As of 2016, over 75%* of the U.S. population is the owner of at least one social networking profile, and if things continue in the direction that they are going, this percentage will only continue to grow. With such an overwhelming amount of people available at the click of a button, it is only logical that you take advantage of these various sites with the goal of better reaching members and continuing to expand your association.
Although social media provides great opportunities for associations, creating successful social media networks are a lot more involved than simply signing up and posting content. The one-on-one interaction you have with your members and prospects is just as vital as the constant posts occurring. With that being said, here are a few ways to provide a great member experience through using social media.
1. Connect and engage with members on social media.
Social media provides us with an opportunity to connect with our members quickly and easily (because they ARE on social), but also on a personal level. Using different social media outlets, find members and reach out to them. This will allow you to make sure they are always satisfied, keep them updated with association news and events, send them content, answer questions, and remedy any problems swiftly and effectively.
2. Answer any questions that members may have.
Every day, more and more people are turning to social media to have their questions answered. The days of being put on hold or waiting for an email back are quickly diminishing and in order to keep your members satisfied, it is important to answer their requests in a timely manner. Keep an eye out for mentions on social media and answer any questions that might pop up. This can include answering on the spot, providing a link where they can find the answer, or, if the question is in depth, having a team member personally connect with them offline.
3. Generate surveys.
One common feature on many social media sites is the ability to create surveys that your members and prospects can respond to. This, too, is a component that can be utilized to ensure your member satisfaction rate is high, and find out what prospects are looking for. Use surveys as an interactive way to find out if members are happy and check in on what else they would like to see from your association in terms of services, content, events, and benefits.
4. Use hashtags to keep track of who's talking about you.
In some cases, members may be discussing your association without using your direct username. Follow industry hashtags and look up key phrases that relate to your organization to see who is talking about you. This will allow you to see the positive and negative feedback that may be circulating and respond to it appropriately. In addition to this, it will allow you to keep up to date on what is happening in the industry.
5. Broadcast announcements on social media.
For many people, checking their various social media outlets is something that occurs multiple times a day, oftentimes to learn about news and current events. Use your networks as a way to keep members and prospects up to date on association news and events. Post these announcements on social media, as well as your other channels such as email and your website, so members who are following you can see important updates when they are browsing their newsfeeds. This will help to ensure that your members don’t miss out on any important news in regards to your association.
6. Provide useful content for members and followers.
As important as it is to keep in contact with your members on a more individualized basis, it is still crucial to post content for your followers as a whole. Upload helpful articles, tips, photos, and videos on each of your social media sites. This will not only keep your page interesting and fresh, but it will also encourage prospects to look to you for information in the future.
Social media is a major force in the modern marketing world that will continue to grow with each passing year. Be sure to take advantage of every facet that it has to offer and in doing so, provide the best member experience you can.