Social media is a fact of life for businesses of all types, and as a result, it’s also a fact of life for professional associations that want to get ahead. Your members expect to be able to connect with your association through social media, but they also expect to be able to share their own content through social media and connect with other members online. If your association isn’t currently using social media to interact with members and attract members, or if you don’t have a social media presence at all, below are three reasons to kick your social media efforts into high gear:
SEE ALSO: How Membership Organizations Can Get Real Value from Social Media
Social Media Reaches Members and Potential Members in a Variety of Ways
While you may only think of sites like Facebook and Twitter when you hear someone mention the term “social media”, the truth is that social media actually includes all types of shareable content. It’s true that sites like Facebook and Twitter facilitate the sharing of social media, but they are actually considered social networks. The media part of social media encompasses the content your association creates and shares. As such, you can use videos to demonstrate an event that your association put on, audio to allow members to hear a presentation, an e-book written by your association through email to spread information, and infographics to demonstrate the benefits of joining your association. All of this content can then be shared through social networks, allowing you to reach members and prospective members in unique ways that speak to their specific ways of connecting in the world of business.
Social Media Gives Members a Voice
Communicating with association members is one of the keys to success, but remember that conversation is a two-way street. Social media and social networking give an association the ability to not only provide useful information, data, and content, but these mediums and outlets also allow members to share their voices as well. This then encourages membership and membership participation because it shows that you value your members. This also shows prospective members that your association is a place where they can be involved in the conversation.
Build Association Loyalty and Trust Through Social Media
Another aspect of having a strong, robust social media presence is that it can build trust and loyalty in members for your association’s brand. When a member joins a professional association and only receives communication once a year through a quick newsletter, that member may begin to feel as though he or she is a part of a faceless group run by people who don’t truly care about the individual membership of the association. By reaching out using social media and social networks, you have the chance to put a human face on your association. Through social media, you can provide members with access to leaders, allowing them to tell their personal stories. You can also organize events, whether online or offline, providing members with up-to-date information on what your association is doing or is planning to do in the future.