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Clan and Family Society Facebook Pages

Facebook is an important platform for building awareness of your Scottish heritage society and for building relationships that turn into paid membership. Of the 160+ known American and international clan and family societies, 153 have Facebook pages. Of those, 102 have at least a public page to promote themselves and encourage membership. Many have an additional private group page just for members. Of those with Facebook pages, 52 have only a group page that is restricted to members only. Of those, 14 are public groups (where only members can post but everyone can see those posts) and 38 are private groups (where you must be a member to post and to see those posts.)


We’ll take a look at some of the top public clan and family society Facebook pages to learn what kind of posts draw the most “likes” and learn how to turn those “likes” into followers.


Top Pages


The number of followers for the public pages ranges from 10 to 5,300. Fifteen Clan and family societies have attracted 2,000 or more followers: Clan Currie Society (also known as the Learned Kindred of Currie); Clan MacBean; House of Gordon USA; Clan Donnachaidh Society (last post was in 2020); Clan MacKinnon Society; Clan Douglas Society NA; Clan Colquhoun International Society; Clan Donald USA; Clan Mackay Society of the USA; Clan Carruthers; Clan Forbes Society; Clan MacDougall Society of NA; Associated Clan MacLeod Societies; and House of Burnett. Most of these pages have been active for 10 or more years. Dividing the number of followers by the number of years since the first post, the top three most effective of these pages are Clan Currie Society with an annual average of 482 followers; Clan Forbes Society with 300; and Clan Colquhoun International Society with 260.


Public group members range from 77 to 1,900. Those societies with 1,000 or more members include Clan MacMillan Society; Clan MacDougall Society of North America; Clan MacQuarrie Society; Clan Moffat Society; Somerville Family Worldwide; Clan MacCord Society; Clan Macpherson Association; and Clan Barclay Society.


Private group members range from 93 to 12,300. Those societies with 2,000 or more include Clan Campbell Society, North America; Clan Buchanan Society, International; Clan Cunningham International; Clan MacFarlane Worldwide; Clan Crawford Association; Clan Henderson Society; Clan MacLeod Society, USA; and Clan Maclean Association in the United States.


Top Posts


In order to build relationships that lead to paid membership, you need to create unique and interesting content. You can easily tell what your potential followers will like by the number of reactions from your current followers.


For the Learned Kindred of Currie, the most popular post in the past year was the announcement in December 2022 that their annual fundraising event, Pipes of Christmas, was sold out. The post received 128 likes, 14 comments, and 3 shares. For Clan Colquhon, the most popular post in the past year was a post about the chief visiting the Charleston Games in November 2022. This received 115 likes, 9 comments, and 3 shares. The Clan MacKinnon Society attracted 198 likes, 23 comments, and 3 shares with a July 2022 post about MacKinnons Pub in Glasgow. Clan MacBean hit 273 likes, 65 comments, and 37 shares for their Christmas greetings in December 2022. For Clan Forbes, one of the most popular posts was about Pittencrieff House in Fife, which was the birthplace of General John Forbes, the founder of Pittsburgh. This October 2022 post received 348 likes, 14 comments, and 35 shares.


Creating “Likable” Posts


Quality rather than quantity. Some societies share all types of information and messages indiscriminately – whether or not it is truly relevant to the clan or family. These posts rarely elicit a lot of “likes” – especially from new people. While photographs of highland cattle (“hee-land coos”) may be cute, they do not advance the mission of the society. Greetings for generic holidays (Easter, Mother’s Day, etc.) often get lost in the news feed with other groups offering the exact same greeting.


Relevance. If you want to offer holiday greetings, make them relevant to your society. For example, for National Tartan Day, the Learned Kindred of Currie featured their event “Tartan Day on Ellis Island.” For the anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, the Clan Forbes Society featured a blog about his poem “Scotch Drink” which mentions Forbes and the clan’s whisky brand Ferintosh. For Christmas, follow the example of the British monarchy and offer a message from your chief or commander.


Unique history. While many societies repost generic Scottish history and culture posts, you should create new content that highlights your clan or family society. Otherwise, people will just follow the more robust and interesting Facebook pages such as the Scottish Banner (75,000 followers) or the Scotsman (311,000 followers). You can either research new information or create short blogs from the history on your current website.


Link to your website. Always remember to include a link to your website, such as “Learn more here.” You want people to explore your offerings and eventually join your society. You want to consider simply rotating through your entire website every year by highlighting a specific page or simply posting a link. For example, the Associated Clan MacLeod Societies attracted 87 likes for a brief post and map graphic about Clan MacLeod lands that linked back to the website.

Turn “Likes” to “Followers”


Getting people to “like” your posts is only part of the challenge. Since they have identified themselves, you can invite them to become followers, as well. Simply click the number of the likes below each post and then click on the “invite” button for each person who is not already following you.


Learn More


If you are an authorized Delegate or Alternate of a current COSCA Organizational Member, you can see the complete list of clan and family society Facebook pages with the number of their followers and members here: https://www.cosca.scot/facebook

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