Social Media Marketing is a great way for Associations to encourage member engagement and help recruit new members along the way.
If done properly, it provides member engagement and more reasons for members to connect with the association on a regular basis, increasing the chances for them to renew the membership.
Social Media Marketing can create real brand awareness, a strong opinion and word-of-mouth helping the association to win a good reputation.
So what are the key points of a successful social media strategy for an Association to attract new members via social media marketing?
1. Be on the right networks
You don’t need to be on every single social media network in order to attract new members for your Association. You need to be where they are.
You’ll need to conduct specific searches in order to find your audience and their conversations and discover the social networks where they are.
This means searching online by using the right keywords and hashtags for your business, either manually or using a specific tool.
This is key to your social media strategy because you’ll be focusing your marketing efforts exactly where your audience is, without losing precious time.
2. Deliver valuable content
Delivering relevant and valuable content is key a key factor in being successful on social media. Together with joining the conversations taking place, this is what will engage an audience with your Association and attract new members.
Make sure your social media feeds consistently deliver key information about your Association and industry in general, interesting articles (created or curated by you), problem-solving tips and ideas, images, videos, tutorials, etc.
The more interesting content you deliver, the more it can be shared and reach a wider audience, attracting new members.
3. Listen and interact with your audience
It is fairly likely that there will already be many conversations going on about your Association or industry. By listening and monitoring these conversations you will end up with useful information about the strengths and weaknesses of your industry or Association, including the type of issues your potential members are facing, their needs and desires.
This is all valuable information to drive your brand strategies and connect with your audience.
But you don’t want to just listen or posting everyday on your social media networks. You’ve got to be talking with and engaging on the conversations taking place, being on your own social media profiles or on other relevant pages and groups.
Participate on the conversations and show your expertise as a way of creating relationships, brand awareness and attract new members.
4. Find and engage with 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: opinion leaders, media, bloggers, etc.
Identifying these two types of influencers in your industry and then engage and create strong relationships with them is key.
So when you have an online influencer sharing your content or making a reference to you, their unofficial endorsement is more valuable than any banner ad or radio ad or TV spot. They can help you reach a wider audience and attract new members.
5. Identify and reward your brand advocates
Anyone can become a member of your Association, enjoy it, have the benefits and talk about that on social media.
But brand advocates (also known as brand evangelists) go a little further. These are members that are truly passionate about your Association. The ones that write a blog around your events, or tweet about you regularly, and faithfully follow you on Facebook or Twitter.
In a sector where word-of-mouth, recommendations and reputation is key, and also in a sector where many potential members go search for those references online and in social media channels, it is a very good idea for an Association to identify and keep their brand advocates engaged since they have the power to tell thousands about you with just the push of a button!
Very often that can help a potential member take the decision to become a member of your Association.