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6 Reasons to Focus on Social Media as an Important Marketing Tool

Social media is an extremely beneficial outlet for your association, and you should begin taking it seriously now. Don’t believe me? Here are six reasons why you should:

1. You Don’t Have to Throw Money at a Facebook Page

If your advertising budget is low, then the best way to get your association in front of prospects is through social media. The cost of social media (outside of paid advertisements) is relatively inexpensive; the only costs being the time and money you must pay an employee to manage it. A study by Hootsuite concluded that organizations are drastically altering their marketing efforts towards social media. They also found marketing departments are now hiring based on social media ability. Effective use of social media allows you to lower your marketing costs, while increasing traffic to your website and ultimately growing membership.

2. Climb to the Top of Keyword Searches with Each Post You Make

KeywordAs you become more active on social media, your website will rank higher in searches. By posting valuable content on social media and linking it to your website, you can help improve your search engine optimization. Search engines now factor in more than just how many times a keyword is in your content. Often websites are selected by not only their keywords, but their presence and activity on social media as well. In a list of SEO tips for 2015, Hitsearch said, “It’s not just about making a lot of keyword relevant ‘stuff’; it’s about producing something that is useful to the customer or client.” A strong social media base will help your association show up in front of competitors during a keyword search, which will bring more leads and potentially more members your way.

3. Legitimize Your Association with Content You Stand Behind

Every post your organization makes on social media is a chance to reinforce your association’s identity. Making your content available on multiple social media platforms makes you a more familiar and recognizable association for members. Huffington Post stated that defining your identity is imperative for any organization to be successful. Also, having these different channels where your content is posted makes it easier for new members to become familiar with your services. Posting relative and knowledgeable content that reinforces what your association believes in will make your organization appear as an industry leader.

4. People are Talking About Your Association, Join in the Conversation

TalkingOne of the main benefits of social media is that it allows you to join in as well as start conversations. If someone posts something positive about your association, you can easily thank them, and show them other services they may be interested in. On the other hand if a member  posts something negative about your organization, social media allows you to apologize quickly and then take the next step to make things right. Social Media Today showed us that 53% of small organizations use social media as an engagement tool for providing 2-way conversation customer support. The speed of this interaction means any bad word of mouth can be dealt with before it can severely damage your organization’s reputation.

5. Find out what Interests Your Members to Better Engage Them

Interests2As easy as it is for you to interact with a member, it is just as easy for existing and potential members to get involved and interact with your association. Through likes, favorites, retweets, and shares, members can engage with your organization and promote your content for you. This is an ideal situation for your association because if others share your posts it will help to humanize your cause. Studies conducted by Social Media Today show 80% of customers and members on social networks prefer to connect themselves to organizations through Facebook. Social media allows you to easily measure what content is getting positive feedback. This can be done by looking at the number of likes or shares a social media post has generated. This makes it easier for you to post content which stimulates conversation between members and your association.

6. Set Yourself Apart from Your Competitors

The final reason why social media marketing can be one of your strongest marketing tools is that the majority of your competitors are not doing it. On top of that, those that are using social media are not necessarily using it correctly. Having social media puts you one step ahead of all of your competitors that do not use these channels. Just by having these platforms available to your potential and current members makes your organization that much more convenient to be a part of. EMarketer reported that 24% of organizations have integrated social media in a structured way. The more places that your association can be recognized the better. That is why just using social media can set you far ahead of your competitors. According to Forbes, most organizations feel that social media marketing is a fad that will inevitably die down. This mentality will only make it harder to catch up to those associations that are embracing the changes, and utilizing not only direct marketing, but social media marketing as well. Give yourself an advantage in 2016; have your association embrace social media and all of the marketing benefits that come along with it.

6 Reasons to Focus on Social Media as an Important Marketing Tool

Social media is an extremely beneficial outlet for your association, and you should begin taking it seriously now. Don’t believe me? Here are six reasons why you should:

1. You Don’t Have to Throw Money at a Facebook Page

If your advertising budget is low, then the best way to get your association in front of prospects is through social media. The cost of social media (outside of paid advertisements) is relatively inexpensive; the only costs being the time and money you must pay an employee to manage it. A study by Hootsuite concluded that organizations are drastically altering their marketing efforts towards social media. They also found marketing departments are now hiring based on social media ability. Effective use of social media allows you to lower your marketing costs, while increasing traffic to your website and ultimately growing membership.

