How to use social media to recruit and retain members
In today’s economy we’re all trying to do more with less. Associations are no different. Budgets are being carefully monitored to ensure that any potential waste is eliminated. Tough choices are being made.
This leaves associations in a challenging place—with the need to minimize costs but find a way to retain and recruit new members. What are they to do in this environment? Although each association is unique, here are some ways to take advantage of the power of social media to effectively recruit and retain members:
- Find your existing community online
Members and non-members alike are talking, commenting, posting videos and pictures about your association and their passions related to your association right now. You need to find this existing community. Take inventory of the content, volume and most popular locations for sharing this information.
- Join in the conversation
Once you know where the action is, jump in. You can’t just create social media accounts. You have to get involved. Be the voice of your association. Answer questions. Ask questions. Engage the audience’s passion and start to build relationships. Expand to other social media sites and create your association’s identify there. Be visible and vocal. Get into the thick of things.
- Attract visitors to your website
At this point your association is now actively involved in social media sites, but the work does not end there. You now need to bring this activity home, to your association’s website. There are lots of options—small and large—to consider with your budget in mind. The opportunities vary to the degree in which you want to social media to operate on your site. It comes down to your goals, strategy and budget.
- Provide content to keep them coming back for more
Once your association is successfully pushing and pulling content to and from the social media sites, it’s important not to lose momentum. Be sure to have enough resources in place to continue pumping valuable information into these outlets. The last thing you want to do is to have a member engage you via one of the platforms and then not be there to respond.
- Keep learning
Social media is changing at a breakneck pace. It takes effort to keep up with the latest technologies and strategies, but it’s important for your association to remain current. It’s the only way you’ll be able to stay relevant and continue to engage your audience.
How will all of this help my association recruit and retain members?
If your association follows these rules they will not only be adding value to existing members, but will also have a visible online presence for prospects. Don’t keep your efforts or online identify hidden however. Promote your association’s links to your social media accounts in all member media. Do not miss a chance in your print or digital communications to market your involvement. Members will take advantage of this exciting opportunity to interact with you in a new way. It will also allow you to connect with younger members and prospects in the environments where they are already spending a lot of their time. It’s important to keep in mind that social media isn’t just for those under 25. Research indicates some of the fastest growing social media users are over 55.
Don’t know where to start? We can help you craft your strategy for deriving the most value for your efforts. Or, if you’re short on staff or don’t have the right skill sets in-house, you can outsource the whole project. Contact us.