How To De-clutter Your Association’s Social Media Portfolio

It’s a situation that’s all too common; several months or years ago, someone at your association wanted to get the organization on social media and as well-intentioned as they were, they created a Facebook and Twitter account without a proper planning phase. Between then and now, a couple other accounts for your association were created while older versions were abandoned or were rarely touched without being shut down.

Now your association has two Twitter accounts, a few Facebook pages, a couple LinkedIn groups and a random Instagram or YouTube account that is barely ever updated, if ever. That’s not to mention the numerous untended accounts created by chapters, boards, well-meaning volunteers, committees, events or any other leftover or spontaneous-and-now-defunct movements from within your association.

This social media clutter is a real brand-killer. It makes your association look an amateur, it drains resources and takes eyes, traffic, engagement and credibility away from the quality content your association is trying to put out on social media.

If this sounds like your organization, it’s time to do some cleaning. Rolling up your sleeves and determining what accounts can be thrown out and which ones should be polished up is a big undertaking. Here are a few tips for making the process of de-cluttering your association’s social media portfolio easier and much more effective.

Check The Stats

The first step in separating the contenders from the pretenders in your social media portfolio is to examine which accounts are healthy and which ones have withered on the vine by analyzing the data. It’s important to look a few key elements of how each account has performed for the association in order to chose which ones make the grade and advance to the next stage of the process.

First of all, you need to check and see which accounts have the biggest audience (whether that’s followers on Twitter/Instagram, likes on Facebook, subscribers on YouTube, etc). The bigger the audience, the more potential the account has to your association. Next, you need to measure engagement. Which accounts are receiving more frequent engagement and higher quality engagement (shares and traffic as opposed to a simple ‘like’). The higher the engagement level, the more likely that account is to thrive moving forward. Lastly, gauge each account’s posting frequency. The more often an account is used, the more likely the audience is going to be engaged and the less work you need to do to cultivate audience loyalty and attention in the future.

Put Your Content To The Test

The part on posting frequency in the section above is especially important to the next step of this social media de-cluttering project; putting your content to the test. By now, you have most likely cut out a few accounts in your portfolio and need to thin the herd a little more. If it seems like your association needs more than one account on each platform (for example, a main account, an account for events, an account for chapters, etc.), it’s crucial that you have enough content for each account to keep your audiences engaged and thus make it worth your while to invest resources in each account.

Some of the accounts you have already looked at may have posted content very rarely and sporadically (for example, once every three weeks, except for that time four months ago when someone posted 10 times in a week). This may be because of inattentive, overwhelmed or under-qualified staff or it could be because there just wasn’t enough content to justify a separate account. To determine if you will have enough content to validate an account, create a rough content calendar for that account that covers the next one to three months. If you can fill the calendar with frequent posts and if the content contains a fair amount of information only pertaining to that account, then it’s justified. If not, it’s probably not worth your resources.

For example, you may think you need a separate Twitter account for your big conference or for each chapter of your association, but if there isn’t enough content to post about only the event or the chapter consistently, you may be better served to incorporate information about these facets of your organization into your main Twitter account.

Have A Transition Plan

The final step of your de-cluttering project requires you to turn your eyes from the past to the present and the future by crafting a transition plan. At this point, you have probably decided which accounts you’d like to cast off and the ones you want to keep around. The final step is making it official, but it’s very important not to go too fast or you may end up negating all the work you have done and making your future efforts even harder. Before you delete any accounts, create new ones or start to build on existing ones, it’s important to have a plan in place in order to retain as many audience members as possible and make the transition a smooth one to hit the ground running, maximize engagement and make efficient use of resources.

The most important part of this transition plan is to figure out how you will bring as many members of your audience as possible from the doomed accounts to the chosen accounts. Make use of as many communication avenues as possible to get the word out and help with this migration, such as newsletters and other publications, emails, email signatures, word of mouth, committees, your board of directors and, most importantly, posts on your soon-to-be-deleted accounts notifying followers of your impending move (this is where pinned posts come in handy).

Next, you should develop strategies to make your chosen accounts more robust and engaging, which can include refreshing its design, building a diverse and valuable lineup of content, creating a schedule for the use of resources and a plan to integrate several aspects of older accounts into one, new account. Give yourself and your followers some time to transition and once you are happy with the process, make it final by deleting the old accounts. The breathe a breath of fresh air!

