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Still Social After All These Years

In honor of “Social Media Day” we wanted to reflect back on our 6 years of SA-Nashville social media ventures!

Back in 2005, The Salvation Army here in Nashville was ready to explore this new phenomenon called “social media” which defined means, “ media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques.” 

We scoured the internet to see what would be the best platform in which to start and came up with MySpace and thus our relational interactions with the cyber world began!  For awhile we maintained this site only and enjoyed the HTML education that resulted from this endeavor.  We learned how to overall be in control of  almost every piece of content, keep it easy to navigate and remain very user friendly.  We utilized the slideshow options for our photos and had a blast sending out weekly bulletins to let our followers know what was happening Behind the Red Shield.  After awhile and as we were becoming more and more comfortable, a few months later we set up a Virb and Xanga page.  Remember these sites?  These didn’t quite take off and the tools offered were not easy to use and control so after a year, we closed these and simply focused on our MySpace efforts.

Then in 2007, we officially joined Facebook but didn’t dive in and network until 2008.  Facebook was a different animal from MySpace and we monitored other sites, tried and tested certain processes until we were ready to go live and introduce the Facebook world to The Salvation Army of Nashville!  In 2008, we signed up for Twitter and again, it took a bit of learning to see how this social media tool worked but soon enough, we were happily tweeting the many life changes that were happening on a daily basis at the Center of Hope.

Then in June 2009, we joined WordPress and on August 17th, posted our first blog.  We enjoyed sharing the testimonies, stories and insight from this command and we could include more detail and descriptions to our posts without the word restrictions of Twitter and Facebook.

2010 became our “Exploratory Year.”  This is when we continued to learn about our current social media platforms but ventured out into unknown territory with some newbie social sites.  We launched a Foursquare site where we offered a free t-shirt on your 3rd check in for volunteering.  We also dabbled a bit with BlogTalkRadio and offered a 15 minute behind the scenes look at the goings on here in Nashville as well as featured interviews from staff and volunteers.  Jumo, was next the next platform we checked out which connected via Facebook and pulled your info off of your Facebook site to fill your page.  Jury is still out on all 3 of these sites, but we continue to monitor, learn and test ways to best use them.

And last but not least, in 2010, we hooked up with a site that had been around for awhile, YouTube and created our very own channel complete with public service announcements, testimonials and whatever else we could catch on video that would highlight what it is we do here in the city of Nashville to serve Others.

In January 2011, we discovered the world of Tumblr!  This short-form blogging site was super fun, easy to use and offered a change up from the other sites we’d been utilizing.  The format makes it very conducive to the works we wanted to share with the world, so it officially joined our social networking family!

There you have it, our history in being social.  We are grateful for all of these free resources that enable us to spread the word on how we’re “Doing the Most Good” within our community, which can only be done by YOUR help!  For those who read the posts, status updates, tweets, blogs, listen to the radio show, watch the videos and check in and after all of that feel inspired to donate either your time, talent or $$, Thank You….you are making a difference!

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