Tips to focus your efforts and save time
Associations are under more pressure than ever to stay relevant and engaged with members. In the past, associations could provide value by being the source for content and events for their specific industry group or cause. But now prospective members can get information, education and networking through a vast variety of other places — and often for free.
Social media holds much promise for meaningful member engagement and attraction. But how? Once again the best start is a top-down approach. Of the following goals, which are most important to your association?
Be where your members are
- Set up a homepage and Facebook page poll.
- Send out a survey to your email list.
- Look to industry vendors – where they are active and investing time.
- Set up social media tracking on website, blog and e-newsletters.
Generate Valuable Content for Members
- What are member current sources for information? What are gaps that your association can fill?
- Stick to member-specific, value-add content: success stories, member averages, best practices.
- Have social media share and “like” buttons on each article; Monitor analytics to see what is popular.
Connect Members to One Another
- Provide forums/groups to exchange referrals and answer questions.
- Exchange member content.
- Use LinkedIn to introduce and connect members.
Drive Attendance at Events
- Pre-purchase: Share links on Facebook page and Event page.
- Post-purchase: Share links on purchase confirmation page.
- Create easy-to-use event promotional kit that members/sponsors can use in their social media.
Conduct Market Research
- Post general questions to members on Facebook for survey wording and question options. Develop multiple choice survey tools to push out to membership at large.
- Quick polls on website, Facebook and e-newsletter.
- Monitor industry blogs, keywords.
- Determine list of thought leaders (media, political figures, influencers)
- Engage with thought leaders on Twitter, blogs, etc.
And don’t forget to create a social media policy. Here is a great resource of social media governance policies from other organizations.
What struggles or triumphs have you had in using Social Media to engage members or clients? Share in the Comments section below.