Getting the right message, to the right people, at just the right time, is as much an art as it is a science. It’s also the heart of communicating effectively with association members. And although it may have seemed easier when communication meant just using mailed pieces or phone calls, we have great connection tools at our fingertips – if we can figure out which ones are most effective.
There may not be ONE channel that works best for any association. In fact, using a variety of channels may be the best strategy for reaching people where they are. You probably perfected a targeted approach by mail and emails long ago. Text is a newer channel that has some specific requirements before you can send a text to a new prospect or member, and it’s almost irresistible. People have a hard time ignoring texts.
But where you’ll most likely find your members having fun or sharing important discussions is on social media. Think about how many hours you’ve spent watching cats on Instagram reels or answering polls on LinkedIn or Tweeting about both the mundane and the sublime. It’s fun, can be informative, and paints a broad brush. And it’s a great way to engage your members.
That said, it’s also daunting to consider which social media posts will work best for your association. Are your members on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Reddit, or Snapchat? How can you figure out where to engage them?
We have some ideas. Here's how you can find out what social media your members use the most:
- Conduct a survey
One of the most direct ways to find out which social media platforms your members prefer is to conduct a survey. You can send out a survey to members via email or social media and ask them which platforms they use the most and prefer. You might use survey apps like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms.
- Monitor engagement
Another way to gauge which social media platforms your members like best is to monitor their engagement. Once you’ve posted on a platform, keep track of engagement from your members like comments and shares. This can give you an idea of which platforms are resonating with your audience.
- Look at your website traffic
Analyzing your website traffic can also provide valuable insights into which social media platforms your members prefer. See which platforms are driving the most traffic to your site and use this information to inform your social media strategy.
- Analyze social media analytics
Use social media analytics to see which platforms are driving the most traffic to your organization's social media profiles. Analyze metrics such as clicks, impressions, and engagement to get a better understanding of which platforms your members are using the most.
- Conduct focus groups
Conducting focus groups with members can be a great way to get direct feedback on which social media platforms they prefer and why. This can provide deeper insights into their social media habits and preferences. You might set up a drop-in booth at your next large meeting and ask participants to share their favorite social media for the day. If you can, project it to a large screen in the hall.
- Monitor hashtags
Keep track of which hashtags your members are using on social media and which platforms they are using them on. This can give you an idea of which platforms are most important to your audience and what kind of content they are interested in.
- Use social listening tools
Social listening tools can help you monitor conversations about your organization and see which social media platforms people are using to talk about your organization. Try tools like Hootsuite Insights, Brandwatch, Mention, Sprout Social, or Talkwalker.
- Review member profiles
Reviewing member profiles can give you a better understanding of which social media platforms they prefer. See which platforms they list on their profiles and what kind of content they are engaging with.
In conclusion, understanding which social media platforms your members prefer is crucial for building an effective social media strategy for your individual membership organization. By using these suggestions to gather insights into your audience's social media habits and preferences, you can create content that resonates with your members and strengthens your organization's online presence.
Emma is the Marketing Manager at Rhythm. When she's not thinking about all things content-related, you can find her traveling or shooting 35 mm film.