On Using Social Media to Communicate Mission – Part 2

By James Higa, PVF Executive Director

James explaining how to use social media via your phone!

James’ role as a social media extraordinaire means PVF’s partners frequently ask him for social media tips!

Rip up the manual. Continuing on the subject often asked of me by PVF’s nonprofit partners: “How do I use social media?”…  Don’t get boxed in by the instruction manual.  Be disruptive.  Break the rules and look for simple unintended uses.

As an example, I recently visited nonprofits serving farmworkers in Pescadero, where even a simple message like “please come to our monthly meeting” is difficult to communicate in a region where many people can’t be reached by regular mail or they don’t even have Internet or email access.  But everyone has a cell phone that can receive a text message.  

There happens to be a function of Twitter called ‘Fast Follow’.  It’s a way for anyone with a cell phone to receive a Twitter post even if they don’t have a Twitter account.  Send a text message to 40404 (the Twitter SMS number) and enter “follow + twitter account name” as an example, try “follow philanthropicvf” and you’ll automatically start receiving any tweets that PVF makes.   Create a Twitter account specifically for this purpose like “PVF Alerts” and there we go, a simple one-way text message community broadcast channel or a disaster messaging system that works on old or smart cell phones, that is free, and could be up and running tomorrow.  This usage might not have been imagined or intended by the creators but if it works….

For more information on how to set up Fast Follow:

– Twitter’s Fast Follow page: http://bit.ly/a17Awe
– International Carrier Codes for Fast Follow: http://bit.ly/THoTgH
– Send “unfollow philanthropicvf” to 40404 to stop receiving our tweets by text

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About venturesfoundation

Founder and CEO of Philanthropic Ventures Foundation
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