Social media is everywhere and an important part of life for millions across the world. It’s a great tool for both recruitment and retention of ALA members. Many people first turn to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to check out a person, place, business, or organization.
Using social media correctly can have a positive (or negative) impact on the American Legion Auxiliary’s brand to the public.
Properly naming your social media accounts, providing current contact information, an updated “about me” section, and regularly posting/updating photos can all go a long way in branding your unit/district/department to the public, which includes potential volunteers, members, and donors.
Naming your account
Just imagine someone learns about your unit through a community event or by word of mouth. They want to learn more, so naturally, they turn to the internet. Maybe you don’t have a website, but they are positive you will be on social media. They begin to search but can’t find you.
Maybe it’s because your unit’s social media account name is listed as “American Legion Auxiliary Unit 123” or “American Legion Auxiliary Unit.” There could be several pages just like this. People aren’t going to take the time to do a deep-dive search to find you if it proves to be a challenge.
The better way to label your unit on social media: “American Legion Auxiliary Unit 1919, Greenwood, IN” or “American Legion Auxiliary Unit 109, Two Harbors, MN.”
Key parts of your name to have on social media include your unit number, city, and state. There are multiple units with the same unit number across the country, so including city and state can set you apart and ensures the public is able to reach out to the right unit.
And with the change to ALA membership eligibility that now includes male spouses, be sure not to label your page as “American Legion Ladies Auxiliary” or “Women’s Auxiliary.” Be inclusive to the men in our ranks and their meaningful membership!
The interested community member finally found your Facebook page — bravo! They are eager to reach out to get more information on volunteer opportunities with your unit, so they send an email to the one listed under contact information, and immediately, the email bounces back. They try the phone number listed — the person says they are no longer part of that unit. Dead end. This, is of course, is upsetting because they just want to help veterans, military, and their families, but the unit can’t take the time to make sure its contact information is up to date.
Updated ‘about me’ section
Make sure this section of your social media account contains current information. People need to get a quick idea of who the Auxiliary is. Not sure what to write? Feel free to use parts or all of what National Headquarters uses:
American Legion Auxiliary members have dedicated themselves for a century to meeting the needs of our nation’s veterans, military, and their families both here and abroad. They volunteer millions of hours yearly, with a value of nearly $1 billion. Auxiliary volunteers across the country also step up to honor veterans and military through annual scholarships and with ALA Girls State programs, teaching high school juniors to be leaders grounded in patriotism and Americanism.
To learn more about the Auxiliary’s mission or to volunteer, join, or donate, visit http://www.ALAforVeterans.org.
Regular posting/updated photos
Simply having a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account is one thing. It’s quite another to actively use it. You don’t want someone to come to your page and see the last post is from two months ago. Keep the page updated with fresh content.
You don’t have to post every single day, but try to share information regularly about what your unit/district/department is doing in your community to serve veterans, military, and their families.
Be careful what you post
A Facebook page for your unit and a personal social media page are very different. Try to be extra mindful of what you post on your unit/district/department pages, especially with elections coming up. Be sure you don’t go one-sided when using this account. The ALA was created a century ago as a nonpartisan organization, and we will remain one. Don’t change that intent by posting political statements!
This article was originally published in the May 2020 Auxiliary magazine.