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Designing Your Association's Social-Media Campaign

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Social media is a powerful tool that can help increase association membership, drive up web traffic, increase public awareness, and raise funds for causes and upcoming events. However, it's not enough to simply make a page on a popular social-media site. Social media must be used strategically in order to be effective. The following tips will help you design a smart social-media campaign for your association.

Establish Goals

Before you can begin a social-media campaign, your association must establish goals for the campaign. These goals may be long term (like increasing public awareness of your association), short term (like dispersing information about upcoming events to members), or both. Put the long-term and short-term goals into writing to give your social-media manager a clear direction when writing content for your sites.

Make a Policy

In addition to goals, your association must establish a policy for creating smart social-media postings. Who can post, when postings can occur, what posts must be approved, and what kind of topics and language are appropriate are all useful rules to establish for your association's social-media sites. This will help your association establish a clear message that members and the public will find appealing.

Know Your Audience

Answer the question: who do you want to pay attention to your social-media site? In the weeks before your social-media site goes up, answering this question will help you target your posts to the audience that you wish to attract. Once your social-media site is up, pay attention to comments from visitors to your site. Visit their personal pages, if possible, to determine their age, level of education, other associations where they have membership, and so on. Knowing who is paying attention to your message can help you direct your marketing efforts.

Communicate with Your Board

Your association's board needs to be kept in the loop. Put together a presentation for your board outlining your association's new social-media policy and goals. Discuss which social-media sites your association will be using and how this will help your association reach its membership and target audience. Be prepared to accept feedback and work with the board to integrate their suggestions into your plan.

For more help, talk to your association management team. With proper guidance, your association can successfully establish a social-media site that can interact with your membership, recruit more members, and publicize your association to the general public. Look at what firms such as Duval Realty Inc. are doing for more ideas.