Associations, Social Media And The Fail Fast, Fail Often Philosophy

The mantra, “Fail fast, fail often” has become the rallying cry for many a successful startup in recent years, especially in the tech-Mecca of Silicon Valley.

The concept urges everyone to experiment as often as possible while realizing when to continue with an idea or let it fall by the wayside as a failure. The goal is to pursue innovation which such fervent zeal, but without an absolute commitment to any one idea, so as to hit upon ‘The Next Big Thing’ as fast as possible.

Successful companies, like Facebook and Google, have built the philosophy into their workplace culture and swear by its potential to increase productivity and return on investment.

While the fail fast, fail often (FFFO) model has its flaws, associations would do well to imitate their for-profit counterparts and dip their toes in the many ponds of innovation in order to find the one warm enough to jump into.

Social media is one of the vehicles to help associations test the FFFO model, get used to it and figure out how to integrate the approach into the culture of the association.

First, some caveats. Fail fast, fail often is a catchy phrase, but it leaves out some important elements all organizations need to remember, especially when it comes to social media.

Failing fast and often doesn’t mean you need to fail big or fail without thinking. Instead, it’s crucial in the FFFO model to gauge exactly where you can fail, what failure is acceptable and manageable, how to gauge your failure and what the goal is going into the attempt that may end in failure.

Failing doesn’t mean rushing into new endeavours without a second thought as to the goals, consequences, outcomes, stakeholders and next steps. Before you initiate any actions based on an FFFO model, put the mechanisms in place so that you, staff, members and whoever else can feel safe and productive.

Make sure you create boundaries and guidelines for experimenting, failing and following up. Have clear goals in mind and tests to gauge the effectiveness of each new attempt. After all, the goal is to succeed at some point amidst all those failures. Have a ‘Code Red’ plan in case something goes wrong and know how to encourage staff and help them manage failure. It’s not an easy thing to fail, nor has it been commonly acceptable in the workplace until recently, so it may take some getting used to and a solid plan.

Using social media as an example of how to produce an FFFO framework, it’s important to ask yourself and others questions like: What level of experimentation and failure is manageable? Is changing the association’s brand and voice every few weeks acceptable (hint: it shouldn’t be)? Do we measure success and failure through a platform’s reach, engagement, audience growth or association resources used, or a combination of a few factors? Does the failure of a social media strategy have a bigger and negative impact on any other part of your organization?

You need to take all this and more into account when create a FFFO model for social media at your association.

Now, enough with the doom and gloom and boring procedural details and onto the actual innovating!

One of the best ways associations can experiment and fail fast and often with social media is to try new strategies with either the back end of the process or using established practices.

For example, try new ways to maximize resources, such as new strategies for sourcing content from colleagues and volunteers or new ways of curating and creating content for the association’s online platforms. Does having a 10-minute team meeting twice a week yield better results or does having a shared Google Doc where staff can drop their ideas and requests cut down on time spent and increase the quality of content? Try both and see which works best or if neither do. Keep good records of the response and do it over a short time span so you can invest your time in the method that works best or move onto a new strategy.

As another example, take a look at your association’s social media analytics and determine some conclusions about how your audience interacts with your organization’s content. Once you have done that, experiment with following audience trends to increase the return on your efforts. For instance, if the data says your audience likes talking about politics or responds better when you mention the city/province/country you operate in, try adding more of these topics or keywords in your content. It might not work, but then again, it could generate much more reach and engagement for your associations and without the risk of changing your brand, focus or voice. Try as many of these as you deem necessary to arrive at an optimal level of engagement.

The fail fast, fail often model does indeed have its flaws and is not as plain, simple and easy as it sounds, but with good planning, a good framework and some creativity, it could set your association up to be a leader in the industry for a long time while also yielding some great results.

5 Reasons For Associations To Consider Producing Sponsored Content

Everyone loves Buzzfeed, right? The eclectic online media platform has become a cultural phenomenon that has achieved incredible staying power over the years, which is not an easy task in the age of fleeting viral sensations. With its wacky quizes, addictive lists, GIF-filled editorial and surprisingly solid long-form articles, Buzzfeed has become an online powerhouse. It’s that one site millions of people click on every day just by habit.