2. Climb to the Top of Keyword Searches with Each Post You Make

KeywordAs you become more active on social media, your website will rank higher in searches. By posting valuable content on social media and linking it to your website, you can help improve your search engine optimization. Search engines now factor in more than just how many times a keyword is in your content. Often websites are selected by not only their keywords, but their presence and activity on social media as well. In a list of SEO tips for 2015, Hitsearch said, “It’s not just about making a lot of keyword relevant ‘stuff’; it’s about producing something that is useful to the customer or client.” A strong social media base will help your association show up in front of competitors during a keyword search, which will bring more leads and potentially more members your way.

3. Legitimize Your Association with Content You Stand Behind

Every post your organization makes on social media is a chance to reinforce your association’s identity. Making your content available on multiple social media platforms makes you a more familiar and recognizable association for members. Huffington Post stated that defining your identity is imperative for any organization to be successful. Also, having these different channels where your content is posted makes it easier for new members to become familiar with your services. Posting relative and knowledgeable content that reinforces what your association believes in will make your organization appear as an industry leader.

4. People are Talking About Your Association, Join in the Conversation

TalkingOne of the main benefits of social media is that it allows you to join in as well as start conversations. If someone posts something positive about your association, you can easily thank them, and show them other services they may be interested in. On the other hand if a member  posts something negative about your organization, social media allows you to apologize quickly and then take the next step to make things right. Social Media Today showed us that 53% of small organizations use social media as an engagement tool for providing 2-way conversation customer support. The speed of this interaction means any bad word of mouth can be dealt with before it can severely damage your organization’s reputation.

5. Find out what Interests Your Members to Better Engage Them

Interests2As easy as it is for you to interact with a member, it is just as easy for existing and potential members to get involved and interact with your association. Through likes, favorites, retweets, and shares, members can engage with your organization and promote your content for you. This is an ideal situation for your association because if others share your posts it will help to humanize your cause. Studies conducted by Social Media Today show 80% of customers and members on social networks prefer to connect themselves to organizations through Facebook. Social media allows you to easily measure what content is getting positive feedback. This can be done by looking at the number of likes or shares a social media post has generated. This makes it easier for you to post content which stimulates conversation between members and your association.

6. Set Yourself Apart from Your Competitors

The final reason why social media marketing can be one of your strongest marketing tools is that the majority of your competitors are not doing it. On top of that, those that are using social media are not necessarily using it correctly. Having social media puts you one step ahead of all of your competitors that do not use these channels. Just by having these platforms available to your potential and current members makes your organization that much more convenient to be a part of. EMarketer reported that 24% of organizations have integrated social media in a structured way. The more places that your association can be recognized the better. That is why just using social media can set you far ahead of your competitors. According to Forbes, most organizations feel that social media marketing is a fad that will inevitably die down. This mentality will only make it harder to catch up to those associations that are embracing the changes, and utilizing not only direct marketing, but social media marketing as well. Give yourself an advantage in 2016; have your association embrace social media and all of the marketing benefits that come along with it.

John Foley, Jr

John Foley, Jr. is President and CEO of interlinkONE. interlinkONE provides software and marketing services for associations and professional societies to generate prospective member leads, increase engagement, and strengthen member retention. John is a renowned international speaker who passionately speaks to associations in the areas of transformation, multi-channel marketing, social media, mobile, and content marketing. Some notable association affiliations include Mr. Foley’s involvement as a board member and acting CMO for the recently merged Association of Marketing Service Providers (AMSP) and National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL), as well as his membership with the Business Marketing Association and American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). He often takes part in the weekly Twitter chat for associations, "#assnchat,” and contributes content to many industry resources. Learn more about John at http://JohnFoleyJr.com, and how interlinkONE can help you at http://interlinkONE.com and http://MarketWithMAX.com.