Six Secrets to Social Network Success

  1. Have one source for all your content
    It would take an army of people to maintain every possible social networking presence.  Choose one source for creating and storing each type of content you have:
    1. Stories and News - on your main web page
    2. Images - In a Flickr account
    3. Video - On YouTube
  2. RSS is a Really Simple Solutiona
    Actually it's Really Simple Syndication (RSS).  When you post something on your web page, you need it to migrate to all your social network sites automatically.  If you have an RSS enabled Content Management system, it is easy to automate this task so you only have to write your content once.
  3. Let your Members make content for you
    It's expensive and time consuming to create good digital content.  At the same time, digital cameras are ubiquitous.  Make sure your members have an easy way to share their pictures and video of your events on your site by setting up groups on Flickr and Youtube. 
  4. Frequent Updates are Refreshing
    New updates are what draw in your members to visit your page again and again.  It doesn't have to be an involved article or complex multimedia piece, but share something at least once a day.  It seems like a lot, but there's a lot of content you can share from the web.  Each small post is an invitation to bring someone back to your web page where they could sign up to become a member or make a donation.  If you collect and share your local bicycling news effectively, your users will come to trust you as their source for bike info and visit more often.  Here's a hierarchy of items to share:
    1. Reminders about your Events
    2. Updates on your campaigns
    3. New content (images, video, etc.) on your site
    4. Bicycling news from your area (Set up a Google News Search to watch for items)
    5. State and National Bicycle News
    6. Articles on biking tips and tricks
  5. Monetize - No Money.  No Movement.
    Make sure your web presence works for you.  Your content should promote all the great work you're doing with the goal of bringing in the revenue to allow you to keep doing it.  Make sure that you monetize all your web presences by providing easy and prominent links to:
    1. Membership
    2. Merchandise
    3. Donations
  6. Track your web following
    Measuring the size of your web following helps you demonstrate the size and strength of your organization.  Analyzing what content get the most attention on your site also helps you identify your most effective online outreach tools and focus your efforts there.  Here are some stats you should track:
    1. Hits for each of your pages
    2. Fans of your Facebook page
    3. Visits to your Facebook page
    4. Supporters for your Facebook cause
    5. Twitter Followers
    6. Twitter @mentions
    7. Twitter searches for your event names
      (Example: "Bike to Work Day", "Car Free Friday")
    8. Views of your YouTube Videos
    9. Comments on your images, videos and stories.
    10. TweetStats (when do you post)