We’ve talked about the specific ways to support the different evangelism styles in the previous post, Understanding Social Media Evangelists. Here are some general ideas for supporting your evangelists. Remember, not all will work with each type of evangelist.
- Give your online supporters tools to identify themselves
- Avatars for Twitter
- Badges for Websites and social network profiles
- Create specialized mailing lists for them to join
- Create a special online forum exclusively for evangelists
- Create fan pages and groups on Facebook and other social networks for them to join
- Enable evangelists to invite others to join
- Offer stickers, T-shirts, fabric badges, other trinkets
- Create contests with prizes
In the end, you’ll need to ask your evangelists how you can best support them. Be sure to devote enough time to their care and feeding. They may be the most important people in your organization.
The Importance of Stories
Here’s a good example of online evangelism and it comes from a non-profit.
I’ve known my friend Les LaMotte for a decade, but we hadn’t talked in about three years. One night, Les opened a chat with me on Facebook and told me his story. I knew that he had been working with a non-profit he founded called Sudan Hope. He told me the story of how, together with the Sudanese people, they had built a paved road and a boat, and brought wireless Internet to remote villages. He talked about his struggles and successes and told me he was seeking support for a movie on the plight of the Sudanese.
Over the next month or so, I must have told and emailed 15 of my friends about what Les was doing, and included a link to his donations page.
What’s that worth? It took less than half an hour out of Les’ day to multiply his reach 15-fold.
What if your entire organization, and your entire community, was engaged in this type of evangelism, if even for half an hour a week? Think of how you would multiply your marketing and brand development efforts.
So how can you put together a social media evangelism program? That’s the subject of the final post in this series, Creating a Social Media Evangelism Program. If you’d like to weigh in on the conversation, reply below and perhaps I’ll incorporate your ideas in the next post.