It’s not you (well, maybe a teeny bit you) – it’s your membership. People have moved beyond their inbox and into the world of social media to stay connected, informed and engaged with their peer groups.
So how can you harness these online platforms to stay engaged with your membership? Here are 3 social media tools you should consider today (like, now):
It’s a safe bet to assume that a large percentage of your membership is on LinkedIn. In fact, LinkedIn estimates that it adds at least 10 new members every 5 seconds, and counts at least 135 million members in its database. Wait 5 seconds – make that 145 million.
So how can your group take advantage of this powerful tool? Create a group, either public or private, and promote it as an online forum for your membership to connect and engage outside of your events. Create a business listing for your group, and share event presentations through SlideShare, or post and share upcoming events and campaigns. You can even go one step further and ask your membership to share your events with their own LinkedIn contacts.
If there are no other social media platforms that your group uses, LinkedIn is most likely the easiest for your group to start with – with a little advanced work and thought, and a well-managed process to stimulate discussions, you’ll find this to be a powerful tool to engage your membership.
Now, I’ll admit that not every member of a group will be on Twitter. In fact, for most groups, I’ve found that only a small minority of members participate in Twitter.
However, there is a world on Twitter that can help drive better engagement with your membership – they’re reporters, industry journals, analysts and experts, partners, other groups, and more, all of whom are sharing information daily, that is of interest to your members.
How does this help your membership engagement? By participating in these ancillary communities, you’re going to find relevant information that’s of critical interest to your membership, which you can share with them any way you’d like. Not only does that demonstrate value, but also helps your members see your group as a trusted industry resource.
When people hear ‘YouTube,’ they immediately think “It’s too expensive to film video,” “I have nothing important to say,” etc.
However, when it’s done resourcefully, YouTube can be an incredibly powerful tool to engage your membership at a low cost. Quite frankly, all you really need is a digital camcorder or other handheld device (FlipCam, iPhone, etc.), a quiet room, and a little knowledge of a video editing program (Windows Live comes with a movie maker program), and you’re good to go.
And what can you record? Think of all the panel events and sessions you hold – a video of your speaker, as opposed to a few paragraphs written on your blog, will travel much farther, much longer. Video testimonials from your membership on why they chose your group can serve as marketing materials for new membership drives. Have an important announcement that you must ensure that all of your membership sees? Record it on YouTube and share it with your membership.
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