With the rise of communications technology, social media has become an integral part of our lives and a valuable resource that chambers of commerce can tap into to engage with their members as well as increase membership. However, finding time to implement an effective social media strategy can be a challenge for chambers. Even more challenging can be knowing what content your audience will find engaging. So, that’s why I’ve come up with 16 tips and tricks on how chambers can use social media efficiently and effectively.
|Be Personal Be Proactive Be Consistent Be Respectful Be Interesting Be Informative Be Fun Be Prompt||Be Talkative Be Prepared Be Real Be Current Be Interactive Be Seasonal Be a Source of Advice Be a Promoter|
Think about it this way, membership engagement is important to you, so it would stand to reason that your engagement is important to them. Like their posts, share their posts, comment, answer questions, doing all of this will make your members feel like you’re interested in what they have to say and what they’re doing. This will build a real sense of community between you and your members that will encourage their engagement.
Social media is the perfect platform for growing your membership. Take advantage of it! To grow your chamber’s Facebook membership use the “invite friends” feature. Invite a dozen or so friends a day and slowly see your Facebook contacts expand over the course of several weeks. This technique is based on your friend group being chamber members and others interested in the chamber.
The people with the largest number of subscriptions, friends, and followers on social media will all tell you that posting on a regular basis is key to keeping people engaged. Right now, this may seem hugely time-consuming and hard to keep up with, but if you make it a habit, it will become a small part of your daily routine. I’d recommend using the tabs feature of your browser. Opening up the same tabs every morning and engaging with your members will quickly become a habit that you no longer have to consciously remind yourself of.
As important as it is to post regularly, be aware of not posting too much, too often. Posting too much will cause you to block up people’s feeds and discourage them from engaging with you. People like variety on their feeds, they don’t want to constantly see posts from the same account. If they're seeing too much content from your account they’ll stop engaging with your content, they'll just see your account name and continue scrolling or worse, they'll unfollow you.
This may seem obvious, but I’m going to say it anyway, post things that people want to read. It’s no use posting every day if the content of your posts isn’t something that interests people or makes them want to read on. They'll scroll straight past your post and feel no need to engage with you. I can’t stress enough how important it is that you know your target audience well and know the kind of content they engage with. This is easy enough to track by looking at your previous posts and the amount of engagement they inspired.
Being informative is an easy way for chambers to engage their audience. Posting recommendations about a digital tool or app, posting about the weather forecast or even posting a traffic report, all of these are useful for your members. Posting something like the weather forecast regularly can attract a real following as members will come to your account to check the weather. This will also have a knock-on effect; when they come to your account to check the weather, other posts may also catch their eye and further encourage them to frequent your social media pages.
As important as it is to be informative, it’s also crucial that your social media feed is fun. One of the main reasons people use social media is to entertain themselves. People use social media as a means of escape and a reprieve from work, so it’s important that your social media account allows them to do these things.
But remember that it doesn’t always have to be just one or the other, fun or informative, you can create posts that mix the two together. For instance, posting a quiz about your chamber and its members. This is both informative and fun as members test their knowledge in an engaging way.
Engagement in real-time on your part is vital in encouraging member engagement. If you don’t respond promptly to a comment or post, member engagement is much harder to maintain. The longer you leave a comment before responding, the more member engagement decreases.
Don’t just “like” comments made on your posts, comment back! Of course, it’s much less time consuming to go down the list of comments liking them all, but with a simple comment, you can engage with members and build a dialog. Then from this, you can build a relationship. There’s another bonus to this; the algorithms will see that your post is generating meaningful engagement and as a reward, your post may get more reach.
To make posting on a regular basis even easier, you can prepare your social media posts in advance. Scheduling posts doesn’t make you impersonal as long as you engage in real-time. So, schedule in advance; engage in real-time.
There are many systems you as a chamber can use to schedule your posts, but some of the easiest and best to use are actually those built into social media platforms. Both Facebook and Twitter have built-in tools to schedule your posts and tweets.
You can also use a third-party scheduler to schedule and recycle evergreen content. One that is much recommended, and that I would recommend to you, is smarterqueue. It will make posting on social media far less time-consuming for your chamber.
Although I recommend scheduling your posts in advance and using the relevant tools to help you do this, don’t blast the same message everywhere! A post that would be effective on Instagram would not be suited to Twitter or Facebook. There is nothing worse than seeing Twitter hashtags in a Facebook post, it shows a lack of care about relationships, it's obviously just advertising. So, be real and be human.
Preparing your posts in advance makes posting on your social media a far less time-consuming process, but be careful not to prepare them too far in advance! People aren’t interested in old news, so make sure that you’re not preparing so far in advance that when your posts are uploaded they are already considered outdated. Also, don’t let your schedule restrict you. If something unexpected and news-worthy happens in your chamber, don’t wait to post about it because you already have a post scheduled for that day, post anyway! Doing extra posts does no harm so long as you’re not inundating people with posts.
We’ve already discussed the importance of engaging in real-time by commenting and liking people’s posts, but as a chamber, you obviously want to continually encourage member engagement with your posts. A simple, yet effective way of encouraging this interaction is a “caption this” post. This is something that is seen all the time on social media, primarily Instagram, but it’s easy to forget how effective this really is. Statistics prove that images alone drive stronger engagement, so why not boost that engagement even more by encouraging people to engage by trying to think of the best caption for your post.
Bonus, this also means that you have one less caption to come up with which makes your life just that little bit easier too.
Seasonal holidays and events are something all chambers should take advantage of. With all the public holidays that we celebrate around the world, it would be silly not to use them to your benefit. The calendar is filled with celebrations of food, pets and other special things people love. They are great opportunities to have some fun and engage your members!
Check out some autumnal ideas for chambers to post on social media.
People use social media for many different things, one of which is for advice. So, to encourage engagement and draw people to your social media account, post advice and recommendations. This could be advice on finding a job, which events to attend, where to go in the local area. This way you can also promote your members by sharing job postings at member companies, events being hosted by members, etc.
On that note, we can’t forget the main reason chambers are using social media; to promote yourselves and your members. So, although many of your posts should be content-driven, you also need to be promoting yourselves in the process. Nice ideas for self-promotion that don’t come across as just advertisements are; sharing when your chamber achieves a goal, “what I love most about the chamber is...”, event reminders, event countdowns, and event sponsor thank-yous, etc. Ideas for member promotion include; welcoming new members, recognizing membership renewals, spotlighting members who volunteer, etc.
Now with these tips and tricks in mind, go liven up your social media accounts! But don’t forget social media isn’t the only way to engage your members, email is still a very effective way of attracting and engaging members. For more info, go check out our blogs 33 Tips for Chamber Email Marketing that Attracts and Retains Members.
Chambers run events. These days much of event publicity and engagement take place on social media. If you want to learn more about how your chamber can use Glue Up software in tandem with social media platforms, book a demo today!