Using Social Media to Help a Friend
There have been times when a friend or loved one has needed help in some way and I wasn't sure how to help. Recently, I wanted to support a friend who needed some baby items earlier than planned, so I asked her if I could set up a Facebook "virtual" baby shower.
Social Media (Facebook particularly) can be a helpful tool for contacting many people at once and a way to share news and announcements. It can also be a great way to involve friends and family who are out of state. Below you'll find the steps to set up an event on Facebook, in case you are unfamiliar with the process like I was. It can be a great way to shower someone with love from the comfort of your home while providing items they may need. Not only can you gather items for baby, you can support new foster parents, gather household items for a family after a fire, or rally support for your local first responders.
If you have a Facebook account, log in and look at the left hand side of the page. There is a toolbar that has icons like Marketplace, groups you are active in, and friends. This is where you can find the heading "Events." Click on it and it will take you to another tool bar area with a big blue bar that says, "Create new event." Click to start your event!
You will then be prompted to set up the style of event you are planning. This can be an In person event where Facebook sets up a page to invite your friends to a specific location. This is a great way to save on postage! The other is the type of event I want to help you plan - an Online event!
An Online event can be general or class style format. For hosting a virtual shower, use the "General" button to get started. You will then be taken to a page to set up the details of your event! If you are already familiar with these steps, this information may not be new to you, but if you've never done this before it can be intimidating. I can relate because when I set up my first event, I wasn't sure I was doing things correctly. I hope this helps those who, like me, needed some reassurance!
Once you have followed all the above steps, you are now ready to begin setting up your event! This is where you can add a title, select the dates for your "event" which can be for a single day, or it can be as long as a week! One important step to notice is under the word "Privacy." You can make your event private which will only make it visible to those individuals you invite, or you can make it public where everyone will see the event once it is published. It's really up to you and what you prefer in terms of privacy! Personally, I always opt for "private" events because I often need to post someone's mailing address and I don't want it to be public.
For a virtual baby shower, you will probably want to select "other" for the location. This will allow you to list the details of your event with no need to "go live."
Your event is now ready for a photo and description! This is where you can type the description of your event. Whether you are hosting a baby shower or setting up any kind of assistance to someone going through something difficult, type out the details and give instructions that are easy to follow. If you are mailing gifts, be sure to list the address. For this reason, I like to keep my events "private", so only those who are invited will see the address of my friend. If you have a photo you'd like to upload for the event, you can also share a sweet image of your friend or loved one or keep it general and upload a photo of something they love. It is really up to you!
Finally, don't forget to invite your friends! Below your event's image you will see a button that says, "invite." Once you click this button Facebook will bring up your list of friends. Select which friends you'd like to invite and once you have them selected, click "send invites." Your event is now ready! It will automatically begin during the times and dates you preselected when setting up your event. One helpful tip is to post on your event's timeline with ideas that you think may be helpful to your guests. For me, I posted my friend's favorite diapers, so my guests would know which diapers to send.
You can also create a meal schedule for your friend and post the link as part of the event. Or maybe someone else has already set up a meal schedule on Take Them A Meal, but you can help spread the word. Perfect Potluck works well for collecting specific items an individual or family might need.
I hope you have found this tutorial helpful, if like me, you don't have much experience with social media events. Hosting an online event is a wonderful way to offer someone help without actually intruding on their space. Are you new to social media and did you find this post helpful? Please share with us the types of events you would like to host on your social media platform!
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