While the incredible share-ability of its articles deserve much of the credit for Buzzfeed’s success, there’s another strategy the site has used and elevated to great effect during its rise to the top that has allowed it to grow and thrive; sponsored content.

While sponsored content (the practice of allowing companies to post online content, such as a blog post, to a platform in return for money instead of the traditional approach of blatant advertising) is nothing new, Buzzfeed has surely embraced the strategy more than most and has been successful with this model. Posts like “9 Things That Have Changed In The Last 20 Years” and “Sunbathing: Expectation Vs. Reality” (sponsored by Motorola and Cancer Research UK respectively) are just two examples of this sponsored content or native advertising.

Sponsored content isn’t purely the domain of big-time online media platforms. Here are five reasons your association should consider implementing a sponsored content strategy for its social media efforts.

Brings In Revenue

This one is a no-brainer. Your association is already pulling in sponsorship money by giving companies a forum to promote their products at events, in your magazine and on your website. With sponsored content, you can add another way for companies to get their point across to your members. It’s a win/win situation in which the association gets another revenue source and more money to invest in member benefits.

Provides Value To Sponsors

Your sponsors are super important. They give a lot of money to your association, which in turn can be used to fuel the organization’s ongoing efforts and new projects. However, sponsors want to see a return on their investment as well. If associations fail to highlight the value of sponsorship, that money won’t be flowing through the door for very long. Generating sponsored content for your association’s online platforms allows the association to analyze the response to the content even better than traditional media. You can show sponsors valuable performance indicators such as clicks, views, read time, etc., that highlight the increased engagement between members and the sponsor. Going into a meeting with a current or potential sponsor armed with this data is a powerful strategy to receive and hold onto sponsorship dollars.

Gives More Information To Members

While sponsored content may seem like nothing more than hiding an advertisement inside some hastily put-together paragraphs, if you plan right and put in the work with your advertising partners, this content can really help your association’s members. The companies paying for these sponsored content slots often have a beat on the newest trends, innovations and thoughts in the industry and can shed light on the information members value most. Create some guidelines for the companies you are working with or have a brainstorming session with them to ensure the content they push out via sponsored posts fit with the needs of members. This will help get members more engaged as well. Remember, sponsors have a reason for creating solid, engaging content as well; they want eyes on their content!

Gets You First Dibs On Exclusive Content

As we said in the previous section, sponsors are usually businesses that are in tune with the needs, wants and views of members and have the resources to introduce innovative solutions to their problems. Giving these companies a platform on which to introduce these products to their target audience (your members) allows them to promote new products quickly in a forum their demographics trust while also building up the perception of the associations among members as an organization that is on the cutting-edge and exhibits the most current developments in the industry. This way, when your members are thinking of where to look for all the latest news, they will think of your association first.

Promotes Events, Services And Initiatives Better

Sponsored content is a two-way street. Once your sponsor has created content and paid for it, it makes sense for them to get their money’s worth by spreading that content everywhere, from Twitter to Facebook to their own website. Usually, their target audience is your audience, so casting a net this wide will inevitably increase awareness and exposure of your association among the people who matter most to the organization. Depending on the type of content in the sponsored post, this can lead to more attention for your association’s next big conference or a new opportunity for members created by the association, which can then lead to more revenue.

The Ultimate Showdown: Finding The Best Way To Tell A Story On Social Media

Social media is the ultimate storytelling medium. Organizations have a plethora of storytelling tools at their disposal when using an online platform. There are so many, it can be overwhelming at times, which is why we put together this fun little competition to see which tool was best at the job of storytelling. These aren’t all the ways an organization, association or business can tell an engaging story to their audience, but it’s a list of the very accessible, very successful methods and while the effectiveness of each tool depends on the goal of the story, there’s one that reigns supreme almost every time. Let the games begin!

Quarterfinals

Video vs. Meme/GIF

Our first matchup pits the power of video against the small, but powerful content that is the meme or GIF.

