The follow feature allows you to listen to your nation: to be aware, in real time, of what is happening with your most pressing issues or people. Once you follow a person or page, you can choose to get email notifications for changes that take place on that page or with that person. When a person interacts with a page on your website, when a person in your database has certain attributes change within their profile, or when public changes are made to a website page: all of these can trigger email notifications once you follow a page or person. Using the follow feature will allow you to be responsive to your community, and remain flexible and nimble: you can keep tabs on people in your nation, whether or not you’re their point person.
The follow button can be clicked by anyone with control panel access, and is located in the profile overview of each person in your nation.
In addition to following a person in their profile overview, you can follow somebody from the options of an activity in the activity stream.
Once the button has been activated, you will be notified via email whenever that individual takes an action on your site, RSVPs to an event, sends you an email, has a private note posted to their profile, publishes a page, and more. You can specify your exact notification preferences by navigating to your own profile page.
You can see who you are following by navigating to Network > follow within your profile. In this section you can also see who is assigned to you, who follows you, who you have recruited, and any pages you have authored. You can also use this section to add or remove all people you’re following to a list.
This information can be viewed for anybody in your nation by navigating to Network > follow within their profile.
Using the follow feature to explore connections
You can see who each member of your control panel is following by navigating to Network > follow within their profile. In addition, you can see who follows the person, who they have recruited, and any pages they have authored. You can also use this section to add or remove people to a list.
This is useful to explore a person’s connections, and to see relationships that exist within your nation. For example, if you are looking at Reshma’s profile, above, you can see that she is following two people, including Linda Neal. It turns out that Linda is an important person in your movement, and you’ve been trying to contact her about a board of director appeal. Now, you can reach out to Reshma, someone you know well, and ask her about Linda. Reshma will bring you one degree of connection closer to Linda, and hopefully help you connect to her as a warm prospect, rather than a cold call. This is a great way to use your network to advance your community.
- Want to grow your base? Follow prospects to be notified when they take an action on your site, so that you have a new reason to connect with them and start a conversation.
- Are you a manager? Follow a customer whose point person is a new staff member, to make sure that your staff is interacting with them in an appropriate way. Following a person will let you know when a private note is posted to their profile by another control panel user. This can be a great way to audit your customer service, and catch any problems right away.
- Have high level donors who you need to impress? Follow their profile to ensure you don’t miss out on an action they take on your website, and always have the most up-to-date information when speaking with them.
In addition to following a person, you can also follow pages on your website. The follow button can be clicked by anyone with control panel access, and is located in the page overview for each action page on your website.
You’ll want to follow a page in a lot of different circumstances: to get the latest updates on a donation drive, to read comments on blog posts as they come in, or to find out when a person signs up for a membership are a few examples. Using this feature is a great way to pay attention to the most important things going on on your nation’s website.
The author of a website page is automatically set to follow that page. This can be changed per page by the author by toggling the follow button, as described above.
- Have a big fundraiser coming up? Follow an event page to see new RSVPs, so you can have the most up-to-date information about attendees. This is especially useful if you’re not the event’s organizer, but as a speaker or volunteer coordinator, you still need up-to-date information on attendance.
- Pushing toward a signature goal? Follow a petition page as your deadline approaches to get notified of each new signature, so you can know how close you are to reaching your goal and adjust your tactics as needed.
- Want your blog to be more than just a broadcast? Follow a blog post to be notified in real-time when a comment is added, so you can be responsive and start a conversation. Fostering a relationship of engagement starts with listening to your community’s feedback and responding in a timely manner.
- Having issues with trolls? Follow a blog post to get a notification when somebody flags a comment, so that you can address it as quickly as possible.
You can also follow reactions on blog posts and suggestion pages. This feature can be enabled on the website, rather than the control panel. Unlike the follow feature, any person who is logged in, whether or not they have control panel access, can follow reactions.
If you click follow reactions on a page, you will be notified whenever a person reacts to a post. Keep in mind that this means that anyone who is logged in to your website can follow reactions, too. Accordingly, it’s even more important to be aware of what’s going on on these pages and be responsive when necessary.
A person can automatically follow reactions on a page if they comment on a page or otherwise interact with it may automatically start following the page. Depending upon the theme, a checkbox will appear when you're submitting a comment, or posting a suggestion, blog post, or event from the website, asking if you’d like to start following the page.
- Organize a lot of events for a site for which you’re not a control panel user? Follow all the events you submit so you can see who is RSVPing in real time.
- Have a multi-authored blog? Follow blog posts that are written by your staff to ensure that they are helpful to your community. If you are getting many negative reactions or confused comments, you may want to re-evaluate the post.
- Want to be more responsive? Follow suggestion pages to have a constant ear to the ground. If a suggestion is marked as “important” or “good” by many people, you’ll know that you may want to consider it sooner.
- Have community-posted blogs? Follow these posts to keep up to date with comments and reactions to make sure everything’s in line.