Do you know anyone that doesn’t have a cell phone? If I have a friend or colleague that doesn’t currently own a cell phone then I am unaware of it. I wasn’t even surprised to learn my pre-teen nieces and nephews have cell phones. What did we do before we all had cell phones? Obviously we weren’t able to talk instantly. Now this isn’t going to be one of those…”we live in a fast-paced, connected world where everyone wants data and information and they expect to receive it now…” talks. But stop and think about it.
The members of your organization are parents, friends and students, and they want to be instantly notified of important information pertaining to them or their family members. They want to know as soon as their son’s soccer practice is cancelled and conveniently reminded of important upcoming events. In general, we all want information as soon as feasibly possible. We’re even interested in getting periodic updates throughout the day from our friends, family and co-workers in order to share what we are doing, RIGHT NOW with each other. If it’s not obvious that the last comment was directed at the increasing social media craze, just ask one of the millions of Americans that use Facebook and/or Twitter.
One of the most effective mediums for short, instant notifications is the text message, or SMS message. Text messaging functionality is available in MemberHub to help administrators and members send and receive timely, important information. We’re all on the go and we all have cell phones in order to attain immediate communication.
Within any hub, announcements can be created and marked urgent. By default a member’s hub settings allow urgent announcements to be sent via text message. Keep in mind that your members have to provide their mobile phone number, select their Provider and opt-in to receive text messages on their profile (http://memberhub.com/profile). Hub administrators can choose to keep the creation of hub announcements as an admin privilege, or they can choose to allow all members in their hub to create announcements. This option can be found on the Permissions tab under the Hub Settings button in your hub. If you have a MemberHub Organization, you can even choose to broadcast an announcement to multiple hubs. For example, you may be a church that has 40 hubs for all the groups in your church, but maybe you just need to reach the small-group bible study hubs. There are an endless combination of multiple hub scenarios and ways to reach them.
Use hub announcements as a one-way message to instantly reach your members on their cell phones next time you have a canceled meeting, practice or urgent announcement of any kind. I even know a user who sends hub announcements to her camp staff (all college students) just to encourage them and thank them!
Another very convenient place where text messages can be used is for events created on a hub calendar. Whenever you create a new event on a hub calendar you can choose to automatically remind members of the event by sending them a text message to their cell phone before the event starts. What this means is that you can put events on your group’s calendar for say, an entire month, and then relax and let MemberHub send out e-mails AND text messages to your members to remind them on the upcoming events. How much time will that save you?
Undoubtedly, more and more people are using text messaging and it’s becoming a preferred method of communication. You need to make sure your organization can take advantage and reach your members instantly.