Chamber social media is frustrating. It takes a lot of time to make those connections and figure out exactly what kind of content your audience responds to. But it needn’t all be challenges and frustration. There are a lot of tricks, hacks and best practices you can put in place to ensure your social media is pulling its weight.
Wouldn’t it be nice to enable your chamber social media to work harder so you don’t have to? Keep reading to find out how:
Step One: See Chamber Social Media as a Logical Progression
If you want to get more members out of chamber social media, you need to figure out the steps someone would conceivably take to become a member. Have you ever visited a website only to be assaulted by premature pop-ups? It ruins the experience. You don’t even know what the site is yet and they’re asking for something from you.
The equivalent of that for the chamber would be a pop-up asking someone to join who’s never been on your site before. In real life, it might be asking someone to marry you the first day you meet them.
In either situation, you’ll get very few yesses.
Instead, you need to woo them.
Think of how they must first get to know you, then start to like you, then get to know the others surrounding you (other members and staff), and then they can think about joining.
Step Two: Map Out the Membership Steps
Once you know how they choose you, map out the steps so you can see them. It’s possible different demographics join through different cycles. For instance, a large corporation like Walmart or Target may hear of you and immediately join. Their sales cycle may be very short. They know what a chamber does and a company of that size likely has a corporate policy about chamber membership. They may be willing to join as soon as they know there’s an effective chamber in the area. A single proprietor, on the other hand, may need to see the value first before they commit some of their start-up capital to you.
If you have different processes across different types of members, map them out separately. Some chambers even create member personas based on where that member is in their business lifecycle.
Step Three: Align Social Media Posts and Content to Each Step
As mentioned earlier, you can’t ask someone to join if they don’t know anything about you. Okay, you can but you’re likely wasting your time. For the most effective social media, create different types of content and posts based on the membership stage.
For instance, a good post for someone getting to know you would be:
Did you know last year alone our member businesses received 4,000+ referrals from the chamber?
How about people who know you but still aren’t sure dues are worth it?
Our member-to-member discounts saved our average member over $500 throughout the year. That covers the cost of membership.
Another good idea at this stage is to offer them resources that are valuable to their business.
What about people who are ready to join:
Using Facebook’s pixel to provide them with content surrounding joining can ensure they see the content that is meaningful to them without prematurely offering membership to someone who is not ready.
Tips for Making Your Chamber Social Media Work Harder and Smarter
1.Participate only on the platforms that appeal to your ideal member. In an article from the Huffington Post, the Young Entrepreneur Council cited Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and Yelp as the top social media platforms for businesses. It doesn’t matter if you’re the last 100 people on MySpace. If your members and ideal members are there, that’s where you want to be.
The reason this makes your social media more effective: limiting the number of platforms you participate on to only those members use regularly means you won’t spread yourself too thin and the posts you’re sharing are seen by the people who can help you meet your membership, promotion and social media goals.
2. Use automation tools to post. Schedule everything in bulk and pause your stream should anything tragic occur where posts about events would not be appropriate.
Why this works: Multi-tasking is inefficient. However, performing similar activities at the same time makes you faster. Chunking your social media posts for one upload every week will cut down on you sitting in front of your screen every morning trying to think of something to post.
3. Recycle/repost evergreen content.
Why this works: you’ve already invested the time in creating it so you’re getting additional mileage out of it. You’re also plugging in holes in your content calendar for very little effort. Finally, your audience may not have seen your original post. If you shared it on a platform that is limiting what your audience sees, it’s likely they didn’t. It’s new to them.
4. Dedicate time to understanding what kind of content is popular with each platform. Use that to start. Then check it again after a few months to decide what types of content are most popular with your audience.
Why this works: in order to reach your chamber goals with social media, you need to post content that matters to your audience. The only way to do that is watching how they respond to the different types of things you’re sharing. Once you know what they like, give them more of that. Don’t worry if you feel like you’re giving them too many fun posts and not enough meaty ones. If they’re enjoying them, you’re having a positive impression on them.
5. Target hyper-local. You don’t need members from around the world like some businesses are looking for. A chamber is looking to attract a hyper-local audience.
Pro tip: If you run social media ads (and you should) make them as targeted as possible.
6. Know what you want out of social media. You must have a goal. If it’s more members, great. Want to drum up attention for your chamber travel? Fine. If it’s to get your current members talking, that’s good too. But you must know what you want in order to make it happen.
Why this works: social media can feel very vast. The pressure to post something means a lot of people slap something down on the page and check off their daily task to post something. This is the shotgun approach to social media. You put a lot out there and you hope you hit something. It’s inefficient. Instead, make each post count. Each post should be targeted to get you closer to your goal. If you have to decide between quantity and quality, choose quality every time.
7. Get over the hangup that everything you share must be chamber business. Have fun. All business makes for dull posts.
Why this works: People turn to social media as a release. Often if they find a site that makes them smile or laugh or they just enjoy the images shared, it will become part of their DIH (daily internet habit). By doing so, they’ll look forward to your content and will eventually want your chamber to play a bigger role in their lives.
8. Create a calendar. After a while, it gets hard to remember what you posted when.
Why this works: Creating an editorial calendar will help keep you on track and on strategy towards achieving your goal.
9. Limit promotion. This may seem counterintuitive if you have a business goal associated with your social media. However, people don’t want to be sold to. It’s more effective to show them you are an organization that provides brilliant resources and enjoyable connections.
Why this works: Again, show them who you are and they’ll show you more interest People join groups to be a part of something that inspires them or provides a solution to something they’re lacking. You won’t get that by posting your business hours all the time.
10. Use video. Go live. Interview members. Film events. Embrace video as part of your chamber social media strategy.
Why this works: not only do people watch more video these days but some social media platforms alert users when someone they follow is live. They don’t do that for your regular posts.
11. Spend more time on headlines and lead-ins. If you’re writing a blog, spend a lot of time creating a title that will get clicks. It’s one of the major things that influences shares and interest. Also, spend time on your internal headlines. These will keep people reading. When you’re posting your content on social media, use teasers and lead-ins like “Which is your favorite” or “I just learned #7.”
Why this works: people are naturally curious. Consequently, giving them a reason to be interested makes them more likely to click. The more clicks, the more shares. The more shares, the less you have to do on your end to promote the content.
Finally, it’s important to note that even if you gain a thousand followers, and those followers love your content and share it all the time, you will always need to do your own sharing. But once your posts reach critical mass and people are actively sharing them with little prompting from you, you can rely more heavily on automation for promoting your chamber social media and then spend the rest of your social media time in impromptu ways of exchange that mean a lot to building relationships.
Want even more help with your chamber social media marketing? Grab our free social media planner here.
A must read for all Chamber Professionals...