Getting your Rotary Club started with Facebook ‘Pages’ and
running your ‘page’ effectively
You know you should be doing it. Other people keep telling you that you should be doing it. Others have been doing it for ages. But it seems like an insurmountable task that you keep putting off. It’s not your tax return. It’s getting social media on track for your club!
If you have not yet made a start on your social media presence and do not know where to start, fear not. Here are some essential things to know that can help to springboard you in the right direction or help to breathe life into an existing but lack-lustre account. I have specially created online videos available to help ease you onto the social media stage. Read below for lots of tips and accompanying videos. To see the whole playlist of videos about Facebook Pages on You Tube, please click here.
Identify your club’s ‘tech whizz’ and set up your Social Media Account
If your club is just getting started with social media, then Facebook is the way to go. It continues to reign supreme as the most popular social media platform worldwide, and is therefore well worth the effort that you are going to spend on introducing yourself to the world of ‘posting’, ‘liking’ and ‘sharing’. The person who takes the reins of the social media for the club does not have to be a tech genius. There are many people now using Facebook for their own personal accounts. These are called ‘profiles’. If someone is familiar with posting to their own Facebook ‘profile’, then they will find that posting to a ‘page’ for your club is not too different. You may even have someone in your club who runs a Facebook ‘page’ for their own business or other organisation who will already be familiar with the way it works. But if you are taking this on yourself, and you are not totally familiar with the process, worry not. Let’s get your Facebook ‘page’ up and running – the videos will help you to do this.
Once your ‘page’ is created, you need to make sure that you have set a ‘username’ for your page. Looking at your brand new page, looking over to the left, underneath where your square pic will be, and underneath the name that you set up the page with, you will be prompted to ‘Create Page @username’. This is really important!! By creating a ‘username’, it will allow people and other ‘pages’ to ‘tag’ you in comments and posts. You will learn a little about this later in the video about making posts. ‘Tagging’ is an essential part of the way Facebook works to spread the word and bring your post or comment to the direct attention of many others who will be instrumental in how far your post reaches.
If you already have a Facebook ‘page’, please ensure that you have a look at your page as an Admin and see if you have set a username. People cannot easily ‘tag’ your page without it!!
It also means that when you are telling people about your club’s page, you can give them a direct ‘URL’ or web address for your page, without the need for them to search for it. For instance, Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland has the username of @RotaryinGBI which means that the web address is www.facebook.com/rotaryingbi – this full address can be put into documents and emails as a link to get people directly to where they need to be, even printed on posters and leaflets, dispensing the need for the person to have to search for you on Facebook. This is especially essential when there are clubs with similar names both locally and worldwide. If you want people to get to your club ‘page’ easily, then make sure that they have your proper username or link. Make it easy to get there! When setting up your username for a Facebook ‘page’, please do make use of capitalisation, as it helps the user to clearly see, read and understand your club’s name. ‘RotaryinGBI’ is easier to get the sense of than ‘rotaryingbi’ – it is a visual help to know how to say and think of the username. *
* Tech note – web addresses are not case sensitive, so you could put in the capitals in usernames and website addresses when typing in the browser address bar – or not – it will still get there. This is also the case with email addresses. This is not the case, however, with passwords, though! Be VERY, VERY case sensitive with those!
You are now a page admin – but there’s someone else you need…..
Even if you fully expect to be doing all of the social media work yourself, you need to make someone else an Admin. Ideally, it would be someone who is of practical help so that you can co-ordinate and share the load. Failing that, the person or people that you make ‘Admin’ could be someone more experienced than yourself who, though they cannot take on the commitment of being an active ‘Admin’, would be willing to be there for you as an emergency responder if you were really stuck. However, this is often not possible if you are the only ‘tech whizz’ in your club. But you still need to make at least one other person an ‘Admin’. Think of them as an emergency key holder – someone who can use their admin privileges to take action if and when you cannot deal with something yourself. Whomever it is does not necessarily need to understand what being an ‘Admin’ is all about, and may never actually do anything as an ‘Admin’. But it is important that the club has on record who the other admins are. If circumstances arise, one these other Admins can use their account to assign identical powers to someone else who can then help out with the situation. It is rather like a keyholder being able to make a copy of a ‘key’ to allow someone in to do the necessary, even if they have never set foot in the property themselves. Otherwise, with you out of action, the account is effectively locked into its current state with no one else on the planet able to do a thing with it.
There are more ‘page roles’ available than just ‘Admin’ – you could assign people to help you with sharing posts or making new posts, without the danger of ‘messing the page up’, which is a common fear for a new ‘Admin’. Once you have assigned some ‘page roles’, you will need to make sure that everyone on your ‘team’ knows a few basics, so use my videos below to make sure they have set their notifications and to get a grasp of some of basics.
