So you’ve been told time and again your club needs to use social media, so your club dutifully created a Facebook page, signed up for a Twitter account and joined LinkedIn. Now what? Most of the Lions in your club know their way around the Internet, use smartphones and consider themselves at least marginally tech savvy. But how can your club get the most out of social media to publicize events, snag people as members and keep members fully engaged and committed? As with anything in life, tools are only as good as the people using them. Here are 25 ways social media can help your club excel. 1. Be “liked.” You want to increase the visibility of your club’s Facebook page. So include your page link on business cards, flyers, press kits, letterheads and table banners. Tattoo it on your forehead! 2. Video Equals Victory. More people use the Internet to watch videos than any other reason. Create a short, engaging video (not photo collages!) to post on Facebook and YouTube. Capture the essence of a project or have a photogenic Lion say something funny, sweet or profound. 3. Say Cheese. Photos are the most “liked” and most shared social media posts. Post your better photos and include a brief description. 4. Like Others. “Like” or “follow” the pages of LCI, other clubs, partners, businesses, community groups and leaders and media. Don’t ask them to “like” your page. No one likes someone who is desperate to be liked. But do post interesting, informative content so they will decide to “like” you. 5. Twitter, Too. Use these same strategies for Twitter. 6. Facebook 101. Understand the basics of Facebook, Twitter and other social media. To get the most out of Facebook, you need to know you can set up a profile, a page, a group or event, for example. How to get a handle on all this? Go to the sites themselves and click on “help,” use the tutorials on LCI’s Online Community page, use YouTube videos if you are visual learner or pull up a chair with a tech-smart member. 7. Hash It Out. A word or phrase prefixed with the symbol # and usable on Facebook, Twitter and other social media, a hashtag allows you to add context to a post or indicate the post is part of a larger discussion. The # generates more attention for a post. 8. Capitalize on Media Coverage. If a media outlet covers your club, post a link to the story, photo or video on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. 9. Ask Away. Ask a question that relates to your post or tweet, giving people reason to respond and interact. 10. Stalk Celebrities.Well, of course not, but try to get a response on Twitter from a well-known person. They may retweet it to thousands. Lions often know of heartwarming stories or needs, so a celebrity may jump at the chance to show his or her compassionate side. 11. Stalk Mayors. Not really, of course, but do the mayor, car dealer in town or other influential people in the community use Facebook or Twitter? Engage them digitally. 12. Like Your City. “Like” the city pages and the pages of other community institutions. 13. App it Up. Use free Apps like Vine, which allows you to create and post short video clips, to add sizzle to your sites. 14. Be Newsy. After a disaster such as a typhoon or tornado, create a brief video of the club president talking about how LCI responds to disasters and how your club has made a donation. In the winter, film a segment on how Lions feed the hungry or donate coats. 15. Share Your History. Old photos are alluring. Post one and provide a very brief club history. 16. Mark Milestones. Your club has collected 1,000 eyeglasses or held a pancake breakfast for 50 years? Post it. 17. Share Testimonials. Film a brief segment on a Lion who loves being a Lion or a beneficiary who is deeply grateful to Lions. 18. Share the Brand. Lions worldwide do cool things, great things. Share stories, photos and videos. Elevate your club’s standing in people’s eyes by calling attention to the incredible service of other Lions. 19. Share News. Scan the media for stories or studies on blindness, hunger, literacy and other concerns addressed by Lions and post a reaction or information on how Lions have mitigated the problem. 20. Welcome Members. They deserve a grand hello on social media. Give a brief bio. 21. Salute Your Members. Highlight a member each week or month. They’ll be sure to share with their friends. 22. Complementary Material. Say thanks to supporters and partners. Everyone likes to be acknowledged. They’ll share your praise. 23. Tell stories. Don’t be boring. Tell a joke, anecdote or brief story related to service or the club. Stories capture people’s attention. 24. Check out SMiLE. Tech-savvy Lions formed SMiLE (www.lionssmile.org) in 2012 to help Lions get the most out of social media. 25. Designated Driver. Put someone in charge or form a committee. Don’t assume things will get done. Develop a plan and set goals.
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