Did you know that over the last two years, Sons of Norway has been recruiting twice as many young adults (24 to 55 years old) than it has in the last five years? With this influx of new, more active members come new opportunities to meet their expectations. This often means lodges will have to incorporate new tactics and resources to keep these new members connected with the lodge. We’re already seeing some lodges beginning to use Facebook as a means to reach out to younger members, and their community as a whole. Let’s look at some information about Facebook and best practices to make sure your lodge gets the most out of it.
Facebook is one of the largest social media networks with more than 1.25 billion users. Originally created for college students, the site’s fastest growing demographic is now 45 to 54 year olds, which has grown by 79% over the last two years. This combination of a strong base of young adults coupled with a growing number of middle aged users makes Facebook the perfect tool for Sons of Norway lodges.
Facebook is free to use. For the lodge, you’ll want to create a Facebook ‘Fan Page.’ Think of a page as a Facebook website. The easiest way you can create a Facebook Page is through your own personal Facebook profile. Watch this tutorial for a better idea of how to get started creating a profile for your lodge. While it’s geared towards businesses, the first 12 minutes contain many helpful tips and ideas for lodges. The site also allows you to create a page without a profile. To do this, you can see a short tutorial here.
Once you’ve created a profile, there are a few best practices that will help your lodge succeed on Facebook. To help us out, we checked in with Joan O’Bryan, Askeladden Lodge #5-610 in Kalamazoo, MI, whose been using Facebook to create a wider reach in their community. Here are a few helpful hints for creating your own successful page.
- Keep your page updated. To use Facebook to its full potential means keeping it updated with content like events and photos. At Askeladden Lodge, Joan keeps the page updated with interesting news and events from the lodge and Norway. Some of the biggest Facebook pages will update multiples times a day. As your lodge starts out, though, try and shoot for at least 2 posts a week.
- Know your audience. Among the tools you will have at your disposal, Facebook allows you to view the average age of your fans. A lot of Askeladden’s fans are between 45 and 54. Knowing this allows Joan to tailor what she posts to maximize the lodge’s engagement with fans on the page.
- Don’t be afraid to network. Not only does Facebook allow your lodge to network with members and the community, it can help your lodge grow connections within the community. Don’t be afraid to use your lodge’s Facebook page to become fans of other groups your lodge may be interested in collaborating with in the future.
There are a lot of resources available on Facebook to keep in touch with Norway. Here are a few pages your lodge might be interested in that have been successful:
- The Official Sons of Norway Page
- The NorwayConnects Page
- Aftenposten (You’ll need to know Norwegian)
- Vesterheim Museum
- Visit Norway
Here’s a link to Askeladden’s Page – don’t forget to check them out!