June 23, 2016
If there’s one thing to know about today’s society, it’s that we are all infatuated with social media. Associations have been told time and time again that they need to get on the social media bandwagon - and fast. You may find yourself going through the motions with your social media strategy, but are you making some mistakes along the way? It may seem like you can’t screw up social media; unfortunately, that just isn’t the truth. There are some cardinal rules when it comes to social media and it’s important not to break them. We have some social media flubs that you should be avoiding.
Disclaimer: In order to make the most out of social media, you will need to create a social media strategy. This will be what you can revert back to. You will need to sit down and establish the goals you want to achieve from social media. Additionally, you’ll need to come up with a posting schedule and relevant content to include.
Many associations rev up their social media engines quickly. They create different profiles and go on a posting frenzy. Then suddenly, it stops. It’s important for associations to commit to its social media efforts. Since you have an abundance of responsibilities, it can be difficult to remember to post on your social media sites. A great way to keep consistency in your posting schedule is to use an automation tool. This will allow you to schedule your posts before they even happen. This will leave you with time to do your work and the ease of knowing that you’ve done your social media duties.
Balance. This is something that is crucial when it comes to social media. It’s critical for associations to find it, and to remain consistent. Fluctuating posting schedules can confuse your audience and make you look unorganized. Social media is meant to help your organization, not hurt it.
Have you ever had your Facebook newsfeed completely taken over by one specific business? I know I have, and to be frank: This can be extremely annoying. It’s important to not get “post” happy with your social media accounts. A great way alleviate this issue is to test different times to publish your content. See which times have the most engagement and go from there. If certain times aren’t working for you, don’t use them!
On the other end of the spectrum, your association may not be posting…..at all. If an association is going to use social media, it’s important to actually use it. What is the point of creating all of your social media accounts just to have them collect dust? It’s not a good look if a follower goes to your page and it hasn’t been updated in three months. This gives the perception that your association is either lazy or just don’t care about engaging with its audience. For many members, social media is the first tool they use to get association information. Therefore, it’s important that you provide them with the information they are looking for. As stated before, a way to avoid this error is by using an automation tool. Gone are the days of forgetting to post for months on end.
If your association isn’t measuring its social media efforts, it’s not doing it correctly. How are you expected to know if your efforts are going according to plan? With tools such as Google Analytics around, there isn’t an excuse to not measure your results. Additionally, most social media platforms offer their own set of analytics. These are very user-friendly and will provide you with the metrics you need. By not measuring your results: Likes, Retweets, Page Views, etc, you won’t know where you stand and where you came from. The beauty of measuring your results is that you can make viable adjustments to improve your efforts. If not, you’re blindly posting without knowing if it’s successful. In order to make social media work for you, you must adjust your social media strategy accordingly.
You took society’s advice and joined the social media world. You created every profile imaginable: Now what? It’s important to use the right social media accounts, not all of them. This will result in staff burn out, as they can’t keep track of all of your platforms. It doesn’t make much sense for a law association to have a Pinterest board. You just have to do what makes sense for you. It’s better to utilize a few platforms effectively, rather than all of them insufficiently. If one staff member is responsible for 3+ social media platforms, along with their primary duties, there’s a good chance your social media efforts may suffer.
If anything, this is just a social media faux pas. Even though this is a common practice, it doesn’t mean it’s a good one. Buying followers allows businesses and celebrities alike to have more followers and/or Likes. This can be a misleading tactic that undermines your audience. There are some risks that come with doing this. Don’t let Facebook know you’re doing this, or else they may terminate your profile.
We get it, social media can be a solid promoting and advertising tool. However, that’s not the only reason it should be utilized. Members want to engage with you, not just be forced to absorb what you’re selling. It’s important to maintain a balance in what you’re positing. If you have an event approaching, post about it. If you just created a new blog post, post about it. Members want to read relevant, engaging content that you have to offer, not just promotional pieces.
This may be shocking, but social media is meant to be social. It’s important for associations to keep the lines of communication open with followers. If someone retweets you, tell them thank you! If someone provides feedback regarding an issue, make sure to reply accordingly. Members want to engage with you on social media, return the favor! Social media is a two-way street that associations need to comply with.
Social media is a great way for an association to promote its message, engage with members and gain awareness. Social media is meant to help your association - not hurt it. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can take your social media initiatives to the next level.
To learn more about using social media to improve your association, take a look at our blog, Make Social Media Marketing Work For Your Association.