This is part one of an ongoing GirlGuidesCANblog series to provide GGC Members, volunteers, and parents with a better understanding of social media issues and best practices.
Part 1: GGC’s online strategy
Part 2: Girl Guides Online…Now and Forever
Part 3: Guiding Principles for Facebook
Part 4: Pictures Say a Thousand Words… and Then Some
Part 5: Girl Guide Tweets and Tweeps
Part 6: Guiding Online Searches
Should GGC’s online messaging cater to GGC Members only?
The simple response to this question is that GGC’s online messages should definitely centre on girl and adult Members’ interests and needs. For obvious reasons, we share online Girl Guide news, program updates, cookie information and girl greatness stories. The primary goal is to put timely information into the hands of Guiders as it happens.
For example, we quickly shared the news on our Facebook page recently that the Canadian federal government increased the amount of paperwork required for canoeing and kayaking excursions, and introduced a new tax to boot. (We also quickly posted the government’s recant of this announcement just one day later!) Similarly, our online platforms enable us to highlight the work of exceptional girls across the country, including: Alberta Lone, Amanda, who persuaded her city’s mayor to post her Unit’s National Service Project thought bubble photos in city hall during cookie ‘blitz’ week; and New Brunswick university student Rachel who was part of the WAGGGS’ delegation at the Commission on the Status of Women. We’re online all day, every day (okay, not weekends) sharing these relevant messages and having discussions with a growing number of GGC Members who are active on Facebook and Twitter.
A solely Member-focused approach, however, would close us off to more of what the online world could offer Girl Guides: public awareness, membership growth and being part of a bigger picture. Our online messaging therefore must take into account the interests – albeit to a lesser degree – of our non-Members who we call our Fans. This audience eagerly shares their unrivalled love for our GGC cookies (both classic and chocolatey mint), as they repeatedly post questions online asking ‘Where can I buy Girl Guide Cookies?!’ and ‘When are they on sale?’ Our Fans support girl greatness not just with their appetites but also with their pocketbooks through donations. And others readily spread our messages to their own networks. By participating in ‘big picture’ issues, such as Earth Day or the swearing-in of Canada’s new Governor General, we further align ourselves with other like-minded organizations and their Fans.
The question, therefore, become less about whom should we direct our online messaging to, but rather how do we create messaging that addresses the needs of our Members’ and Fans. After all, if we didn’t include Fans in our approach, we’d be doing the Girl Guides of Canada a great disservice, as it is a primary way to grow Guiding in today’s networked world.
By Talya, GGC staff
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