5 Associations Using Social Media the Right Way
Are you among the many associations using social media effectively? Not sure what “effective” looks like? Social media is an important marketing tool, yet it can be tricky to gauge success—or even know where to start. Here’s some advice and a handful of examples of associations using social media the right way.
Why Associations Should Be Using Social Media
Social media platforms have been around for decades now, and there are no signs of them going away. Just as the world is constantly evolving and becoming more connected online, associations should be using social media to connect with their members—both current and prospective.
Posting on social media can keep current members up to date on association events and news, as well as give prospective members a look behind the curtain at your association’s work, benefits and culture. Social media platforms are also a good place to share your magazine or blog content. Altogether, these opportunities for meaningful interactions can help build relationships and create more involved members, as well as encourage fundraising.
Which Social Media Platforms Are Best for Associations?
According to Association Adviser’s 2021 Association Communications Benchmarking Report, 60% of associations said they saw the highest engagement on LinkedIn, with Facebook coming in a close second. However, there are no hard-and-fast rules about which social media platforms to use or avoid. Rather, what works for one association might not work for others, so it can take some experimenting to figure out the right platform(s) for your association. Instead of LinkedIn, for example, you may find that your members are most active on TikTok.
60% of associations said they saw the highest engagement on LinkedIn.
Third-party apps, like Hootsuite, can help you figure this out and keep your social posts organized and on time. These apps allow you to post on multiple platforms simultaneously. You can choose which platforms to include and exclude as you start to fine-tune your social strategy.
Examples of Associations Using Social Media Effectively
From having a regular presence to utilizing innovative tools, there are a variety of ways associations can be successful on social media. Here are five associations doing just that:
American Planning Association
Twitter handle: @APA_Planning
The American Planning Association (APA) has a robust social media presence, covering a variety of topics important to its members, from job opportunities to news in the industry. APA also has a podcast, People Behind the Plans, and uses audiograms (visual soundbites) on social media to tease new episodes.
On the latest episode of People Behind the Plans, LA City Councilperson Nithya Raman @cd4losangeles discusses the importance of housing advocacy with Courtney Kashima, AICP @planningmuse. Listen to our podcast wherever you get yours!https://t.co/KeXyyRVD0c pic.twitter.com/hYIiFeboYE
— American Planning Association (@APA_Planning) September 30, 2022
Texas Aggregates & Concrete Association
While it doesn’t have the largest social media following—nor the largest staff—the Texas Aggregates & Concrete Association (TACA) strives to be a constant presence on social media. This association proves that even small organizations can have an impact on social media when they’re intentional with their strategy. TACA promotes events and competitions, news and updates, and even industry-related memes to stay engaged with its members.
National Restaurant Association
Twitter handle: @WeRRestaurants
With almost 60,000 followers on Twitter, the National Restaurant Association reaches a large audience—and does so effectively with regular tweets that include eye-popping stock images, custom infographics and short animated videos. The National Restaurant Association also promotes its webinars and latest research with these images and videos.
The Restaurant Performance Index rose 0.1% in September, holding relatively steady as operators remained uncertain about business conditions in the coming months.
Watch the September RPI with Hudson Riehle, SVP of our Research & Knowledge Group to learn more. ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/9e5MJ1EwM8
— National Restaurant Association (@WeRRestaurants) November 6, 2022
National Association of REALTORS®
Instagram handle: @nardotrealtor
Associations may avoid Instagram, thinking that unless they have a dedicated photographer to produce stunning images, they won’t succeed. But with 285,000 followers, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) is proving that text-based illustrations and infographics, as well as photo collages and short videos, can be just as successful. NAR promotes its expertise in the industry, events and member spotlights through these various images.
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American Clean Power Association
Twitter handle: @USCleanPower
The American Clean Power Association (ACP) is another robust user of social media. It utilizes custom images, infographics and videos to create engaging feeds. ACP also frequently shares internal and external news articles and research, promotes its video series and retweets other organizations in the industry to keep members updated and connected.
Hear from @Nextracker’s Director of Culture, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Tandalea Mercer, about the #solar tracker company’s holistic approach to making DEI a priority in their mission & culture in ACP”s #ET4All Clean Energy Companies in Action series. https://t.co/81qQ3vspQi pic.twitter.com/ShddHE4LmH
— American Clean Power (ACP) (@USCleanPower) November 29, 2022