Memes and GIFS can be a great way to make an impact and tell a story is a very immediate way. For example, tweeting a meme with picture of your association’s president talking to a member with a quote about what the association means to the president over top the photo is one way to capture a story of passion, value and leadership in one very succinct way to tell a tale. GIFs are like shorter videos that pack a lot of emotion and content in a few seconds.

However, video is just too versatile to lose this matchup. Videos can be long or short, serious or playful, can present a lot of context and background or get straight to the point, can include lots of interaction and creativity and, most important of all, can be used with similar effectiveness on most social media platforms. It’s no contest; video runs away with this one.

Testimonial vs. Roundup/Recap

The next competition in the first round sees the relatable testimonial square off against the information superstar that is a roundup or recap.

Roundups or recaps are two ways to tell a story about a recent event or initiative and focus primarily on facts, figures and a straightforward retelling of what happened. It’s strength is the substantial amount of information it provides to an audience. Roundups and recaps often offer links to a few different sources or the insight of a variety of people to capture as many viewpoints as possible and tell a well-rounded story.

Where testimonials have roundups and recaps licked is their engaging, relatable and passionate nature. Yes, a testimonial of an event, service, product or experience is only one person’s viewpoint, likely offers no behind-the-scenes exclusivity and lacks the thoroughness of a roundup or recap, but that within that one voice is a crystallized explanation that gets to the heart of what makes the element their talking about so special. It stirs in people that same feeling and moves them to act, share, engage and take part in that story as it moves forward. The winner here is the testimonial.

Photo Essay vs. News Article

The penultimate match of the quarterfinals has the eye-catching photo essay duke it out with the classic news article.

News articles are classic for a reason; they work. Articles can come in many shapes and forms, such as interviews, editorials, lists, tip sheets, survey analysis or long-form profiles, but the foundation of each one is their ability to spin a story using the written word and maybe a few pictures along the way. Articles are main storytelling vehicle in association magazine, blogs and even on longer-form social media platforms, such as Facebook. They are in-depth, informative and, if done right, can move people to act with the visuals they conjure up, the emotions they convey and information they carefully construct.

While news articles are a worthy competitor and could edge out their nemesis on some days, photo essays claim victory on most occasions. Photo essays are similar to news articles in that they tell a story of an issue or a person. However, whereas the ratio of written words to photos is 90/10 in articles, that ratio is reversed for photo essays. It’s telling a story through photos with some text to provide context and background. Photos provide a more visceral tale of what is happening and helps the audience connect with the subject matter. Furthermore, this method of storytelling is versatile and can be done with greater effect on more social media platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, a blog and even on YouTube. The clear winner is the photo essay.

Infograph vs. Audio Story

The final clash of the opening round pits the savviness of the infograph against the allure of the audio story.

An audio story is more commonly referred to as a podcast or a radio show. This medium seeks to tell a story through the use of sound and talking. It can be as short as a couple minutes or as long as over an hour and can include interviews, narration, music, sound effects, editorials, speeches or the like. Audio stories have the unique ability to take you out of the environment you are in and bring you to the setting of the story. They are personal, informative and engaging and easy to put online (on a blog, Facebook or Twitter) and bring anywhere on a smart phone.

While audio stories are very trendy right now with the popularity of podcasts such as Serial and This American Life, we have to give the slightest of edges to the infograph. An infograph combines stats and data with engaging images to build a cascading story about the state of a particular issue and its relevance to the audience. Numbers put the abstract into perspective for an audience and pairing this with some textual background and a lot of visuals paints a picture that can be powerful, engaging and shareable. They are easy to make, easy to upload to just about any social media platform and are very accessible for every type of organization, no matter the target audience. This broad appeal makes it the winner in this very tough matchup.

Semifinals

Video vs. Testimonial

Our first of the final four matchups has video vs. testimonial

This is a case where fire is fighting fire and, in our minds, video burns brighter. A simple testimonial can be passionate, powerful, concise, engaging and relatable. However, video can not only incorporate testimonials into its structure, it can do so in a much more visual way than a written or text-based testimonial that appears through a tweet, a Facebook post or an Instagram post. A video can also combine several aspects of a testimonial and make it part of a larger piece of content that overwhelms what testimonials offer, such as adding inspirational music and capturing the perspectives and exclusive looks in a much more interactive way. Because of its versatility and large skill-set, video cruises to victory here.

