This is indeed one of the big reasons why social media has been adopted by associations and integrated into their existing marketing mix, since social media can help tremendously in engaging current members whilst recruiting new ones!
So you’re either already investing in social media marketing or considering starting to. Here are 5 tips to improve member engagement through social media:
- Share valuable content
One of the key components about social media is to deliver valuable content to the followers, and this is also a great way to keep them engaged.
Social media is not the place to brag about your association, but it is the place to find out what your audience is talking about, it’s also a great way to find out about their needs. One positive think about associations is that they do have a track record of providing valuable content even before the internet started!
So social media is just one more channel to continue delivering valuable content, one that is so good that begs to be shared and one where people want to come back for more- all equalling engagement.
Great ideas for content are talking about the benefits of becoming a member in a way that people see the value (what’s in it for them), blog posts talking about trendy topics, “how-to” videos and tutorials, guides, tips, photos, whitepapers, exclusive information, activities from events, contests, etc.
- Find and engage in conversations
There are already many conversations going on about your association or industry, and searching for those conversations is key on social media.
Not only is this a great way to monitor your brand and industry by providing you with valuable information, it is also a great way to interact and engage in those conversations.
The key to successfully interacting is by providing real value in what you comment. You can do this by providing tips and information that helps to solve issues, by using humour and by giving your opinion. Leave your opinion on the subjects you’re an expert on so you get attention, brand exposure and even gain new site visitors and members.
And of course, always respond promptly to questions and comments in your own business social media profiles.
- Connect with industry influencers
In order to really push your social media campaigns forward, you need to have the backing of some of the biggest players in your industry; the movers, the shakers, the thought-leaders, brands and publications that already possess major influence and authority over fan bases bigger than that of your own. Endorsements from an “online influencer” can have a significant impact on your brand.
Social media is a great way to connect with those influencers. Follow them, share their content, engage in conversations with them and deliver them valuable content so you get their attention.
So when you have an online influencer, their unofficial endorsement is more valuable than any banner ad or radio ad or TV spot. Keep them engaged with you and they will help you in keeping your members engaged!
- Provide an excellent customer service
Member customer service is key for associations and one of the most sensible areas of this sector, so it is important to provide an excellent customer service through social media in order to help your members (and potential members), keeping them engaged.
Since there are a huge percentage of current and potential members asking questions and looking for information, many associations are using their social media channels to respond to questions and comments in a promptly and effective way.
Be proactive with your social customer service by posting useful information, updates, tips, giveaways, polls, URLs to knowledge base articles and more to keep followers engaged and in the know.
- Identify and reward your brand advocates
Many associations nowadays are having their own brand advocates online. Brand advocates are people that love your brand, share your content, talk about you and recommend you, and faithfully follow you on Facebook or Twitter.
They truly are engaged and help you in your marketing efforts without you even asking them. That’s why identifying them and rewarding them is so important, not only to keep them engaged, but for them to help you keep others engaged as well.
They don’t ask to be rewarded, neither are you obligation to, but it is a good strategy though since they love your brand so much.
You can reward them by giving them access to exclusive information, invitations for association events, discounts, or even an invitation to talk in a conference! This will make them feel special and these simple gestures can go very far on keeping a smile on their faces and keep them engaged and motivated with you, helping you keep other members engaged too.
Does your association have a specific engagement social media strategy? Share it with us in the comment section below.