The topic of chamber social media best practices is more one for a book than a blog, but when a person in our Chamber Professional’s Group on Facebook asked
We are looking to enhance our marketing & communications plan in 2014. What are some of your best practices? For Social Media? Newsletters? Staff Communications? Branding? Member Engagement? Etc. Thank you!
I thought I’d put together a year in review of 2013’s best social media practices, trends and changes for chambers.
Social Media is not Social Advertising
Photo via Flickr by shinealight
While word-of-mouth, or earned marketing, is one of your strongest ways to attract new members to join and attendees to events, using social to simply announce what is going on with you is like meeting someone and regaling them with your stories for half an hour straight. At the end you’re not even sure who was standing in front of you because you never bothered to have a conversation with them. Yes, use social media to disseminate information to your chamber membership but make it only about 20% of how you use it.
Good Content Becomes Essential to Chambers
Photo via Flickr by itsmeritesh
In September, Google did its part to remind us of the importance of creating content that resonates with our members and potential members, by rolling out Hummingbird. This new algorithm places much more importance on quality content. Because of this, it’s now more important than ever for your chamber to have a blog.
Changes to Social Media
Photo via Flickr by Jason A. Howie
Most of us are busy keeping up with postings and creating content, but if you’re not (also) keeping up with the changes on social media platforms, you’re missing something. If you’re in charge of your chamber’s social media, part of your job is learning about these changes as soon as they are released. This is not as daunting as it sounds. This blog helps keep you in the know, as does the Chamber Professional’s Group on Facebook.
If you’ve been out of the loop, take a look at some of the biggest changes to popular social media platforms in 2013:
Twitter: new custom timeline
Pinterest: place pins (map capabilities)
YouTube: changed layout for brands
It’s not about Return on Investment
Photo via Flickr by Emma Brabrook
How do you measure a relationship in terms of investment? How do you plot a line and say this year I am x% closer to this person than I was last year? You can’t. Stop thinking that way. Your chamber’s social media return on investment will be in indirect ways, like improved retention or larger attendance at your events but trying to do a traditional calculation of time and money spent versus revenue returned is pointless.
Stop Ignoring Google+
Photo via Flickr by keso
In case you missed it, Google now owns the top two searches (Google and YouTube) and a world of other tools, including Google+. If you are not participating on these platforms, you’re missing an opportunity to increase your chamber’s reach and search results.
2013 was a huge year for social media and content. There was a lot of maturing of platforms that went on and new features that changed the playing field.
Here are some additional posts that will help advise chambers on the importance of social media and social media best practices for chambers:
Guest Post by Christina Green
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