Twitter is a fantastic tool for sharing short bits of information with your followers and replying or sharing their content. Many associations and chambers of commerce are actively using Twitter each day to share information on news, events, benefit programs and issues important to their members.
Twitter can also be an outstanding research tool to find new potential members so your organization can start engaging them.
Here are some tips to find new potential members for your association.
Find who's talking about you - Go to search.twitter.com and search for your organization's name, or portions of your organization's name. You may not even know that there are people on Twitter talking about your association. Find those people and follow them. If they are asking a question you can answer, answer it. Otherwise, check out what they've been talking about recently and try to understand their perspectives before jumping in. You want that person to start following you and to be interested in your content. See an example below for a search for "cattleman association."
Find who's talking about your industry or community - Using the same Twitter search tool, search for industry terms or community topics that your audience may be discussing. Again, if you find someone that needs help, offer your assistance. Direct them to resources on your site or elsewhere. Resist the urge to ask them to join until you've have some conversations. See an example below for a search for "Indianapolis taxes."
Find similar organizations - Almost every association or chamber of commerce has similar organizations that they work with or, in some cases, compete with. Find those organizations' Twitter accounts and check out the people following them. As in the two examples above, learn what topics are important to those people before jumping in immediately with comments. The goal is for them to see the value your organization is providing your followers.
Talk to your existing members/followers - Prospective members may check out your Twitter profile before inquiring about membership. If they see that you’re actively engaging your followers, they will have greater trust in your organization. Make sure you are replying to your followers, retweeting them and sharing content from other sources besides your own. Use the best practice of an 80/20 rule; post four items of others' content, shares or retweets for every one post about your own content.
Also, store your members' social media profiles in your association management software so you can know which of your members are on each network. Promote your members in your posts by specifically mentioning their Twitter account or tagging their Facebook profile. Potential new members will see that you're truly connected to your followers and be more likely to engage with you.
Produce great content - Content drives everything on social media. You need to share great content from other sources and you need to provide great content to your members and followers. Think you can't compete with other sources to create fantastic content? See why chambers and associations have a content marketing advantage. If you are sharing valuable content, your followers - and potential members - will view your association as an expert and an organization they need to stay connected to.
Has your association or chamber of commerce had success finding new members via Twitter? Please let us know in the comments below.
For more ideas and best practices, check out the recap of our webinar, "Social Media Strategy for Increasing Retention and Member Sales."
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