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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Creating Social Media Buttons: Twitter


If you have a website, Twitter account, Facebook page, YouTube channel, or Pinterest account for your chapter or state organization, you are always looking for ways to extend your connection with your members or potential members.

At first glance, this topic seems to be short and sweet . . . and it can be with a little patience that will pay dividends for your chapter and/or state organization. Twitter and Facebook alone have many ways to incorporate different buttons. As a result, this topic will be broken into two articles. This posting will deal with Twitter. Next week we will cover Facebook.

Twitter Buttons

Twitter allows you to create a variety of buttons: Follow, Share, Mention, Hashtag or Message.

To create these buttons, go to . Scroll down and click “Twitter Buttons.” Select the button that is needed (see below), and you will be asked to customize the look, the text, account, etc.  Each button requires slightly different customization. Twitter will generate HTML code that will be embedded on your website. Twitter’s documentation and directions for customization are found HERE.

Twitter Follow Button allows members to follow you with one click, all without leaving your website.
Twitter Share Button enables site visitors to easily share content (e.g. your website, or specific pages)
Twitter Mention Button This button encourages website visitors to communicate with you via Twitter. This button can be added to “Contact Us” or “About Us.”

Take NOTE: Following and Sharing buttons are different.

Follow buttons promote your presence on the various social media by taking the member to your linked social media. These buttons can be placed anywhere on your website to create visibility to your presence in other social media. Placing in several places is recommended--including the Home page, About Us page, or even in a sidebar.

Share buttons share your site with members’ social media connections and networks. These buttons allow you to expand your reach to new audiences and perhaps bring visitors back to your website. These buttons can be added to your web page, blog articles, email signatures, QR codes (for business cards, etc.), or any other piece of content you create.

Additional “Buttons”

In addition to the buttons created by Twitter, one other idea cannot be omitted--creating what, technically, is not a button but rather an anchor text link. An example is below ( it is not an active button.)
You can create a free “button” at this URL: You will be asked to login to your Twitter account. You enter the text you want to populate the tweet, copy and paste the generated URL into your anchor text (e.g., “Tweet This” or “Click to Tweet”). As a best practice, include a shortened URL in the Tweet to direct members back to the original piece of content you are promoting. Also include your @name.

Are you ready to widen your chapter’s reach? If Twitter isn’t your thing, visit our blog next week when we cover “Buttons for Facebook.”

Twitter image customized by Eileen

Sunday, March 19, 2017

ARE YOU REALLY CONNECTED TO DKG? You are if we have your email!

Does DKG International have your e-mail address?  And have you made sure that it is current and correct?
This simple detail is sometimes overlooked by members and puts a major crimp in communication efforts throughout the Society. In particular, efforts to reach out directly to members with information are stymied when emails come back as undeliverable!
Currently, only approximately 50% of our members have an email on file in the membership database at DKG Headquarters! In a recent effort to disseminate information via an “e-blast,” approximately 1/3 of the messages “bounced back”—i.e., could not be delivered because the email was incorrect or was blocked in some way. If you have wondered why DKG does not communicate directly with members--this is the reason! When too many emails bounce back, a site’s “reputation” suffers in cyberworld and blast emails become more and more difficult!
Think how easy it would be to receive a DKG email regarding important events, deadlines, and news—instead of having to go to the DKG website to find the information…or instead of waiting for the information to come down the communication chain within your state organization or chapter. Simple, direct communication!  We can make it happen with the cooperation of members in providing and updating email addresses!
Please do your part in communication efforts within DKG. Share your email address with your chapter and beyond. In particular, you can update your e-mail within your DKG Profile on the website. Sign in to MyDKG for easy access to your information in the DKG database…and ensure that it is current and correct!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Emails: Read with Responses

There are two approaches to writing an email. One is a casual approach that you would use for a quick note to a friend. The other is more professional. This type of email contains information for someone in authority, a committee chair, or any other professional. You expect this email to be read and, if necessary, a response.

The Subject Line: Vital and necessary!

The first thing the email recipient sees is your name and the subject line. So in an email that you want to be sure is read, it is imperative that the subject line clearly states the purpose of your email. In addition, it tells them what you want them to do with your note.

