Organizations with huge memberships often have a big social media following, but the question to ask is how engaged is your audience? If you put out a call to action on the group’s social media channels, are you greeted by the sound of crickets? Your members are following you, but are they ignoring all your posts?
If your goal is to better engage with members on social media but can’t seem to generate any traction, it’s likely because you’re committing one (or possibly all) of three cardinal social media sins.
The first question to ask is, “Do our members even know about our social media accounts? You’d be surprised how often we poll existing members only to hear “We have a Facebook page?” Feature your social channels prominently on the website and display social media icons on all of your correspondence, including newsletters. Raise the clarion call to follow the association’s accounts. After all, your members can’t follow channels they don’t know exist.
Once you attract members and others to your social media properties, you need to give them a compelling reason to follow. Just having social media channels is not enough to add value to members. Highlight organizational and member accomplishments publicly, announce new alliances, programs and other news on social media. Encourage members to be the first to hear breaking news, or participate in contests with prizes and/or membership discounts. The bottom line is you need to create value for members and give them reasons to pay dues, attend events and network.
Too many organizations forget the “social” aspects of social media, and use their accounts exclusively for self-promotion. In real life, do you enjoy spending time with a person who constantly talks about himself? Of course not. The same rules apply for social media—it’s not all about you, it’s about them! Share third-party content, pictures and video, and engage in actual conversation with your members. If you want more social engagement, encourage your organization to be engaging.