A page can spread the word of upcoming events and news from the community. It creates an environment for discussion by allowing for posts, shares, and comments. Social media also provides a way for management to answer questions or address concerns.

Analytics provides Facebook page ranks and without continued posts and interaction with the community, the page drops in rank, which means that the posts are not being shared to newsfeeds. This means that unless people visit that specific page on Facebook, they will not see anything from the organization.

Dialog is tremendously important and the more that occurs on the page, the increase in analytic rankings. The easiest way to increase Facebook ranking is to create regular posts, events, add pictures, and comment back on posts. When ranking increases, posts show up in more news feeds because Facebook has determined that the page is important and is actively publishing more posts into more newsfeeds.

Posts need to be made multiple times each week in order to keep up a page’s rank. One great tool that Facebook developed is scheduling. Posts, events, and posts within events can be scheduled up to a year in advance.

If social media use has been limited in the past, schedule at least three posts a week for the same time i.e. post an upcoming event on Tuesdays at 12pm. Facebook followers will be able to see the post time and will get used to checking the Facebook page on those days of the week to see new information.

A community board is another great and inexpensive tool to advertise. There should be either flyers or an upcoming event packet for the community. By having the tangible object that can be taken, residents are more likely to remember activities.

Flyers need to look appealing to catch the attention. They need to be posted in a timely fashion. Events that can be scheduled three to six months in advance allow for the best opportunity of getting community members interest compared to last minute additions.

One of the most important things to take into consideration is that creating followers on the website, Facebook, or in the community takes time. When things are updated regularly, residents will trust where to get information and will turn to those resources used by the community.

Activity coordinators must understand the need to push programs, but must also understand that different times of years, weekday vs. weekend, and other activities in the community all influence participation. Something that didn’t work in the spring might have great success during winter months and being able to change dates and times may result in better outcomes. If there have been a lot of cancelled or subpar events in the past, the community may be hesitant to sign up for activities. It takes time to build back trust. This concept relates back to the surveys and evaluations, which can help pinpoint the reasons for success or failure and restructuring or cancelling events if needed. A few new events or well organized events may help to jump start and renew engagement from the community.

A community is always changing and every organization must be willing to adapt. Some programs can run for decades and still gain attention and followers in the community while others activities have short lifespans. In order to connect to communities, activity coordinators need to learn these nuances and be willing to think outside the box to meet the growing demands.


• Winter 2018 • A Publication of CAI-Illinois Chapter f CAI Illi i Ch

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