Making Boot Camp Social: Five Ways Craigslist Foundation Uses Social Media

Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp brings together leaders from multiple industries to network and share ideas.

This is a guest post from Mat Dryhurst. Dryhurst is Community Manager of Craigslist Foundation, and one half of the LikeMinded team, helping ideas for change travel more efficiently throughout the country.

Boot camps are all about taking on new challenges, building a team, and trudging through the mud.

Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp is just that, but without the mud. We’re hosting an intensive one-day conference to build teams through workshops, idea-sharing and networking.

Craigslist Foundation is a social place by nature; it’s our mission to connect people to the resources, ideas and innovations that improve their communities. Of course, then, social media features heavily in how we operate. Here are a few ways we use social media to promote our event and our cause!

1) Promotional Codes: The More, the Merrier

Promotional codes are our friends. We can’t get enough of them (see below), and because Eventbrite allows for us to make as many as we like, we give individual codes out to everyone involved with Boot Camp. Everyone loves a deal, and a deal feels sweeter coming from an individual you admire rather than an organization.

These codes also allow for us to track the origins of our ticket sales. While we absolutely do not invite speakers on the basis of their number of Twitter followers, it is still useful to see whose evangelism has brought new people to our event, and how their language may have inspired people to get involved.

2) Followers with Benefits

We offer Boot Camp discounts that are only announced to those listening online, through our presence on Twitter and Facebook.

We see Boot Camp as one part of our greater mission. Incentivizing potential attendees to follow us online helps us keep them in the loop with everything else we have going on throughout the year.

3) Keep your Friends Closer

We use the Hootsuite Twitter client, and take advantage of Twitter lists to stay engaged with our partners and most vocal supporters. This is doubly useful, as it gives us a way to organize our closest online allies in one place, while also making it easier for us to reciprocate and reply and retweet the things they discuss.

4) Just Write, Just Right

We have an internal social media policy with a bias toward expression. If something is on your mind, post it in your own voice. Excited about a meeting? Post that you are and tag the people you are meeting with. Like an organization you saw online? Tell them so.

While we stop short of updating everyone about the contents of our lunch, we think that only good can come from letting the world know that real human beings are behind our Twitter handle. It’s a balance, and somewhere in between solely publishing announcements and telling people what shoes we wore today, is just right.

5) Twitter Speak / Facebook Prose

One of the great benefits of using a client such as Hootsuite is that you can update your Twitter and Facebook from one place, and often times with one click. Overwhelmed with this power, we spent a long time updating our Facebook page with Twitter speak (twtr spk), until we started getting feedback from our Facebook friends that this could be confusing. We now take the time, and take advantage of the greater character count, to update our Facebook with wonderful long words, and enjoy greater interaction as a result!

For more information on Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp, visit the event page. Tickets are available at a 30 percent discount for Eventbrite blog readers, who use discount code: LIKEMINDED.

Join our camp: Follow Eventbrite on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo credit: Jon Bauer