Photo Essay vs. Infograph

This competition pits two visual-based methods of storytelling against each other in a tight race for a spot in the final.

These two pieces of content are very similar. They both use images as their foundation and main tool to engage. They can both be shared on multiple platforms. And they can both be used to focus on a bigger picture issue or a smaller, niche subject. While it may seem like a coin toss, the photo essay squeaks out the win here because of its ability to tell a story every time as opposed to the infograph, which has the potential to become a rundown of boring, self-serving numbers if done incorrectly. Photo essays appeal to the human side of both the organization creating it and the target audience. While infographs can be fun and engaging and informative, photo essays can use stats and data in much the same way while also having the ability to use quotes, personal views and brief storytelling techniques, which all adds up to victory.

Finals

Video vs. Photo Essay

In the winner-take-all match, video faces off against photo essay to determine which storytelling method is best on social media.

These are two great methods of storytelling, especially when it comes to telling a story on social media. However, video wins this competition eight or nine times out of 10. The reasons are numerous; video combines images, sound, people, action, stats and text, whereas photo essays are, for the most part, static. The length of videos is easily manipulated to fit the organization’s goals and the type of platform it is shared on, whereas photo essays usually have to include multiple photos to tell a story. Video can be shared easier on the same or more platforms than photo essays. We can go on and on, from a more measurable ROI to the availability of resources and the number of content sources, video gets the better of photo essays every time. It was a valiant effort, but the winner is…

Winner

Video!

Video is a powerful, engaging and effective way to tell a story while benefiting the short and long term goals of the organization. While video is the best way to tell a story in many situations, it doesn’t mean that it always is. It’s important to look at what your resources are, what the story is you’re trying to tell, what social media platform you are using and what your goals are when developing a storytelling strategy. All these method are a great way and combining two, three or four of them together to tell a story can result in a more powerful and engaging result.

How To Get Members To Engage With Your Association’s Social Media Account More Than Once

Any business, whether its Starbucks, Apple or a small, regional association, relies on the repeat customer. These are the people who come back again and again, the loyal few who, as a member organization, make up the foundation of your association’s success.

The same concept of building loyalty applies not just to the overall mission of an organization, but to the individual parts of the organization as well. When we look at social media, building engagement on your association’s accounts is the first step in making your online efforts successful, but generating that engagement over and over again is the key to a sustainable and impactful online presence.

Here are three ways associations can endear themselves to members so they will engage with its social media accounts more than once:

Respond And Be Fun About It

Nothing kills the buzz of engaging with an organization on social media like not getting a response. When your association doesn’t recognize an attempt at an interaction from a member, it tells that person they are not important enough to engage with. If they made to feel like they’ve been relegated to an afterthought, members are unlikely to try to engage with your association again.

Respond to any engagement (unless of course it is troll-like in nature, in which case, ignoring the obvious bait is recommended). This can be as simple as a liking a common or retweeting a member’s post that mentions your association. This is a good first step, but if you really want to get members in the mood to talk to you again, go that extra mile. Tweet an actual response. Say thank you or ask a follow up question. Be fun with your response. Be witty or add a pun to your response. If being clever isn’t your forte, add a picture or a GIF when responding. Members will appreciate the time and effort you put in and will be more likely to engage with you again.

Keep Your Finger On The Pulse

Think about this for a second; the liveliest conversations you have at the dinner table, bar or coffee shop are probably about topics you find most interesting or affect your life the most. This seems fairly obvious, but it’s an often overlooked cornerstone of generating return engagement on social media. When you post content or get into discussions about the most relevant and interesting topics for your members, they are more likely to come back time and again to talk to you about these topics.

The key in keeping your finger on the pulse of your member’s most talked about topics is to do your watch and listen. Spend some time looking at what your members post about, what topics produce the longest conversations online, what questions are being asked on forums like LinkedIn, what members are blogging about and what issues keep popping up in offline discussions. Once you have gathered this information, you can develop content that speaks to the needs, wants and interests of your members a lot better than throwing out a wide variety of content and hoping it appeals to your audience.

