By Michelle Schweitz
Are your small association’s social media campaigns hitting the mark?
Social media plays an important role in membership marketing. These tips will help you take your posts to the next level.
As a small staff association leader you wear a lot of hats such as membership, marketing, events and even finance. One hat that connects every aspect of the organization is social media. Here are some easy tips and tricks to apply for attracting new members and engaging with your current members through social media.
Here are some tips and best practices for taking your social media posts up a notch:
Know your platforms and your audiences
Each social media platform is geared to a different purpose and type of post. Consider the differences among these top platforms as you plan your social media campaigns and strategy:
- LinkedIn – When you want to share content such as industry information, research, and job opportunities, this is the platform to use. It’s great for letting prospects, members, and even media companies gain visibility into the valuable content your organization provides.
- Twitter – This platform is the one to use when you want to share information fast. It’s ideal for quick, timely updates. Using hashtags, you can reach people who are interested in specific topics.
- Facebook – This platform can be more playful. It’s a great platform for engaging members with things like photos of your staff and member events. YourMembership finds majority of mid-careerists using Facebook which is great if you are targeting.
- Your own online community – Beyond typical social media channels, offering an online member community is a great way to elevate social networking among your association’s members and prospective members. At the same time, it can make your association a part of your members’ social networking habits.
Using images in your posts can make a big difference in engagement. According to Twitter, posts with photos average a 35 percent boost in Retweets. According to LinkedIn, posts with images included generally result in a 98 percent higher comment rate.
In addition to using images in your posts, go a step further and consider what images you use. The types of images that drive higher levels of engagement can be different on each platform. Read up on how to create more effective images for your social media posts, and be sure to give images some thought each time you plan your posts.
Label your images with keywords
Before you make a post, be sure to label your images with keywords that can help prospects find your association through search engines. For example, say you’re posting about your upcoming conference and you know that your keynote address is typically a big driver of attendance. Label your picture with your conference name and the word “keynote”.
Share a variety of content – often
Boost engagement by feeding prospects and members a steady supply of useful and relevant (and even entertaining) content, such as industry news, commentary, job tips, trainings, webinars, events, and career opportunities. Frequent updates with valuable information can entice prospects and members to follow and engage with you regularly via your social media channels.
Also, get specific members engaged with your posts. For example, in your welcome message or welcome kit to new members, ask them to share their new membership on your key social platforms. Then, respond to their post by welcoming them as a new member.
Use hashtags wisely
These days, #people #like #to #hashtag. A lot. But too many hashtags can become distracting. Be sure not to over-hashtag your posts. Here are some tips:
- To get more eyes on your posts, find out what hashtags are trending using the free tool at hashtags.org
- In general, keep your hashtags to one or two per post.
- Keep hashtags short and memorable.
Use a call to action
Don’t forget to add a call to action to your post regardless of the platform you share your content on. Make sure you tell your audience what to do and even stress urgency if there is a time frame to do within. Here are some examples:
- Learn more
- Register today for early-bird pricing
- Save my spot
- Join us
- Connect with members today
- Get details
- For more tips, read the blog
- Tell us more (use for award nominations or proposal submissions)
- Invest in yourself (recruiting members)
- Download the whitepaper
Evaluate your efforts
You don’t binge watch your favorite Netflix show only to not watch the season finale? Evaluating your social efforts should be the same. Associations should be taking a close look at what posts are getting interactions. This will tell you what type of content resonates with that particular platform’s audience. Here are a few ways you can measure your efforts:
- Track if the number of your followers go up or down after a post (might be a clue if a certain topic turns away your audience)
- People reached or impressions are impacted by the time of day or which day of the week you post
- The number of clicks or CTA (click through rate) your post has
- Engagement such as comments or number of replies to your posts