This week in our Excelsior Springs community Facebook group, we have gained 70 new members to the group for a total now of 9,068 members! Our top contributors in the group right now are Kalyn Goode, Ali Dickens, Tammy Kenney, Lani O’Dell, Kris Peoples, Ray Yates, Skyla Sullivan, Kim Aldrich, Johnathan Tyler, and Becky McClellan!
Excelsior Springs Area News, Events, and Daily Deals
Facebook Group · 9,068 members
The group is a public group, open to anyone interested in posting what is happening in the Excelsior Springs area.
Technology is something that has always been given to me. It comes naturally to me, because I’ve been using it as it has developed since the 1980’s. My parents, both in printing and publishing, always had Mac’s in the household. I taught myself how to type by typing out books and articles. In addition to contributing to my typing speed, I also learned grammar and punctuation, things that would help me to communicate with others throughout my entire life.
Because I always had technology, I’ve literally just adapted to its many changes over the past two decades. I can still remember logging on to the Internet by means of a modem that would screech and squeal as it connected. At that time, pre-Facebook, I spent my time in chat rooms, downloading music on Napster, and competing in card game tournaments on Yahoo!.
By then, my parents had already made the switch from traditional printing to online publishing. They started building websites and established a company that they called Morgansites. For many in the Excelsior Springs area, the Morgan’s helped to establish a business presence online and market their goods and services 24/7 through a custom website. While my family’s business was already building sites two decades ago, there have been a lot of changes between now and then.
Developments in social media have only continued throughout that time. I started using it to connect others while running for office in 2009. Facebook was the perfect tool for me to publicize my message for the campaign, connect with supporters, and then raise money directly by linking up my website. Since that time, I have used social media to publicize various candidates, brands, businesses, and organizations.
Even still today, the developments in social media have us changing our approach when it comes to online marketing. Websites are now mostly used to house the tools that you’ll use to push to all your networks for the best return. Creating and establishing those networks is what is most important for it to be successful, though. Social media offers tools that stand-alone websites cannot, which is other people.
About three years ago while working as the Chamber Director in Excelsior Springs, I was looking for the best way to promote our local businesses to the community in a kind of “Shop Local” campaign. I created a group and called it “Excelsior Springs News, Events, and Daily Deals.” While working from a list of local businesses, I went through and found which of them had a facebook page and which of our members were missing one. Then I started visiting each of the pages and sharing their posts into the group. I limited the group to only local business promotion, no individual promotions, because there were already established Swap Shop pages that provided individual citizens that opportunity.
Since that time, the group has grown to close to 9,000 and steadily growing with 10-20 new members each day. The list of businesses has doubled what it was three years ago. Now I monitor a little over 400 local pages, finding the latest information and sharing it with the community two to three times per day. I allow any local business that wants to post into the group to do so. In being this connected to the community, I now have around 3-5 people per day sending me questions or asking for local referrals. Having grown up in the community, I have an advantage in knowing its history and what the business community has to offer.
Aside from simply sharing posts into the group each day, lately I have been trying to offer new ways for our community to connect. I have established a type of theme for each day as follows:
– Memories Monday – sharing history or scenes of Excelsior Springs that can be reflected on by citizens
– Caption Contest Tuesday – sharing random photos depicting scenes that allow for citizens to make funny captions on
– Ask a Question, Get an Answer Wednesday – citizens ask community-related questions and I work to get them an answer
– Thankful Thursday – citizens give shout outs to things/people they’re grateful for this week
– Fab Friday – citizens share what they’re doing for the weekend
– Social Saturday – promoting local business Facebook pages to increase their follows
– Sunday Survey – asking a question for citizens to answer on random topics
As I move into a different role in the community, working as the Community and Business Liaison for the Excelsior Springs Job Corps, I’m interested now more than ever in finding out what the needs of the local community are and how I can connect others with those who can make them more successful. I plan to devote this space to positivity and the work that I’m doing daily to connect the Excelsior Springs area community even more.
There’s great power in communities that are connected. This next year not only do I plan to better connect the community with what’s going on, but also create opportunity for people to connect outside of technology. Using technology as the tool that pulls us together, to create a community of support to each other, along the way.
If you are interested in this approach to community, you might consider watching the following YouTube videos. Mrinalini Ingram talks about the power of connecting communities in her TED Talk:
The insight that Lisa Cook brings in her TED Talk to those in communities that are living alone was also eye opening:
If you have ideas for ways to connect communities or create authentic opportunities for people to connect with one another for advancement, please leave a message in the comments! To join our community’s Facebook group, click here!
When I was serving as Chamber director, I had made it my goal to get our community connected and supporting all the great things happening here in Excelsior Springs! By creating a Facebook Group for our community, over the last two years I have fed the room information each day by sharing our community’s businesses, organizations, and citizen’s posts into the room on a regular basis.
Each day I monitor over 400 community pages in order to help them get their message to a broader audience. Being an administrator of over 20 different community Facebook Pages, I knew that before having the group when making a post, I would have to rely on whatever organic reach that post received, or pay to have it get out to the audience I needed to see it. By sharing it to a group that has a concentrated local audience, I’m guaranteeing each entity that their message is getting further to the people they want to reach the most.
With that being said, I don’t have the group room set up so that just anyone can gain admittance. I have an approval process when a request comes in that I go through. If a person is connected to multiple group members within the page already, I will often add them. If they’re not connected to anyone, I visit their page to look for any local clues that I might find letting me know their location. I work to keep the members of the group from the local area as much as possible. We currently have 3,937 members and the group is growing larger each day.
Here’s a list of some of the things that I try to provide the community information about daily:
– Local and area events
– Local news article links
– Pictures of Excelsior Springs
– School information
– Local ads and sale offers
– Hiring opportunities
– Community organization and business posts
The group has also provided a way for citizens in the community to ask questions such as asking for recommendations, finding out about what’s happening in the city, communicating when there are emergency situations like power outages and severe weather, and somewhere they can get immediate answers. I work to connect each of the inquiries coming in each day with someone that can help them find a resolution.
Managing the group at times is not always easy. I have a strict policy of the group room not being used negatively against the community or any entity in particular. The room is to be used to promote business and community, not work against it. I also don’t allow for it to be used as a swap shop room (a group room where you can sell your own personal items) because there are plenty of rooms like that out there already for that purpose.
I have seen the room be used to help solve crimes, promote community events, find lost pets, raise money for individuals facing serious health problems, and more. It’s been a great resource for our community to connect, support each other, and have community-wide conversations.