Associations are in the relationship business.
People join and retain their membership because they know, like, and trust the association and the people in the organization.
Sure, they need to justify their membership by getting value, but really, if they decide they no longer know, like, and trust the organization, they are gone.
Well, in the age of social media, how do you develop and maintain that know, like, and trust that is so crucial?
With social media, of course.
Social media is the tool that allows you to build and nurture relationships at scale. And, just like any relationship in real life, that requires engagement. Give and take. Back and forth.
You know, conversation.
Here are 7 easy ways for your organization to generate relationship-building conversations on social media:
- Ask questions. A simple question, such as “How long have you been in the industry?” can garner astonishing engagement. Ask easy and quick to answer questions weekly.
- Use thumb-stopping images, not just text. People don’t read like they used to. People will scroll right by text. But they still love to see beautiful or unexpected images.
- Post interesting and newsworthy topics. Is there something happening in your industry or community? Post about it. Your organization is a media company now. Look for scoops.
- Do content marketing. Don’t just promote, promote, promote. Post content that entertains, inspires, and educates your audience. Give, give, give, get.
- Record and post video, preferable live video. Video is hot and getting hotter. Before too long it will dominate social media news feeds. Get in the game by posting live and recorded videos. The social media platforms report that engagement is significantly higher for video posts over image and text posts.
- Get personal. Share your backstory. You can’t be all business all the time and expect people to feel like they know, like, and trust you. Let your hair down a little bit and show your audience that you are a likable, a slightly flawed (normal), human.
- Document. Share moments from your day. Instagram and Facebook Stories are great for this. So is Twitter. Every so often, break out the phone and shoot an image or some video to show what you are up to at that moment. Friends love to see what friends are up to.
Keep an eye out for part 2 of Frank’s series on social media relationship building for chambers.
Frank J. Kenny is an internationally recognized author, professional speaker, and consultant. He is on the faculty of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organization Management (IOM). He has taught social media, digital marketing, and technology strategies to business audiences from around the world.