In 2014, the marketing challenge for my 70-year-old club, the South Tucson Lions Club, was to build a new brand image. We wanted to stop being the “best-kept secret,” and start being the talk of the town. We wanted to really connect with our community, and let them know all the great things we were doing—and how they could join us on our journey.
We started a Facebook page and began consistently posting our club’s activities and signature projects, like youth mariachi and children’s vision.
As of 2019, our club page now has 7,400 followers, including local mariachis and schools, school boards, nurses and other community members and organizations with goals that aligned with ours. Our brand is now well established in the community, which helped us to vision screen more than 80,000 children in the last three years. We even started a brand-new cyber club and inducted 21 new Lions last year.
How did we do it? How did Facebook help?
You can increase your club’s Facebook footprint in three easy steps. Just remember: it may be easy, but it also takes dedication.
Step 1: Make it appealing.
- Choose an appealing cover image and a correctly-sized logo for your profile image.
- For club members who use their personal profile to promote Lions activities, make sure their profiles are appealing as well – and not controversial.
- Bring your brand wherever you go! When taking photos, make sure you connect the scene with your club by including members wearing branded apparel, signs with the Lions logo, etc.
Step 2: Produce quality content regularly.
- Capture the smiles of the people attending your activities and events.
- Choose one well-edited action photo to post, rather than multiple photos of poor quality.
- You can never have too many cute children in a photo, but always gain permission!
- With each post, provide a brief description of the “who, what, where, when and why.” Share how your community is a better place because of your club.
Step 3: Gain followers by being an active social networker.
- Invite people who like your posts to “like” your page. If you have admin capabilities, simply click on the list of post likes, and it will show you who already likes the page and give you the option to invite those who don't.
- Invite your personal Facebook friends to “like” your page, encourage your members to “like” your page, and encourage members to invite their friends to “like” your page.
- Ask people in your photos if you can “tag” them for more exposure. They have followers, too, and when they’re tagged, their followers can see your page.
- Connect with your community partners on Facebook and coordinate posts and events. For example, my club does vision screenings at local schools. We are working with the school district marketing department and with individual school Facebook page admins to post our upcoming screenings, how we do it, what a letter from the nurse means, and how to get free exams and glasses from our Lions club.
We serve. With Facebook, you can make sure your community knows it!
Join the Lions SMiLE Facebook group for more discussion on growing your club and your service through social media.
Lion Richard Stevenson is the president of the South Tucson Cyber Lions Club, a member of the Lions SMiLE team, and a retired financial executive. He became a Lion in 2013 and started the South Tucson Lions Facebook page in 2014. Lion Richard also started the South Tucson Cyber Branch Lions Club as a specialty branch cyber club to do vision screening and recruit nontraditional Lions. Today, there are 23 members who are 87% women and primarily in the school health profession. Facebook was instrumental in attracting and recruiting these new Lions. He runs the Global Lions Facebook group, a community of more than 2,000 Lions that discusses ways to strengthen their clubs and their service.