The baseline for a District, Section, or Chapter website is to include at minimum the following information:
Many DSC websites include more information (News, Sponsors, Students, Job Boards, Social Media, etc.), but the above should be the baseline.
In order to stay relevant, it is important to keep the information current. Events that have passed should be removed or archived. Additionally officer contact information should be kept current.
Also, when possible, multiple volunteers should have the login information and basic understanding of the website to prevent it going static when volunteers transition out of their role.
Since 2017, ITE has been working with its Districts, Sections and Councils to create more of a graphic consistency and ITE brand by creating specific guidelines. This information can be found here.
There are currently two DSC e-Communities to exchange information with other leadership, administrators, and ITE staff. There is the District, Section and Chapter Leadership community as well as the DSC Website Administrators community.
While it is possible to create your own DSC e-Community, our experience has shown they are difficult to keep current and engaging. If you are considering creating one, think about how you would get members to join and what content they would benefit from.
We recommend setting up a regular communication schedule with your members and non-members to keep them updated on what your District, Section, or Chapter is doing. Communications should/can include
Consider the social media platform(s) to use. Two of the major pitfalls of social media are 1) not selecting the platform where your audience is; and 2) choosing too many platforms. Selecting the right platform seems like common sense but it often the first mistake people looking to build a social media presence make. The right platform isn’t necessarily the one you and your network uses all the time. It is also important to consider why people utilize various platforms – personal versus professional. How your audience utilizes the platform will also help narrow down the choices.
In addition, selecting too many platforms stretches limited resources. It is better to select one or two platforms and maintain a consistent presence rather than choose five or six platforms and only post on each occasionally. The last consideration is what type of content you are going to post. Will it be more narrative or photos? If you are planning posts that have more written content than photos, then choose platforms that accommodate that type of posting.
For the above reasons, ITE International has selected Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter as our predominant social media platforms with Instagram as a platform that is utilized during the ITE Annual Meeting and Exhibition.
Plan Your Posts. Creating a social media calendar ensures postings are done on a consistent basis and is specifically advantageous if there are multiple people posting to the same platform. It is recommended that planning be done on at least a weekly basis. If it is a low activity period, then planning can be done on a monthly basis.
It also makes sure that postings do not focus in one specific area. When considering posts, follow the rule of thirds:
The relationship between you and your audience is symbiotic. You can followers as they trust you to be a source of valuable content as well as they can see themselves or be recognized in your posts.
Looking for content? ITE International has it! Feel free to use re-post content from ITE’s website.
Respond to Comments/Repost @. Social media should be a two-way not a one-way conversation. Show your audience that you are paying attention to them by re-posting their content (when appropriate and relevant to your strategy) and respond to their comments. One note: in today’s world, social media can be tumultuous and people don’t always think before they post. It is important for you to maintain positive and professional posts. Sidestep negative and acrimonious back and forth with posters. If there is an overly conscientious post, it may actually more prudent to not respond and find ways to mute that poster. ITE also strongly recommends avoids politically-based posts.
Tailor Posts to Platform. If you have chosen to utilize more than one platform, it is best to tailor each post to the platform. One reason for this is the limitations of the platform. Twitter has a limit of 280 characters. Readers cannot link to a page from an Instagram post. While Facebook and LinkedIn allow for longer posts, it is important to remember that attention spans are short. You want to provide enough information to create more interest and then include a way for your readers to get more information.
Another reason is how your audience consumes information on each platform. Facebook, for example, can be more personal and informal. Individuals who utilize LinkedIn expect more professional postings.
Overposting is as Bad as Underposting. On the one hand, not posting consistently will make it challenging to gain an following. Each platform has a general rule of thumb for posting. Twitter encourages postings 5x a day whereas LinkedIn and Facebook advocate postings at least twice a day. These may not be goals you can meet based on existing resources. However, posting on a regular basis is crucial to build your followers.
On the other hand, if you post too much or post irrelevant content, readers will not take you or your brand seriously. This is why it is important, as described above, to plan out how and when you will post.
Utilize Tools to Make Postings More Efficient. To make postings to your social media platforms of choice, there are a number of free and user friendly software platforms that allow you to pre-schedule posts as well as post across multiple platforms. Examples of these platforms include Tweetdeck (Twitter only) and Hootsuite.