Introducing the Grove through New Media & Accessibility
One of the big things that our Grove has sought to do is improve how we reach out to people who might be interested. It’s no secret that we’ve been building our online presence with different sorts of media: as a public tradition of Neopaganism, letting people know when our rituals are, and who we are as the celebrants of that religion, is vitally important.
Social media has made the process of walking the fine line between “telling people we’re here” and “proselytizing” much easier to walk in many ways. It not only allows us to create content of use, but to distribute it easily as well.
There are a few reasons that we create content that’s varied, sharable, and targeted to our members and the people we think are interested. Primarily, it’s because we think that everyone deserves to feel like they own, belong to, and are valued by our Grove.
Varied Content Brings a Feeling of Ownership
The creation of content that is broad in type and varied in topic shows that you’re not a “one trick pony” in the digital world, and it helps you reach out broadly to people with a variety of interests. Not everyone likes videos, newsletters, email lists, or Twitter, but most people like one of those types of things. If you can provide content across a few different platforms, you’ll find that you create a varied community filled with people who want to see more of what you can do.
If your organization offers “just one thing,” whether that’s a podcast, a member newsletter, a YouTube page, or a blog, it doesn’t really offer “enough” for most people to come and “like” your Facebook page. For people to feel invested in your work, you’ll need to offer more.
If there’s one true thing about this Druidry thing, it’s that “we’re all in this together.” We want to create things that help people feel like they’re part of the group. Meeting them where they are and fitting their ecosystem is important to that. It lets people feel like they own a portion of Our Own Druidry.
Sharable Content Brings a Feeling of Belonging
Sharing a post isn’t just about finding something funny or insightful; often, it’s also about feeling like the content belongs to them and reflects their worldview.
Sharing is the easiest part of activism: you can share a status to show solidarity. A lot of folks look down on this level of activism because it is so simple. What they discount, though, is that sharing is a form of empathy and a way of understanding the world that helps form an initial connection with a cause, person, or group.
Don’t look down on people who “just share a post.” They’re working their way toward belonging in a community. There’s no rush. Make it easy for them, if you can, and you’ll find that in the long run, more people feel like they “belong” with you, and that you “belong” to them than you ever thought possible.
Targeted Content Brings a Feeling of Being Valued
Content that speaks directly to what people are talking about is very important. Listen to the conversations going on in public in your social media circles and create content that’s relevant to that.
Late last year, we created a graphic that reaffirmed that we are a safe space for anyone who needs one after seeing a number of people in our social circles express concern and fear as minorities.