It’s easy to spot the organizations that are missing the point with their social media campaigns. At a time when conventional marketers are abandoning hard-sell strategies that drive their members and customers away, others are trying to bring the same, tired techniques online.
Here are six tips to get the most out of a simple social media strategy:
1. Find Them Where They Are: To bring your audience to your social media platform, you have to find them where they already congregate online. Don’t forget that you might end up with a different “right” answer for each audience.
2. Build an Irresistible Community: Once you've located your audience, invite them to an online community where they can learn, share, and feel at home. As long as the site keeps giving them useful information and contacts, they’ll keep coming back.
3. Develop Your Listening Skills: We’ve talked about the hazards of short-term “push” messaging and the need to give your audience the information that they need and want. A social media strategy takes you a giant step farther, creating an online community where you can listen to your members’ issues and concerns. You should also monitor all the channels where you located them in the first place, taking every opportunity to repost or reply to any interesting or relevant comments.
4. Talk Back…In Their Language: When you start reflecting your members’ issues back to them, through the online community and in routine communications, you’ll prove yourself as an organization that has the pulse of its membership.
5. Don’t Try to Do It All: Doing a consistent job with the right social media platform is more important—and more realistic—than sustaining a comprehensive campaign that uses every possible online tool.
6. Take Control of the Strategy: In a recent article for the Canadian Society of Association Executives, public relations advisor Tim Shaw urged readers to connect their social media work back to organizational strategy and “measure, measure, measure” the results.
Social media is still a new frontier, where advisors are scrambling to keep up with the latest in technologies and platforms, tweets and likes. But the audience-centred strategies that work in other settings can also help you build a compelling online presence.