We can say all we want about wanting to educate members or produce quality content that provides value, but when it comes right down to it, social media for associations is all about getting eyes on your message and then converting those people from passive viewers to active and engaged audience members. All the rest of your objectives, while very noble and worthwhile, flow from achieving these two goals.
When you understand this concept, you can start to work towards achieving an expanded reach and more engagement in order to accomplish your association’s other missions, such as drawing more people to your annual conference or getting more members to participate in an advocacy campaign.
Building a broader network and generating more engagement is often a slow process that happens over time, but there are a few ways to mildly jump-start the strategy. One of the best ways to do this is to add pictures or images to your posts.
In a case study of one of our clients, we looked at the previous two months worth of tweets and compared those posts with larger images attached to those posts with thumbnail-sized images and posts with no images at all.
What we found was that those tweets with a large, high-quality photo attached to it average 93% more impressions (or reach) than those posts with a small photo or no photo at all. Furthermore, we discovered that the average number of interactions also increased, this time by a whopping 155%, when tweets featured a large image as opposed to a small image or no image at all.
Our client is not alone in experiencing the power of images; one study reported that 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook are images. Another piece of research found that content that included compelling images averaged 94% more views than their text-dependent counterparts. This is true of tweets, Facebook posts, blog posts, LinkedIn articles, pins on Pinterest and most other social media posts. Images jump out to the average social media user among a wall of text and a really good photo can convince someone to stop and invest their time in reading your message and sharing it.
The magic of a picture is very real and your association should be taking advantage of it when it comes to its social media and other online communications channels. Take lots of pictures around the office, at events and when you are out and about. Don’t stretch too far, but if there is an opportunity to illustrate a point in your tweet with a photo (for example, attaching an image of your organization’s magazine when posting an article from that magazine) go full steam ahead with it.
Make sure your photos are (once again) relevant, clear, interesting, vibrant and relateable. When you buy into this approach, your communications and marketing with greatly improve and both you and your members will benefit immensely.