Monday, October 26, 2015

Social Media and Neighboring (Day 26)

This week we'll discuss some practical tips and tools for engaging your neighbors. Let's start with social media.

First of all, to know what tools to use in your neighborhood you have to know your neighbors. If you're in a low income neighborhood perhaps your neighbors don't have computers at home or smartphones and social media is not practical. Are your neighbors on-the-go parents? Are they retired? Are they already using social media or not? Answering these types of questions can help you decide whether social media could be used to enhance community where you live.

Here are some social media options and ideas: This is a free social media network that is specific to neighborhoods. People can only join the group for your neighborhood if they actually live there. This platform has great tools such as a Trick-or-Treat map for Halloween. However I encourage you to join and assess the culture before trying to engage your neighbors here. (In the neighborhoods I've lived in it participants have been more focused on crime than relationship building.)

Facebook: A private Facebook group specifically for those who live closest to you is a great tool for building community. I highly recommend creating and posting group guidelines at the onset of the group. Decide what the goal of the group will be. Is it for sharing needs? Promoting community activities? What is not allowed in the group? Deciding on a purpose early on will help the group to flourish.

Instagram: If you live in a younger or trendy neighborhood Instagram is a great tool for posting about upcoming events and sharing community photos and inspiration/encouragement. You could keep the neighborhood profile private if security is a concern.

Are you using social media among your neighbors? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.

This post is part of the 31 Days of Neighboring series. 

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