If you lead an association, you may have a limited amount of time and resources to promote your story to key audiences. Social media – including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram – is a cost-effective way to help enhance and raise awareness of the industries an association represents. Using social media will connect you to your membership, inform and engage with your industry and raise your brand awareness. In addition, social media gives you important analytics.
Here are the top 5 reasons why social media is vital to the growth of your association.
1. Ensures consistent and cohesive messaging
Disseminating images and science-based messages through social media can help change perceptions of an industry. Sharing content is an excellent and effective way to engage with those who may not be fully aware of an association’s mission and how the general public might benefit from its member companies’ products or services.
2. Builds industry awareness
Social media can help engage, educate and influence target audiences that are unaware of an industry’s benefits to a particular state and its economy.
3. ‘Humanizes’ the industry
Some industries, particularly controversial industries, such as fossil fuels, mining and many others, get a bad rap. Oftentimes, it is because opponents are not informed and have only heard one side of an issue. In addition, they don’t take into consideration the human component of the industry: honest, hardworking people who go to work every day to help provide the energy and infrastructure we all rely on.
4. Establishes the association and its members as thought leaders
Social media can help position an association as the primary, expert resource for the industry it represents – influence that can extend to member companies when they participate.
5. Increases website visits and gives you analytics
If you’re looking to create awareness of member products and services, social media can help. Sharing relevant news about the industry can bring visitors to your website, which can raise awareness and increase sales for your member companies. In addition, you will know who is visiting your site and how they are reacting to your messaging by the pages they visit and how long they spend on each.
To effectively leverage the scale and power of social media it is important to adhere to the best practice of the thirds: 1/3 of your posts should promote member benefits; 1/3 should be interacting with the community; and 1/3 should be sharing industry news, tips and informative content. This will help you achieve your public relations goals and objectives and encourage membership participation, which are vital to your success.
In fact, the more industry association members participate, the more the industry’s messages will be heard (and seen) by those who need to learn why your issues, products and/or services matter to their lives.