We will guess that you’re already sharing your association news on various social media networks, right? It can be a great way to draw attention to your role as an industry leader, plus it can drive traffic to your association’s website. But the real test is, has your association social media marketing methods proven effective? And when you share news, do you share it just once or multiple times in different ways? Most organizations will find an article, applicable hashtags and a link and then post it to various social media channels, whether those be LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or another social media network.
But when you analyze the results of your posts, be honest with yourself. Is the association getting the results you want? Well, have you considered sharing your content more than once? Please do consider it, even though at first glance, this strategy might seem counterintuitive. If you post an article and people want to read it, they will click on it right? Wrong. Think about it, do you always click on every article that you see on social media that seems interesting? Or do you plan to go back online later, but then get caught up in other things?
Lesson 1: Share Your Content Multiple Times. Yes, this is acceptable, just follow these tips:
Don’t overdo it. Be respectful to your followers. You don’t want to share the same content every two hours and risk alienating members, potential members and other followers.
Be creative about how you share your content and vary the message. The first time you post, a headline, link and hashtags are fine. The second time, maybe you want to pose a question that will interest your followers and entice them to click on the link. Or share an interesting fact that’s tangentially related to the link you are sharing. This will help you differentiate your association social media marketing content and make it look fresh and interesting. Remember, the goal is to engage your readers and elevate your association’s brand.
Do you have a content schedule for each social media channel? If not, we strongly recommend you create one. Each social channel has different strengths and weaknesses and you should tailor your schedule to maximize content effectiveness. For example, Facebook and Instagram and perfect for photos, while quick snippets of text are most effective on Twitter.
Let’s say you write a blog about “Association Social Media Marketing.” The first time you post, you may include a link on Facebook and LinkedIn, along with hashtags and a headline.
When it comes time to share the information on Facebook again, say in two or three days, don’t simply copy what you posted the first time. This time, maybe you should pull an especially interesting snippet from your blog and add an image to your post.
Twitter only allows 140 characters per post, while Facebook allows more than 4,000. So Facebook will allow you to excerpt an entire paragraph from your blog, although you should be cognizant of choosing sections that will garner the most interest from readers.
Hashtags aren’t just for Twitter, you can use them on Facebook too and LinkedIn as well. Hashtags are a very effective way for readers to easily find content related to a single topic, which is why it is important to attach hashtags to applicable words and phrases so that your message reaches the most people. If you fail to use hashtags, you will be missing a big opportunity.
Lesson 2: If You Don’t Have a Social Media Content Schedule, Create One. This will be a critical part of your content strategy. Social media can be a delicate balancing act in which you want to provide regular updates to your members, potential members and other followers, and yet you do not want to annoy them to the extent that they may unlike your page or hide its updates.
A social media content schedule— basically a document that says what content you will post on each social media channel for the month — will also help keep your association social media marketing organized. We’re all so busy working on many different projects that it can be helpful to have a document that helps keep us on task. A little upfront work to create the schedule in advance will save you time as the month goes on.
Instead of wondering, “What will I post on LinkedIn today? Should I reshare last week’s blog?” you can just look at your schedule and know immediately what how to organize the day’s posts. Here are some tips to help you create your schedule:
Can my content be shared more than once? For how long will it be timely? A week? A month? No expiration date?
How often should I share the content on each network? Maybe you decide to post something on Facebook once a week, but given the continuously large volume of information on Twitter, you might share the content multiple days in a row on this channel.
Once you have a come up with a tentative content plan, take a step back and put yourself in the role of a social media follower. Would this schedule of posts annoy YOU as a reader? If so, consider some changes. After all, if you would be irritated, other followers probably would be too.
Lesson 3: Track Your Results and Adjust Association Social Media Marketing As Necessary. After you implement your plan, remember to monitor the results and make adjustments as you see fit.
Are your followers responding to your posts? Is the content being liked, shared and commented on?
Are there certain times of day when your posts seem to have the most traction?
Is there an uptick in the number of social media referrals to your website? The more ways you can reuse one piece of content, the more you increase the opportunity for social media referral traffic.
Are you receiving negative feedback on your content? Sometimes people just like to complain, but take the feedback to heart and see if there are recurring themes that you can address. You may realize that you are sharing content too often, not enough or that a given topic has gone stale.
Your members and followers deserve fresh content, so take note not to share content past its shelf life. Let the social media universe see how effective your social media strategy can be for an association and blaze a trail for other organizations to follow. Let your association shine! The best way to do this is to share great, engaging content and then share it in a variety of ways so that you get the maximum impact. Distinguish your association by elevating its social brand and others will be sure to take note.
Along the way, you are bound to get into a rut with your association social media marketing and will want to freshen your content or try some new ideas. When this happens, one of the most effective things you can do is look at a brand that’s become a giant success on social media and then emulate that brand’s best practices. Learn from the best by seeing what these companies do to maximize engagement with their readers. See what strategies could translate to your association. Major brands, Dunkin Donuts for example, have amassed enormous social media followings and boast significant user engagement. Find out why and adopt some of those same methods.
Your association social media marketing should spur interest in what your industry association has to offer by showcasing who you are and what expertise you offer. Share the latest industry news, what educational opportunities your association offers and the link. Showcasing this kind of expertise on your social channels enable your association to gain a competitive advantage over its competitors and attract new members. You want people to see your news on social media and become intrigued, prompting them to visit the website for more information. In a way, social media is about getting people to ‘like’ your association. People like doing business with people and businesses they like, so getting your name and expertise out into the public is something you should strive for.
Wouldn’t life be grand if your association could simply publish a post on social media that said, “We are fantastic, join our association today.” Better yet, what if that worked? Unfortunately, that’s just not how life works. But the more you can elevate your association’s brand through social media, the better. Social media helps brands create a yet another touchpoint with members and potential members. It can make a business appear more personable and helpful. Make your association look like less of an anonymous organization and more like a helpful friend and you can get a leg up on the competition- so to speak.
Good luck, you’re going to master association social media marketing in no time!