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Using Social Media in the D&D Community

Nonprofits and consultants in our field are still learning how best to harness increasingly popular social media outlets like FaceBook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  The growth rates for such platforms is staggering, and since building a presence on such sites is free, we would be remiss not to get into the action.

Of course NCDD’s on FaceBook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.  But did you know we also have over 1,000 pictures posted at Flickr?  And that we’ve created public playlists organizing dozens and dozens of D&D videos on YouTube?

Yet I know we could be doing so much more to take advantage of these platforms.  Our FaceBook group has over 1,000 members at this point, which makes it considerably larger than most D&D organizations’ FaceBook groups.  Yet our group members rarely add new posts or reply to one another.  Mainly we post announcements from the NCDD blog, and send out periodic emails to everyone to encourage them to visit the group to look over said announcements and to start discussions of their own (which they generally don’t).

We have similar challenges with our LinkedIn group, although the group appears more active partly because our blog posts from the NCDD site automatically appear in the group.

I’d love to hear about how others in the D&D community use these and other social media platforms to increase visibility for their work, and get people involved in their projects.  Please use the comments field below to share links to your own groups, twitter accounts, etc. — and to tell us about your successful (and not-so-successful) social media strategies!

Here are NCDD’s main social media links…

FaceBook group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/ncddnetwork
LinkedIn group:  www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=990997&trk=hb_side_g
Twitter:  www.twitter.com/ncdd
YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/user/sheierbacher/videos?view=pl (public playlists of NCDD videos and D&D videos in general)
Flickr:  www.flickr.com/search/?q=ncdd2008 (over 400 photos from the 2008 NCDD conference; also search for “ncdd2006”)

And feel free to connect directly with me on the big three…

FaceBook:  www.facebook.com/heierbacher
LinkedIn:  www.linkedin.com/pub/sandy-heierbacher/0/177/74a
Twitter:  www.twitter.com/heierbacher

Sandy Heierbacher on FacebookSandy Heierbacher on LinkedinSandy Heierbacher on Twitter
Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher co-founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) with Andy Fluke in 2002, with the 60 volunteers and 50 organizations who worked together to plan NCDD’s first national conference. She served as NCDD's Executive Director between 2002 and 2018. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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  1. NCDD member Tom Murray sent me and a couple others a link today to the article "Does social media really correlate with the bottom line? Color me skeptical." at http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=21413&tag=nl.e5

    Interesting stuff!

  2. NCDD member Michael Dobbie sent me this link today…
    http://www.feverbee.com/

    Richard Millington is an online community builder who runs FeverBee (a blog featuring practical advice for growing online communities).

    Thanks, Michael!

  3. Dovetailing on the launch of our new Web site this spring, the Public Conversations Project is now exploring the use of Web 2.0/social media tools as a way to engage with and expand our audiences.

    One of my key learnings about making these tools successful is that they should be seen as tools to promote and share rich content. Therefore you have to think through (and create) the content, as opposed to just getting onto Facebook (for example) for the sake of being there.

    I also know that being active on our social media sites (commenting on other related blogs for example) is likely to drive traffic to and start discussions on your site.

    A few links I've found helpful in our research include:
    Mashable: The Social Media Guide http://www.mashable.com (esp the "how to" section)

    Big Duck Communications: NYC-based company that does communications for nonprofits. Lots of free and cheap (and very helpful) podcasts, Webinars, and articles. http://www.bigducknyc.com/

    This article by Michael Gilbert about how to do Social Media right: http://news.gilbert.org/SocialMediaHAH?print-frie

    I'd be happy to have a more extensive conversation about this offline, if it's helpful.

    Susan Countryman
    Director of Communications & Development
    Public Conversations Project

  4. From NCDD member Pamela Steager…

    This area is definitely NOT my forte, as I've been reluctant to even add social networking to my already full e-communications plate, but thought you or someone might be interested in this free online conference coming up, offered through the Center for Visionary Leadership http://www.visionarylead.org/

    It's part of their Maestro Month initiative and I think it's on 7/29:

    Conference description:

    Facebook is the largest online social network, with well over 225 million active members and Twitter is the fastest growing: membership has skyrocketed almost 1400% in 12 months. Social media sites are extremely powerful marketing mediums that you can use to significantly grow your business. But there's an art and a science to using these sites with success. And there's a certain culture and protocol. The main reason people fail with integrating social media is lack of a strategy. During this information-rich session, Mari will share proven strategies for generating significant online profits – while making a positive impact on the planet – using social media, including:

    • The most effective ways to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
    • Simple strategies to powerfully leveraging your visibility and brand.
    • How to use Facebook in just 5 minutes a day and still yield huge, measurable results.
    • How to build a targeted, responsive following rapidly on Twitter.
    • Secrets to leveraging, automating and delegating to get maximum results from your social networking.

    Bio:

    Dubbed "the Pied Piper of the Online World" by FastCompany.com, Mari Smith is a Social Media Speaker, Consultant and Trainer. She helps independent professionals, entrepreneurs and business owners to accelerate their profits using an integrated social media marketing strategy, with particular focus on Facebook and Twitter. Mari has a strong background in the world of relationships and internet technology, making social media her ideal arena. After applying Mari's proven Social Marketing methods, her clients typically experience a significant increase in traffic, subscribers, clients, affiliates, lucrative strategic alliances and targeted media attention. Mari is an in-demand speaker and travels the United States and internationally to provide social media keynotes and in-depth training.

  5. Carrie Boron says:

    By occasionally surveying our network and regularly analyzing our online activity through Google Analytics, Everyday Democracy attempts to take the “social media pulse” of our network and deliver the tools that best fit their needs. A community change program cannot happen without grassroots activists and public officials working together, so these are our primary audiences. If we are to effectively target online, say, grassroots activists, we need to keep in mind that they’re often part-time employees or volunteers overseeing a dialogue-to-change effort. They’re limited on time. Grassroots activists also spend much of their time out in communities—not behind a computer—building coalitions, recruiting participants and facilitators into their community change effort, etc. Given this, we’re constantly exploring which online tools will best engage and inform activists during their limited time behind a computer.

    Also, based on our web user survey research findings and observations of how people use social media both in and outside of work, we no longer assume that people will use our website as a one-stop shop to gather all that they need to organize a dialogue-to-change program. People now use social media tools, like Facebook, blogs and Twitter to find and learn about organizations that can help them in their daily work. This means that we should decentralize tools from our website (discussion forum, videos, photos, etc.) to the various social media sites people are already using. We’re trying to meeting people where they’re at online.

    For anyone who is interested in learning about the basics of social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and more, you’ll be able to download a recording of a webinar that the Vesper Service Network hosted last week. Check out Vesper’s website for the recording at http://www.vesperservice.net/contactus.php.

    Also, check out the Nonprofit Technology Conference's website for resources and a list of upcoming webinars on social media. http://www.nten.org

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