Together we make a profound difference

BEST PRACTICE: Your lodge on social media

HOW-TO: Build your Facebook community

E-fellowship

One mitt at a time

Resources

Question of the month

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BEST PRACTICE: Your lodge on social media

In the Masons of California strategic plan for 2010-2015, one key priority is to enhance the overall quality of the membership experience. Another is to go “beyond the lodge”: instill a wider Masonic perspective, inside and outside the fraternity.

When it comes to social media, the two go hand in hand.

Just ask Modesto Lodge No. 206. Thanks to its Facebook page, the lodge is receiving more inquiries, increasing its member attendance, and generating positive exposure in the community.

Brother Douglas Husted, creator and administrator of social media accounts, explains:

Background
We recently began building a new lodge website. During construction, we needed another place for brethren and the public to check out our lodge online. Facebook was the natural choice. It’s an interactive place to post events, photos, and videos. Today, more and more people use it to search for information on organizations.

We also decided to set up a Twitter account (@ModestoMasons) and a WordPress blog (modestomasoniclodge.org/blog).

Goals

  • Advertise events: Facebook and Twitter are additional ways to remind brethren about upcoming events.
  • Share experiences: On the blog, we post longer articles about our activities and other topics of interest.
  • Raise awareness: Social media lets non-Masons see who we are and what we do. On all of our accounts, we post pictures of everything from community service projects to social events like Cigar Night.
  • Connect with the worldwide fraternity: We post pictures of lodges we visit, which strengthens our bonds with the larger body of Freemasonry.
  • Generate conversation: Because social media is interactive, it lends itself to discussion and opportunities to connect. For example, we can answer non-members’ questions about Freemasonry and how to join.
  • Increase community presence: Having a strong social media presence can help a lodge connect with its community, and demonstrate all of its work on the community’s behalf.

The team

  • Social media manager: I created the Facebook page and am the primary administrator.
  • Support crew: Two other administrators help create content.
  • Fan mail: Just as important, brethren and others in the online community contribute by sharing comments, pictures, and content.

Posting protocol

  • Post frequently: We post several times a week, sometimes more.
  • Share useful information: We use social media to advertise lodge functions, as well as events hosted by concordant bodies.
  • Examples: We post reminders and feedback about upcoming degrees, Golden Veteran Awards, breakfasts and dinners, and social events.

Getting “liked”

  • Go viral: As of right now, we advertise our social media presence strictly by word of mouth.
  • Cross-link: We use Twitter to direct our followers to our Facebook page and to our blog.
  • Ask to be “liked”: We link to other Masonic Facebook pages. We appreciate the Grand Lodge of California Facebook page adding our page to its “likes.” It connects us to Grand Lodge and gives us greater exposure to the online Masonic community.

Benefits
Our presence on Facebook and Twitter has led to more prospective inquires about Freemasonry. It’s also increased attendance at lodge events, because members are better informed about what we’re doing and the fun we’re having.

On deck
Next, we’ll launch a YouTube page, along with our new website. Long-term, we’ll have a social media plan that ties it all together: the updated website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

For more information, contact: Douglas Husted, thediamondlion@hotmail.com.

 

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HOW-TO: Build your Facebook community

Two of our strategic priorities for 2010-15 are to enhance the member experience and go beyond the lodge.

For some lodges, joining the ever-expanding world of Facebook is a way to do both.

But it’s not as easy as "build it and they will come." Here’s how to drive traffic to your page and create content that gets you "liked" - online, and in the lodge.

Post regularly

  • Be consistent: Post fresh content on a regular basis - ideally, once a day; at least a few times a week.
  • Best-laid plans: Take time every week to plan next week’s posts.
  • Crowd-pleasers: Aim for a mix of content that’s interesting to lodge members, outside Masons, and the general public.

Quick and easy posts

  • Event info: Chances are, many of your followers are lodge members. Use Facebook to keep them informed of upcoming events.
  • Lodge news: What are this month’s Trestleboard articles? You may be able to reuse the material, such as member recognition or an event recap. Be sure to condense information into one or two sentences.
  • Questions: Put the focus on your followers by asking questions - from their opinions on Masonry to their plans for the weekend.
  • Masonic moments: Did your lodge just complete a community service project? Attend Annual Communication? Ask members to comment on their favorite part of the event, and put out a call for photos.
  • Contests: Be creative. Post a photo and host an impromptu caption contest, or name a theme and challenge followers to submit the best quote.
  • Trivia: Share facts about your lodge or “today in history” tidbits. Did your lodge recently host a Masonic education night? Quiz followers on the presentation.
  • Beyond status updates: Post photos, videos, and links to articles or websites. (See below.)

More on multimedia

  • Photos: Take photos at every lodge event, then upload them to Facebook with descriptive captions. Make sure you have permission from the individuals pictured. Don’t forget to "tag" (identify) members in photos, so they’ll show up on the members’ Facebook pages, too.
  • Videos: Buy a video camera for the lodge, and bring it to every lodge event. Make sure you ask permission before videotaping anyone. Keep videos short - aim for under three minutes - then upload to Facebook.