The next time you write the subject line, begin it with an action such as INFO NEEDED:   ACTION NEEDED:  REQUEST:  FOLLOW UP NEEDED:  DECISION NEEDED:  SHARE THIS:  INFO:

SHARE THIS: State newsletter
INFO NEEDED: Chairs of Committees
REQUEST:  Status of project

This type of subject line also makes it easier to locate an email at a later time.

The Body: Brief and to the point

After a salutation, the body of your email should begin with your bottom line.  
Dear Shannon,

Bottom Line (the very heart of your email): This newsletter link should be shared with all chapter members.

The remainder of your email should give BACKGROUND: additional instructions and other pertinent information done in an economical manner. Every word matters and useless prose doesn’t. Be crisp in your delivery.

Even if you do have an automatically attached signature, close your email with a professional closing and your name.

If you really need a response, your closing should be "Thanks in advance," because that phrasing actually works.

 A complete example:

Give this method a try, especially the subject line idea. Let us know if it works for you. Once you get in the habit, you will see its usefulness.

Original graphic from Pixabay CC0. Customized by Eileen

Friday, March 10, 2017

Experience DKG at a Regional Conference this Summer!

Members of the DKG International Membership Committee are looking forward to providing training for the incoming State Membership Chairs at each of the Regional Conferences this summer. Mark your calendars and make sure your state is represented in this important training session during which strategies and ideas for strengthening membership in our Society will be shared. Northwest, June 28 – July 1, Spearfish, SD; Southwest, July 4 – 7, Honolulu, HI; Northeast, July 12 – 14, Windsor, Ontario; Southeast, July 19 – 22, Myrtle Beach, SC; and European, July 26 – 29, Tallinn, Estonia. Visit and the Events tab for more information

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Fake or Real News? Ways to help you decide.

Getting true (real) information about something in Delta Kappa Gamma is straightforward. Check with the chapter, state or International. Beyond that, it becomes a quagmire. The bottom line otherwise: don’t believe anything you read online without checking it out.

Begin with the article you are reading. Does it use excessive punctuation?!?!?! ALL CAPS? Is there a byline? Are the media outlet’s editorial standards posted anywhere? Is there a current date on the story? Look at the domain/URL.
Be very suspicious of a URL that ends with - is legitimate, but is not. Read the “About Us” section. Is the language straightforward or overblown? If there are any quotes at all, determine if the sources are reputable. Check the comments section. If people are questioning the article’s validity, it probably is fake. Finally, if there is an image with the article, do a reverse search by right-clicking the image and choosing to search Google for it. The image may not be associated with the material in the article at all.

Have you ever gotten a wild, unusual or far-fetched story via email from a friend? A recent example shows a “wall” with the text reading. “This is the gigantic WALL that Mexico built on the Guatemalan border.. Hummmmm. Imagine that? I guess it is OK for Mexico to build a wall to keep Guatemalans out..” The photo actually shows a portion of the Israeli West Bank. In addition, there is no wall between Mexico and Guatemala. You could have checked this information at Snopes– Snopes has been the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation for a long time.  Snopes is also usually the first to report the facts.  Truth or Fiction– Very similar to Snopes, this site tends to focus more on political rumors and hoaxes.

Political news stories are scrutinized on several sites.

Politifact– PolitiFact is a fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and others who speak up in American politics. PolitiFact is run by editors and reporters from the Tampa Bay Times, an independent newspaper in Florida.  Politifact is simply the best source for political fact checking.  It won the .Pulitzer Prize.

Fact Check– is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.  Annenberg is a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. The Center monitors the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases.  Fact Check is similar to Politifact in its coverage, and it provides excellent details.  The only drawback is that the site lacks the simplicity of Politifact.

Open Secrets– Open Secrets is a nonpartisan, independent nonprofit, run by the Center for Responsive Politics, which is the nation’s premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy.  Open Secrets is by far the best source for discovering how much and where candidates get their money.  They also track lobbying groups and whom they are funding.

Lesson Plans to Fight Fake News

Classroom teachers are finding that they, too, must address this problem. A blog by Vicki Davis, aka Cool Cat Teacher, has three free lesson plans available. Explanation available HERE. PDF files available HERE.

Media bias and outright false information are everywhere. It is up to you to determine if "new" is real or fake. Take a few minutes to do this on the stories that are most important to you.

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