During the Zone 28-29 Institute, I asked many participants to upload a photo to Facebook and tag it with #Rotary hashtag. The purpose of a “hashtag” is to create a tractable connection of all related posts ~ it’s similar to a Google keyword search. If you click on #Rotary in Facebook (or twitter and several other social networks) you will see all the posts in your network that relate to Rotary.
That’s all very well and good, but let’s think about why. Why do people like me go around teaching clubs and districts about Social Media? Why has Rotary International invested so much time in helping members to use Social Media?
I like to think of it like this…
When your club goes out into the community to do a project, it has a little impact. When you look at all the clubs in your district and their projects collectively, you can see the larger impact your district has in the community. Add in all the districts across the globe, and you can see the massive impact club projects have in our global community. Social Media is the same way. When you upload a photo to a social network, it creates a little awareness. When hundreds of us do it at the same time, it creates a larger awareness. Imagine millions of people sharing Rotary on the Social Networks! Now you are looking at a massive amount of awareness.
Each one of us shared a single Rotary experience during our week at Zone. In the days ahead, the experiences they will have in Rotary will differ from mine. From meetings, to projects and fundraisers, to community outreach, those Rotary experiences will be as diverse as our population. Sharing all of those experiences will help the people in your network understand Rotary. When thousands of us share our diverse experiences in Rotary, we create an over all picture of what life is like as a Rotarian. The goal is to have those experiences not only seen, but better understood, creating curiosity in others and eventually attracting new members.
We don’t always have a concise answer to “What is Rotary?” By utilizing the social networks, you give your connections a visual, simplified answer by defining what Rotary is to you. ~
Past District Governor Melissa Ward
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Chair Rotarians on Social Networks
Zone 29 Assistant Public Image Coordinator