Cassie Croissant is vice president of integrated marketing at Allison+Partners in New York City.
Since social media plays an important role in today’s world, association leaders must know how to leverage various platforms—from LinkedIn to newcomer Clubhouse—to better communicate with their members and industry.
As an association professional, you are uniquely positioned to bring an authoritative, authentic voice to your organization. Today’s audiences want to hear from real people, not faceless corporations. Also keep in mind that the social landscape has shifted seismically throughout the pandemic. So whether you’re drafting your first ever strategy or are dusting one off from pre-pandemic times, here are some new fundamentals you need to keep in mind:
Social media users are savvy. Consumption is high and platforms are crowded, so you can’t expect to stand out with mediocre content and minimal effort. Your voice needs to be consistent and transparent, and your content needs to teach, inspire, or entertain.
Social issues are top of mind. The pandemic shifted perspectives and opened conversations. Organizations and leaders can no longer choose silence. When your beliefs and policies are out in the open, you’ll ultimately end up welcoming in a community of steadfast followers.
The overarching goal in your efforts should be to build a community. Don’t get wrapped up in follower counts and post metrics, but rather in taking the time to engage with your audiences.
Audiences expect more from content. The bar has been set high for engaging content. Be bold in your insights, engage with users asking you questions, comment on provocative content, be authentically you, and put in the effort to stand out.
With these caveats in mind, it’s time to develop a strategy. What topics will you talk about, and how often will you share? I’d recommend starting by considering different content themes.
With your content themes in mind, your next step would be channel selection.
Each platform serves a unique purpose, caters to specific demographics, and demands tailored content. Target your content accordingly and focus your efforts on quality over quantity.
Inconsistent posting (posting way too often or almost never) and sharing low-quality posts will likely lead to people unfollowing you or your organization. You might need to play around with your post frequency to see what resonates best with your audience, and if you aren’t seeing great success on one platform, you might try another.
The overarching goal in your efforts should be to build a community. Don’t get wrapped up in follower counts and post metrics, but rather in taking the time to engage with your audiences. Answer questions, reply to comments, and react to other posts. Be bold in conveying your organizational ethos and allow conversations to unfold naturally. That’s how you will build and retain a community of loyal followers.