FASP R & R Tip #12

The Value in Exploiting Social Media Opportunities


The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to unprecedented expansion of electronic communication. The tools available include facebook, twitter, yelp, flickr, linkedin, pinterest, youtube, snapchat, Instagram and more. Each gives you an opportunity to send a message that can help recruit a member or retain a member.

Think about this, social media builds engagement. If you have 100 facebook followers, and those 100 share a post to 100 followers, you have reached 10,000 people. If you message a simple one of “we need members, if interested call”..with a photo of training, meeting, fundraising, etc.. you have 10,000 potential candidates.

Look at it another way. Using the same 100=10,000 contacts as above; you post that Fireman Smith is your firefighter of the year and why he or she has earned that distinction. His or her interest, value, and influence in the community has risen. He or she feels empowered and ready to work harder.

By using these techniques, you are also continuing to build relevance and social capital in the community, while supporting your existing members and recruiting new ones.

You may already have a facebook page, website, twitter or other account, but you need to be active and maintain the account – keep it current and post often.

While it is important to capitalize on the opportunity provided by social media, we must be able to control the information communicated on the site. Social Media policies that are effectively developed and approved by department officers, communicated properly to members, and require sign-offs by all members to assure understanding, will enable the organization to monitor and manage the site for proper utilization.

In today’s emergency service community, social media can be a powerful tool (or a missed opportunity). Social media and the example above provide the potential to help emergency service agencies with everything from recruitment to employment engagement to communications.