In a world where social media is relevant in both my personal life and business, it is easy to lump the two into the same category. If you already know how to handle social media for yourself, you may assume the same concepts apply to your business or association. This, however, could not be further from the truth. Because it can be hard to separate the two, I decided to watch a webinar on social media and learn more about how the two are separate and what your audience is looking for in your social media platforms. I watched Sprout Social’s webinar on the Evolution of Social Media.
The webinar was very informative and provided many insights on how to better manage social media with a business mindset. I came away from the webinar with two takeaways that relate closely to working with associations. I learned how important it is to be transparent and authentic when posting as well as the effectiveness of employee advocacy.
Followers have transitioned over time as to what they are looking for from an association’s social media. This transition has moved the way companies and associations are speaking with their audience. The platforms started as a way for the association to talk to members and simply have them listen, to a more dynamic relationship between the two. The number one thing that followers are looking for in brands is a sense of authenticity. If you are an association, your primary goals are to make money for the cause and recruit new members. Trying to hide the fact that you are doing this, can come across as misleading. This can be handled by being upfront about the fact that you need money and new members while ensuring the audience that it is for a good cause. Going over why the association is in place and the difference it can make will make members feel as though you are being transparent and honest, therefore, making them more apt to donate.
The webinar also talked about the importance of employee advocacy including a company’s CEO. This concept can also be applied to an association. Involving board members on social media is an effective way to show people who is behind the association and proving that these members believe in it. It not only makes the association more open but also allows another form of marketing on social media for the association. When board members post or share content about the association, they are reaching more people and spreading the message further.
Understanding how social media evolves and what your members expect from you allows you to utilize the platforms in a cheap and effective way.