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Samantha Lake Posts

5 Reasons Why Your Organization Needs a Marketing Plan

No matter what the size, there’s no doubt that every association needs a marketing plan consisting of a comprehensive strategy and a detailed calendar to follow that allows them to stay on track for the year and gain sales leads. If your association doesn’t have a marketing plan in place to support your strategy and goals, you’re missing out on crucial opportunities. Here are five reasons why you should consider a marketing plan moving forward to help you succeed now, and for the future.

  1. To ensure that your objectives and strategies are on the same page. By making sure that your marketing objectives and strategies are aligned, you will be able to achieve your organizational goals. A marketing plan will outline this, and will help you make sure that you achieve all of the goals that you have set for the year. In addition, it will help you formalize your ideas and keep track of your content.
  2. To help you stay organized. Creating a marketing plan will allow you to break down your objectives into stages that can be met in a reasonable amount of time. It allows you to track each phase and stay organized, especially with the creation of a calendar. Staying organized is important when developing a marketing campaign because of the number of steps that are involved. This will allow you to take a step back and look at what you need to do in order to accomplish each goal, and will help you track results as well.
  3. To save time and money. Developing a marketing plan does initially take some extra work, but in the long run, it keeps you to a schedule, avoiding wasted time and efforts, and it also prevents you from spending more money than necessary on unforeseen events. By creating a written strategy ahead of time, you can plan out campaigns and see where you can reuse and repurpose material and resources to get the most out of your efforts.
  4. To promote consistency. What does your organization need to accomplish for the year, and what’s the timeframe for making it happen? Having a marketing plan in place will allow you to create a schedule for the year and make it easy for you to meet all requirements and deadlines. In addition, a monthly marketing calendar will ensure that you’re staying consistent with your campaigns and content. It will also help you relay your message to your audience in a concise and purposeful way.
  5. To analyze results. Staying organized and following a well-developed and thorough plan will help you track campaigns, review content, and analyze results. You will be able to see what is working with your association, what needs help, and what processes should be revised for the future. It can also show the breakdown of your costs and the effectiveness of your marketing strategy.

Constructing an operative marketing plan takes time and effort. You need to start by taking a good look at your association, reviewing current processes, and analyzing your plan for the future. It may seem like a lot of work upfront, but once you commit to writing, or allowing someone else to write, a marketing plan, your organization will soon reap the rewards.

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8 Ways to Gain More Followers on Social Media

Gaining more followers on social media is an attainable goal for any association out there. It takes dedication, but if your organization can implement these techniques across your channels, growth of followers will certainly follow.

Social media is an action-reaction forum and it’s important for associations to understand the importance of not only sharing, but also listening to your audience to see what you can improve upon so your marketing efforts benefit your current and potential members. Follow these eight tips to improve your social media marketing efforts and better grow your online presence.

    1. Follow similar organizations in the industry. It’s time to start researching! Look up other organizations in your industry and follow relevant companies, associations, employees, and other people who are joining in the conversation. By surrounding yourself with a network of organizations that value your brand and expertise, you can become an influencer among them.
    2. Post on all your channels frequently. Set a social media schedule and stick to it. Don’t let weeks pass between social posts, and try to maintain consistency. Once you set your tone on social media, your audience will get used to your posts and come to expect information from you on a regular basis. The more active you are on your channels, the more likely you are to gain followers, make connections, and build relationships. Although it’s important to post frequently and consistently, it’s important to avoid “bursts” on any of your channels. Look into scheduling your posts with a sufficient amount of time in between.
    3. Be an educational and informative resource. By offering content that is informative and useful to your audience, you’ll become known as an authority, resulting in an increase in retweets and shares. If you’re not sure what your audience is looking for in terms of content, ask them! From there, you can research their interests and provide your own opinions and advice on them. Make sure your posts are crafted in a way that entices potential followers to follow through and access what you are providing.
    4. Don’t be afraid of a little humor. A little light humor can go a long way in humanizing your association. Look for fun ways to connect your post to relevant, comedic topics when possible. Maintaining a level of professionalism is still key, but a little humor once in a while can go a long way. Memes are a big hit across all social media, so when you have some extra time on your hands, throw together a quick meme to share with your audience.
    5. Incorporate inspirational and encouraging posts. Encouraging posts motivate your audience and lead to more shares and exposure. Inspiring quotes and photos make a brand feel less commercial and get more shares. Not everything you share has to be promoting a service. Light-hearted and humanizing posts help build relationships with current followers and can help lead to new followers.
    6. Offer an exclusive. Run a contest or a promotional event through your social media pages. Not only does it encourage your audience to follow you on your various social media pages, it also helps them to better connect with your association. Whether it’s a deal only for your Twitter network, or a first look at something new in your organization, people like to feel as if they’re part of the inner circle.
    7. Respond to your audience. Reciprocation is key when looking to build and improve your social media presence. Respond to others in your network and keep up your dialogue. Many organizations think that once something is posted, that’s the end of the line. Existing and potential members often seek more information from a post. Make sure you’re monitoring sentiment to gauge audience reaction to your posts and most importantly, show your audience that you care about their concerns.
    8. Invest in the right social media marketing software. In order to truly be effective on social media and be able to calculate the ROI for your organization, you need to have an efficient social media software. Having the right software allows you to plan, schedule, execute, and measure all of your social media efforts, making it easy to see what’s working and what’s not, and how you can improve moving forward. Once you have a plan in place and a software to help you manage, you can improve interaction with your audience and better serve their needs, ultimately resulting in more active followers across all social media accounts.

There’s no question about it. Online marketing is more important than ever for your organization, and social media is certainly no exception. Finding your audience and effectively interacting with them opens up a wide range of opportunities for your organization. Start small and try implementing a few of these tips into your strategy – your organization will be sure to see positive results.

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