Chapter Websites & Social Media (from Nursing Network)
Chapter Facebook Page
Chapter Facebook pages are a great way to share national messages, strategies, and initiatives of SUNA through local chapter efforts. Your Facebook page can be the gateway for larger involvement in SUNA nationally, or a platform for recruitment locally. By having a presence, you can help members and prospective members understand their fit in our organization. Download the following resources for tips to building and using a chapter Facebook page.
- Getting Social with SUNA ~ Using Facebook
- Getting Social with SUNA ~ A Primer on Building Your Chapter Facebook Page
A chapter website can help you to showcase your chapter events, communicate with your members, and provide easily accessible information about your chapter to your members.
Before You Get Started
Here are some basic terms you'll need to know. A website is a collection of pages linked together and stored or hosted on a server/computer so that it can be viewed on the Internet. The home page or index page of a website is usually what you see when you first type in a URL in the address field of your browser. URL stands for "uniform resource locator." It is the specific and unique address of the web page on the server. Some URLs can be quite long especially if you are using a free website housing service. That's why some people register with a Domain Name Service (DNS) to get a shorter domain name and address for their visitors to use. Online visitors can enter the domain name such as "www.suna.org" but are really directed to a web page, which may have an entirely different URL address.
Determine the kind of service or information you want to provide through your site. Your website should provide easily accessible information to your members, future members, other chapters and the general public. Your site should always contain information about your chapter activities and a list of current officers.
Site and Page Titles
Make your titles relevant to your audience and purpose by using keywords that you know they will search for.
Prepare your copy on Word or other document ahead of time and make edits there. This will help to avoid typos and will provide you with a safe copy. Make sure that when you save your document, you save it as a "text", "plain text" or "text only" document. Otherwise it will not be read properly by a web browser. You may need to modify your copy to fit your website template. Suggestions for chapter website content include:
- Minutes of regular board meetings
- Items the Board wants publicized
- Schedule of meetings, events, dinners
- Officer names and contact numbers
- Chapter educational grant information and application
- Duties of Board members
- Photos of recent events
- Membership application
- Link to the SUNA website
- History of chapter
- Link for contact person and RSVP to meetings/events
When deciding to create a chapter website, look at other pages on the Internet to gather ideas for your own site. Keep in mind that your website is a reflection of SUNA and the urologic nursing profession. You will not need to include any information that is already available on the SUNA website. Instead, just provide a link to www.suna.org. Discuss your content at your chapter board meetings and update your site frequently.
On the same Word document, you'll want to record any links that you will need. Give the link a name that you will display and the actual URL. One of the links should always be "contact me/us" and another link should be to the SUNA website.
Great big photos and graphics will load slowly for your users. Try to use smaller graphics or use Photoshop. Prepare all graphics in JPG or GIF formats.
If you are unable to use hosting services at your hospital, transplant center or University, many companies offer free hosting services, free site builders and other great services but you must agree to display their ad on your website. In addition, some services make you buy something, like a domain name, to get free hosting; this is generally unnecessary since there are many good services that provide free hosting without charging anything. Key reasons to pay for a hosting service include avoidance of ad displays, extra storage space for large projects and catalog or credit card processing. If you are interested in customizing and advancing your website further, try the following:
- Dreamweaver, FrontPage - editing applications (expensive, and can take time to learn)
- Knowledge in HTML - coding/language that instructs the web page
- Photoshop - graphics application
- Search engine - promoting your site online
The Internet provides hundreds of websites that can be extremely helpful to you in developing your own site. Try keywords such as "create website" in searching on the Internet. The following sites may be useful to your search:
- Web Monkey - the web developer's resource
- HTML Interactive Tool for Beginners - a guide to web programming language
- www.websitetips.com - provides extensive information and resources to build or improve your website
Some free and walk-through services that gives people websites are: (1) Angelfire, (2) Tripod, and (3) www.homestead.com
Who will be responsible for your site?
Determine if there is someone in the chapter who has some experience with creating web pages. The site should be updated on a monthly basis, or when information becomes available or outdated. This task should be assigned to someone as part of his or her chapter duties. A chapter website can really enhance communication within your chapter and throughout our organization. Please consider developing a website as your chapter continues to grow. Good luck!