Get your club members and others to ‘Like’ your new page
Once your ‘page’ is up and running, you need to ask everyone you know with a Facebook account to ‘Like’ your page. This means that every time you make a new post to your club’s ‘page’, it will appear in their ‘newsfeed’.
You can invite your personal Facebook ‘friends’ easily – directly from your new page. For people you are not ‘friends’ with, you can send them a direct link to your brand new ‘page’ by copying and pasting your page’s address into an email or other digital means of communication, such as a text or Whatsapp. Your page’s address will look something like www.facebook.com/ExcellentRotaryClub
Now is the time to get your club members to help you to row the boat – ask them to share your club’s ‘page’ to their own Facebook profile. Just as you will have done, ask them to go to the new ‘page’ and invite their own ‘friends’ to ‘like’ the ‘page’.
There will be many members in the club who do not have Facebook accounts. But it does not mean that they have nothing to do! They can also help to get the show on the road and keep it running by asking their friends and family outside of Rotary if they would please ‘like’ the club’s page and share the posts. This is a really essential part that all members can play – whether you ‘get’ the tech or not!
Don’t forget to put your new page’s web address or username into all your club’s literature, on posters and in any other documentation, imagery or videos that your club produces from now on.
Identify or organise a suitable event to give your social media presence a kick!
Look ahead in your club’s events and identify an occasion that would be the perfect springboard for your social media campaign, whether you are kicking off or resurrecting your online presence. People like to see and engage in events of local interest. A perfect event would be something that involves a local person or group of people that you can feature. The public are engaged so much more when you can put a face and name to a local resident or cause. A great thing about this approach is that the person who is being featured, plus all their families, friends, colleagues, organisation or business associates will be keen to share any post that you make featuring them. This is where you can make effective use of ‘tagging’. ‘Tag’ other organisations, clubs, businessess or key people in your post when you are publicising the event. This spreads your post virally, and also gets your club’s name out there to people who may never have heard of Rotary. In the run-up to such an event, plan to make a feature of individuals or teams as they sign up for the event, interviewing the team, or just one member. The public identify well with pictures and stories around individuals, so see if you can get an interview with one person in particular and a nice, well-cropped photo, offering them to the chance to highlight their cause or story. This is more personally engaging than always seeing pictures of groups of people from a distance.
A picture speaks a thousand words
Never make a post without a picture or a video! People browsing their social media feeds do so quickly and mercilessly, skipping by the boring text-only posts. It is your IMAGERY that will stop them in their tracks long enough to read what you have written. It also makes for an attractive newsfeed when people are exploring your club’s social media for the first time to find out what your club is all about. A visitor will quickly tire of reams of endless text. Before your kick-off event takes place, experiment with some simple photo editing. Cropping or lightening a picture suitably can make all the difference between the picture getting noticed, or being scrolled by with all the others. Mobile devices can have great apps for these simple but effective edits. Here’s an important tip, though – never edit the original photo! Make a duplicate and then edit the duplicate. You never know when you may need the original, unedited version of the photo you originally took……
A step up from a picture – or an interesting variation from one – is to post a short video. The process of uploading a video is no different to that of uploading a photo. Even the shortest 2-second clip can bring life to an event that a mere still may not have managed to capture. Once you have taken a short video, it is possible to edit it down to the best few seconds. One thing to remember about social media is that people’s attention spans are very low. Keep the video short and to the point for the purpose of getting their attention in a normal everyday post. Of course, longer videos can be uploaded if appropriate.
Feed your ‘tech whizz’!
It might fall to one person in the club who is considered the ‘tech whizz’ to take charge of the social media, but they can only post up what they have been given. They cannot be present at all meetings and every event. Nor can they be expected to automatically know all there is to know about the event or other happenings in your club. So make it an integral part of the planning of an event at initial first committee meeting level that there is assigned a person who is responsible for making sure that pictures and a ready-done write-up of an event are sent over to your ‘tech whizz’. Even if the ‘tech whizz’ is present, others can send their photos along to them for consideration. It is also important that any updates be sent along to the ‘tech whizz’, such as once net profits have been calculated from an event. It is also a great idea to follow up on how the money benefitted the party it was given to – a great opportunity for heart-warming photos and a deserved update for everyone who had a part in raising the money and attending the event.
Make it a part of the Steward’s duties to gather all revelant infromation from an upcoming speaker once they are confirmed thier date and get it over to the ‘tech whizz’ – photos, web addresses, Facebook and other social media details, YouTube links, a bio about the speaker, anything that your ‘tech whizz’ can use to help publicise your upcoming speaker. This will bring publicity to your club, to your speaker, any cause that they are representing or business they are speaking about, and hopefully, it will attract new people to come and listen to them. Co-ordinate with your speaker to share each other’s posts about the upcoming meeting at which they are speaking. Then, after the event, do the same! Thank them for coming along and use all the usual resources – tagging, photos of them speaking at your club, links, videos. And remember, you are not necessarily going to have to produce photos and videos yourself if you don’t have anyone yet to do it – make use of the facility of sharing your speaker’s posts!
