How Associations Can Make The Social Media Experience More Personalized For Members

This is the second part in a two-part series about personalization and customization in social media

There is no doubt that we are in the age of personalization. Everything from the way our phones are set up to our workout regimens are easily customizable to fit our needs and wants. As we discussed in last week’s post, making the customer experience more personal often leads to huge success (Exhibit A; Netflix), which why the concept is perforating wildly throughout our day to day lives.

The question therefore becomes; how can associations take this model and apply it to the member experience? Here are three ways organizations can make their social media more personalized for members and boost their value in the process:

Categorize Your Blogs

If your association writes a frequent blog or if you’re thinking of creating a space on your website for a blog, this tip is for you. Instead of having one page where your blog resides, split your space into several different categories depending on the broader issues covered by your posts. For example, have one link where members can find all your content about being a young professional, one link for content about senior management and a third link for content about financial management.

This saves members or website visitors from having to use a search function, click on keyword cluster or, even more cumbersome, scrolling through a giant list of blog posts to find one they are interested in. Members will see it as quick, easy and reliable. Once you have this system going for a few months, analyze the traffic going to each blog post and category of content in order to customize your efforts even further. For example, if a lot of people are clicking on the environmental and budgeting categories of your blog content, write more posts that fall into both categories.

Work Various Hashtags

If your association has a decent following on Twitter or Instagram, this suggestion is for you. Hashtags work much the same way splitting your blog posts into categories does; it segments your tweets depending on the subject matter. Start tagging your tweets or Instagram posts with different hashtags according to the material you are tweeting and that is specific to your association. Members will begin to recognize the different hashtags and after a while you have created specific feeds that cater to the interests of certain members.

For example, if your association was the Social Media Association of Canada, you might tweet with three hashtags: #SMACethics, #SMACnews and #SMACmoney. This way, members of the association can log into Twitter, type in one of the hashtags they’ve become accustomed to and find the tweets that are most relevant and most interesting to them. You can even have members recommend or vote on new hashtags to add to your list so that you can personalize the Twitter or Instagram streams even further.

Create Segmented Albums on Facebook  

If you’re part of an association with a lot of content in the form of images, this one is for you. Create separate albums on Facebook, each named after the subject matter in the content. Place the subject matter relevant to each album in the albums and members will be able to pinpoint a specific place to find exactly what they are looking for in the moment. This even works if you make your other content, like short blog posts, news items or tweets, into images with links in the description.

For example, create an album solely for conference-related material, which can include infographs on value, a short blog on getting your employer to let you go, the schedule of the education sessions and a tweet with a link to the conference registration site. Put all these images into the album and even give it a hashtag. This way, members will know exactly where to go to get aggregated content about the conference and only the conference. They can then easily switch between that album and one about environmental sustainability in the industry to learn about that topic.

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