By Morgan P. Corr, 32°, Manager, Social Media
It took radio 38 years to reach 50 million users, TV had that many viewers in 13 years—the internet did it in just 7. Take a minute to really visualize that fact.
We are accelerating, and for certain the World Wide Web is here to stay. With it comes an entire array of new instruments (“working tools” for today’s Masons) to facilitate easier and instant communication. Early online tools such as web pages and email are already standard, even necessary, in the course of daily life and business. And in the past few years we’ve seen the rise of the newest means of communication: social media.
Social media or social networking are two terms that get used a lot today, but they mean essentially the same thing. Simply put, social media or networking is an online form of communication that seeks to connect people in social groups.
This type of communication can be used in a wide variety of ways—there are virtually limitless possibilities for who, what, where, when, and how you can communicate using social media outlets. But, in short, each individual can use it in whatever way best suits his needs.
You can organize a group of friends who share your interests, plan events, share news articles, and more—just on Facebook alone. Twitter lets you see and share short, 140-character bursts of information “live,” to get a peek at what’s going on down the street or across the globe. LinkedIn provides a venue for you to share and connect professionally, get your resume out there, or recommend a friend for a job. Foursquare is a location-based tool to share with your friends where you are, rate restaurants and other venues. And these are just a few of the most popular, but how do they apply to the Scottish Rite?
This spring at the Scottish Rite Leadership Conferences we shared some of the basics for how to effectively set up and use some of these social tools—specifically the big fish in the sea: Facebook and Twitter. Our main goal was to demonstrate how to engage members or prospective-members who are already actively utilizing these platforms.
At over 500 million users, Facebook is by far the “king of the hill” when it comes to social media. It’s the second-most visited website in existence and is quickly becoming a standard part of any communications or engagement effort. More important still, more than 50% of users log on and use Facebook every day. Twitter has more than 140 million active users sending more than 340 million messages per day, and growing.
Much to our pleasure, we found that many of our Valleys and Orients are already social media aficionados, using it to connect brothers to one another, announce and plan meetings and other events, inform those interested about the Craft and the Scottish Rite, lead fundraisers, support charities, and much more. At the House of the Temple, we’ve followed their lead and you can now reach us on a variety of social media platforms (see below).
In the end, these outlets are quickly becoming a standard part of any communications or outreach effort—particularly for younger people. While Facebook and Twitter can’t be the only way we reach our members, we ignore them at our own peril.
Want to know more? Call us, email us, send us a message on Facebook or Twitter, walk over and see us, or send us a smoke signal.* No matter what, if you have questions or comments, we’d love to hear them and talk to you. (We’re very social, after all.)
* Just kidding about the smoke signal, we’re terrible at Morse Code and scared of burning ourselves. 🙂