Social Media – A Beginner’s Guide

Social Media – A Beginner’s Guide

By Thad Mantaro, Public Relations Manager

Social media can seem daunting at first, particularly if you are new to tools like Facebook or Twitter. If your club doesn’t have any social media accounts you are losing an opportunity in the form of internal communications with your club members, and an opportunity to communicate with potential new members.

Start by thinking about which platforms you are familiar with. My 10-year-old spends the better part of every waking day on TikTok, but when you consider the demographics of your current and potential new member, typical social media platforms would be Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Many clubs also have Instagram, Meetup and Snapchat accounts based in part on the demographics of their members.

A key part of any club’s use of social media is to think about what’s in it for your members. As you think the type of posts, you might consider: do club members want a more social experience? Then, share candid photos of recent activities inside the club. Or is your club more formal? If so, images and information about educational attainment, or components that feature accomplishments might be more useful.

The key to good posts is to keep things simple. Make sure that posts are relevant, specific, interesting and upbeat. People love to see themselves in photos and to tag their friends. Adding images and videos rounds out the variety of content and keeps things fresh.

Also, a key technique for posts is to use hashtags to increase exposure. A hashtag is a word with a hashtag sign in front of it (#Toastmasters) or (#adulting). It’s a critical part of social media that identifies and acts as a label for content. It turns any word or words that follow it into a searchable link. Using hashtags helps to short-cut communications about specific themes of interest to your club members and others. Using a social media aggregator like Hootsuite or Buffer can help you if you manage a number of platforms and have regular posts you want to schedule.

Finally, remember if you don’t have any current social media accounts, it helps to start with just one or two. Then, grow from there. Make and save good account logins and passwords and be sure these are shared with club leadership. There’s nothing worse than having someone leave a club only to find that no one else was identified as a backup administrator, and no one can contact the person who managed the account. And most of all—have fun! Social media is a tool that can bring people closer and create sustainable membership for your club!