Shhh, are you listening on social media?

Social media has been a hot topic for the PCNRC lately. Is it for you too? In the past 30 days, I have attended one social media webinar, registered for another, worked with PCNRC team to set up the Summer Social Media Seminar, and am working to enhance PCNRC’s social media. With all of these activities one topic peaked my interest – the art of listening.

earIn a world where we each try to get our message out and get inundated with information, are we really listening to others? Listening is a key component in communication. People are reminded to listen all the time.

Consider this blog post as a warm, friendly, and thought provoking nudge to think about listening to others on social media. The Greenlining Institute called listening on social media – social media monitoring. In monitoring your social media, one can get a broader picture of what is being communicated, engaged in the conversations that are happening, and learn about what people care about.1

Here is a real world example.

Back in the fall of 2012, as Executive Director of a history museum, I began closely following a specific community Facebook page. I’d heard through the grapevine that this local page had a wealth of information about people’s memories and photographs of the community.

I began reading, aka “listening,” to what individuals were posting. One big topic was the Great 1913 Flood. The 100th year anniversary of an event that cost many lives and significantly impacted many communities from the Midwest to the East Coast was right around the corner.

It was by listening to a page with over 6,000 current members, and listening to community stories that the museum decided to have a special exhibition to commemorate the 100th anniversary. As flooda museum team, we engaged the audience by asking for their help in curating the exhibit. We asked for stories, we asked for objects, and we asked for volunteers. It was a huge success! The exhibit opening had the largest program attendance in a long time. We had great coverage too – newspaper, radio, and of course, social media. After the exhibit was over, I had people approach me expressing their regret that they had missed seeing it or asking if the exhibit would be displayed again.

Opening our ears and listening can be a powerful tool in fulfilling our missions.

 

*Point of View post written by Elise,  Associate of PCNRC.

1 The Greenlining Institute’s The Art of Listening: Social Media Toolkit for Nonprofits

 

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