The ways in which we share and consume information is becoming much more participatory and digital – ‘old’ media, such as newspapers and TV are mainly concerned with other people publishing information using expertise and tools that aren’t affordable to the masses. However, ‘new’ media or social media, is a lot more accessible and conversational, making it easier (with the right know-how) to get your message out there and invite more people to join you.

The term social media is used to describe any online space where users can create and share their own content as well as have conversations with other users. There are many different social media platforms available to use for free - some of the more popular ones include, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest.

Social media offers a great way to raise the visibility of your group and invite more people to join you, including new participants, volunteers, audience members, supporters, funders and project partners.

In this video Carole Williams, of the Scottish Community Drama Association (SCDA), reflects on how SCDA is working with a social media volunteer, to build connections and widen its network . . .

Further reading:

When choosing what social media platforms to sign up to, it’s first worth considering which platforms are best suited to the needs of your group. So before you get started, it’s advisable to spend some time researching which platforms your target audience already uses and thinking about the type of content you want to share.

Check out the resources below to help you get started . . .

'The Charity Social Media Toolkit' - developed by Skills Platform, this is a comprehensive online guide to social media for charities and voluntary organisations. Chapter 1 covers how to map and understand your audience, and includes a handy guide to the most popular social media channels along with useful advice on how to decide which channels are right for you.

'So you think you want to use social media?' - a social media planning guide for voluntary sector organisations, produced by the National Association of Voluntary and Community Action in partnership with ICT Champions. This guide includes a number of useful exercises to help you understand which form of social media could most benefit your group. This resource was produced in 2010, which means that some of the more recent digital tools aren't mentioned, however, the exercises and information provided on how to use social media responsibly is still very relevant. 

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