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Magazine

Magazine » September October 2012 Issue » Putting Our Best Face Forward: Is Your Chapter Using Facebook To Its Advantage?

Putting Our Best Face Forward: Is Your Chapter Using Facebook To Its Advantage?

Author:
Angela Prince
Date Published:
August 31, 2012

For USA Dance, Facebook has become an important communication vehicle for connecting to our members, friends and supporters. Our national organization now has several pages that we hope everyone will "join"
or "follow" :

USA Dance Inc
American Dancer Magazine
USA Dance Competitions
USA Dance National Dance Cruise
USA Dance National DanceSport Championships

All of our 174 chapters also have the opportunity to create an official Facebook page, working with Administrative Director Efrosyni Iosiphidis (also on Facebook) who will either jumpstart or guide the chapter Facebook page set-up (including all the security measures you'll want in place). More than half of our chapters now have active pages – and many have gained great momentum and connection with their local community.

Many of the volunteers at the national level are keeping up with our chapters as they post news and views about chapter events and activities, athlete achievement, community relations, all the great things their members are doing to support ballroom dancing and USA Dance. We often share your news on the national pages AND we get story ideas from your postings for American Dancer magazine.

12 points for successful chapter Facebook Pages...

Post information/news on your page at least once a week, but 2-3 times creates more interest from members and encourages them to participate. Consider uploading great photos and video taken at your events – everyone loves a great spotlight performance! And most everyone loves being "in the news." [One quick note – do give credit to photographers and ask for permission before uploading photos. Also, be sure the photos are complimentary to the subjects.]

Encourage members to share USA Dance news and talk more about the events past and upcoming. Create different photo albums to celebrate the events
and members.

Add links to YouTube videos from your chapter (Orlando Chapter does a great job at this – check out their page and also on USA Dance Inc.)

Equally important is finding chapter members and other dance friends in your area already on Facebook and asking them to join. Send them the URL link to your Facebook page and then all they have to do is click to your page.

Send out the link in your chapter newsletters and emailings and add it to your website home page so people can click through to the Facebook page.

Consider adding links to the USA Dance membership page so new people can join and members can renew. (www.usadance.org/membership)

Consider sharing great news and ideas from one chapter's page on your page.

Consider sharing the USA Dance Inc Facebook page postings on your page (the Los Angeles Chapter does a great job doing this).

Remember that USA Dance for the national and chapter Facebook pages has a no-advertising policy (which is found on our website and in the About Section on the USA Dance Inc Facebook page). We encourage our members and friends to share USA Dance news, announcements and other valuable information, but our Facebook pages can't become the advertising "billboards" for others who want to promote non-USA Dance events, personal items for sale and general business. It can actually turn followers away. Our organization, at all levels, fully supports the dance and dancesport industry, and we value our relationships with all. We encourage businesses to become official sponsors of USA Dance, helping us to support our programs and events – but we have other ways in which they can connect with advertising – in our chapter newsletters and American Dancer magazine, as sponsors at our events, NQEs and at Nationals, and as underwriters of special programs.

What should a chapter do when others post advertising and solicitation-type information on the Facebook pages? The chapter administrator of the page needs to delete the post, but also, please write to the person posting to explain about the policy. They'll understand and appreciate that you valued the relationship enough to contact them. It may open the door to ways that they can become a sponsor or advertiser at the Chapter level.