-baby to have a home. 🙂

A study conducted (please don’t roll your eyes here….this is important!) of Facebook users by Pew Research and the New York Times Customer Insight Group showed that 69% of users share information because it makes them feel more involved in the world.  People want to do want to be involved and they want to help.

My point is this: when you care about your community it is important to participate.  One of the easiest ways to do this is through sharing posts from your favorite groups.  Help get people interested in fundraising events, volunteering, and the positive influence these organizations have in our corner of the world. Organizations like CHIP don’t have big budgets so they need you to spread the word.

A great example of this is happening right now in the Roanoke Valley in Virginia.  The Child Health Investment Partnership (CHIP) of Roanoke Valley is hosting a charity poker tournament on Friday, October 16 at the Sanctuary in Roanoke. This fundraiser, like most non-profits, is crucial to getting funding to benefit the poorest and neediest children in our area.

In case you don’t know, CHIP is an early childhood visiting program.  The great folks at this organization pair low-income children from birth to kindergarten age with those who can help them get access to medical care and educational testing.  Read more about all the services CHIP offers by clicking here.

I’d like to challenge the readers to become more involved in your communities.  Donate money, volunteer your time, and SHARE POSTS!!!  You can increase the reach tremendously by taking two seconds and sharing.  The value goes up if you add a little comment too.  Show a little love to the organization by liking or favoriting their posts. If everyone gives a little, the IMPACT WILL BE SIGNIFICANT.

Like CHIP’s Facebook page

Connect with CHIP on Twitter

Get all the details about the CHIP Charity Poker Tournament by clicking here.

CHIP POKER TOURNAMENTWe love to hear from the readers here.  If you have any comments, suggestions, or if there is a topic you would like for me to explore please add a comment in the box below.

Blessings,

Mary Lu

Mary Lu Saylor

Connect with me:  

Email: marylusaylor@outlook.com

Blog : https://socialmediamarylu.wordpress.com/

Facebookwww.facebook.com/mary.l.saylor

Twitter: @marylusaylor

Instagram: @marylusaylor

Mary Lu Saylor is an Emmy-award winning journalist who spent 30 years in the television news business. Her experience includes work as a videographer, newscast video editor, and ultimately as the newsroom Assignment Manager at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, SC. Mary Lu is currently pursuing her passion of social media, which began during her years at WSPA-TV. She is a Social Media Specialist with FindGreatCompanies.com

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Guest Blogger: Chris Abbotts

Chris Abbotts

Chris Abbotts is another of my friends from my TV life.  He had an important role in our newsroom as the conductor of sorts to make the news content on our social media platforms sing.   He and his wife Emily have made a big move recently and he’s taken a new job.  I wanted Chris to share from his wealth of experience in the “TV world” as well as in his new role in the public relations world.

As we continue our guest blogger series, I love that I am able to share wonderful expertise from all different facets of the world using social media.  Meet Chris!

What social media platforms are you on?  And how do you use social media?

Personally, I’ll try anything new, but I consistently use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  For me, those are the big three where I can find most of my friends, family, colleagues and favorite brands.

Facebook is my go-to for actual networking and probably gets the most of my attention.  Zuckerberg and crew seem to have really nailed the whole algorithm thing, so I’m guaranteed to see almost everything I deem important.

I tend to use Twitter during real-time events, and more as a spectator than as a participant.

Instagram is always a contender as one of my personal favorites.  I always compare it to magazines, where there’s some textual content but mostly higher quality, artsy photos.  It’s easy for me to open the app with the intention of wasting a few minutes before a meeting, then look at the clock 20 minutes later to find out I’m late.

Professionally, the focus is on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Facebook is the cornerstone of our social media strategy, and really has been in all of my past experiences.  I always ask myself two things before I click the “post” button.  First, is the content as good as it can be?  And second, does it appeal to a majority of those who like the page?  If the answer to those questions is yes, then it’s probably going to get a good reaction.  Another thing that is always a top priority is engaging with users.  To me, if you’re holding a one-way conversation, you’re not using social media to its full potential.

Everything that goes on Facebook goes on Twitter.  That’s where the similarities end.  I’d say we use it best during ongoing events where one or two-sentences can help tell an unfolding story.  Photos are just as important here as they are on Facebook, if not more so.  Analytics have shown that tweets with photos generally get more attention.  Sometimes, an average of twice as much engagement, or even more.  To me, hashtags are much more important on Twitter than they are on Facebook, and seem to travel further.  I think it lets the user know that your message is part of a bigger conversation, if used correctly.

