You may have seen that we have been using social media to promote GOC for around a year or so now and we have a few members who are becoming more engaged via social media. To help more people understand what we are trying to achieve for GOC and to encourage some people who have not used social media before to get involved we have written a guide that we hope you will find useful.
Why are we using social media?
Locally, nationally and internationally the way in which people communicate has changed. People
are able now share information with whoever they like and whenever they want.
We still use our traditional methods of communication, but there have been radical changes in the way
the public interact with each other and social networking has exploded globally.
The term social media refers to the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication
into an interactive dialogue. It could almost be referred to as public generated media. You cannot
control your message through social media, but you can begin to participate in the ‘conversation’ and
achieve a significant influence in that conversation.
Social media services and tools involve a combination of technology, telecommunications and some
kind of social interaction. Social media channels can include a variety of different formats including text,
pictures, videos and audio.
Effective, well-considered and planned use of social media can help the club better understand and
respond to the attention of specific audiences. It provides the opportunity to have two-way
communication with people in the places where they are already engaging. Whereas in contrast a web
site is much more of a one way conversation, a web site is more about providing information that
people look for, social media enables people to share information and contribute to it.
Using social media is a part of a strategy to encourage greater participation in the Gay Outdoor Club.
The GOC web site will remain at the heart of the club presence on the internet and the use of social
media is intended to drive traffic to the web site, not replace it, the measurement of success of social
media will be the level of traffic to the website from social media.
All use of social media whilst using the identity of the GOC should be cognisant of the image of the club
and nothing should be said or done that damages the reputation of the club.
The use of social media by the club has begun with facebook and twitter, however there are other and new social media platforms available and being developed.
The start of anything on facebook is a profile, the other main features are groups, pages and events.
Profiles, groups and pages have some similarities; they all have a wall / timeline this is a news feed, notifications, settings, and adverts
Individual people have a profile, to set one up you will need an email address, you can use your goc one if you are setting one up as goc co-ordinator xxxxxxx for example firstname.lastname@example.org however if you already have your own profile you can use this to access facebook and set up the other two main parts of facebook, groups and pages. You may find that there are organisations, businesses and groups that have a profile but that is not good facebook protocol. If you are setting up a GOC profile using the GOC identity you are asked to supply detaisl of the account to GOC so should there be a reason you are not keeping the account running we can access it and remove it so it does not damage the reputation fo GOC.
Profiles have ‘friends’ and you can set all sorts of settings with regard to the level of access to your profile and parts of your profile depending on how public or private you want to be as well as how you want to receive ‘notifications’, unless you set these not to send you an email every time someone posts something you will get a lot of emails, notifications are common across profiles, groups and pages.
From a profile you can search for anything on facebook, you can message / chat with ‘friends’ and with other people who have their settings that allow you to message or chat with them, however it is possible to only allow your friends to message/chat with you or friends of friends for example.
From a profile you can post on other peoples profile wall/timeline, or in groups or on a page as long as their settings allow this.
These are for groups of people (profiles) and are usually a common interest, activity or campaign/support group, these can be just a couple of people or many hundreds of people. You ‘join’ a group with your profile.
Groups can have three settings:
Open: Open groups are just that, everyone who searches on facebook will find groups that meet the search criteria and can join them.
Closed: Closed groups are visible to everyone however to join it is necessary for an ‘admin’ to approve a profile joining the group.
Secret : Secret groups do not appear in search results so the only way to get into them is to be invited to join, applications to join the group is managed by ‘admins’
Any profile can be an admin, clearly the person setting up the group begins as the first admin, however they can appoint other ‘admins’ and potentially person who set up the group can leave the group and a group can be left without an admin person. It is recommended that any GOC group should have more than one person who is an admin.
Groups can be very useful because it is possible to message all members of a group, something that is not possible with all of your friends on you profile.
These are similar to groups in that they are set up by someone with a profile, who is the admin for the page and more than one person can be the admin on a page.
Similar to groups the settings on a page can be bespoke, some pages allow other people to post on their wall / timeline or just comment on posts that admins have made.
