Posted by Vi Hughes on Oct 01, 2019
This past Tuesday Heather talked to us about how she is using social media to promote our club. She said that it has been a very busy time so far setting up everything and she along with her committee are now trying to set some goals for how to best spend our budgeted funds to advertise our club to the people who we would like to encourage to join Rotary.
We are currently on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. She said that each of these media have different audiences that follow them. Twitter is text based very short messages and their audience is mostly younger male businessmen and women, promoting their businesses. Instagram is a photo-based system with short descriptors added and appeals mostly to younger women.  Facebook is mostly used by older folks who want to keep up with their family and friends.   She said that she is using a program called Buffer to help her to make the many daily posts that are required in order to keep each of our social media accounts active.
Each of these media use a lingo of their own which takes a while to understand. On Twitter each user has a unique ‘handle’ or user-name.  In order to make it easier for their users to see only the things they are personally interested in they use ‘tags’ which are prefixed by # (a hash mark). A user can then ‘follow’ a particular handle or hashtag. Thus, when a posting includes the word ‘flower’ or has the hashtag #flowers attached to it, all users interested in this topic will receive this posting in their ’feed’. By attaching the international descriptor of ‘yeg’ for Edmonton it helps to narrow it down to a more local audience. Since it is obvious that these tags can snow people under, they need to be very specific and relevant to the audience that the user wishes to attract. Coming up with good hashtags that will work for our group is very important and we are still working on developing these. They do have analytics that we can look at to see how many people are reading our posts and they give a breakdown by location, age, sex etc.  Heather said that seventy percent of our twitter followers are from the Edmonton area. Our club hash tag is #yegstrathcona. Some other hashtags that she uses a lot are #giveback, #volunteer and #yegdonates. She said that the #rotary hashtag seems to include a lot of odd mechanical posts probably relating to motors and rotors, so it is not very useful.  She makes a point of also attaching the hashtags used by our speakers so our audience can then easily get to their postings as well.  She said that after doing this for a short while and seeing how much time and effort it takes, she can fully understand why a lot of companies have full time staff to manage their social media.
Heather said her biggest challenge right now is coming up with content to post. She needs to make three postings a day to Twitter alone. She said that she would greatly appreciate it if all of our members would email or text her with any and all Rotary related activities that they take part in. She also said that photo quality is best if sent by email. Our club pays for each posting we make so she needs to make them current and relevant to the audience we want to reach. Otherwise it is like throwing money at a wall.  So please, keep Heather in the know so that she can in turn let others know what our club is doing.