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Buckie BBs revel in social media success

By Alan Beresford

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A LOCAL youth organisation's Facebook page has not only turned heads up and down the land, it has seen helped attract a flood of new recruits.

Buckie BBs' social media manager Allan Cowie, pictured here with wife Nicola at a Royal garden party at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh last summer.
Picture: Allan Cowie.
Buckie BBs' social media manager Allan Cowie, pictured here with wife Nicola at a Royal garden party at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh last summer. Picture: Allan Cowie.

1st Company Buckie Boys' Brigade's recent enrolment event saw numbers continue on the upward trend, with the Anchor Boys section now having to operate a waiting list such is the demand. Much of the credit for the influx, which cements the Company's status as one of the largest in the UK, has been laid at the door of the organisation's Facebook page.

The page, which covers just about every aspect of Company life, from notices of upcoming events to sharing successes at various events by the boys, is the talk of not just the town but further afield, including at Brigade level. It has been hailed by officers at senior levels as helping rise the bar on how the Brigade can best use and manage social media.

Behind this online masterstroke for the Company is their social media manager Allan Cowie, who has been with the BBs man and boy for 37 years, first joining at the tender age of six.

He said: "The Facebook page has grown to perform a wide variety of roles since it was first created.

"One of those is to help highlight and celebrate the success of our young people in the many extra curricular activities they do, such as cross country running and football, it gives them that wider recognition they deserve.

"It also shows what the BBs have to offer as well as keeping boys and their parents up to date with what's happening in the Company. We've also got regular features through the week, such as old photos and Friday Fun."

Like most brilliant ideas, the page had its origins in an something quite innocuous.

"We were at the trampoline park in Inverurie with the boys and we stuck something on Facebook and tagged in the parents to let them know what were had been up to," Mr Cowie continued.

"I later said to [Company Captain] Alan McIntosh that it'd be a good idea for us to have a facebook page for the Company.

"Never in my wildest dreams did I image it would get to where it is today, it's just skyrocketed. We've got followers literally from all over the world – Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia and further afield.

"I think it's definitely helped with boosting membership, it keeps us as a Company up to date and in line with a dotcom world."

Mr Cowie was in no doubt that the use of social media by the BBs was here to stay.

He added: "Social media is an excellent way of reaching out locally.

"It's free advertising, all it needs is dedication and a passion about what the Boys' Brigade has to offer and the rest will follow.

People will see the fantastic opportunities that their child could benefit from by joining the best youth organisation in the world."

Captain McIntosh confessed that he initially had doubts about creating a Company Facebook page but was quickly won round.

"As an individual who struggles with technology, I was one of the officers in the Company who wasn’t keen on launching our own page," he continued.

"However, I gave in to popular demand and Facebook has been a major player in our recruitment this session.

"It is also a excellent way of communicating between boys, parents and the Company. It only works because of the commitment shown by Allan Cowie who manages the site.

"He continues to develop various weekly items and out there, people are now looking for the quiz on a Friday, throw back on Thursday, daily intimations and also forward planning. It has become an excellent addition for the Company."

Related article: Buckie BBs roll out red carpet for Malaysian guests

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