This is the first of several posts on using Social Media for a cottage association. This post is just an overview. I will be going in to more detail in future posts.
The idea behind this series is that it is not so much a "this is what and how to do it' manual, but more a "here are a bunch of ideas/tools you can pick and chose from". You need to figure out what works for you and your association. I will be using the sources that I use for my association as examples, you should be able to find similar sources in your area.
This will not be a static post, I will update it as errors are found or when someone sends me information that fits in. If I have missed a tool or source that you use, please let me know. I am always looking for ways to better serve our association.
There are a many of kinds of information that you need to pass on to your members:
Are they going up, by how much, and why. Where is the tax money being spent.
Proposed by-laws, new by-laws and changes to by-laws that affect your members.
Road work affects all of us...
Police, Fire, Coast Guard, weather alerts, weather forecasts
Any companies that sponsor your association
Great restaurants in the area, because sometime you just want eat out
Is there a local store close to your association that is great for picking up that one item you forgot?
Is there a sidewalk sale in town?
Local elections, who is running for what. Is there a cottager running?
Provincial elections, which parties platform is cottage friendly?
Federal elections, which parties platform is cottage friendly?
There are a number of great sources for information. Plug in to as many sources as you can, but watch out for information overload,
Your members are a great source of information.
Government at the Local, Regional, Provincial, and Federal levels
There are a number of cottage shows/expositions, 2 of ones that I love to go to are the Cottage Life shows (they have a Spring and a Fall show) and Ottawa Cottage and Backyard show
Cottage related associations like FOCA
Local business associations
Many local police forces have a web site, Facebook page, twitter stream. The OPP is a great source of info in Ontario.
Magazines have great information, in the magazine, on their web site, Facebook page, Twiter stream
Local newspapers have great information, in the paper, on their web site, Facebook page, Twitter stream...
Local TV stations have great information, in the news cast, on their web site, Facebook page, Twitter steam....
There are a lot of great websites on cottaging.
There are number of great blogs focusing on cottaging and cottage related things.
There are a lot of great books out there on cottaging.
There are a number of Facebook pages that are cottage related or cover the area your association is in.
There are a number of Twitter feeds that are cottage related or cover the area your association is in.
There are a number of Google Plurs feeds that are cottage related or cover the area your association is in.
There are a lot of tools for getting information to your members. This is a quick list of
Great for face to face communication but they happen once a year.
Great for putting out a lot of information but they are a lot of work to write and there may be a cost to produce and/or distribute a physical copy.
Lots use, from single focus emails to long rambling updates. Downside we all suffer from email overload....
Great for putting out lots of information, but your members have to want to check up on the site. Depending on how your site was set up, posting quick updates may not be that easy.
Great for putting out lots of information. Blogs are designed for quick rapid postings, but your members will have to want to check up on the blog.
Great for putting out lots of information. You can share posts from other Facebook pages/accounts to your groups page very easily. Depending on how your members have set up their Facebook accounts, they may get notifications of new posts.
Great for putting out lots of information. You can easily share tweets from other Twitter accounts to your groups account very easily, but your members have to want to check their twitter stream.
Great for putting out lots of information. You can share posts from other accounts to your groups account very easily. Great tool for photos. Every one who has a gmail account can every easily have a Google Plus account. Your members have to want to check up on their Google Plus stream.
Great for putting out lots of photos live from an event. Great tools for photos from a smart phone. You can set your account up to cross post to a number of other social media sites. Your members have to want to check up on their Instagram stream.
Great for putting out lots of photos. Great tool for photos you can set up your account to cross post to Facebook and/or Twitter. Your members have to want to check up on their Pintrest stream.