Pages don’t have friends or members they rely on ‘likes’ people who have liked any page can get updates on their wall / timeline / news feed when a page is updated with a post.
Pages can ‘like’ other pages and will then get updates of posts from those pages on their timelines, this is useful for getting a feed of information that may be of interest to you, by liking pages with similar interests to your own.
Pages can also ‘like’ or comment on posts on other pages, groups or profiles. Commenting on other peoples posts or posting on other pages is the social part, these conversations with other pages will get your own page noticed by people who have liked the other pages but not necessarily yours and then they may choose to ‘like’ your page.
The GOC have one main page, www.facebook.com/gayoutdoorclub anyone with a facebook profile who wants to promote the club can help by liking this page and then liking, sharing or commenting on posts on the page, this will widen the reach of these posts. The reach of posts on a page as well as other insights are one of the benefits of a page over profiles and groups. The admins on a page see a selection of insights including the reach of every post, the demographics of the people how like your page. It is possible to pay to reach specific groups of people with your posts on a page as well as to have paid for adverts that link to your facebook page or to your web site.
More than just liking something if you share something then it will then appear on your wall / timeline, this is likely to be more noticeable to your friends, members or people who have liked you and more likely to appear in their notifications than if you just liked a post. Sharing should be used with care not to annoy your members, friends or people who have liked you because of how many notifications it causes.
Profiles and groups can create events, then people can be invited to these events and message other people who are invited to events, events can be open, closed or secret. If they are set up from a group then it is possible to automatically invite all the members of the group rather than doing it individually.
Although the GOC web site should be used as the basis for any event, for example by posting the link to
the event on the GOC web site on the facebook event, having an event in a group on facebook allows
group communication between people in the group, this is more than is possible via the web site, in
addition anyone in the group can post and share their photos in the group event knowing that the other
members of the group will be able to see them. The same conditions apply with regard to any photos
that are uploaded to the internet anywhere that anyone else can see them in that any photo on the
internet can be passed around without your knowledge or control, this is no different on the web site
face book or almost anywhere else on the internet.
Increasingly Twitter is being used as a social network but it is a great way to pass information and have
conversations. Twitter has a different language to Facebook and the two networks don’t necessarily
interact well. The GOC has one main Twitter account @GayOutdoorClub1. We use twitter to post
information about up-coming events and promote the group, it’s activities and ethos and connect with like
minded people and similar groups. The address of the website is posted on our Tweets so people can go
directly to the site as the main aim for using Twitter is to drive traffic to the website.
Ideally GOC members with their own Twitter profiles will follow the @GayOutdoorClub1 and look for
tweets we have made and re-tweet or favourite them. If GOC members want to create local profiles e.g
@goccornwall or @goclondon and pass info locally that would be encouraged as the more profiles that
re-tweet, reply and favourite a post the more accounts and people can be reached. Similarly as above if you are creating an accoutn with eht GOC braninding please share the log on detaisl with the GOC committee so we can revove any obsolete accoutns to protect our brand.
You are only allowed to post a Tweet of 140 characters maximum and this includes links to webpages,
photos and any hashtags
This is your comment, statement, update or news that you are sharing with the world.
The # symbol in front of any word or combination of words creates a searchable phrase on Twitter that
means that you can find other profiles or people that are using the same # and connect with them.
We regularly tweet with #gocuk #justturnup #adventureout for example.
Twitter is designed for people to ‘follow’ and be ‘followed’ if you are following someone you may see
their ‘tweets’ if you are being followed those people may see your ‘tweets’. The more people you follow
the less likely you are to see their posts as there is so much traffic.
When people think their followers will be interested in your tweet they will ‘re-tweet’ it and their followers can then see it. This is the best way to get the Tweets and our information out.
When people like your post they can ‘favourite’ it and it will highlight it on the list of posts.
Replying to a tweet creates a conversation with the other party or parties and their followers, it can create interest and bounce the information onward for some time.
We will be developing this guide further and anyone who has anything that they feel may assist can contact us on facebook, twitter or email.
Simon Hill & Steve Cannon
On behalf of the Gay Outdoor Club