If you're looking to increase membership and keep your existing members for your association, look no further than social media. With people turning to social media to look for and connect with other people and information of all kinds, an active social media presence is a must for your association. It's all too easy to fall into the trap of setting up your social media profile and wondering why your social media doorbell isn't ringing. To get started with social media profiles that really grab the attention of your visitors, make sure you do these five things:
- Create a Buzz. Your social media profiles aren't just there to passively give information – your aim is to create a buzz and get your members (and non-members) talking about and sharing your posts. Digital excellence consultants Econsultancy found that 43% of people unfollowed a business on Twitter for not being interesting enough. Don't let that happen to your association – focus on providing interesting content for your members, from topical articles to updates on your latest association event.
- Join Conversations. Seek out people who are already interested in your association, or those who might be, and reach out to them. While you're at it, don't forget to look up people in your industry, especially experts and influencers and make connections with them. Look for relevant conversations, such as using hashtags on twitter, and join in with them.
- Talk, Ask, and Listen. Social media gives your association a way of talking with your members and prospects at any time - anywhere with an internet connection. Fantastic content is important – but don't forget the human touch. Talk with your followers. Respond to comments in a timely and professional manner. Ask open ended questions to encourage a response. Find out what your followers want from your online presence.
- Build a Community. An active community of engaged members is a goal shared by associations nationwide. Social media is your chance to build an active online community that increases engagement and gets your members talking about causes that matter. Make it easy for your members to come together online and work to actively encourage them to join causes, share things with their own networks, and join in with conversations.
- Have a Plan and Revise Regularly. According to Avectra, 41% of non profits attribute success on social media to having a plan. Plan what you want to achieve from your social media presence first and you'll find it a lot easier to measure whether you are meeting your goals. Use metrics to find out what is working and what isn't, and combine that with your member feedback to give you a clear idea of what to do to make your social media efforts yield the results you want.
Social media is a powerful tool for starting a conversation with your members and prospects, keeping them interested in what you do all year round, not just at subscription time. Make an effort to plan out useful content and talk to your visitors to build a trusting, valuable relationship.