How to Grow Your Association Using Social Media

According to statistics, 58.4% of the world’s population is using social media as of January 2022. The average internet user is on social media for 2 hours and 17 minutes per day. This means there are great opportunities on social media for associations to grow. However, doing so will take some strategic planning. If you want to make the most out of social media, you will want to first map out your plans and goals. 

Create a Plan for Your Association on Social Media

Having a solid plan is crucial if you want to grow your association with social media. Without a plan, you will be posting randomly just because you think you should, ultimately leading to confusion for your audience. 

You can start by using SMART Goals to determine how to allocate your time and resources for the results you want to achieve. 

Choose 2-4 social media platforms that you want to focus on for your association. LinkedIn and Twitter are great platforms to start with, but depending on your membership, Facebook and Instagram could be good too. Research what your members, industry influencers and policymakers are doing on social media.

Create a social media calendar. This will give you a structured plan for future posts in weekly and monthly increments. Planning these posts in bulk will take time but allow for more consistency on your social media platforms. 

Set Social Media Goals

What are your goals for your social media posts? Are you trying to create awareness, engagement, member growth, event promotion, or website subscribers? You can focus on more than one of these items. These categories can be put into “pillars” and you can create a percentage of posts that go into each pillar. 

Your posts should follow the rule of thirds, that is, 1/3 policy influence and industry highlights, 1/3 engaging posts, and 1/3 value to your members. Create call-to-action posts to drive visitors to your website and convert sales. 

Speak to Your Members

Discover how to best speak to your members and direct your posts toward their needs. What are they searching for on Google? Where are they hanging out on social media? What are their pain points?

You can join Facebook groups where people in your industry are hanging out. For example, our association client, ASCE, participates in various engineering and infrastructure groups on Facebook. Being active in Facebook groups geared toward your ideal members will help you understand their needs. You will also find opportunities to point them to your website when you can help them. Read this article to learn more about marketing tactics for associations.

Provide Value

Provide value and resources for your members and industry. Solve those pain points that were mentioned above by serving your members. Think about questions that you search for on Google within your industry. Other people are likely asking similar questions. 

Give feedback in those Facebook groups you join. If you see a question that applies to your industry, answer it or send them a direct message. If they are looking for a resource you offer, share a link to your website. 

Engage With Your Followers

Ask questions on your social media pages to start conversations. When you have high engagement on your posts, your page will be seen more by others. You will also find out what topics are most relevant to your audience. 

Respond to comments on your posts. Again, be helpful and provide value. People notice when associations respond to questions in their posts. Potential members and people interested in your industry are more likely to ask a question if they see that other questions are being answered. 

Go live on social media. Many associations set up weekly live sessions to share information with their followers or answer questions. If you’re launching a new event or resources, this is a great time to go live on social media.  Respond to questions that are asked in the chat.

Be Consistent

It doesn’t matter if you post once a week or five times a week. Make sure that it is consistent. Once again, a lack of consistency is confusing to followers. Consistency is critical with social media for associations to grow. 

Do you have a blog posted every Monday? Share your blog on your social media every Monday. Eventually, your loyal followers will know what to expect and search your page on Mondays to read your next blog post. 

Set themes for different days of the week like Blog Monday, “Go Live” Wednesday, and Solve a Problem Friday. You can also create themes for different months or seasons. Look at National Today for national holidays every day of the year. 

Measure Your Success

You can measure your results on every social media platform by followers, audience reach, and engagement. Google Analytics can also track website visits from your social media accounts. 

Measuring your results will help you determine what is working and what is not when growing your association on social media. Your social media plan will change over time as you discover who your audience is and what information is relevant to them. 

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