Social Media is nothing to be scared of, used correctly these methods of communication can be a great asset to any Scout Group.
Social media is a great way to let your parents, supporters, the local community and the World wide Scouting Family know what fantastic adventures your Group gets up to.
As the media development manager for 4th Huddersfield Golcar Scout Group, responsible for all external communication with the press, the Group website and email newsletter, Social Media is a great addition to our methods of communication.
Twitter is a great social network designed for quick updates of no more than 140 characters.
Using Twitter is extremely easy, applications designed for smart phones and legacy support via text messages, makes every mobile phone capable of posting updates direct to Twitter.
Users who follow your updates, known as ‘followers’, can interact with you via replies, mentions or retweets.
Replies where the message is aimed at yourself, starting with @4thgolcar.
Mentions where you are mentioned within the tweet by including your username @4thgolcar.
Retweets, where your original message is reposted to another users followers.
Using Twitter for event promotion or help publicising your latest adventure is very easy once you have a decent list of contacts. Tweeting the local media outlets, the local council, councilors, MPs, local businesses and even The Scout Association will all help build a good reputation and help increase your community awareness of the local Scouts.
If you plan your social network activity correctly you can also post these updates to your Facebook profile / page automatically.
Facebook has many different ways to communicate with people.
Groups, Facebook Groups are useful for internal communication, including distributing the latest updates to your programme. One thing to remember is to make your group private and invite only, in order to keep your future events private.
Profiles, you could set up a facebook profile, however its not the best way to use Facebook for organisations or Scout Groups.
Pages, this is by far the best method of using Facebook for businesses or organisations. Facebook.com/4thgolcar
A Facebook Page is a great way to publish information about your latest adventures, interact with the users who ‘like’ your page using the comments attached to all your updates. Along with commenting on your updates users can ‘Like’ your update or share your update with their Facebook friends.
You can also create Facebook Events attached to the page for all your future public events.
Other Social Networks
There are many other social networks including Google+, these networks are popular with some users but Twitter and Facebook are the two most popular networks that you are better starting off your social network updates.
Remember to keep your young people safe when using social media by following the advice from The Scout Association including not publishing full names along with photos on your website or social network profiles.
Let me know how your Group uses social networking and post any tips that you would like to share in the comments below.