10 Tips for Promoting Grant Projects Through Social Media

 1. Use the right site: Using the correct social media platform is important.

     • Facebook is great for promoting an upcoming grant event through the events tool or featuring photos from a successful event. Don’t create an account for a grant project or use your personal account. Rather, post through an account specifically for your Lodge.

     • Twitter limits you to 140 characters, so it’s key to be concise. Much like Facebook, this is a good platform to promote an upcoming grant event, live tweet during an event or recap a successful one.

     • Instagram is image driven, which means high quality photos are a must to post on this platform.

 2. Photos photos photos: Including high quality images with your posts is imperative. Plan ahead and have a designated photographer at your Lodge’s grant project. Photos taken on phones can easily be uploaded on all social media platforms.

 3. #WhatsAHashtag?: A hashtag is a term used for a word or group of words with no spaces preceded by the pound sign, and they are everywhere on social media. Try searching #CIPTurns10 or #ElksFamily on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for as an example. It’s an easy way to group posts and conversations—if you search any of the above mentioned platforms for a particular hashtag, only posts with that hashtag will pop up to view. Brands use hashtags to promote their content, brides use hashtags to organize photos from their wedding, and you too can use hashtags to promote and organize your posts!

 4. Keep it short: Attention spans are short, especially online. Keep your posts short and sweet to engage readers. A line or two will do on Facebook and Instagram.

 5. Grammar matters: Just as you’d proofread an advertisement going to print, treat any post on social media as a permanent print piece. As the idiom goes, you only get one chance at a first impression, so make sure all of your posts are error free and professional.

 6. Post on time: If you’re passing out promotional flyers in front of your new restaurant, is it better to be out there at 1 a.m. or 1 p.m.? That answer is easy—pass them out when there’s more people out, at 1pm. Social media is the same. Make sure you post when people are most likely to see it! Research shows that for Facebook, that time is 1 p.m.-3 p.m.. For Twitter, 12 p.m.-6 p.m.. Are you a numbers nerd? Check out this cool infographic. from Microsoft, which dives into the analytics of the best time and day to post on all platforms.

 7. Quality, not quantity: Think about all of the junk mail that comes through your virtual and physical mailbox on a daily basis. It gets annoying, right? Think of posting too often as junk mail—the more often you post the same thing, the less likely people will pay attention. Limit your posts to once or twice a day, and spread out reminders for your upcoming grant event.

 8. Share on your personal page: If you’re posting on your Lodge’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account, share, retweet or link those posts on your personal account. That way, another audience has the opportunity to engage with the grant project.

 9. Follow-up for feedback: Consider posting content that highlights an upcoming or finished grant project while asking for feedback from followers. Giving your followers an action gives them an opportunity to engage directly with you beyond a simple ‘like’ or ‘favorite.’ Here are some examples from the ENF’s own Facebook page:

     • We're growing! On Wednesday night seven members of the ENF staff joined Chicago Northshore Lodge No. 1316. Communications Associate Christine Robinson shared her reasons for joining on the ENF blog. Read her story here: www.elksnationalfoundationblog.org/. After reading her story share what inspired you to join the Elks in the comments section below.

     • The Community Investments Program is celebrating 10 years and the ENF staff has been spotted around the office in ?#?CIPTurns10? birthday hats! Look for your Lodge's party hat included in the Lodge Grant annual mailing or pick one up at our booth in Indy. Then, snap a festive photo and post it below! ?

 10. Don’t give up!: Just because you don’t get 500 likes on a post right off the bat doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong. Building a presence on social media and a relationship with your friends and followers takes time, so keep posting!

The Elks National Foundation allocated $9.77 million this year to fund the Community Investments Program. Lodges meet local needs in Elks communities through Beacon, Gratitude, Promise and Impact Grants. These grants offer Lodges opportunities to serve the community in ways that will raise the Lodge’s profile, energize the membership, encourage former members to return to the fold, and gain the notice of people who want to be part of an organization that’s doing great things. To learn more about the Community Investments Program, please visit www.elks.org/enf/community.

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