Chambers and their members, 90% of which are small businesses, are always looking for latest and greatest social media tips.
I was recently invited back to the Hermiston, Oregon chamber of commerce to share the latest social media tips and to speak on social media marketing for small business.
These members were eager to share their own social media tips and techniques with the group. I think this is one of the best things about chambers and their members. They work together for mutual benefit. That is one of the reasons that I think chambers are sitting in such a sweet spot if they fully embrace the social media revolution.
See, chambers and their members, if they work together with the latest social technologies and tools, are now media companies. That is the new reality. Chambers and their members sit at the center of a very important communications triangle (if they fully embrace social media).
Warning: If chambers wait too long, some other business or community group could serve in this communications facilitation role.
After the morning training session we held a chamber of commerce professionals round-table to share chamber-specific social media tips and best practices. Turned out that the group had a wealth of social media tips and experiences to share too.
13 Social Media Tips for Chambers of Commerce by Frank J. Kenny
- To grow your chamber’s Facebook fans use the “invite friends” feature available on the right hand column of your page. Invite a few dozen local friends a day so that it extends over several weeks. This technique is predicated on you being friends with chamber members and others who would be interested in being a fan of the chamber’s Facebook page. I have always encouraged chamber professionals to be friends with their members and prospects.
- To grow your base and to network more effectively online, switch to “using your page” as the chamber and engage your members and prospects. Like their posts, share their posts, comment, answer questions. Engage your members and prospects online as your chamber’s page and as your profile. Be the first to reach out. Give Gifts. Be Generous.
- Create a Friends List of your members and engage them personally. This is an underutilized feature. You’ll find it down on the left side of your Timeline (Facebook home page) under “Explore” and then click “See More” (you see why it’s not highly used). Once you have the lists you can promote it for your members to share and subscribe to. On a daily basis engage with your members, from your profile, simply from the news feed that the Interest list allows.
- To save time and be more effective using social media use the tabs feature of your browsers. Let this form a habit. Open the same tabs every morning and engage your target market. If you try to engage randomly, trying to remember which sites you are supposed to be engaging on this week or this day, you will never create a consistent enough presence. Use bookmarks and the tabs.
- Facebook contest and sweepstakes work. But you almost surely will violate Facebook’s tough and confusing terms of service if you use Facebook to run your contest. I recommend this 3rd party app – Wildfire. It is easy to use, reasonably priced, and robust. And it will keep you out of trouble.
- Want to share a little known special with your members? Tell your members about this Facebook promotion. Free money through Facebook for advertising. It works.
- Don’t use Hootsuite or other programs to blast the same message everywhere. Be real and human. That means one to one relationships. Few things just make me go yuk more than Twitter hashtags in a Facebook post. I just go, “Well, there is someone that doesn’t care about relationships. They are just advertising.” It is much better to just open up the various tabs of the social media sites you engage on and interact with your friends and connections.
- Want to see how chamber professionals are engaging on the major platforms?
- Chamber pros on Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/FrankKenny/chamber-professional
- Chamber Professionals on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/lists/10150742274745934
- Chambers: https://www.facebook.com/lists/10150742126870934
- Chamber Vendors: https://www.facebook.com/lists/10150742300720934
- Chamber Associations: https://www.facebook.com/lists/10150742338845934
- Make sure you reposition your images, pin one post to the top, and highlight some of your posts so they are full screen. It can be tedious setting up your Timeline but once you do you have a real chamber asset. You are creating the reverse chronological order history of your chamber and community. Think what this means when a tourist visits your chamber’s Timeline. It unfolds like a story. That is going to be very powerful and important.
- Pinterest is growing like mad. People are addicted. And it has SEO qualities (inbound links to your members websites). Pin your members photos to a Pinterest board. Your members will love it. And your not yet members will be jealous that they aren’t getting the attention. They can have this kind of attention, of course, if they join : )
- Fiverr – Check out this site for amazing deals for graphic design, video, copy-writing, and just about everything else. Each project is as little as$5.
- Animoto – Fun and free videos from your still shots. Adds music and motion. Awesome!
- Ticking Time bomb – Way too many chambers, and their members, are violating Facebook terms of service by having profile instead of pages for their businesses. Here is a link to a blog post about converting friend pages to fan pages