For some associations, sponsors are everything. The generous donations they provide allow for conferences to have robust educational offerings, the creation of scholarship programs for student members, quality publications to be printed consistently and countless other initiatives to be implemented. So it goes without saying that associations need to provide value to the sponsors for their investment.
If you’re looking to provide increased value to sponsors, ensure their loyalty and draw in new sponsors, social media is the place to start. By telling stories about a sponsor’s contribution, you are giving them more exposure to your association’s members, industry stakeholders and the public, broadening their reach and encouraging others to interact with their brand. Here are a few ways engaging ways to tell your sponsors’ stories on social media and create a win/win situation.
Take a program, service, event or product that is sponsored, break it down by the numbers and then present those numbers in a visually appealing way. At the end of this exercise, you’ll have an infographic that depicts your sponsor’s story. For example, if your association’s conference education sessions are sponsored by a certain company, crunch some stats, make them relevant to your members and create an infographic that illustrates the importance of the sessions to your audience.
Make sure to include the sponsor’s logo and name and their role in providing this benefit at various points in the infographic, including in the title, at the bottom of each page and perhaps even in the colours you use as the background. Publish the infographic to your association’s blog and share it on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and any other social media accounts you have.
Creating a hashtag is a great way to create a community and engagement around a certain issue, initiative or event. If you and your association want to generate some buzz around a sponsored event or ongoing program, develop a hashtag and tack it on to any social media promotion you send out. Post about logistical details, fun facts surrounding the event/initiative, articles about it or, better yet, the live coverage of the project or program.
Include the sponsor’s name in the hashtag and include the hashtag in any posts about the initiative, including responses to questions or feedback on posts. The upside of including your sponsor’s name in the hashtag is that it keeps the sponsor’s name in front of a key audience and includes the sponsor in any conversation surrounding the event, connecting the company directly with an engaged audience.
Everyone likes a good social media contest; after all, it’s easy, quick and the return on investment is usually fairly high for those who enter. Make a social media contest part of a sponsored event/program/project for your association. Have members post their best picture of the event or say why they love using a sponsored service or even have them share a link to the sponsored project for their chance to win. This increases engagement and increases exposure of the event/project, the sponsor and the association.
Remember that hashtag we talked about in the last section? Use it during your contest and make it a requirement for contestants to use it as well. Add the sponsor’s name and logo to any links or promotional material surrounding the contest and, if the sponsor provides the prize, make this known as well. This keeps the sponsor’s name in front of a target audience and engages individuals who may not have been engaged otherwise.