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How to get on online

Learning from six Big Local areas on digital and social media

June 2013

Between October 2012 and February 2013, six Big Local areas took part in an action learning set on digital and social media. Here the group shares the lessons they learnt and feel strongly enough about to share with other Big Local areas.

A communications sub group is essential

George, Kingswood and Hazel Leys

There should be at least four people in the group if possible to share the responsibility and management. There should be a clear strategy and direction which should be reviewed/evaluated regularly. The combination of social media and traditional media is really important. Passwords need to be held safely. Social media can have a fun element.

Get permission for photos and use different channels

Sophie, Slade Green

The Social media course made the group aware of the importance of asking permission when publishing photos of people and places. Some people might not be aware of their pictures or videos being posted on YouTube. The social media course also gives you plenty of practical advice about how to use social media and store information on different channels like Facebook, Dropbox, Wordpress, blogs etc.


Use all the skills of your partnership to share content

Shanie, Leecliffe (Leeming and Aycliffe)

When using different types of social media, you should utilise the skills of your partnership or within your community. This will enable you to target different audiences effectively without over loading one person. What I learnt about the varied types of social media has expanded my own personal knowledge, which will give me a greater understanding when dealing with businesses or other relevant agencies.


Use social media to get everyone involved

Andy, Warwick Ahead

Social media is a great way to be involved with your project and is an ideal way of reaching everyone within the community. Social media is for everyone, every generation; don’t be scared to get involved, give it a go! It can be useful and will build your knowledge, skills and confidence!


You need confidence to speak on behalf of your community

Leeanne, Mottingham

I've gained the confidence to be able to speak on behalf of my local community via Facebook and Twitter. I've also gained the knowledge to be able to set up a website and make it look professional. Meeting people from other Big Local areas has been the most useful as we have managed to solve problems between us.


Social media reaches the people who don’t come to meetings 

Amir, Bountagu (Bounces Montagu)

The sessions have helped to highlight the importance of using social media as an essential tool to engage with residents. Having a web presence is important to establish credibility of a project and also provides residents with more information that can be viewed in their own time at their leisure. The sessions helped to identify ways in which social media can be used to engage with residents who are not able to attend meetings or cannot be approached in person.

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