Membership Marketing & Technology

Chambers of Commerce: Give your members something to talk about

In a blog post last week, I shared part of my presentation from the Florida Association of Chamber Professionals 90th Annual Meeting, titled "Social Media Strategy for Impacting Member Sales & Retention."

In that post I discussed how tools like the Facebook Like button and others can help make your chamber's website content more "sharable" to encourage your members, fans and followers to post your content on other networks.

How can you get them to share your content, though?  Well...let's give them something to talk about. That is, let's get them to tell their story through you....or tell your story through them.   How would you do that?  One way is to talk about THEM.

Here are some ideas: 

Ask them for stories about how they got new business through your chamber of commerce, add those stories to your website or blog and tag/mention your members when you promote that website content on social media sites.  (Tag members in photos or posts on Facebook, mention their specific user ID - such as @curtmoss - when posting on Twitter.)

You'll be suprised how many of your members will share that information via reposts or retweets.  Your website content will be automatically shared with all their followers, increasing positive word of mouth for your chamber.

The best time to get your members to talk about you is when they are happy, so be sure to ask them to post after:
  • joining your chamber of commerce
  • attending events
  • they receive awards or recognition from your chamber
  • ribbon cuttings
  • major business iniatives led by your chamber

Ask your members on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other sites, "Do you know any businesses that should join the Chamber?"  You'll engage them in conversation that both of your followers will be able to see.  AND....be sure to thank those members in additional posts when the referral leads to a new member for your chamber.  For a double-dip, thank both the new member and the member who gave you a referral in the same post!   Be sure to ask your followers to welcome new members to the chamber or community, too. 

Talk about what your chamber is doing and ask your members and followers for their thoughts on:
  • local business issues
  • government advocacy efforts
  • chamber programs
  • discounts and affinity programs
  • events
  • community topics

Reply to your members.  Retweet them or reshare their news on your website, Facebook or Twitter.  Ask them questions.  Includes links and photos in your posts, too!  Your members will be more likely to share your posts if there is a link to useful (or fun) information.

Get your members and followers to share your content and your story with THEIR followers.  Their followers all work for businesses would could be prospects for joining your chamber of commerce. Or they could already be members who need more evidence of the value your chamber is providing.

I've got lots of great examples of chambers of commerce doing all of the above.  There's just too many to put them in this post.  Let me know if you'd like to see them, I'd be happy to share them with you.   What other ways are YOU getting your members to share your content?

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