The Importance of Social Media for Associations
Social media is an essential tool for associations and businesses, facilitating the instant spread of news, campaigns, and support throughout different verticals.
More importantly, these platforms help connect businesses with customers, increase brand awareness, and boost leads and sales.
But how does social media make this possible?
One of the key aspects of social media is that it provides a presence on a variety of platforms which can be used to raise awareness on everything from new members to mergers.
It is important to remember that if potential customers are not aware of the business or association, they will never become customers or members.
Social media boosts visibility and can be used to address specific sectors of audiences for targeted connections and interaction through the use of hashtags and groups.
For example, a new piece of technology used for transporting temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals would be relevant for a variety of different specialisms (pharma packaging manufacturers, track-and-trace developers, air cargo operators, Customs officials, etc), but the key messages required by these verticals may differ to pique interest – this is where targeted social media posts can be used to ensure that each selected group receives the prime information they require.
As an association, authority on a subject is pivotal to not only provide guidance for members, but to highlight expertise and entice others into joining.
Developing and running robust social media profiles with frequent updates of relevant content will build brand authority and create positive first impressions that highlight trustworthiness, knowledge, and approachability.
This can be done through tasks as simple as sharing or commenting on another post or thought piece made by a highly regarded business, to writing your own expert-led discussions surrounding pressing topics for your vertical and building the conversation from there.
Taking the initiative and making a statement can go a long way on social media.
Encouraging and Supporting Growth
One of the best things social media provides is easy communication with customers and peers.
Gone are the days of calling customer service lines or searching for an individual’s extension number when a simple Twitter search or LinkedIn connection can provide the same results.
Businesses wanting to capitalise on the benefits of social media should take the time to engage with comments on their pages, look to join conversations on other pages and interest groups, show support with new developments for other businesses and important individuals, and prove yourself as responsive and engaged with the concerns or questions that you could solve.
Finally, social media allows businesses and associations to show personality and that individuals are behind the screen. Think about your brand and what voice you want to go with it – how will this represent who you and your colleagues are to your target audiences?
It is the case that customers simply are not interested in reading or engaging with dry, corporate-style social media posts; they want to be a part of a conversation and to get to know the people behind the posts.
This is why platforms such as LinkedIn are a great tool for building connections as those working for the business or association can easily be linked, providing a face and a name for potential members or customers that are looking for an easy way to get in touch.
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” still rings true on social media, which is why platforms such as Instagram are great for showcasing the lighter, funnier side of work.
Fridays are also a good time to embrace that more casual ‘end of the week’ feeling with simpler, less challenging posts on topics such as team building experiences or remembering previous events.
For examples on social media posts, make sure you follow the Cool Chain Association on LinkedIn and Twitter, and follow Meantime Communications on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook for news, topics, and inspiration.