Last week, WebLink hosted a webinar for business associations and chambers of commerce titled, "Social Media Strategy for Increasing Member Retention and Sales."
While most chambers of commerce and associations are using social media tools to communicate with their audience, very few have created a concrete strategy or plan for driving engagement with their members. This challenge was confirmed by some pre-webinar questions we asked attendees.
The results (charts below) demonstrated that member-based organizations have not yet found ways to directly connect their social media efforts to driving new member sales and increasing retention.
Question 1: Do you have a social media strategy and content calendar?
Question 2: Have you acquired a new member via your use of social media?
The webinar also detailed key tactics and best practices that business associations and chambers of commerce can use to directly drive engagement from their followers and showed several examples of highly active associations on social media. Here are some of the top questions from the webinar.
1. Would you recommend offering incentives to get followers to take survey or respond to posts?
The webinar also detailed key points that business associations should consider when developing a mobile strategy. These included reviewing data and surveying members to determine the best solutions for your association.
Here are some of the top questions from the webinar.- See more at: http://blog.weblinkinternational.com/blog/membership-marketing-and-technology/top-questions-about-mobile-strategies-for-associations#sthash.SolnVecX.dpuf
The answer is "sometimes." If you're asking members to compete a long survey - one that may take 5-10 minutes to complete - then an incentive can help improve your response rate. On day to day social media posts, you could occasionally offer a prize as a fun way to encourage engagement, but use this tactic sparingly. If you repeatedly have to incentive followers to reply, a better approach would be to create more engaging content and ask questions about that content.
2. Do you see Likes or responses higher with photos from events?
Yes! LinkedIn says that posts with images have a 98% higher engagement rate. And the same best practice applies to Facebook and other networks, too. Including images, videos or links in your post will dramatically increase the engagement of your followers. Whenever you post content, whether it's a link or photos, try to state the key point of the content and ask your follower a question. For example, when posting photos of events, ask "What was your favorite session at the annual conference last week?" or when posting news on legislative issues, "How has the latest tax change affected your business?"
3. What is the best way to administer the net promoter poll? Social media or email?
During the webinar we discussed using the Net Promoter Score method as a way of measuring word of mouth advertising, which is something most chambers and associations want to leverage to improve member sales and retention. Since you'd generally like to understand this data from your members' perspective, I'd recommend using email or some other system where you know who will be answering the question. Posting the NPS question on social media may make it harder to analyze the results if you're unsure who all the respondents are.
4. We mostly use Facebook and Twitter right now. What other network should we start using?
LinkedIn. Since chambers of commerce and associations largely serve business professionals, LinkedIn is the next logical step. And, LinkedIn stats show that 43% of marketers have acquired a new customer through connections on LinkedIn. For more info, check out a recap of our recent webinar, "5 Steps to Growing Your Membership Using LinkedIn."
5. What are some other resources for learning about social media strategies?
First, make sure you attend our next webinar on social media for associations. :-) Until then, below is a copy of our presentation.
6. Will you offer a recording of today's webinar?
Sure, see the video below.
We'll be scheduling more webinars on how associations and chambers of commerce can use social media in the future. Please let me know what topics you'd like covered.
What strategies and tactics have worked well for your association to attract new members with social media? Let us know in the comments below. We may be able to feature your organization in an upcoming webinar or blog post.