Chambers are fortunate in some ways because they have understood for a long time the power of personal connections in chamber marketing and how those connections help grow businesses. That’s why it always surprises me when I see social media posts that read like newspaper headlines — just the facts, no personality, no energy. Unlike newspaper headlines though, there’s often not even an attention grabber to them.
There was a great article that appeared on Knowledge@Wharton last week entitled, “Imagine There’s No Marketing…It’s Easy If You Try.” by Curtis Hougland. The article brings up the key difference between marketing of the ’90s and today’s digital marketing:
“The redistribution of power from brands to individuals is the enduring legacy of social media.”
The same holds true for your chamber. The chamber itself will not sell people to become members. The people involved — the staff and the members — will be the reason people join. If you are posting to social media like a robot (and this does not mean scheduling posts. I’m referring to the tone you use.), you are not taking advantage of what makes your group special.
Another great quote from the article that should inspire your marketing and social media is:
“As consumers bypass media with greater ease, the social feed is the wormhole to the entire online experience.”
As this article points out other people are simply more interesting to us than brands. For now, we as businesses can all play in the same sandboxes as personal accounts on social media. Sure, Zuckerberg does place more onus on businesses to create more engaging posts in order to get seen but we still are allowed entry. (Some days I wish everyone was held to the engagement standards businesses are. I can only take so many posts of the same kind. I won’t name names or topics to protect the boring, but I’m sure you have the same types of posters in your streams.)
The article goes on to make a number of read-worthy predictions but one that is of interest to the chamber industry is, “As the individual controls the marketing experience, communication shifts from public to semi-private.” With this idea we could begin to get frozen out of conversations if while people are “talking” online, we are shouting about ourselves.