Steps towards online engagement

In the last year Power to change adopted some 5 year goals that include engaging with 100, 000 students nationally online or offline. That’s a lot of people.

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Knowing that 5 years will come quickly, we know we need to seriously think about what that means for us as we launch a campus. We want to start our campus with the culture that will grow naturally into engaging with people in person (“IRL”) and online.

Over dinner the other day Willy and I were talking about how we could engage our campus online. We came up with a “strategy” that we’ll test out, knowing that it will only engage the population of campus that is active in social media – but it will mean that we can connect with people and give them a few hyperlinks of separation from a gospel presentation, a twitter/blog/email engagement, or even connect with us in person without tons of man-power.

Tools required: a P2C-UQAM Foursquare account, a twitter account, a local blog, our website. It sounds like a lot of things but you’ll see the connection in a second, I promise.

Here’s what it would look like:

  1. We use Foursquare to check-in to campus buildings when we’re having events & leave good quality tips to campus venues including cafés, pubs, buildings etc. We hope this serves to advertise for us, get people familiar with our name and maybe even build some level of trust as they’re used to seeing us “around”.
  2. Our 4sq account would have a link to our website and will drive traffic there when people want to know “C’est quoi Pouvoir de Changer” ?
  3. We will post updates to our blog summarizing the investigative book clubs (Soul Cravings/Reason for God) or the intro to Christianity studies we’re doing or whatever else that is open for anyone to come to (ie, not discipleship appointments). This, I hope, will serve as giving a bit of humanity to an otherwise faceless or weird organization to a non-christian. If they were at all interested in showing up to something, I *think* these updates would help them feel confident they want to attend and therefore actually show up because they have an idea of what going on.
  4. Our website (once finished) will have evangelistic articles, it would pull info from our Facebook group (and link to it), & hopefully pull info from our blog or at least link to it.
  5. I’m not entirely sure how we’d use Facebook & Twitter yet, other than our main source of getting info out to our students.

This means that a student could go from seeing a tip on Foursquare and with a few clicks come into thought-provoking articles and information on our meetings and show up without us having to do much. They’ll also be able to ask us questions by email/twitter/facebook (which most students feel more comfortable with, especially when it’s about a topic they’re suspicious or skeptical about than IRL or phone).

Will this be effective? I don’t know. Will it be a main source of traffic to our events? Probably not. Will we see results quickly? No clue. But really, we only have to gain from trying.

We’ll update you as we get this going and think through the details more.

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2 thoughts on “Steps towards online engagement

  1. Russ says:

    I love it. Please keep us updated with how it goes. I really like the part about about adding value to the campus community by adding tips etc…

  2. andyjsmits says:

    You guys are awesome. Great thoughts; I’m excited to see how it works!

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