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Does your unit use a Facebook page or group?  Any suggestions? Do's & Don'ts?

 

My unit is considering it.  The purpose would be advertising/marketing our Troop.

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We have both.  One serves marketing.  The other serves to manage event sign up.  The challenge we have is getting parents to "JOIN" the group.  As such, we have both.  

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We have a page which is our marketing brochure. We follow the BSA social media guidelines about posting, pictures and contact. It's run by a few ASMs and our Historian. The latter has a group account which is a generic account which can only admin the page. Not tied directly to the scout but through an alias.

 

Don't use groups because we have SOAR which has a newsletter and email lists which we have found more effective for our size group.

Edited by Bad Wolf

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Here is the BSA social media guidelines, http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Marketing/Resources/SocialMedia.aspx

 

That being said, my district has both a page and group.  The page is for pushing announcements and such, the group is for discussion.  The group is closed, only open to leaders and parent, no scouts, and yes we know that this is against the rules, but some time I think the BSA has a few too many.

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Don't use any social media for the troop.

I can't really fault you for that.  While some of my organizations (generally composed of college graduates in their 20s and 30s) use Facebook heavily and sometimes as their sole means of communication, I see several problems with social media communications:

 

1.) Not every parent (or custodial grandparent) is Facebook savvy.  For other forms (e.g. Twitter or instagram) it's even worse.

2.) Not every scout is old enough for Facebook (13 is the minimum age)

3.) Teens are now avoiding Facebook like the plague because their parents and grandparents are on there.  They've switched over to other sites and apps.

 

Of course not everyone reads email, not everyone texts and phone chains are obsolete, so you probably have to send a message out three different ways to make sure everyone gets it.

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IMO, good ole troop/patrol meetings are the best means of communication.

 

Miss the meeting and it is up to the scout to find out, not up to the SM, SPL, PL, or MOM to text/phone/email/smoke-signal him.

 

My $0.02,

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Smoke signals? ;)

 

We're more high-tech than that, we use a flare gun.

 

Of course, Stosh only has two youth under charter...

 

The PL's always do the phone call routine to remind everyone of events a couple of days out.  They did this even before we were down to 2 boys.  As a matter of fact, the PL will continue to call all the boys who have "quit" up until we recharter and their membership expires.

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Does your unit use a Facebook page or group?  Any suggestions? Do's & Don'ts?

 

My unit is considering it.  The purpose would be advertising/marketing our Troop.

We have one.  It's main use is to share pictures and news with the Troop families.  We also get a lot of Scout alumni that visit to look at the pics, mainly. 

 

Make sure you follow BSA guidelines on Social media.  Open group with at least two page administrators. 

 

http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Marketing/Resources/SocialMedia.aspx

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Make sure you follow BSA guidelines on Social media.  Open group with at least two page administrators. 

 

http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Marketing/Resources/SocialMedia.aspx

 

IMHO, BSA's policy is mis-interpreted as not allowing a member based groups.  And, BSA's wording is clumsy.  The issue is youth protection.  "No Private Channels" means do not violate the one-on-one youth protection rule.   The issue is people interpret that as no closed facebook pages.  The interpretation is because BSA says no private groups and that wording is clumsy.  Facebook does not have private groups (open, closed and secret).  When wording is clumsy, fall back to the basics.  Youth protection.  No one-on-one communication.  

 

Read the policy.  IMHO, the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs are even more meaningful.  

 

To help ensure that all communication on social media channels remains positive and safe, these channels must be public, and all communication on or through them must be public. This enables administrators to monitor all communication and help ensure there is no inappropriate communication between adult leaders and Scouts or between Scouts themselves. Therefore, no private channels (e.g., private Facebook groups or invite-only YouTube channels) are acceptable in helping to administer the Scouting program. Private channels and private communication put both the youth and you at risk. If you feel the information you seek to share via social media channels should not be shared in public, you should not share that information via social media.

 

Abiding by the “two deep†leadership policy that governs all Scouting activities also applies to use of social media. Two-deep leadership means two registered adult leaders, or one registered leader and a parent of a participating Scout or other adult, one of whom must be 21 years of age or older, are required for all trips and outings.

 

As it relates to social media, two-deep leadership means there should be no private messages and no one-on-one direct contact through email, Facebook messages, Twitter direct messaging, chats, instant messaging (Google Messenger, AIM, etc.), or other similar messaging features provided through social media sites. All communication between adults and youth should take place in a public forum (e.g. the Facebook wall), or at a bare minimum, electronic communication between adults and youth should always include one or more authorized adults openly “copied†(included) on the message or message thread.

 

 

Applying basic logic, a good feature of Facebook is event registration.  If you leave it open tot he public 100%, then the broader public sees who's camping and that can be a safety violation itself.  IMHO, as long as the closed facebook group has multiple administrators and the group is open to all troop members instead of a smaller select group, then it's okay.  What would be bad is a Facebook closed group used by just the scoutmaster and SPL.  Or some other smaller select group.  

 

If we were to truly say no closed Facebook groups, then it would be parallel with saying no SOAR web sites or ScoutBook sites or TroopMaster web sites where you get more information by logging in.

Edited by fred johnson

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We do not have a FB page or group. Some of the boys do but not the unit. I think there are better ways to make oneself known to the community. One way is to be active in the community and actually be seen by people.

When was the last time you said something like, "H'mmm, I think I'm interested in finding a club in our local community...let me check Facebook."? If anyone has EVER asked that question I'm sorry for them.

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We do not have a FB page or group. Some of the boys do but not the unit. I think there are better ways to make oneself known to the community. One way is to be active in the community and actually be seen by people.

When was the last time you said something like, "H'mmm, I think I'm interested in finding a club in our local community...let me check Facebook."? If anyone has EVER asked that question I'm sorry for them.

Start feeling sorry then. :)

 

We've had many folks moving to our area find us on FB as well as our website. We pick up about 5 scouts a year that way. With local Cubs, their parents check in on our FB page to see what we are doing. We tag various locations they also go to and they see us in action. We get about 300 local people viewing our posts every week. They repost to their groups which give us more exposure. We had offers of scout exchange from three countries come through which we would have never gotten through a simple website.

 

I hated FB for year!!! I still don't have a personal account, but there's no doubt that it is an effective channel for recruiting and getting the word out. I believe @@KenD500 lives in the Big D, FB is HUGE down there according to my cousin who's a unit lead there. They have a page that gets tons of traffic and even more scouts than we get through that channel. They've even taken the time to do flashy graphics and such.

Edited by Bad Wolf
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