The Lions SMiLE community is made up of Lions and Leos from around the world who want to extend their club’s reach through social media. In the private SMiLE Facebook group, they share their social media challenges, success stories, ideas and tips. Our SMiLE Community Highlights series provides real-life advice from Lions and Leos who successfully use social media to make a bigger impact in their communities. Join the community!
Meet Leo Martina Barrea, member of Vercelli Leo Club and the social media manager for MD Leo 108 Italy. Martina joined Leos at the age of 25 and found people who believe in her and wanted to give her an opportunity. Thanks to her social media campaigns over the last year, more than 40 people have contacted to join a club.
What are the benefits of using social media for Lions and Leos?
Brand awareness! A good knowledge of the brand is essential to attract potential new members and grow the “reputation” of the club. With a good marketing strategy, social media allows clubs to have a real presence in the community and find new members.
How has social media directly impacted your service?
Social media is a tool to transmit a message. Our message is “Leos believe in what they do.” Just set simple rules: No pictures of dinners or poses. Every time I said I was a Leo member, everyone would reply, “Ah, those who make dinners!” It had to end!
Through social media, I wanted to transmit the same emotions we experience when we do service.
Examples of service projects I have posted about on social media:
- The Rapallo Leos who, due to the bad weather that caused enormous damage in the Genoese territory in October 2018, collected plastic debris in the area.
- The “A Tutto Tondo” service of District Ia1, carried out with the Italian Blind Union of Turin, was an exhibition to discover the beauties of the city not with sight, but by touch of 3D reconstructions of the city’s monuments. An exhibition for blind people raised awareness of those who can see.
- The gardens that we have refurbished and the greenhouse built in Rome thanks to the LCIF contribution.
Every service we have shared on social media has allowed the club, district and multiple district to be known in the local and national community. We are seen as points of reference for the community to turn to and to trust.
At the moment we are implementing the #noplasticplease campaign on the @leoclubitalia Instagram page to raise awareness about the use of plastic on beaches and in everyday life. I receive many photos, even from non-Leos, who have embraced our initiative.
How do you use social media to attract new members?
Show what you do in everyday life. Nowadays people no longer like artificial things on social media. People are attracted to moments of real life. No posing photos, but photos where the club is at work. In addition, a well-designed sponsorship campaign aimed at the target you want to reach.
What is your favorite social media channel? Why?
Instagram, because it is the social media most used by the target we want to reach: 16 to 25 year olds who could become new members.
What are the three most useful social media tips that you’d like to share with Lions and Leos?
- Create a strategy and study your target audience.
- Spontaneity: Write the emotions that you feel while doing a service.
- No photos of dinners and no poses.
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Jacquelyn MacKenzie is the social media and community manager for Lions Clubs International.