As for YouTube, it’s a no-brainer.  If you have something that is extremely visual and active, this is where you need to be.  It’s so well integrated with the major platforms these days, it really enhances the value of the message you’re trying to deliver.  And when it comes to video quality, even in an UltraHD age with an emphasis on production quality, I think most users are pretty forgiving.  Plus, it acts as a great archive.

What platforms do you feel are the best to engage your audience or ideal client?

Hands down, it has to be Facebook.  In my experience, and I think most would agree, this is where your content has the potential to reach the most users and have a long life.  Ask almost anyone you know and chances are they’re regular Facebook users.

Once you figure out Facebook’s attitude toward brands and how your specific brand fits into their current model, you can really maximize your audience.  Finding that sweet spot when it comes to how often you post, what times of day are best, and what content works well can be tricky, but if you read the signs and pay close attention to insights you’ll know if you’re on the right track.

For example, I recently switched gears from almost a decade in TV news to healthcare public relations.  In some ways, the strategy for growth was similar; demographics, peak use time and initiation of engagement.  Other areas of focus couldn’t be more different, such as voice, frequency and types of content.  But after some time navigating through the differences and watching each post closely, it started to make sense and the numbers showed that.

Twitter, depending on your area’s sentiment toward it, can be a close or very distant second place.  Places I’ve been that have a bigger political, college and/or metropolitan climate have had more engaged users on Twitter.  Either way, you definitely have to be there because there are some who have shied away from Facebook and only use Twitter as their main social media platform.

Instagram can be a staple for some, but without the ability to have working links, its only benefit seems to be brand awareness.

Share one or a few things that have surprised you about using social media.

Other than the trolls who never cease to amaze me, the biggest surprise has been social media’s acceptance over time, especially in a marketing and informational sense.

Ten or twelve years ago, if someone would have told me that I’d immediately turn to Facebook to find out the specials at my favorite restaurant, what band is playing at the local watering hole, or whether or not dogs are allowed at an upcoming festival, I would have never believed them.

The same thing goes for Twitter when it comes to breaking news.  When I signed up for Twitter, I never would have thought that it would be my first source for information if I heard a lot of sirens or helicopters nearby, or that I’d be scrolling through my phone while watching a major national event unfold.

It’s an exciting career to be involved in.  It definitely isn’t going anywhere, although the landscape is guaranteed to change at an even faster pace going forward.

Check back in another 10 or 12 years and I will likely be even more surprised at the level of which social media is integrated into our daily lives.

About Chris:

I’m the Social Media Coordinator at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis as part of the public relations team.  I got into the social media game at the ground floor while creating web content in TV news.  The places I’ve called home over the years include cities in Michigan, South Carolina and now Indiana.  I’m married to my best friend, and enjoy the outdoors as much as I do sinking into the couch for a long Netflix binge.

Connect with Chris:

You can find out more about him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Big Thank You

Chris is the 11th contributor to this series.  I am so fortunate to have such social media savvy friends that are willing to spend a little time to jot their thoughts down for us.

Do you have some tips on engaging others on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram?  I’d love to hear from you. Leave me a comment in the box below.

Blessings,

Mary Lu

Mary Lu Saylor

Connect with me:  

Email: marylusaylor@outlook.com

Blog : https://socialmediamarylu.wordpress.com/

Facebookwww.facebook.com/mary.l.saylor

Twitter: @marylusaylor

Instagram: @marylusaylor

Mary Lu Saylor is an Emmy-award winning journalist who spent 30 years in the television news business. Her experience includes work as a videographer, newscast video editor, and ultimately as the newsroom Assignment Manager at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, SC. Mary Lu is currently pursuing her passion of social media, which began during her years at WSPA-TV. She is a Social Media Specialist with FindGreatCompanies.com

Guest Blogger: Timothy Martin

Timothy Martin

This week meet Timothy Martin who is the Communications and Media Coordinator for the City of Roanoke, Virginia.  I know Timothy virtually (we are planning on having lunch soon!)  He used to work with my dad at WFIR Radio here in our great city.

I’ve been intrigued with how Timothy has embraced his current role and think you will want to see what kind of success he has has. I can’t imagine managing the communication needs of a city?!?  I do know that photo sharing of our wonderful place to live is hugely popular and I love to send pictures in and see them pop up on the city’s platforms.  Pretty cool!   Read on and see what Timothy is doing!

