As a leader, whether you’re on your homeowners association board of directors, an organizer for your book club, or coach little league baseball, you need a way to communicate with the group you lead. How do you inform your group about meeting times, upcoming events and other announcements? What group messaging strategies keep your membership informed and active in your online group?
Updating your social media status with information and sending long messages via email are no longer efficient ways to communicate with large groups, especially when the information you’re trying to communicate is urgent and group-specific. Managing a group online in the digital age requires a streamlined and efficient approach.
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Today, almost everyone has a smartphone loaded with apps which is usually with them at all times. This means that group messaging can be the easiest and best way to keep in touch with the members of your organization, but only if you go about it the right way.
With so many activities and apps vying for our time, it’s easy for users to get turned off by poor group messaging etiquette and start ignoring the group. Some of these deterrents could include sending too many messages, long messages, unnecessary information, or sending updates at bad times, like at night or during work hours.
Deciding to formalize your group messaging strategies is the easy part. Now, be sure you’re using group messaging correctly and efficiently so you and your organization’s members get the most out of it:
1. Make an announcement
Before beginning a group message for your team, call a meeting to talk about it, or make an announcement at your next gathering. While at the meeting, be sure to cover which platform you’ll be using, who will be the group’s administrators, and clearly outline what the feed will be used for.
You could even take the time to walk your team members through the process of downloading the app, if they do not have it already, joining the group, and reviewing the features. This way, you ensure that everyone has access to the group and has good foundational knowledge on how to use it.
2. Set ground rules
Setting ground rules is imperative to the success of your group messaging strategies, whether you cover guidelines in your official announcement or just include them as the first message. Discuss topics including how often to send messages, how often to check for messages, and what kind of content is and is not appropriate for the group.
These guidelines are a way to set expectations for the group and once you’ve outlined them, members will be held to them. This ensures that everyone will use the group properly, making members less likely to get turned off to the content.
3. Know your audience
When posting to the group, consider your group members and how they would likely use the platform. To get the most out of the group, you should consider the time of day they would likely be using their phone to check for updates, what kinds of messages they would respond well to, and what they might consider to be unnecessary.
When planning your group messaging strategies, think about questions like the following:
- Would they prefer lengthy messages or short updates?
- Are they more likely to look at posts early in the morning, around lunchtime, or after work hours?
- Would they find it appropriate to use emojis?
- Would they appreciate the addition of funny photos on the feed, or would they consider them to just be clutter?
Thinking about how your audience members would use the feed will create a better user experience for them, which in turn will make them more likely to continue using the group message.
4. If there are multiple groups or topics within a group, create specific channels
In larger groups with multiple subgroups, not everyone needs to receive notifications for every event or committee. Breaking your group into several different channels or topics will allow the necessary people to get the necessary information, without cluttering everyone else’s feeds with messages that do not pertain to them.
Some suggested channels to start with could include: General, events, news, and other group-specific topics.
5. Get feedback on your group messaging strategies
Are you unsure whether or not your group messaging strategy is working, or if your group members are being turned off by your posts? Ask them about it.
You can find out their opinions on how often you are posting, the topics of posts, and when updates are sent just by asking them for their feedback. You can ask the group at a meeting, set up an anonymous survey, or even pose the discussion in the group message. Getting feedback will make your group messaging strategy stronger in the future, so you’ll be able to reach your group members and keep them engaged.
There are other factors that go into successful group messaging strategies that we have covered on this blog before, from privacy sensitivity to parental controls and focusing on delivering your message in a personal way. We think keeping track of your group should be easy and natural, and that’s why we built Go2s. If you’re searching for the perfect group messaging platform and private social network for your organization, get started with Go2s today.