Article Submitted by David Rico, Southern and Central Region Membership Growth Coach
Using tools like Facebook geofencing and Nextdoor events can be useful in the promotion of Scout recruiting events like Join Scouting nights — even if those events are virtual. In this article, we’ll discuss some best practices when utilizing those tools. First and foremost, while these tools can be very helpful, do not rely only on them as your primary means of recruitment. Use every possible method you have at your disposal to increase your effectiveness.
Using Geofencing to Promote Scouting
Geofencing is a tool within Facebook that enables a user to promote Scouting events (like joining nights) based on geographic criteria. It also allows users to promote virtual events, and, with COVID-19 representing a challenge to many in-person events in 2020, this may be useful.
Before you begin your geofencing effort, ensure that any unit whose joining event will be geofenced has updated its BeAScout pin and enabled online registration. You can find key information on those important tasks at the Scouting Online Registration Information site.
For step-by-step directions on how to set up a geofence to promote a Scouting event, use this guide. You can also find more information about using geofencing to promote your Scouting event in this article. Find additional information that details past results here. For instance, units that used geofencing for their join Scouting events saw a growth rate of 7.43% more new Cub Scouts than they did the previous year.
Use these best practices for recruiting events that will employ the use of geofencing promotion:
- Utilize images/videos with your local people when possible. If you don’t have local images to use, access numerous ready-to-use, approved Scouting images in the BSA Brand Center https://scouting.webdamdb.com/bp/#/.
- When setting up the event info, ensure all details are correct, including the correct address of a physical location (if your current local health guidelines permit in-person events of this nature).
- With a virtual recruiting event, you will still have a physical address used to set up the geofencing parameters for the area you are targeting. On the event invite, be sure to provide a link to the virtual meeting.
Stuart Goins, a Director of Field Service from the Quivira Council in Wichita, Kansas, has utilized geofencing in his council’s recruiting efforts and cites the following four key elements of using this tactic:
- Geofencing provides the ability to reach a target audience in a specific geographic area, which allows you to focus on locations with a high population density of prospective Scouting families.
- It’s a highly cost-effective use of any promotional dollars you may spend toward recruiting.
- The ability to focus your marketing directly on parents of Scouting-age youth is valuable.
- As a marketing tool, geofencing is only effective with unit buy-in, so connecting with your unit leaders about this opportunity is critical.
Using Nextdoor to Promote Scouting
Nextdoor is a hyperlocal social networking service for neighborhoods. It can be used to promote Scouting in certain neighborhoods by creating and posting events; however, in many cases, that event creation will need to be done by the Scouting volunteers who live in those neighborhoods. That way, they can answer questions that may arise from their neighbors on those posts.
Below are few useful links that may help in the use of Nextdoor to promote Scouting events.
- How to join Nextdoor: https://help.nextdoor.com/s/article/How-to-join-Nextdoor?language=en_US
- How to post an event: https://help.nextdoor.com/s/article/How-to-add-an-event?language=en_US
- How to publicly share an event https://help.nextdoor.com/s/article/How-to-publicy-share-an-event?language=en_US
Use these best practices for promoting events on Nextdoor.
- Identify volunteers who live in targeted neighborhoods and are willing to post information about Scouting joining events.
- Provide help coordinating and promoting those events, and provide answers to questions received on the event invitation.
- Ensure separate units that are in the same neighborhoods communicate with each other to avoid confusion between how they post details about their event dates and times on Nextdoor.
- After the event, be sure to follow-up on Nextdoor with anyone who has questions or may have missed the event and is looking for another joining opportunity.
Scouting Wire would like to thank David Rico for submitting this article.