Small community organizations, such as parent committees, book clubs, sports associations, or service groups struggle to communicate effectively with their members and the communities surrounding them.
Limited resources make newspaper or other form of print marketing cost restrictive.
Telephone communication can be cumbersome and time consuming.
Meetings can be poorly attended or ineffective.
The rise of social networking as a communication medium has implications beyond personal socializing or business networking; it can now be considered a valid tool for community groups. Facebook should be an obvious choice for an organization seeking the benefits of social networking. On an individual basis, Facebook members will likely have members from their local communities on their friends lists, the audience (or a portion thereof) is already reachable without any ground work; your organization now has an immediately available and concrete audience built-in from the start. New members can easily sign up to Facebook and become part of a network that quickly reproduces itself. There are multiple ways a message can be shared, two of which being: status updates posted and viewed by friends from personal pages, and through the use of Facebook Pages (formerly Groups). A Page has built-in messaging systems by way of wall posts and a discussion area, in addition to posting features by way of status updates broadcast to all Fans (think group members), and private messages delivered to each Fans’ inbox. With the click of a button, the administrators can send an update to the Fans. To become a Fan is easy; one simply follows a link that the administrators of the page have sent as an invite. Alternatively, individuals can look up a page and become a member by navigating to the website itself. Other useful features of a Facebook Page:
Events can be published to a shared calendar
Documents can be uploaded for universal group use
External links and photos can be shared.
Community organizations struggle to have their message heard, whether it be to their members, or to those within the community. Social networking sites, like Facebook, offer organizations the opportunity to provide universally accessible, clear and dynamic information on events, meetings, fund-raising initiatives, and other group information. The possibilities are virtually endless!
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