Promoting Your Switchboard
Let's Spread the Word!
Now that you've got a solid foundation of posts with comments and a core group of founding members, it's time to introduce it to your community.
Make sure there is a link to Switchboard on your website and then send out an announcement on all of your channels: email, Facebook, Twitter, newsletters, listservs, etc.
Once you've announced your Switchboard, it's important to share content regularly. Sharing specific posts and successes will drive your community to participate.
Sharing individual posts is one of the best ways to drive traffic to Switchboard. The little paper airplane icon at the bottom of every post lets you share posts via Facebook, Twitter, and Email.
Switchboard can auto-tweet every new post and success from a given Twitter account. This makes it easy to drive traffic to Switchboard and allows you and your team to easily retweet specific posts.
If your community doesn't already have a dedicated account, or if you'd like to keep them separate, we suggest starting one specifically for your Switchboard. Make sure that you build up a following and then link up your Switchboard.
Once your Switchboard has a handful of posts, you have the option to embed a mini Switchboard widget on your website. Users can adjust simple filters and view up to five posts at a time. You can also set your widget to display a custom search. You can set up your widget at:
One of the best ways to drive traffic to Switchboard is through word-of-mouth promotion. We provide templates for business cards and banners that you can print and distribute to your community wherever you are. Share them at meetings, events, in common spaces, or wherever else you gather.
Additionally, holding "office hours" is an incredible way of engaging with your community directly. The idea is to encourage students to interact with the site and to begin thinking in terms of what they may want to ask or offer. By setting up a table and helping students search for something they're interested in or encouraging folks to post if they can't find what they are looking for, the opportunity arises to hammer home the message that, no matter what you're looking for, your Switchboard is there to help.
Ultimately Switchboard becomes a part of your community when it becomes a verb. Every time you encounter an ask or offer in your community, whether it's in person or in email, encourage them to "Switchboard it!"
Sound good? Let's check out your tools!