Social media can be a bit confusing for people that are not familiar with it. With Facebook’s “Likes” and Twitter’s “Tweets”, the terminology alone may make one feel unsure of what it’s all for. However, social media can be a valuable tool for associations in particular.
But where do you begin? Why would an association want to use these sites? In this series of posts I’ll be discussing how associations can utilize a few major social media sites to enhance their efforts in grassroots advocacy.
Facebook is the most popular social media site today. Over 800 million people have a Facebook account and according to recent data nearly 50% of users check their page every day. For an association that needs to stay in touch with its members, Facebook can be a great tool.
Organizations involved in lobbying are searching for ways to inform their membership about what is going on at the capitol. With legislative tracking software and a membership database, associations are able gather information and pass it along to their members, typically through email updates and newsletters. Through the use of Facebook, organizations can get their messages out to an even wider audience.
Your audience may not stop by your website every day, or even subscribe to your email updates, but many of them may access their Facebook page daily. Create a Facebook page for your association and tell your members about it. The page itself is not complex to set up (see this one for an example). The goal is to get your audience to “Like” your page. When someone “Likes” your page, they receive your updates in their news feed. This is a great way to get your information out in front of your audience in a place you know they will see it. Also, because people can comment on your posts, it is a great way to start discussions and create a community for your association.
Do you hold events? Facebook can be a great way to promote them and receive feedback. If you use online event registration software make sure that your event calendar and registration links are on your Facebook page. Create a post specifically about your event and encourage your attendees to leave comments. Bring a camera to take pictures during the event and post them in an album. If you encourage people to tag each other in the photos they will receive a notification to view the album, leading them to your page. These are all little things you can do for your event attendees that will encourage them to stay in touch so you can reach them easier.
Check out our Facebook Page to see an example and how we have used it to reach out to our users. “Like” us to keep in touch and receive updates from our blog.