Social media has revolutionized the way organizations and individuals communicate and collaborate. For professional associations, social media platforms have emerged as powerful tools to engage with their target audience and expand their reach.
In today’s digital age, where authentic social interactions are rewarded, leveraging social media engagement is crucial for organizations looking to increase their membership base and establish themselves as industry leaders.
To make the most of social media engagement, you must first determine what your organization needs from each platform. Visibility? Credibility? Communication? Promoting a new event? Or are you simply looking for more members? The demographics, user intent, and post format of each platform are distinct, so it’s important to meticulously consider your objectives before implementing a social media strategy for your organization.
What is Social Media Engagement?
Social media engagement refers to the interactions between an organization or association and its audience on social media platforms through likes, comments, and shares. It impacts professional organizations by increasing visibility, brand awareness, credibility, enhancing relationships, and growing membership retention and revenue.
It’s crucial to ensure that all platforms are managed by the appropriate parties, ideally a frequent user or firm that fully understands digital marketing and the power of social media. This guide will outline social media engagement and how to leverage it to develop a successful strategy.
Start With Simplicity & Usability
When grabbing the attention of your audience, simplicity is always the answer. Therefore, you want your website and the content you post on social media platforms to be clear, direct, and easy to digest. While you can’t control the UX of a social media platform, you can control the format of content you publish, and the website that you link users to.
- Increased User Engagement — Simple and usable platforms make it easier for users to engage with your organization’s content; this means they are more likely to spend time on your website or social media page and engage with your posts.
- Better User Experience — By keeping it simple, users can quickly and easily find the needed information without getting frustrated or confused by a cluttered or complicated layout. Avoid information overload and overwhelming readers with small text and images.
- Improved Accessibility — A simple and usable platform is also more accessible to users with disabilities. For example, users with visual impairments may rely on screen readers or other assistive technologies to access your content. A simple and organized layout makes it easier for these users to navigate your site or social media pages.
- Increased Brand Perception — A well-designed website can improve your organization’s brand perception. If users have a positive experience interacting with your organization online, they are more likely to view your organization as professional and credible.
- Better SEO — Simplicity can improve your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. Search engines like Google prioritize sites that are easy to use and provide a good user experience, thus helping your organization’s content rank higher in search results.
Consistent Posting = Consistent Engagement
Consistent posting—the kind that shows up in your followers’ feeds regularly—is essential for building community. It’s one of the keys to successful engagement and consistent growth.
In the fast-paced world of social media marketing, consistency is often undervalued. We’re all used to seeing posts from popular brands that are so frequent they seem almost continual—and yet those brands still see huge spikes in traffic whenever they post something new. This is because their audience is primed to tune in when they see a familiar name in their feeds.
For professional organizations looking for the same engagement, you must take advantage of that same principle: post regularly and give your followers a good reason to keep returning for more. Even if you don’t have an extensive following yet, consistently posting will help you build a foundation of engaged readers.
The Rule of Thirds
This is a social media marketing strategy that can help professional organizations balance their content and engage with their audience efficiently. The strategy involves dividing all content into three categories, each comprising one-third of your total posts. Categories to consider for professional organizations might be:
- Promote Member Benefits — This category is critical for gaining new members as it highlights exclusive access to resources, networking opportunities, and educational programs. These posts can help encourage existing members to remain engaged and attract new members interested in the association’s benefits.
- Interact with Your Community — This category includes posts encouraging interaction with your audience and the time behind responding to comments, asking questions, and running polls or surveys.
- Share Industry News and Tips — This category includes posts that share industry news, the latest trends, and informative content that your community would find valuable. These posts can help establish the organization as a thought leader in its industry.
Following the rule of thirds, professional organizations can ensure their social media content is balanced, engaging, and valuable to their audience. It can also help organizations avoid over-promotion and ensure their social media presence focuses more on building relationships and growing their audience.
Hire an SEO Professional
Optimizing online content is the bread and butter to helping your organization rank highly and ensuring visibility is as optimal as can be.
SEO has considerable overlap with social media marketing: from optimizing for discoverability on the social media platform to leveraging social media to boost a website’s organic search engine rankings. Hiring a firm to focus on all SEO efforts exclusively is an excellent way to leverage your social media presence through the following:
- Optimize Social Media Profiles — Professional organizations should ensure that their social media profiles are fully optimized for SEO. This includes using relevant keywords in their profile descriptions, using a clear and concise name for their organization, and including links to their website and other relevant pages.
- Use Relevant Hashtags — Using relevant hashtags in social media posts to help increase visibility and reach a larger audience is vital. Hashtags should be related to the organization’s industry or niche and used strategically to increase the likelihood of appearing in relevant search results.
- Monitor KPIs — SEO can’t be completed successfully without monitoring social media analytics to track engagement and identify areas for improvement. This can help organizations refine their social media strategy and recalibrate where needed.
- Incorporate Blogging — A feed of fresh, relevant content on your website gives you the opportunity to share engaging content to your social media followers. This can cascade further shares, reposts, and backlinks on other websites. This engagement directly impacts your visibility both on the platform and in search engines.
Social media engagement is a vehicle for professional organizations to enhance their visibility in an increasingly digital world and reach out to new membership prospects and community partners.
Organic engagement from your target audience is just one of the results you can expect. Social media allows your organization to become more visible, build credibility, and gain new members. Choose an approach that meshes with your organization’s goals and vision, and you will be on your way to creating an effective strategy that will bring you closer to achieving them.