Each one of these - Twitter, Blogs, LinkedIn & Facebook - can be used in concert (see what I did there) with each other AND with what you’re already doing in your organization’s communications efforts. But how can your chamber create a communications symphony with all these different media? Read on...
Use Twitter to cross-promote your chamber's blog posts, events and members. There are a number of chambers using Twitter in other ways, too. However, don't forget to follow businesses in your area and have conversations with them, too.
And, of course, you can cross-promote your LinkedIn group, Facebook page and any other social media you use. I will stress again, though....don't just push information. Mix up your tweets with questions and replies to your followers.
We know that blogs are great ways to position your chamber as an expert and create communications that engages your members. If you've been blogging for a while and think you've run out of topics, check out
25 Things Your Chamber Can Blog About.
See some good Chamber blogs below. These Chambers do a nice job of creating communications that are relevant for their members. Yes, you can mix in posts about events and members with legislative and business issues as you'll see in some of these blogs.
• Tempe AZ Chamber
• Winter Haven FL Chamber
• Boston MA Chamber
• Siouxland Chamber of Commerce
If you're not on LinkedIn yet, go there now and set up your profile and have your coworkers do the same. Using the tools that LinkedIn provides, you'll be amazed out how quickly you can build a network. You can (and should) create a profile for your chamber, too. Connect with your members and other businesses in your community. Keep you and your chamber in the middle of your area's local and online networking. If you don't, someone else will take that role.
There are plenty of chambers of commerce who have LinkedIn groups, too.
I've been researching chamber LinkedIn groups and will post soon about using these groups effectively. In the meantime, here are some quick tips:
- It may seem obvioius, but ask questions. Push content and concepts to your LinkedIn group members and get their input.
- Answer questions asked by others, or at least refer them to another resource in your area. Be the great connector in the online world just as you are in the offline world.
- Post national and local business news, make it relevant to your community and see how your group members respond. Again, ask for their input, see how it is affecting them or show them what they can learn from it.
There are two things (among many) that you can do on Facebook for your chamber: Create a group and create a page for your chamber. The biggest difference is that people can "join" your group, but they can become a "fan" of your page/chamber.
There are subtle differences in how you would manage a group versus a page. (Why not have both? The two can live in harmony, after all.) For example, through Facebook's interface you can invite anyone to join your group (either your Facebook friends or send email to anyone else). Once they are a member of your group, you can send messages to them about new items in your group, invite them to events, etc.
On your Facebook page, you can send an update to your fans (through Facebook's tools) and let them know when you've added new videos, events or other content.
See a list of chambers with Facebook pages and chambers with Facebook groups. Similar to LinkedIn groups, be sure to engage your Facebook fans or members by giving them frequent updates and new content.
The big finish
Use this quartet of social media tools to cross-promote each other. Use Twitter to announce a new blog post or ask for replies to a question in your LinkedIn group. Connect your blog's RSS feed to your Facebook page and your LinkedIn profile. Create blog posts about successful connections between members in your LinkedIn group. Share information about your chamber and about your members.
However, please don't simply repost everything you do to every other medium. Occassionally that's OK, but if you do it all the time, it will seem like spamming to your biggest fans (the ones who connect with you on all networks) and you certainly don't want to alienate them. In fact, you want to reward them! Why not create some social media exclusive items like contests on Twitter or Facebook trivia questions that you don't promote in other areas? Your followers and fans on each network will appreciate your efforts to create unique content.
And....have some fun! Let your enthusiasm for your chamber, your members and your community come through in yours posts.
By using these tools, you and your chamber can be make sweet music using social media - no chamber orchestras required. (OK, enough with the music puns!) ;-)