I follow around 700-800 chambers of commerce and their staff on Twitter and Facebook and I see several chambers doing a great job of engaging their members and finding ways to demonstrate the value they bring to the business community.
In preparing for this presentation, I reviewed an older blog post of mine, Social Media Strategy for Chambers of Commerce, first. That post talked about simply getting in the game and using social media as another tool in your chamber's communications plan.
But the FACP presentation had a specific topic: using social media as a STRATEGY to improve member sales and retention.
We know that word of mouth is a very powerful tool when a member of your chamber tells a non-member how great it is and that they should join. You've probably had members refer other businesses to join your chamber of commerce in the past. And we know that social media is perhaps the best word of mouth marketing tool around, so.....let's combine those concepts!
Think about this: How often does an email you send to a member get forwarded to their entire contact list? How often does a member share your printed newsletter with all of their friends and colleagues? Not very often, right?
Well, what if there was a tool that did that for you? There is. The Facebook Like Button. (and more.)
When a fan/follower of your chamber of commerce clicks on the Like Button on your website, they automatically share that content with all their followers. It's like a mini-endorsement of your chamber, your events, your program or whatever the content was about. (Feel free to click on the Like Button below to test it out.) :-)
I'd recommend adding the Facebook Like Button, Twitter tweet buttons and other similar services to all your website pages. Add This and Share This make it easy for website visitor to share your content, too. There are also toolbars like Meebo and Wibiya that "wrap" the bottom of your web pages with sharing tools.
Adding these features to your website will make it easier for your site visitors, fans and follower to share your content. Now, you've got to give them something that they want to share!
I'll share some ideas on how you can do this in an upcoming blog post. How are you getting your followers to share your content online?