Marketing & Communications

How Associations Can Build Engagement on Social Media

By Audrey Surette • June 8, 2022

In our previous article on social media tone and voice, we detailed what you need to do to make sure your association sets the right tone with your audience. Now that your social media’s tone and voice are in line with your association’s brand, the next question you might have is, how do you actually engage with your audience and increase traffic to your profiles?

What to Post on Social Media to Keep Association Members Engaged

Curating the right content is the first step to engaging members and driving more traffic. They need a reason to click, read or watch, and comment or 

share. That’s where having the right content to post on your social media channels comes into play and it’s not always the easiest feat. However, when you stop and take a look at your association’s expertise, it may be easier than you first believe to produce great posts. Think of posting on social media as a natural, flowing conversation with someone. It doesn’t have to be forced, or awkward unless you make it that way.

Social media is a great platform to loosen up and talk with your members not just about important events or issues, but also about fun, happy, engaging or downright silly topics based on what it is your association is an expert in. It’s a different mindset from decades past when boardroom presentations and association meetings might have been stuffy and long-winded. You can parcel out that same type of information found in a boardroom presentation into more easily digestible components with a more relaxed and diverse approach, albeit at a consistent pace of posting. From educational content to general housekeeping reminders, social media posts are how you can stay engaged on a more consistent basis with your membership and potential members.

Here are several types of content to include as part of a regular posting schedule:

  • Industry Facts. Keep members up to date with any relevant statistics or metrics that may help them stay informed about your industry. These can be general statistics that motivate your members to action or are just interesting numbers that keep them excited about your industry, details about new industry trends or coming legislative changes, or even historical facts about your industry like, “Did you know? On this date in 1905, so and so invented the first XYZ.”
  • Member Highlights. This is an awesome way to enliven your members and make them feel a sense of pride. A picture of them in action, a short video of them speaking or even a carousel of images of them with their families or doing what they do best can invigorate your audience. When you profile one member, others also want to share in that glory. They’ll comment on how much they’ve enjoyed working with the person and add anecdotal stories, but they’ll also hope to get a shot in the spotlight themselves.
  • Sponsors Highlights. Why not highlight your sponsors while you’re at it?  Your sponsors are a key component in driving non-dues revenue and one way to showcase them is on social media. This can be a stand-alone sponsorship or part of a bigger sponsorship as a benefit. Keep a curated calendar to ensure you are not posting competing members. Talk to your sponsors and ask them for approval to ensure you keep their brand identity when posting to your social media or sending to your membership.
  • Event Highlights. This is a fun way to show your members that your brand is getting out and socializing. Think of it as showing off your vacation photos – only it’s your brand. Let people know that you do not just sit around in the office by sharing a boomerang video on your story, or by posting a picture of the association’s attendees so people can attach faces to the names. Awards events also make for great social media content. Make sure to show off how awesome and talented your team is to all of your members – this can help build credibility among your audience. 
  • Other Fun Easy things (for the algorithm). While it is useful to provide some value on your social media, facts and statistics shouldn’t be all of your posts. You should take time to create engaging or interactive posts that allow your members to become a part of your brand. Another way to spice up your social media feed is to include a video or two to break up the monotonous flow of pictures. Lastly, a great way to bring your social media game up a notch is to let your audience see behind the scenes. By going behind the scenes, you can show off your association in action – which builds trust with you members – giving your association a relatable feel.

Tips and Tricks on Building Engagement 

There are a few key steps associations can take to build engagement with their newly found voice. These steps will allow you to enhance engagement and improve your overall visibility.

  • Leverage Graphics. Videos and pictures drive engagement more than just copy. Be sure to include crisp, high-quality photos/videos. Video messaging should align with your brand and be an extension of the voice you’ve established for your association on social media.
    • Tip: Stick with your brand colors and include welcoming language.
  •  Social media analytics are your friend. Track trends in your social media performance over time. Each month, identify the top-performing posts. Was it your association’s upcoming webinar? A quick 30-second informational clip? A thought leadership article?
    • Tip: Once you’ve identified the types of posts that do best, incorporate more of these posts into your media. Your followers are telling you what they like to see just by interacting with your posts. Listen to them!
  • Identify key influencers/thought leaders and reporters that are relevant to your association’s audience, and check out their social media channels. Are they liking content every couple of hours or are they relatively quiet on social media?
    • Tip: Try to find five to 10 of them who like things once an hour, and react, reshare and respond to their content.
  • Back to tone again. Switch up how you talk to your social media audience. Remember, no industry jargon. Type like you talk — not like a ‘90s infomercial. Share content that is helpful — don’t hit them with technical jargon.
    • Tip: Share actionable tips — like a friend offering their expert take! 

When creating compelling content, it is critical for associations to do it the right way. When done wrong, their brand can come off as dishonest, immature or untrustworthy, but when associations create a voice that aligns with their brand, is approachable and friendly, and provides value to the consumer, that is when social media can skyrocket an associations brand recognition and give them an extreme competitive advantage over their competitors. 

To learn more about how Naylor can help you increase social media engagement for your association, reach out to our team today