Grow your network

  • Friends and family: Start by asking friends and Masonic organizations to show support by “liking” your page.
  • World wide fraternity: “Like” the pages of other lodges and Masonic organizations, including the official Masons of California Facebook page.
  • Support local pages: Search for Facebook pages of community organizations. "Like" and participate on their pages. Eventually, they’ll return the favor.

Promote your page

  • Eblast: Send an all-member eblast announcing the launch of the Facebook page and linking to it.
  • Trestleboard: Place the Facebook icon somewhere prominent in your Trestleboard. You can even include a “What’s happening on Facebook” blurb, highlighting the discussion topic that generated the most participation that month.
  • Website: Link to your Facebook page on the lodge website.
  • Everyday email: Ask officers and your lodge website administrator to add the Facebook icon/link to their email signatures.
  • Other social media: If your lodge also has a Twitter account or YouTube channel, link it to your Facebook page.

Other tips

  • Well-rounded profile: Take time to fill out your profile with information about the lodge and how to contact you. Include a link to the lodge website.
  • Portrait of a lodge: Upload plenty of photos of the lodge building, members, and activities.
  • Social media managers: Choose a primary administrator, then ask two or three members to help brainstorm posts and participate regularly on the page. Look for members who already use social media. Consider asking new members, who may appreciate the opportunity to get involved.
  • Measure your success: Every week, record the number of “likes” on your page, and review the level of participation. Look for patterns of what worked best with your online audience.

Have we forgotten something? Please e-mail suggestions to communications@freemason.org with How-To: Build your Facebook community in the subject line.

 

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E-fellowship

We use technology in almost every aspect of our lives - why not with our fraternity?

To enhance your member experience, Grand Lodge offers the following digital resources.

Like us on Facebook
Join the 8,000-plus fans of the official Facebook page for the Masons of California. It’s an ever-growing community where you can interact with Grand Lodge and hear the latest buzz about the fraternity.

Follow us on Twitter
The Masons of California Twitter feed debuted in April. Followers get instant updates from Grand Lodge in 140 characters or less.

Watch us on YouTube
The Masons of California YouTube channel is a fun, informal place for members and friends of the fraternity to share videos about Masonry. Current attractions? “Builders of Dreams,” a 10-minute movie exploring Masonry's influence in the Golden State.

Visit our past
At masonicheritage.org, you can visit the Henry W. Coil Library & Museum of Freemasonry from your home computer. Browse thousands of books and items used by Masons around the world, and tour special exhibits, including “The Legacy of the American Anti-Masonic Period, 1826-1838.”

There’s an app for that
With the Masonic Traveler app, you can locate and visit more than 10,000 U.S. lodges with a single touch. It’s free to California Masons: just click here, and be prepared to sign in with your Member Center username and password. (Register on freemason.org if you don’t already have one.)

Mobile magazine
Download the California Freemason app from the iTunes App Store or Android Marketplace to enjoy your award-winning member magazine on your mobile device. (Need another reason? The app won silver in the media innovation category at the 2011 EXCEL awards.)

Don't have an Apple or Android device? You can still read California Freemason on the go with the digital edition: Visit freemason.org and select News & Events/California Freemason Online. Access bonus materials, search across issues, and share stories on email, Facebook, and Twitter.

Sign in at freemason.org
Log into your Member Center, another EXCEL award winner, for members-only tools and resources. For example, you can download references and publications in electronic formats, such as the CMC, proceedings, and manuals.

 

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One mitt at a time

Our 2010-15 strategic plan focuses on philanthropy as a priority area, which means increasing community involvement and public awareness of the fraternity.

For the past two years, the Masons4Mitts campaign has hit a home run. The campaign benefits the Junior Giants, a free, non-competitive baseball program serving 15,000 underprivileged youth from Stockton to Eureka.

Last year, California Masons provided baseball gloves for more than 1,800 youth - and became the largest single donor to the Giants Community Fund, the charitable arm of the San Francisco Giants.

The 2011 Masons4Mitts campaign is underway, and will run until Sep. 12. Regional teams of California lodges are competing to fund the most baseball mitts, one $20 donation at a time.

Support your team at Masons4mitts.org.

 

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Resources

Masonic Assistance offers support services for the whole family. But too often, members and widows don’t know about the services available to them.

This “Resources” section was created to help you educate members about Masonic Assistance. Here, you can download flyers to use in your Trestleboard, in mailings to widows and homebound members, on your website, and as a posting in the lodge.

Because of you, our fraternal family will know where to turn for the support they need.

This month: Masonic Senior Outreach

Masonic Senior Outreach offers free assistance to seniors age 60 and older, connecting them with the services and resources they need to stay healthy and safe at home or in their home community. This month's download answers members' most common questions about this support service.

 

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Question of the month

Last month we asked how many of your lodge members are adult leaders of a youth order. Of the 124 who responded:

70% - 1 to 5
12% - 6 to 10
2% - more than 10
16% - zero

 

Of those lodges that responded ‘zero,’ 55 percent reported that no youth order currently exists in their area.

Here’s your next question.

 

 

 

 

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Please e-mail questions to communications@freemason.org.

Contact Us

Grand Lodge of California
1111 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94108

p: (415) 776-7000

e: memberservices@freemason.org