More than 60 Texas Rotarians gathered in computer labs at a local college in Houston to learn how to set up Facebook and Twitter accounts, upload YouTube videos to their club websites, and download apps like the Rotary Club Locator to their smartphones.
The sessions, part of a workshop sponsored by District 5890, were led by Rotaractors and Interactors.
"Social and digital media are growing at an exponential rate, and for many Rotarians, it's harder than ever to keep up with the strategies, tools, and tactics," says Tommie Buscemi, the district’s New Generations committee chair. "Rotaractors are at that age where a lot of this valuable information is second nature to them."
Rotaractor Nathalie Cras, one of the workshop instructors, says that social media has become the most effective recruiting tool, marketing asset, and communication resource for reaching potential members.
"I have found that the majority of our members make their first contact with Rotaract through websites or Facebook pages," says Cras, a member of the Rotaract Club of River Oaks. "Keeping up with these technologies is crucial to securing the next generations of Rotarians."
Among the Facebook tips that Cras and about10 other Rotaractors shared at the reverse mentoring workshop were:
- Make sure you have more than one administrator for the page to ensure continuity when one is unavailable.
- Encourage members who follow you on Facebook to use the “share” link for your posts in order to reach a wider audience.
- Set up a Facebook to link to your Twitter account.
- Link to news stories about club activities through Facebook to increase publicity.
- Use a social media dashboard such as HootSuite to manage multiple websites and social media accounts, and to schedule posts in advance. This helps to minimize the workload for administrators.
Buscemi says the workshop was a huge success, and the district is planning another during the current Rotary year.
"These young leaders were so proud of themselves. They were honored that the Rotarians were looking at them as the teachers and had that valuable information that Rotarians could use," says Buscemi."