What social media platforms are you on?  And how do you use social media?

In local government, social media is an important tool for both informing and engaging with citizens.   Frequent posts and engaging content has helped our 40+ social media pages attract a following of more than 100,000.  We use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, and Pinterest to showcase city news and events in various ways.

It’s important for us to reach as many people as possible on social media and utilizing the many platforms available allows us to do that.  Each platform offers something a little different and the audience isn’t always the same.

What platforms do you feel are the best to engage your audience or ideal client?

Facebook is by far the best social media platform to engage our citizens.  The City of Roanoke, Virginia – Communications Facebook page has a following of more than 46,000.  By promoting city news and events, and posting user submitted photos, our weekly reach is typically 150,000 or more.  We also use Facebook to capitalize on big events.  During the last two snow storms, around the clock updates helped us gain thousands of new likes and hit a record weekly reach of 600,000.  In 2014, we were recognized by 3CMA for our snow coverage, winning the Savvy award. We also focus heavily on social media customer service.  Citizens ask questions and we find the answers as quickly as possible.  That’s the serious stuff.

We also have a little fun with it too. On April 1, 2014, we announced the Roanoke Star was going on a world tour.  A fake news release and photos of the star at different landmarks around the world created quite a buzz on Facebook.  That prank won us the “Best Use of Humor on Social Media” award from Government Social Media.  Roanoke and its citizens get social media, and the team effort has put us on the map.

Share one or a few things that have surprised you about using social media.

One of the biggest surprises about using social media in local government has been the citizen engagement.  I learned early on that if you engage with citizens, they will engage with you.  A prime example is the 2014 snowstorm that really helped our main page take off.  During that event, I reached out to citizens to submit photos of the snow. Hundreds of photos were submitted during that storm.  Since then, we’ve received thousands of beautiful photos of the city.  It’s almost second nature now for people to take photos, and then send them to our page for all of our followers to see.  The use of photos has helped drive our numbers unlike anything else.  Something else that’s not really a surprise, but more of an insight is how Facebook distributes our posts to our followers.  A post with a photo gets more than double the reach than a post with a link or simple a text post.  The same can be said for videos. Embedding videos directly to Facebook will reach more users than linking to YouTube.  I would encourage any social media manage to study the stats that Facebook provides.  Those stats can help you direct the content on your page in order to reach the broadest audience possible.

A little about Timothy

The first part of my career was spent in broadcast news.  I was the anchor and reporter at WFIR Talk Radio in Roanoke.  After seven wonderful years at the station, I left to become communications and media coordinator for the City of Roanoke.  A prime responsibility has been managing the city’s social media pages. It’s been a wonderful learn as you go experience.  I often say that everyone is an expert on social media. Try something, if it doesn’t work, try something else until it does.

Timothy’s Connection Points

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RoanokeVa

Twitter: https://twitter.com/City_of_Roanoke

Instagram: https://instagram.com/City_of_Roanoke/

You want to check out this cool page: https://roanoke.uberflip.com

Thank you

I want to thank Timothy for his willingness to share his time and a little of what has worked for him in his job.  Roanoke, Virginia is one of the most beautiful places and we would love for you to visit our great city!

I’d love to hear from the readers….leave a comment or a question in the box below.  I’d love to have you become a regular subscribers…click the follow button on the right side of the page 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and spending a couple of minutes with us.

Mary Lu Saylor

Connect with me:  

Email: marylusaylor@outlook.com

Blog : https://socialmediamarylu.wordpress.com/

Facebookwww.facebook.com/mary.l.saylor

Twitter: @marylusaylor

Instagram: @marylusaylor

Mary Lu Saylor is an Emmy-award winning journalist who spent 30 years in the television news business. Her experience includes work as a videographer, newscast video editor, and ultimately as the newsroom Assignment Manager at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, SC. Mary Lu is currently pursuing her passion of social media, which began during her years at WSPA-TV. She is a Social Media Specialist with FindGreatCompanies.com

Guest Blogger: Ariel Lev

Photo: Jeff Hoffman w/ Eddy Communications
Photo: Jeff Hoffman w/ Eddy Communications

I met Ariel Lev when I was helping my husband with a project he was working that involved the CoLab in the Grandin Village section of Roanoke, Virginia.  I will never forget being introduced to Ariel….she said, “I know you from social media!”  I had to catch my breath.  I’d never had anyone say that to me.

