Associations, whether national, regional, or local, are essentially communities. They are comprised of groups of tribes or individuals who are united by shared goals, interests, or preferences. Associations are, by their very nature, social.
This presents a unique and especially prescient opportunity for associations to leverage the power of new social communication, marketing, and media techniques to achieve their goals like never before. Whether they are professional, charitable, trade, political, cultural, or otherwise, associations may need to fulfill multiple mandates: advocacy, awareness, fund raising, education, communicating, lobbying, among others.
Chances are your association’s key initiatives include:
• Communicating with members
• Demonstrating value to the membership
• Advocating on behalf of consumers at large
What Social Can Do
Utilizing social marketing can open a community of engaged advocates, both members and non-members, who are willing to share your message across their respective social networks, generate awareness, and solidify your associations mandate with the public at large. However your association will have to engage with those advocates and leverage the power of social channels effectively. Here’s how.
Three Key Factors In Harnessing Social Channels
1. Be In The Community
Your association needs to be an active participant on all of the obvious networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. This means you need to go where your members are, and they are everywhere.
2. You Need A Plan
Simply signing up for an account on any given social platform does not mean your association has fulfilled its obligation. Social connections via your chosen networks are not obligations but opportunities to engage directly with your members. This direct connection requires a clear plan with regard to infrastructure, integration, and most importantly a set rules of engagement policy. There is nothing more important than a planned and coordinated process for responding to negative comments.
Well-crafted and professionally produced text, audio, and video that clearly communicate your organization’s message are core to a great content marketing strategy. Content is the essential asset that will drive readers to your association via online and mobile. Since many associations are in the enviable position of having a business model based on providing information to their members, the raw materials for stellar content is often at their fingertips. Niche by definition, associations that create well crafted, shareable, and SEO friendly content can effectively push their message online.
Harness The Power Of Social Channels
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