Last weekend was the first Sunday of Advent for the year. I knew that my church has special activity on Twitter specifically for Advent, so first thing after getting up on Sunday morning, I went hunting to see what they were doing this year. I couldn’t find them (I did eventually, but it wasn’t easy), but I found a ton of other activity around Advent, some religion-related and some not. There are some interested ways in which other completely unrelated topics are piggy backing on the Advent calendar tradition for their own purposes. Some are using the search to achieve multiple goals. I also realized that religion and healthcare both spend quite a time and attention to the issue of behavior modification. I started poking around more seriously, noticing that each one was very different, and that there were quite a few lessons to be learned about many aspects of social media engagement and outreach.
Light dawned. Or not. I don’t know, you might not like this. Anyway, I had the idea of making an sort of Advent Calendar series of blogposts looking at the range of Twitter Advent activity around the season, with takeaways about what folks are doing that’s interesting and what folks could be doing better. Then, let’s think about how we can adapt or adopt or permute some of the same strategies for other purposes. Now, an advance disclaimer. I am completely uncertain of my ability to pull this off. I think it’s an interesting idea, but I don’t know if I can do it. On the other hand, I did find 30 completely different examples (so far) of Twitter Advent activity for a 24 day span, so it isn’t a question of whether or not there is enough content! You might expect, however, that as I get tired, some of these will get awfully short. Let me give it a shot and we’ll see how it goes.
DAY ONE: 24 Tips
24 tips is one of those Twitter examples I mentioned that is NOT religious in nature, but takes advantage of the holiday tradition to craft their own engagement activity. This clever concept from the ELearning Network is targeting teachers. I’m guessing it is mostly for K-12 teachers, however the example tips from last year were impressive and useful for almost any kind of teacher. I didn’t see any that would not apply to college or university level faculty. Definitely good content!
While I found them on Twitter, this group links out to their own page. You’ll notice, as Twitter best practices, that in addition to their account name, they provide a description of who they are, what they are doing, why they are going it, and where else you can find this content (as in a link to their web page).
The idea of coming up with 24 creative and innovative tips on any topic is a bit overwhelming. They solved this problem in a nice way. While I am sure they still had to plan ahead quite a bit to make this go smoothly, they invited guest bloggers to suggest topics and write a post for the series. Again, thinking of best practices, they had a picture of each guest blogger, to put a human face on the topic. They also encouraged each guest blogger to provide a link to their own blog and contact information. This makes the project a win-win, with promotion for both sides. Some blogposts were short, some long, some done in video, quite a range and variety. All very well done and substantial as far as the content goes. Impressive, and a worthy model for others to follow.