Most organizations have accepted the fact that a social media presence is vital for raising awareness, building relationships and establishing credibility. However, it can quickly become overwhelming, especially if you are a small-staff association or have limited resources.
Here are three tips to make the most of your social media efforts:
1. Don’t post just to post
For social media the “everyone’s doing it” argument doesn’t necessarily work. Yes, social media is important, but you need a plan for it to be truly effective. Set short-term and long-term goals that can be evaluated (increased likes, shares, web traffic, event registrations, membership inquiries), then create a content calendar reflecting those goals to determine what you are posting and how often.
2. You can’t be everywhere
Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. Snapchat. Pinterest. And the list goes on and on. Each platform offers unique engagement opportunities and can vary in user demographics, which means not all will be relevant to your association. Determine two to three platforms and focus your attention there. Need to target a specific profession or industry? LinkedIn might be the best use of your time. Want to reach a younger demographic? Consider Instagram or Snapchat. You can (virtually) shout information to your followers across a million channels, but if you aren’t able to manage fully engaging with them, you are losing out on the impact of social media.
3. Don’t reinvent the wheel
Most likely you are currently creating content for stakeholders via blogs, email marketing, print, etc. That means you already have a treasure trove of content waiting to be shared. Providing valuable content means your followers will keep coming back, sharing posts with their communities and checking for more resources and news. But remember, no one likes someone that only talks about themselves, so leverage online relationships with similar organizations and current affairs to share content relevant to your followers.
Keep in mind that social media marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. You won’t see results overnight, but by following these tips and staying consistent in your efforts you are on your way to the finish line.