By Evan Burrell, a member of the Rotary E-Club of Greater Sydney
I like to present a lighter, more fun, more humorous side to Rotary on social media. I find it grabs people’s attention, member and non-member alike.
I come up with new, sometimes silly, ideas that inspire people and make them laugh — like using photo editing software to post a picture of Paul Harris taking a selfie, or posting a video of Past RI President Ron Burton dancing Gangnam Style, or posting an eye-catching image using #WeAreRotary. It’s all meant to get a response or reaction.
We can use social media to show that not only are we making a positive difference in the world, but we are having fun doing it. This makes the idea of Rotary more relatable, especially to new generations, who may feel disconnected with some of the formalities of Rotary but are avid users of social media.
Posting inspiring messages, funny pictures, or fun facts gives Rotary members a chance to feel involved. But content needs to be sticky. Sticky content is content that people are actually interested in, want to share, and want to interact with. That’s critical to maximizing the impact of the message. And it must come from a personal and honest place.
I had a lot of fun at the 2014 Rotary International Convention in Sydney, Australia, in June taking more than 250 selfies with Rotarians, Rotaractors, senior Rotary leaders, and even the pop vocal quartet Human Nature! I then compiled all the photos into a video and shared it over my social media networks. It generated such a great response from people who saw the convention in a different light. That little bit of extra fun and inspiration could be just what it takes to convince a person to start a project, knowing there is a huge network of supportive, helpful, friendly, and fun-loving individuals willing to help.
Social media also acts like a collective mind when it comes to sharing ideas and knowledge. Whereas before we might have had a roomful of Rotarians eating tasteless chicken, it’s now possible to promote an idea by posting it on Facebook and have it seen by huge numbers of members all over the world. Without having to eat a bite!
In the end, all we are trying to do is use social media to connect and have FUN. I have incorporated this into Rotary and my life. Social media to me is, by definition, something that has no bounds. But we should also do our best to empathize the good qualities of our organization in a way that helps others relate to us as approachable, positive, and fun.
If you would like to connect with me on social media, you can find me on Facebook, Instagram at Bigevanb, and Twitter at @Bigevanb1981.