Guide to Social Media for Associations

An effective social media marketing strategy gives associations the power to engage their audience, build brand loyalty, and unlock new opportunities for word-of-mouth growth.

Social media is a valuable tool for businesses of all shapes and sizes. The right content strategy combined with a growing presence on a range of channels can help you to connect with clients on a deeper level. This can be particularly valuable for membership associations, where relationships with customers are a must-have.

An effective social media marketing strategy gives associations the power to engage their audience, build brand loyalty, and unlock new opportunities for word-of-mouth growth.

Today, we’re going to take a look at some of the most valuable things your organization can do to leverage the true power of social media.

Step 1: Choose the Right Channels

The first step in any successful social media strategy is learning how to connect with your specific target audience. If you don’t already have a user persona or set of profiles for your ideal members, now’s the time to create these documents. Describe what your perfect member might look like, including details about their personality, likes and dislikes, as well as their age and location.

With a good view of your audience, you should be able to determine what kind of social channels they’re most likely to use. For instance, if you have a highly visual and artistic selection of members, then you might want to invest in channels like Instagram and Pinterest.

Once you know which channels you’re going to be using, build your profile following the guidelines of your chosen platform. Make sure you have a compelling bio, a great profile picture, and a link back to your membership or association website.

Step 2: Create a Content Plan

Now it’s time to start thinking about the kind of content you’re going to post on your social channels. Each platform is different in the kind of content it supports. On LinkedIn, you can post more in-depth articles and thought leadership content. With Instagram, you can publish photos, videos, and even temporary “Stories”.

The key to success with social media content is understanding how to build a relationship with your audience. You don’t just want to post advertisements asking people to go and renew or sign up for a membership with your association. Instead, you should be building a collection of social posts that entertain and educate your audience, while painting your business in the right light. Options might include:

Facts, figures, and statistics: Let everyone know when you reach a milestone number of memberships or post interesting figures from your last industry report. This is a great way to show your credibility and drive people back to your website.

Relevant news: As an association, you’ll be attracting people with a specific interest in a topic. Reporting on the latest news and trends in your industry can be a great way to get people talking and engaging with your brand.

Informative content: Showcase your thought leadership and demonstrate value by linking people back to free resources from your social pages. Blogs and articles are a great way to educate your followers and boost your reputation.

Step 3: Share User Generated Content

Associations are all about community and people. You want the people who follow you on social media to feel like they’re part of one big team. Sharing user-generated content can be a wonderful way to generate more interest and buy-in from your followers.

You can approach this strategy in a range of different ways. For instance, on Instagram, when someone posts a video or picture of them at your latest event, ask for permission to repost that image with a caption thanking them for their attendance.

Some companies create membership and association #hashtags, so their customers and subscribers can always mention the brand and generate more attention for the company when they’re posting relevant content. Another option is to search through your existing subscribers to find influencers who might help you to build your brand image.

Influencers are a great way to spread awareness for any business. In the association space, the most important thing you can do is find an influencer who understands your industry, and appeals to the audience that you’re most interested in.

Step 4: Engage with Your Subscribers

Social media marketing’s success relies on your ability to connect and engage with the people who follow you. Finding opportunities to have conversations and interact with your audience will help to create a sense of loyalty among your clients. There are various great ways you can engage your followers on social media, such as:

Running competitions: Partner with relevant companies in your industry to run competitions and giveaways. Ask your customers to @mention their friends or tag someone for a chance to win. This excites your existing followers and opens up new opportunities to find additional subscribers and future members.

Running live sessions: Host live Q&A sessions on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube, to answer the most pressing questions your customers have about joining your association. You can also use these sessions for interviews with influential people in your industry, further boosting your credibility in your space.

Respond to clients: When people comment on your social media page or posts, do your best to respond. Even if someone is leaving negative feedback about your association, it’s essential to handle this correctly. Showing that you take the opinions of your members into account and that you’ll work hard to deliver great experiences will earn you more attention from future members.

Make the Most of Social Media

Social media marketing is a powerful tool for businesses of all shapes and sizes. For associations and membership groups, social media can be an excellent platform for connecting with your followers and attracting the attention of future members.

Remember, as you’re working on your social presence, pay attention to the feedback you get from your audience, as well as the metrics and measurements you gather from your social channels. Watching which of your posts get the most attention and collecting new information about your audience over time will help to make your campaigns more effective.