Engaging with a community no longer has to be limited by physical distance. Digital technologies have now given us the means to collaborate with people via software and social media. There are platforms that can connect people from across the world in real time.
Community organizers need to find ways to use these opportunities to expand their communities. The more people can connect with one another, the more opportunities are created to help each other and improve the collective lives of the community members. Computer literacy is high enough that it is effective to run organization efforts through a responsive community website. Events can be arranged and get-together meets coordinated with more ease since everyone has a one-stop place to get all the information they need.
Social media pages can be used as a way to attract new members, stay in touch with existing members, and stay accountable to the public about how donations are used for the good of the community. In this time of stress, social media allows further ease in helping people seek shelter, food aid, and arrange for medical care. Thus, it is time to see how social media can help your community find its joy.
Social media is a great way to directly engage with people in conversations. You can ask questions, answer queries, and explain policies to individuals in a way that allows everyone within the community to see. This will help people to feel that they can come forward with their own queries or even opinions.
Inviting conversation and questioning is how you find ways that improve the community in a way that is acceptable for its members. It also allows people from outside your community to learn more about what your community stands for, so they can join in or build similar communities in their own area. Therefore, it is important to emphasize that your social media pages are an avenue for conversation.
Use Live Chats
More social media platforms are allowing for live video features. Online collaboration software such as Zoom and Google Meets also allows you to engage with people face-to-face in real time. This is a great way to generate a kind of dynamic engagement that cannot be reflected in text posts and written comments.
This type of live streaming allows people to see other members of their community. This leads to stronger feelings of connection and acknowledgment. These make for great opportunities to reiterate the dedication to community building and helping people to reinforce their desire to contribute to their community.
It is also a great way for distanced communities to share ideas and projects that can be utilized across different regions and countries. It brings together disparate people in a way that allows your community to feel like it covers a much wider region than the physical boundaries the people occupy.
Organize Online Activities
Online activities are a safe way for people to engage with their community in places where social distancing is necessary. It is also a great way to include people who would not be able to attend physical events due to mobility issues.
Ask me anything sessions are a great way to have your community learn from notable community organizers and engage with celebrity philanthropists. It can also help to shine a light on the struggle and effort required to become an active and participating member of the community. Communities based around recovery or illness would do well to have sessions where people talk about their journey to recovery or acceptance.
Pen pal activities between communities from different countries can create videos or infographics that share information on how similar the communities are despite the distance and culture.
Communities that engage in urban farming would appreciate a seminar by successful urban farmers on how best to care for the plants and make a profit as well as feed the community members. Sharing sessions invite community members to share how they are coping and highlight ways that they feel each other can improve their well-being in difficult times.
While most community engagement sessions are educational and knowledge sharing, sometimes it is nice to have some fun. Online contests are a great way to encourage fun and organic community engagement. People are also likely o engage with it more if the prizes on offer are worth the effort. Be transparent and make sure that people win the exact amount in cash that is offered or receive the prize within a short period from their successful entry.
Most businesses would be happy to sponsor such events as it gets their name out there in a positive manner with very little effort on their part. But this does mean that you will need to ensure that as many members of your community engage with the contest as possible as companies will need hard numbers to justify releasing a product for free.
Connect it to your community objectives to help raise awareness or foster appreciation of the community’s efforts. People can share pictures of themselves with their favorite vegetables from the community garden. Share a funny picture and invite people to submit the funniest caption possible. Invite recipe videos on how to make a delicious meal with only dollar store items. Whatever the contest is, make sure it is relevant to your community.
Use social media to highlight the good works being done by your community members. Share videos of them in the field or sharing why they do the work they do. This will help them to feel appreciated as well as give a face to your community for people to identify with. Having these community leaders share their stories will also encourage other community members to come forward. Sharing is healing and will help bring the community closer together.