Social Media: Engage!
Does Your Association Need Social Media?
We’ll cut to the chase: the answer is yes! Some of our clients are initially resistant to starting a social media program for their association. Some think their demographic isn’t on social media. Others say that they’ve been fine without social media, so why change? But the truth is, the whole world—personal and professional—is orienting itself toward social media and digital communications. Organizations that don’t get on board will be left behind. Yet despite the trend, social media is an effective, multipurpose tool for associations. Here are three brief reasons why:
Communication. Market trends and regulations are constantly evolving. If they impact your members or their customers, social media is a perfect place to disseminate the facts and start a discussion about setting a path forward.
Networking. Associations bring members together, and social media enhances this connection, especially between in-person meetings. Names and faces are clearly on display on social media, and members have a convenient way to collaborate through connecting on these platforms on a regular basis.
Recruitment. Today prospects will look you up on the web, that’s a guarantee. Sometimes a webpage may not be enough to entice them. Having a professional presence on social media provides one more opportunity for nonmembers to read details about your organization and its mission—a crucial first step in the journey toward membership.
The key point in all of social media is the word “social.” Having a presence on social media allows associations to keep conversations going long after conventions and meetings end. It builds bonds between members and has the potential to generate new and exciting prospects for the future.
So what platforms should you start with?
LinkedIn: “The world’s largest professional network.” For a professional trade association, this is where your target audience is located. LinkedIn is full of professionals looking to share ideas and connect with other professionals.
Facebook: With a mission of giving people “the power to build a community,” it is no wonder that Facebook is the most popular social media platform in the world. On Facebook you can create groups for your members to engage with one another as well as pages specifically dedicated to updates and news within the association.
Instagram: This platform is all about visuals, but for associations, it’s more than pretty pictures. Your posts should visually convey your marketing message and should also include text and links in the descriptions. With these ingredients you’ll have engaged users who want to know what the picture and message is all about. That is the power of Instagram.
There are many more platforms out there, but these three are the most valuable to associations today. Do you have other suggestions or comments? Follow us on Facebook and join in the conversation!