Social media is a key aspect of your membership marketing plan.
Here are six ways to get more out of your social media efforts for your small association.
By Michelle Schweitz, Marketing Manager, Community Brands
Here’s a common challenge: You’re pulling together the membership marketing plan for your small association, and you know social media should be part of it. But, are the same old tactics enough? Can you be doing more with social media to boost membership acquisition and engagement?
Here are six easy yet effective ideas for using social media in your membership marketing activities:
1.Promote your members’ achievements.
When your members do something notable, such as receive an award in your industry, are featured in a trade publication, or make an extraordinary contribution of time or dollars to your association, give them a shout out on social media.
2. Play a game of “tag”.
Encourage your members to tag colleagues in the comments of your posts. For example, post about how helpful mentors can be for professional growth, and then ask your members to thank a colleague who has helped them advance professionally.
3. Interact with your members.
Go beyond posting about your organization’s events and news. Interact with your members by “liking,” “commenting,” or “replying” to your members’ relevant posts. This approach not only keeps you engaged with your members, but also helps keep your finger on the pulse of what members are doing and saying.
4. Post on “theme” days.
Posting on theme days or national days can encourage your members and prospects to join in the conversation. For example, schedule posts for a designated appreciation day for your industry. Or, find national days, such as National Read Across America Day (this year, it’s March 2) and post on that day, encouraging members to share what they’re reading. In this example, you could even ask a couple of your volunteers to share what they’re reading and invite fellow members to share what they’re reading as well. Of course, this type of post shouldn’t be a daily post, but occasional posts like these can get members and prospects more engaged.
5. Share what goes on behind-the-scenes at your association.
Put a more personal face on your association by letting your members see what day-to-day activities are like. Post anything from a behind-the-scenes picture to a funny moment – the key is to make members feel more connected to their association.
6. Follow best practices.
When you’re working at an association with a small staff, it’s important to get the most out of your time spent on social media. So, be sure to follow best practices for each of your posts. For example:
- Use images – Using images in your posts can make a big difference in member engagement. For example, according to Twitter, people are three times more likely to engage with Tweets that include visual content.
- Label images with keywords – Label your images with keywords that can help prospects find your association through search engines. For example, if you’re posting about your upcoming virtual conference and know that your keynote address will be a big driver of attendance, then label your picture with your conference name and the word “keynote”.
- Share a variety of content regularly – Feed prospects and members a steady supply of useful, 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.
- Use hashtags, but use them wisely – Hashtags can be useful, but too many hashtags can become distracting. Be sure not to over-hashtag your posts. Here are some tips:
- 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 – Add a call to action (such as “learn more” or “register today”) 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.
Social media is just one key aspect of your membership marketing. Learn more tips and techniques to help you build the right membership marketing plan for your association. Get the building blocks of a good membership marketing plan and download the free: Membership Marketing Planning Toolkit.