#EvalTwitter Week: Developing a social media voice as an AEA local affiliate by Deven Wisner

Hello! I’m Deven Wisner of Wisner Analytics, LLC, V.P. of Communications for the Arizona Evaluation Network (AZENet), and avid Tweeter. I’d like to share with you some Hot Tips and a Rad Resource for bringing Twitter into your AEA Local Area Collaborative (or any other organization!) – courtesy of myself, Jenny McCollough Cosgrove, and Nicole Huggett.

When I joined the AZENet board mid-2017, one focus was bolstering our presence in Arizona. As someone who had greatly benefited from connecting with fellow evaluators on Twitter, I thought that would be a great place to start! Of course, that’s easier said than done… because although social media has great potential for furthering an organization’s reach, it takes a significant time commitment. So, how did we manage?

First, we developed a plan, which included a minimum number of posts per day (we started with two) and following eval-focused individuals every day (our goal was 10). After noticing an increase in followers and engagement, we made a more formal commitment to Twitter.

At that point, we addressed sustainability (that time piece I mentioned earlier!) because let’s be honest – it’s one thing to have a great idea but another to keep it going! So, we decided to make social media a team effort. That’s when we had the idea to implement posting guidelines, create a schedule, and start using Hootsuite. A combination of these things helped us manage our “voice” across multiple users, avoid burnout, and make scheduling ahead during your “week” more manageable.

Hot Tips:

  1. Establish post guidelines – If you are going to have several individuals posting, you want to be sure everyone has an idea of what is acceptable for the organization and what isn’t (e.g., avoiding politics, promoting organizations, etc.). However, we encourage a wide variety of disciplines to be covered because we want our membership to be well-represented!
  2. Create a schedule – Social media burnout is real. Scrolling through Facebook at night before bed is different from having daily minimums and sharing quality content. Instead, share the work and let different perspectives shine! We created a schedule in OneNote that our board members sign up for. Depending on what events are going on, we include special things that need to be posted in addition to ad-hoc content.

Rad Resource:

Hootsuite – Just do it. There is a free version that allows you to post across platforms. Although that isn’t the purpose of this post, organizations usually need to be active on more than just Twitter. Hootsuite will allow you to schedule ahead, follow hashtags, and even require that posts be approved prior to releasing them.

image of Hootsuite

Have questions about incorporating Twitter into your AEA LAC? Let me know!

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating #EvalTwitter week. All posts this week are contributed by evaluators engaging, networking, and collaborating through Twitter. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.


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