- Sending your first notification
- Connecting social media accounts
- Creating a quick post template
- More guides coming soon!
Sending your first notification
After you have successfully connected your PIOpost account to your social media pages and customized your design to match your agency's brand, you are ready to start sending notifications.
First, make sure you are logged into PIOpost by going to piopost.com and clicking the "Log In" button in the top right corner of the page. From there, navigate to the "New Post" page, which should look something like this:
Category - Use this drop down box to designate what type of notification this is. The types of categories can be easily customized to your agency's preferences in PIOpost and are very helpful in allowing citizens to quickly and easily identify the notification's content.
Quick post - Agencies sometime send out recurring updates on the same type of topic or event. In order to save time and maintain consistency, you can save templates which will populate the Notification title, content, and thumbnail image as a starting point for your notification. Create new Quick post templates in the "Quick Posts" section of PIOpost.
Notification title - The title is arguably one of the most important aspects of your notification. If your agency is utilizing the website widget or Twitter, the title is the only information which will be displayed to citizens initially. It is very important to include as much detail as possible in the title to grab the attention of readers. Titles are limited to 120 characters.
Notification content - The content area is where you can add all of the supplemental information about your notification. Again, it is important to be as descriptive as possible. The content area can only include plain text, and any URL (http://website.com/somelink.html) will automatically be converted into a clickable link.
Address - If your notification relates to a specific location, be sure to include the address. Doing so will automatically embed a Google Map into the notification allowing users to have a birds eye view of the area.
Attach files - While a well written notification can be very informative, including supporting documents, photos, and audio clips will engage and inform citizens on a much higher level. Clicking the "Select files" button will allow you to upload files from your local computer - please note that only supported filetypes are able to be uploaded (.bmp, .doc, .docx, .gif, .jpg, .mp3, .pdf, .png, .ppt, .pptx, .xls, .xlsx). Premium accounts can also upload supported video content (view the supported formats: http://support.google.com/youtube/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=55744). There is no limitation on the number of files that can be attached to each notification.
Related Notification - A powerful feature of PIOpost is the ability to associate different notifications with one another. If there is an ongoing topic with multiple updates, they can be easily linked to one another in order for citizens to view the entire spectrum of information related to the topic.
Also post to: - The core functionality of PIOpost is it's ability to easily post content to various social media outlets. After you have filled out all of the relevant content of your notification you can choose to send it to all linked destinations or only ones you specifically choose. Keep in mind that you will only see options for social media networks that you have connected to under the Manage Destinations section. Also, please note that all notifications will automatically be added to the website widget and to the your agency's public PIOpost website (youragency.piopost.com).
Save Draft / Send Notification - If you are still working on inputting content into your notification you can always save your work by choosing the "Save Draft" option. This will move your notification into the Pending Posts section of PIOpost which you can come back to at any time - it will not be publicly viewable until you send it out.
When your notification is ready to go, simply press the "Send Notification" button and your notification will instantly be sent out to all selected destinations in a matter of seconds.
Congratulations! You just sent your first notification on PIOpost.
Connecting social media accounts
Although PIOpost can be used independent of social media (through the website widget and email subscribers), the true power of PIOpost comes from its ability to quickly and easily post information to many of the most popular social media websites from a centralized dashboard.
This guide assumes that your agency has already been established on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. If that's not the case and you need assistance with getting started on social media, please see these helpful sign up guides:
- Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/help/sign-up
- Twitter - https://support.twitter.com/articles/100990-how-to-sign-up-on-twitter
- Youtube - http://support.google.com/youtube/bin/static.py?hl=en&page=guide.cs&guide=1646810
To connect your existing social media accounts to PIOpost, first make sure you are logged into PIOpost by going to piopost.com and clicking the "Log In" button in the top right corner of the page. From there, navigate to the "Manage Destinations" page, which should look something like this:
To connect your agency's Facebook Page to PIOpost, choose the "Activate" option. This will direct you to the Facebook login page:
Log in to Facebook using your agency's Facebook Page administrator account. This login information is never transmitted directly to PIOpost - it is strictly used to authorize the PIOpost application within your Facebook account. To activate, select the blue "Go to App" button:
In order for PIOpost to function correctly, the following permissions need to be accepted as well:
To accept, choose the blue "Allow" button. After clicking the button you will be directed back to PIOpost. If you have multiple Facebook Pages associated with your account, you must choose which Page you would like to connect to PIOpost:
Choose the desired Page and press the blue "Save changes" button. That's it - PIOpost now has the ability to send out notifications directly to your agency's Facebook Page.
To connect your agency's Twitter account to PIOpost, choose the "Activate" option. This will direct you to the Twitter login page:
Log in to Twitter using your agency's administrator account. This login information is never transmitted directly to PIOpost - it is strictly used to authorize the PIOpost application within your Twitter account. To activate, select the blue "Authorize app" button. That's it - PIOpost now has the ability to send out notification directly to your agency's Twitter account.
To connect your agency's Youtube account to PIOpost, choose the "Activate" option. This will direct you to the Youtube login page:
Log in to Youtube using your agency's administrator account. This login information is never transmitted directly to PIOpost - it is strictly used to authorize the PIOpost application within your Youtube account. To activate, select the blue "Allow Access" button. That's it - PIOpost now has the ability to send out notification directly to your agency's Youtube account.
Please note, that in order to successfully link your Youtube account you must create a Youtube Channel prior to connecting to PIOpost. For more information please visit: https://www.youtube.com/create_channel
Congratulations! You have connected your agency's social media accounts to PIOpost.
Creating a quick post template
If your agency sends out similar notifications on a recurring basis, quick posts will help ensure the consistency and professionalism of your message. Here's a quick scenario - if your region experiences particularly bad winter weather and your agency is regularly sending out updates on road closures and traffic hazards you could create a template that includes a warning at the end of each notification that urges drivers to be extra cautious as well as some safe driving tips. That way, every time your agency sends out a road update notification there is also a helpful message being reinforced.
To create a quick post template, make sure you are logged into PIOpost by going to piopost.com and clicking the "Log In" button in the top right corner of the page. From there, navigate to the "Quick Posts" page in the left column. To add a new template, click the "Add new template button":
Quick name - The quick name is simply what you would like this template to be called so you can easily remember it in the future. Keeping with the above example, a sample quick name could be "Winter storm warning". The quick name is not publicly visible - it is only used within the PIOpost dashboard.
Notification category - Assigning the template to a particular category will help make it easier to find in the future, especially if you build up a large number of quick post templates.
Photo - The image you choose here will be displayed as the thumbnail image next to the notification in the website widget as well as in Facebook. An important note about the image you choose here is that it will not be displayed in the full page detail view of the notification, only as a thumbnail.
Notification title - Having a predefined title can help you maintain a consistent format for recurring posts. For example your quick post notification title could be "Weather related road closure: ___________ is now closed until further notification."
Notification body - The notification body is where you will post the actual content of the notification. If, as in the previously mentioned example, you would like to include safe driving tips this is where they would go.
These predefined fields will act as a great starting point for recurring notifications - however the quick post photo, title, and body can also be overridden and modified directly from the "New Post" page if need be.
Congratulations! You just created your first quick post template.