Written by Louise Crichton, Marketing Communications Adviser

Most of us use social media on a regular basis, whether it’s to keep in touch with friends and family; catch up on the news; or to see where in the world your favourite celebrity is. So inevitably Girlguiding is embracing lots of different social media channels too, because not only is it quick and easy to use, but it’s also where all our young members are!

To help you use social media effectively in Girlguiding, here are Girlguiding Ayrshire North’s top tips for using Facebook!

  • Decide what kind of page/group you want – public, closed, or secret. All of these are fine to use, and are done so successfully across the country, but each serves a slightly different purpose.
Public Page Closed Group Secret Group
Everyone can see your posts and photos which is great for promoting your unit and getting more volunteers and girls. Only choose this if you’re active on Facebook and will remember to post photos after your unit meetings! People can see that the group exists, can request to join, but can’t see any posts until you (the admin) approves them. This is a nice mixture of both public and secret because if someone in your area is interested in Guiding they can see that you exist and send you a message, but it is also a safe space to communicate with parents. People will only know you exist when you tell them that you do. This is perfect if you want to use Facebook purely for communicating with parents. But remember – some parents won’t have Facebook so it shouldn’t be your only form of communication with them. It’s not the parents who miss out when they don’t get information, it’s the girls!

I recommend you use either a public page or closed group and choose which one depending on two things – How active you are on social media (more active = public) and if the majority of parents are on Facebook or not (on = closed; off = public).

  • Two out of three – only put two out of three facts about your unit on the page!! Choose two out of day, time, or meeting place. E.g. ‘We meet at 7pm on Monday’ is fine, as is ‘We meet a Monday evening in the Howard Centre.’ Go check now to see if you comply with this and if not, change it! This keeps you and our girls safe.
  • Photo Permissions – make sure you have the relevant permissions for any photos you post. As long as the girls have full permissions then you’re covered for posting photos of them (but common courtesy would be to ask parents at the beginning of term how they feel about it!). To stay safe, I’d recommend you only post photos of girls with full permissions no matter which page or group you set up (public, closed, or secret) simply because photos online can be difficult to control.
  • No young members – do not invite young members to like your unit page or group and this is a definite no no if they are under 14. To this end, do not tag them in photos either. If parents choose to tag themselves/their daughter then that is their choice.
  • Proper English please – post using correct spelling/grammar to the best of your ability. Remember that you are representing Girlguiding and good spelling and punctuation makes us look good to any onlookers and to parents. That means no kisses, no swearing, no text speak (ur kiddin rite?!), and no rants/arguments.
  • Roll up DCs – invite your friendly Division Commissioner or a member of the County Executive to like your page/group! Firstly so they can see all the fantastic stuff you are up to and share it with others in Ayrshire North, secondly so you’re protected if there are any complaints about social media.

And that’s it! If you have any questions or want some support setting up Facebook for your unit contact the Marketing Communications Adviser.