So, you are in a Lodge. Your Lodge is in a Province, your Province is in the UK. It’s a big place and everyone wants candidates to join their Lodge. Like it or not you need to compete for candidates within your Province. If a candidate can only attend a meeting on the night you meet, and can only get to the centre you meet in, then you have an advantage. However this candidate is in the minority and he can pick and choose between many different Lodges. So why should he join you? Your Lodge is the same as everyone else’s Lodge. If you are reading this and thinking “Marks wrong” then I’m really pleased to hear it. But it’s your potential candidates that need to hear it.
As some of you will know, I am the Social Media Officer for Berkshire, I spoke to a Lodge recently about their Social Media use, particularly for recruitment. We had a frank and open discussion and that is exactly what was needed. There were two members of the Lodge who didn’t use Social Media, didn’t think we need to use it and felt that as we have managed for over 300 years we can probably do without it. I hear them, I appreciate their views and part of me thinks it would be great if we didn’t need to use it. The reality is that recruiting in the numbers required, will not be possible by just waiting for a member to discover someone who is interested in joining. If we don’t “advertise”, we will struggle to ensure Lodges and provinces thrive. The best way to do this and the most effective is to use the various social media platforms available. Facebook and Twitter is a great starting point.
Search various posts on both platforms from Lodges and Provinces, you can then get a flavour of how they use them. When developing the Social Media for your lodge you need to consider and show the following:
- Your unique selling point, What can your Lodge offer? Why should they join? What’s different and special about the Lodge?
- Show the personality of your Lodge. Avoid Masonic terms that non Masons don’t understand. Titles and ranks mean nothing until you have joined and eventually start to understand it all. Use terms such as Head of the Lodge instead of Worshipful Master.
- Avoid constant formal photos in regalia, standing to attention with not even a smile. This is okay now and again but isn’t attractive to all. Also avoid every social photo standing or sitting holding up glasses of alcohol all the time. Yes we are a very social “club”, but we are not always out boozing!! Again, make photos fun and with personality.
- Create events on Facebook such as meeting details for visitors, open days, social events and white tables etc.
- Share provincial events and information, share links to your website and posts from your members following visits (get permission first).
You will probably find someone in your Lodge who uses social media, ask their advice. Ask them to teach and share information with your members. At the bottom of this post you will see guidance from UGLE, this is a very useful document for you to share and refer to.
To conclude, grasp Social Media, enjoy it and use it. We are probably the oldest Social Network and now we need to embrace the newest Social Network.
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