Marketing & Communications

Go Where Your Members Are

By Hillary Levitz • December 1, 2013

Hillary Levitz
Hillary Levitz, Naylor Association Solutions

We’ve all heard the phrase: “Go where your members are.” So where are your members? Pew Research Center says that 72 percent of adults use social networking sites. This includes the 43 percent of adults over the age of 65 who have an online presence. This month, I compiled a short list of possible apps and websites to reach your members.


  • The vast majority of adult Americans—not just young people—use social networking sites.
  • Having a strong presence on at least one platform will ensure your ability to connect with members on a regular and meaningful way.
  • Serious networking and member communication can be accomplished, even on the platforms designed for fun and people-tracking.
  1. Facebook
    According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 67 percent of adults in the U.S. are Facebook users. With this in mind, your association should have a presence on Facebook. Even if you only post once a month, members will appreciate the option to connect with you on that platform.
  2. Twitter
    A study from the Pew Research Center found that 16 percent of U.S. adults use Twitter. While this does not account for a large portion of the adult population, it is still a good idea to be present on Twitter. The platform offers an easy way to communicate with members and also shows members that you are interested and connected to industry happenings.
  3. Instagram
    The photo-sharing app currently has 150 million users and is one of the fastest growing social media platforms. While not very popular with your older members (as of December 2012, 13 percent of online adults said they used it), Instagram may be a good way to connect with your newest and youngest members. You can post pictures of networking events, conferences or just general fun around the association offices. The Associated General Contractors of America does a great job of keeping things light while also keeping members informed. They often post pictures of members being honored, speaking engagements and promotions for upcoming events. Check out Kelly Donovan’s article about ways to communicate better with Instagram here.
  4. Snapchat
    Snapchat is another great way to connect with your members in a fun and engaging way. Snapchat allows users to send photos or videos to friends for a prescribed amount of time (up to 10 seconds). Once the time runs out, the photo is deleted and disappears forever. While more popular with the younger crowd, Snapchat can be used to send quick photos from events, conferences or speakers. Snapchat can also be used as part of a game or contest in which members have to complete an action after seeing the snap. Snapchat stories can be used to document the highlights at a conference.
  5. LinkedIn
    LinkedIn allows associations to connect with members in a more professional atmosphere. On group pages, associations can post discussion questions to see what their members are interested in. Members also have the ability to post their own questions for discussion. The International Carwash Association currently facilitates a LinkedIn group of more than 2,000 members. Discussions range from how government decisions will affect the carwash industry to which cleaners are best. Just last week (November 13) LinkedIn’s popular news curation feature, LinkedIn Today, was replaced on both desktop and mobile by Pulse, which now provides the back-end technology for all content surfacing on the platform.

Your members may be on all of these social media platform or none at all. Having a strong presence on at least one platform will ensure your ability to connect with members on social media.

Hillary Levitz is an online marketing specialist with Naylor, LLC.