Today, 49% of the world is on social media. Of that number, 87% are active, making social media a critical tool for connecting with the right audience. Associations have an opportunity to grow and engage current and prospective audiences through their online presence, so long as they manage their strategy correctly.
While associations are founded on community and networking, they often lack the resources and knowledge to successfully establish a social presence that demonstrates a positive ROI in revenue, member engagement, or membership growth.
Before you start trying to develop a social media strategy for the association, ask yourself a few questions: what is your goal, and who is your audience?
Social media is the perfect marketing tool for associations because it is built on community interaction and engagement with plenty of insights and analytics to measure your brand’s success. The goals of an association establishing an industry leadership should be threefold:
Awareness – grow your online community and establish your organization as an industry leader
Engagement – exchange ideas, drive traffic to the website, and gain valuable feedback
Conversions – gain memberships, sponsorships, and meeting registrations
A presence on any social media platform should follow a few basic principles to establish the brand. But first, you need to select the right platform for your audience. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or all of them?
By following these tactics, you can learn how to successfully reach, engage, and convert audiences in a way that is in alignment with association objectives, regardless of selected platform(s).
- Post frequently – at least 2 or 3 times per week, or more. Consistency is key, especially when trying to break through the noise of other posts.
- Be interesting – diversify your content and engage the audience in what they care about, not just brand promotions.
- Mix content – you want to keep your following educated and engaged, but you also want to gain new audiences. Mix paid and organic content for the best results.
- Know Your Audience – follow the audience, not the trends. Get to know what your following engages with and cares about.
These practices will allow you to better interpret the outcome of your social campaigns and ensure the association’s online presence and messaging are continuously adapting and improving with each post. A key performance metric for any post is how many people are engaging in the content and how well your audience responds to each issue.