This was part of the “Mysteries of Club Public Relations” presentation made on the Feb 25th Membership Monday conference call. You may listen to the call in its entirety here.
Social media is a relatively new phenomenon and many of us are still trying to figure out just how it works. When used correctly, it can be a very effective way to give your club more exposure to a wider audience.
One of the most popular social media sites is Facebook. Some aspects that make it a good place for clubs to have a presence are: Each club can have its own page, just like an individual can. Post events on the calendar, issue invitations, post pictures of events and converse with your fellow club members. It’s an efficient and effective way to keep your members up to date. Posting photos and events lets people know that your club is active and growing and creates an air of success that will attract new members. You must first have an individual account to create a page.
Another good site for marketing your club is Meetup. Your club can post an announcement of your meeting and can then be found when someone enters search criteria that meet your description. This can take a little time to set up, and there is a nominal charge, but most clubs do find that the cost is worth it. You want to make sure that the keywords you use are general, yet specific enough that you will be easy to find for those who are looking for something to do. One club I belonged to attracted several new members over a six-month time frame just by having the club meetings announced on Meetup. Set up your group here.
Two sites that I feel are not that effective for clubs are Twitter and LinkedIn. Twitter is for posting pithy comments or links to other comments with no real outlet for the club to utilize. There is no calendar app, and posts are limited to a small word count. LinkedIn has a Toastmasters International Members group that can be a very valuable source of information and ideas, but LinkedIn itself is not an ideal site for marketing to potential members.
Have your VP Public Relations and your VP Membership team up and get your club a Facebook page. Look into Meetup and see if your club wants to pay for a short-term trial of the site and measure the results over a period of three or six months. It’s worth the time and effort it will take and I believe both will pay off in new members and more involvement and retention of your current members.
Area 51 Governor