These are great opportunities to shout about what happened and what was achieved – it keeps your club and Rotary in the public’s consciousness. You have opportunities to make a big social media deal before, during and after an event. But relevant details and suitable photos need to have been fed to your ‘tech whizz’ to achieve this.
Assign a capable member or two, or one of your new-found tech helpers to spend some time with some willing members of the club, teaching them how to send pictures, videos or articles by ‘Facebook Messenger’, email or Whatsapp, for example. For those without Facebook accounts, can they make a report about an event and get it on over to the ‘tech whizz’? Even if it means putting pen to paper the ‘old style’ way, these words are absolutely crucial whether they are coming from a tech genius or from someone who does not even own a computer. Whatever the tech ability of an individual member, it is vital that the club as a whole are participating in making sure that the social media effort is working long term and staying varied and buoyant in whatever way that they can.
Ask your club members not to worry about cropping and enhancing photos – this is best left to the ‘tech whizz’ to decide, unless, of course, you have managed to find someone within or without the club who loves to edit photos and pass them along to the ‘tech whizz’. Remember, it is the photos, the videos, the imagery that is going to engage your audience and spark their interest.
Share news from other Rotary Clubs, your district, RIBI and Rotary International
Sharing posts from others onto your club’s Facebook page is great for showing the wider workings and benefits of Rotary but also can serve to keep your club’s name in the public’s newsfeeds, even when you have nothing in particular of your own to say. You do need to be careful, though, that you are sharing to your club’s ‘page’ and not accidentally to your own ‘profile’. You also need to keep a nice balance between your own club news, and that of other clubs and the wider Rotary community. Remember, you are trying to engage local people, so make sure that your page presents news that would interest your clubs’ potential members and helpers on a local level, whilst giving a taste of the wider picture.
Get the apps!
By far, the most efficient way of getting news up on social media is to use your mobile device to take the photo and then upload using one of your device’s ‘apps’. ‘App’ is short for ‘application’, which, in computer terms is a ‘program’. Programs have functionality that you can choose to add to your device. Desktops and laptops do have some powerful editing software which is great when spending some time planning a campaign or when creating an attractive photo collage, video or poster. But when out and about, using your mobile to take a pic – rather than a camera that you have to transfer the photos from when you get home – is the way to go. It is a quicker process and takes out the need for transferring files from one device to another.
On a mobile device, search for the following apps in ‘App Store’ if you have an Apple device, or ‘Google Play’ if you have an Android device.
‘Facebook’ – for your personal profile, where you will make your own personal posts and see the posts of your ‘friends’
‘Facebook Pages’ – for dealing with Facebook pages as an Admin, Editor, etc. Here is where you will write and edit posts. Unlike dealing with Facebook Pages on a computer, there is no danger that you will post as the wrong person or page. On a mobile device, your personal profile and your Facebook Page administration duties are kept very separate.
‘Facebook Messenger’ – this app takes care of the private messages that normally appear in the little speech bubble on a computer.
‘Picstitch’ – a handy little app for making a few pictures appear together in one frame
The photo app on your device will have its own simple editing facilities, to fix basic light issues, crop, etc. Have a play with a test shot!
But of course, it is not all about the picture. Ensure that your text comment is grammatically correct, appropriately punctuated and informative. You need to put your best foot forward, giving the best possible impression of your club. Google and other search engines will be indexing and saving whatever you write in order to bring them up in future searches. So your post is going to be preserved in time. Make it a good one!
Is your club in UK District 1220? Then come and make a post on our new District Facebook page!
It is always encouraging to hear news from other clubs and it benefits all if we can see and share what our neighbouring clubs are up to. Come and find our district page at www.facebook.com/NewsAround1220 and ‘like’ it, both with your personal ‘profile’ and with your club’s ‘page’. You will then see the posts on your own newsfeeds to be able to stay informed of activities and events in the district. You can also post up your own club’s exciting news posts to our District page to show us how well you are doing!
If your own district has a Facebook page, have a go of posting up some news from your club, and don’t forget to have a look at what other clubs in your area are up to so that you can share their news, too.
Please ‘Like’ the page whilst you are there!
To see the whole playlist of videos about Facebook Pages on You Tube, please click here.
To help your club members to find their way through general basic tech issues and for good advice on how to organise your personal Facebook account, please visit Twinkle Tec’s ‘Your Facebook Profile’ playlist on You Tube.
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