Ariel is a wonderfully talented and enthusiastic supporter of entrepreneurs in the Roanoke area.  Our area is so fortunate to have people like her helping to nurture the budding projects that take root at the CoLab.  I’m so pleased she agreed to guest blog!

What social media platforms are you on?  And how do you use social media?

I am a contributor or the lead social media human for a hand full of accounts, but I mainly use social media for myself and for CoLab, the coworking space I run in Roanoke, VA. Personally, I mainly use Instagram for sharing (@a_lev_) and Facebook for keeping up with old friends or discovering new articles to read (also known as: wasting time on the Internet).

For CoLab, I use Facebook Pages, a Facebook group (this one is members only!), Instagram (@CoLab_Roanoke) and Twitter (@grandinCoLab). I tend to do most of my work-related social media-ing during the work day or when I’m particularly moved, and I don’t do a lot of scheduled posts. This is helpful in keeping the content fresh when I’m not at my computer or thinking about social media.

Mostly, I use social media to provide an engaging voice for people who are listening. Social media expands our network and worth to those who are outside of our direct client base and keeps us on the minds of those who might one day become clients. These digital touch-points are endlessly rewarding, though hard to track.

What platforms do you feel are the best to engage your audience or ideal client?

I find that, for CoLab, Twitter is helpful in engaging the local business clientele. When I post on Twitter, I am speaking to an audience of people like me: marketing executives, media specialists, entrepreneurs who do it all. There are some individuals tweeting personally, but since the shelf life of a tweet is about 30 seconds or less, I don’t rely on it.

Our Facebook page is the only social media outlet I pay to use. At times, I’ll boost a particularly well-crafted post that shows off something special about CoLab for $5.00. Or, if there’s an event coming up, I’ll spend $3.00 on a quick boost, ensuring that people outside of our immediate followership are given a chance to check it out.

The Facebook group is a convenient way to get in touch with members, if they choose to engage with the platform. I send out a weekly email newsletter, but I’ll frequently duplicate content in this group so members have a better chance of seeing it.

Instagram is my ideal way to engage clients, but it takes a lot of work. I love this app and the networks that grow because of it — I have a huge soft spot and appreciation for strong aesthetics and put a lot of effort into my personal account, and have let that bleed over into the CoLab’s account. Entrepreneurs and millennials use Instagram to showcase their business, and I hope to one day be among the coworking giants with a feed that touches and inspires innovators around the globe. As you can tell, I have lofty goals!

Share one or a few things that have surprised you about using social media.

I think the most surprising social media lesson I learned was the afore-mentioned realization about Twitter being more of a B2B network than a B2C network. Though there is still worth to this network, I do sometimes feel like all of the accounts in my network are screaming from a podium into a room of empty seats. More possibly, I just have a lot to learn.

Meet Ariel

I’m the director of CoLab, Roanoke’s largest coworking space. As a millennial, I’ve grown up with social media: it helped shape me, and in some ways, I helped shape it.

A little history: I am from North Carolina originally and fell in love with the mountains when I attended Appalachian State University, graduating with a degree in Broadcasting / Communications. Shortly after, I tried my hand at city living while attending Graduate school in D.C. at Georgetown University. I earned an M.A. in Communication, Culture and Technology – and promptly left for more mountainous pastures. My husband and I chose Roanoke because it checked all our boxes: mountains, opportunity, low cost of living and proximity to parents. Little did we know that Roanoke is also home to people who care very much about the future of their home and who work relentlessly to make it the best it can be. We are excited to be a part of this culture!

Connection Points

Website: www.grandincolab.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/colabroanoke

Colab Instagram: @CoLab_Roanoke

CoLab Twitter: @grandinCoLab

Ariel’s Instagram: @a_lev

Thank you!

Ariel, thank you for taking time out of your super busy schedule to help collaborate (pun intended!) with me for this blog.  I love seeing how you use social media as a communication tool in so many ways.

Connect with me:  

Email: marylusaylor@outlook.com

Blog : https://socialmediamarylu.wordpress.com/

Facebookwww.facebook.com/mary.l.saylor

Twitter: @marylusaylor

Instagram: @marylusaylor

Mary Lu Saylor is an Emmy-award winning journalist who spent 30 years in the television news business. Her experience includes work as a videographer, newscast video editor, and ultimately as the newsroom Assignment Manager at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, SC. Mary Lu is currently pursuing her passion of social media, which began during her years at WSPA-TV. She is a Social Media Specialist with FindGreatCompanies.com