Letting Volunteers Look After Your Social Media

  • Cass

We created some simple guidelines based on our ‘what ifs’ to send to people once they’d signed up to Twitter takeover. This would also ensure they felt comfortable and supported in taking this on, as for many people, this was a daunting – but exciting – task.

Our guidelines were (and are) as follows:

– Tweet as you normally would on your own account – be yourself. Don’t feel like you have to act as a representative for Shift.ms

– Ask people questions

– Favourite any tweets you think are meant for us – we’ll pick them up on Monday

– Swearing’s fine, so long as it’s justifiable e.g. ‘MS is shit’ = fine, because it is undeniably true. ‘cornish pasties are shit’ = not so fine, as many people love a good pasty

– No two MSers are the same – respect people’s opinions even if they’re different to your own

– Don’t change any of our account settings

– If it ends in -ism and may cause some people offence, it’s likely to get you and us in a lot of trouble. Be nice to our followers.

– Feel free to promote your blog/twitter etc. But don’t spend your whole weekend doing it.

@DJ_DSouza was the first person to tweet for us. His weekend consisted of photos of green smoothies, chat about hiphop, seeking advice on managing leg spasticity and discussion around the lack of accessible buses in his area.

Since then, our takeover slot has been filled every single weekend and we’re currently booked up until 2016. All the administration around the takeover is managed by @HanyaGordon, our volunteer Takeover Manager.

We recently won a People Driven Digital award for ‘most stunning patient-driven online peer network’, which was judged by Big White Wall – an organisation we really look up to.

Has anything ever gone wrong? I can honestly say no. Of course, there are weekends which attract more engagement than others, but this is to be expected when we’re working with such a diverse range of people from all over the world.

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