As the school year begins, the season of advocating for an appropriate education for our gifted learners ramps up again. We’re connecting with new students, new teachers, new parents, and we’re growing ourselves and our schools on behalf of gifted learners. Many of us will begin to start parent gifted ed advocacy groups. Many of us will succeed in creating a vibrant, positive, and active community. Many of us won’t.
In today’s world, connecting with people to create relationships (aka effective advocacy) takes place online. But maybe you’re new to the social media world. Or you know someone who is. What are some quick do’s and don’ts for success?
Read on, friend. Read on.
- Be personable.
Post in a natural voice and be someone everyone can get along with.
- Be where they are.
Is your community on Twitter? Facebook? Tumblr? Google+? Don’t try to get them to move somewhere else.
- Be welcoming.
Remember what it’s like to be new to a new community. Help everyone learn how to make room for the newcomer.
- Be available.
This means in the morning, lunchtime, evenings, and even late at nite, if your community members are active then. You might consider sharing admin responsibilities. “Many hands make light work.”
- Be a learner.
People will listen to a know-it-all lecturer only for a while. There’s no way you’re smarter than everyone in the community, so learn to listen and ask questions too.
- Be interactive
Respond when people talk to you. Ask questions. Engage. Cheer and congratulate. Admire good work!
- Be valuable.
Provide high-quality content. Be there when people ask for help or advice. Know where to send them for additional help.
- Be consistent.
Post on a regular basis. However, if you post too often, people will be overwhelmed and irritated. If you post too rarely, people will forget the need. Find your community’s sweet spot.
- Be repeatable/quotable.
People will remember the words you say and will always share the good stuff. What is it you want them to remember and repeat?
- Be focused.
Know what you want from your community. Know what engages them to move toward that end. Help your community work toward that greater Good.
Download these tips: 10 Tips for Gifted Advocacy in a Social Media World