Promotion using social media
Social media provides you with a free and easy way of promoting guiding online
The great thing about social media is its ability to reach so many people so quickly
Social media is essentially people and organisations talking to other people via online networks and communities. It is mostly free, easy to use and can help you share information, updates, photos and videos with more people than ever before with a click of a button.
Here you can find information and tips on using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - three of the most popular social networking sites in the UK.
Facebook is the biggest social networking site in the world. It allows you to have a personal page or 'profile', post updates and share links, add 'friends' and communicate through comments and messages. Facebook also allows users to create 'pages' to advertise a particular thing - for example, a band, company or guiding unit.
You might use a Facebook page to:
- invite supporters to your recruitment event
- post action-packed photos (with permission) from a recent unit meeting
- circulate recruitment materials that your followers can share
- make announcements about exciting local happenings.
Facebook groups are a great way to keep in touch with girls in your unit or guiding friends. When making a group, it's best to keep it 'closed' or 'secret' so that only members of the group can see posts.
Facebook is for members aged 13 and over, so don't promote it to girls under the age of 13.
Facebook groups are easy to set up and a great way to reach more people - you don't need to be friends with someone to invite them to your group.
When setting up your group, make sure that you:
- create a private or 'secret' group - so that no one can see who belongs to your group unless they are a member.
- adjust your privacy settings to moderate who can become a member of your group
- only invite/accept people who you know.
- ensure content of the group is appropriate and relevant for the age of its members.
- have a minimum of two administrators, whose job is to moderate interactions and flag any concerns.
Asking your group to follow an online or social networking code of conduct - you can create this yourself - can encourage young members and adult volunteers to be respectful online.
Please note that none of the groups currently on Facebook have been set up or endorsed by Girlguiding - so there is no guarantee that these contain genuine Girlguiding members.
Twitter allows the exchange of brief, frequent messages called ‘tweets’ between users. These messages are posted publicly and sent to your 'followers' - people who subscribe to your tweets.
You might use Twitter to:
- share pictures (with permission) of your girls at a fun guiding event.
- follow and engage with a social action campaign.
- make connections with influential figures in your area to get them to promote guiding.
- advertise to followers that you're seeking new volunteers.
- increase the reach of content from your website - such as blogs and news.
If you need some more help with Twitter, make sure you visit the Twitter Support Centre – it’s very helpful.
Instagram allows you to share photos and videos by posting them to your page (which you set as either public or private) and notifies your ‘followers’.
You can also create an Instagram Story which allows you to post one or more photos or videos clips in a series. Unlike normal Instagram posts, people can only view these for 24 hours, after which they expire.
You might use Instagram to:
- share pictures or video clips (with permission) of your girls at a fun guiding event.
- promote guiding by showing people the fun behind the words.
- highlight exciting announcements.
For more guidance on using Instagram, don’t forget to check out the Instagram Help Centre, which is full of information that can help you.
Top 10 tips
- Keep it short, engaging and to the point: Social media is all about quick, snappy bits of information; people tend to flick through, so you want to grab them from the very first moment. Before posting make sure you know what the purpose and message of your post is.
- Use pictures and video clips: A picture or video can say 1,000 words; using visuals means you can say more with less.
- Use hashtags and tagging: Hashtags and tagging are great for increasing the reach of your posts; most common on Twitter, they can actually be used across all three social media sites.
- Be emotive: Your posts help people get a unique behind the scenes look into what Girlguiding is all about and build a more personal connection with us.
- Ask questions and respond to comments and reactions: Asking questions, commenting and responding means people are more likely to engage with what you are posting - because you are engaging directly with them.
- Show that we are a fun, diverse UK wide movement: Girlguiding is made up of a diverse range of amazing girls and volunteers who are doing a whole range of great activities from interest badges to international camps – make sure people know.
- Make sure you have the right permissions: It is very important that your social media accounts are set to the right privacy settings, and any you have the correct permissions when using photos and video clips.
- Post regularly: You should be active on social media regularly; this will keep your followers engaged, and those with the most engaged followers get the most visibility.
- Be brand consistent: This will help people easily recognise when you’re posting, and it helps build trust with your audience. People know our sections more than the Girlguiding brand so use the section logos where you can. Find out more about how to use our brand.
- Shorten your links: A handy little trick that allows you to save characters and space when posting – there’s a range of sites that will do this for you, just search for them online.
You can follow almost anyone on Twitter and Instagram. Many celebrities, politicians and journalists tweet on a regular basis - but you can also use Twitter to network in your local area.
If there is a local personality who might be able to boost your recruitment campaign, or shout about guiding in another way, why not follow them and ask them for their support?
Using #Hashtags and @replies
#Hashtags allow you to discuss a topic and see who else is talking about it. For example, if you're talking about Future Girl try putting the hashtag #FutureGirl at the end of your tweets. Anyone who clicks on it will see a list of all the posts that contain #FutureGirl - and if people search that hashtag, your post will come up.
For example, if you wanted to reply to something from the main Girlguiding Twitter feed, you'd start your tweet with @Girlguiding. If you want to mention Girlguiding, just put @Girlguiding in the middle of your tweet, or anywhere else it makes sense!
If you start a post with @username, only that person and whoever follows them can see your post, but if you put @username in the middle of a post, it can be seen by everyone.
Stay safe online
New technologies bring great opportunities, but also new risks for our young members. It’s great to hear your stories and see your photos, but please remember that social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are public sites and any information you share is shared at your own risk.
What not to post
Social media accounts that represent guiding at any level should be managed responsibly. Use social media for posting information and announcements about your unit - but avoid sharing:
- political views
- opinions on sensitive topics
- any other inappropriate content
Design your profile
Make sure your social media profiles look good and are consistent with Girlguiding's brand by following our brand guidelines.