It’s become pretty clear to associations across the board—social media is here to stay. Now that you know you need to have a social media presence, let’s examine some best practices we’ve found work best for us and our clients.
- Do participate. You might currently be what we in the social media business call “a lurker.” Maybe you have a Facebook profile, you check it once or twice a week, but you rarely provide your own status update. Social media is about two-way communication—don’t be afraid to test the waters. Share a funny article or quote your favorite author and show you are ready to engage with your friends. You will be rewarded with their feedback.
- Don’t do it all at once. You’ve identified the need for a social media presence, but it can be overwhelming to launch everything at once without a clear plan. A good way to start is to launch a blog and post at least on a weekly basis and keep a schedule of what you’re going to post and when. Once the blog is launched, it gives you a solid foundation for future tweets and updates for your Facebook and LinkedIn walls.
- Do maximize your time by using apps or tools that update across multiple platforms. HootSuite and TweetDeck are good examples of this—whatever your 140-character comment is for the day can be updated on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. all at once. You can even schedule posts throughout the day. This is especially important for associations who want to keep a consistent message across all platforms.
- Don’t be afraid to try new things! Social media changes every day and the most used platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn make updates to their inferface, policy changes and new privacy rules very frequently. Stay flexible with social media—it takes time to develop a following and is self-policing. Only the most consistent participants are rewarded with followers, fans and group members. Change it up to keep those folks engaged long-term.
Keep in mind, social media is growing and changing, AND best of all, open to new and frequent innovations! While there’s no charge to use these sites, often the biggest investment is time. Let us know if you’re ready to jump in and we’ll work with you to develop an organized schedule and customized approach to a successful social media campaign.