Spread The Love

If people get a better-than-expected return on investment from something, they usually tend to keep investing in that thing. The same holds true to social interaction. When a member engages with your association on social media, they probably expect a response and maybe some helpful advice or a friendly follow up. When your association goes a step further, it can mean a big difference in getting that member, and many more, to keep the conversation with your organization going.

The best way to reward those members who engage with your association beyond expectations is to spread the interaction past the single point of engagement. For example, give a shout out to the member who engages online with your association the most every week through your various platforms. Have a space on your website, newsletter and magazine where you republish the best interactions with your members from social media. Share their interactions for all to see and give a friendly word to them while you’re doing it. All of this helps shine the spotlight on a member and makes them feel special, which increases the odds that they will return to engage with your association more than just the once.

How Associations Can Measure The Impact Of Social Media Marketing On Their Events

One of the biggest reasons associations use social media is for event promotion. It’s not hard to see why. Events are a big deal for member organizations. They make up a large portion of revenue and are one of the sole touch-points an association has with a large group of members over the course of a year. It certainly makes sense for organizations to throw a big part of their communications, including social media, behind such an element.
With this in mind, it’s important for associations to know which type of communication is working best and how to build a strategy around promoting events to maximize the resources available to them. This means that the results of an event marketing strategy on social media must be measurable in some way. The question of how to measure the impact of Twitter, Facebook, a blog, etc on conference registration and participation is crucial for the success and sustainability of associations, which is why we’ve tackled the subject in the paragraphs below.
Go With The Flow
If you are attempting to measure the impact of your association’s social media efforts on event promotion, the best place to start is by tracking the flow of online traffic. Raising awareness of your event among your target audience through social media is one thing, but converting these people from informed members to event attendees is the tangible outcome you are ultimately striving for. In order to know if this conversion is happening, you must figure out if the content you are posting online is driving traffic to sites where conference registration is taking place. One you discover how effective this path is from social media content to registration, you can start to formulate conclusions as to the success of the online communications strategy.
Tracking the flow of traffic can generally be done using Google Analytics. Accessing Google Analytics can be done yourself or by contacting your association’s website provider/management team. This tool tracks how website visitors entered the site and how they navigated around the site. Using this information, you can discover how many people came to your event’s registration page through Twitter, Facebook or blog links. More traffic to the registration page means a higher conversion rate for your social media and a higher return on investment.
Stick To Your Guns
Tracking the flow of web traffic is the primary way to tell if your social media efforts are having an impact on the success of an event, but there are a few ways to take the data your are already collecting from your online accounts and parse them to draw a better picture of your results. These pieces of data are generally used to analyze how your event is doing (or did) with engaging attendees and encouraging participation. Knowing your social media’s level of success with this task is crucial to determining if your event achieved enough buy-in to be sustainable in the long-term.
There are several specific pieces of data you can examine to discover the impact of social media on the engagement and participation of event attendees, many you may already be tracking as part of a regular reporting regimen. If your event has a hashtag, measure the number of times it was used, clicked on and what was said with the hastag. You can also track how many times your association’s posts with event-relevant content were favourited, shared or commented on. Lastly, tracking the number of target audience members (such as members or potential members) that become followers of your social media accounts in the days during and immediately after the event can help you determine if the event will have any long-term impact on the way people perceive the value they are extracting from the association.

How to Create a Twitter Progress Report for Your Association

The association business is all about getting results. Executive directors and board of directors are constantly trying to figure out how many new members have been recruited, how many have been retained, how much non-dues revenue was generated, how often certain services are being used, and on and on.

It’s no different for an association’s use of social media. Those who run member organizations will always want to know if its social media efforts are yielding results and to what extent. We’ve gone in-depth into the myriad of statistics association professionals can use to determine the effectiveness of Twitter, Facebook and blogs, so we’ll leave that for now, but it’s also very important to present these statistics effectively. That’s why knowing how to create a regular progress report for your organization’s social media channels is crucial.

Below, we’ve put together a template for association professionals looking to create a monthly or quarterly report for their Twitter account. The template examines four main areas of a typical report. So, without further ado, here is how to create a Twitter progress report:

The Numbers

This part of the report is all about gathering and condensing the key statistics that your association’s Twitter account has generated. This can include anything from the amount of followers gained to the number of retweets received or even the number of profile clicks garnered during the time period you are analyzing. This section is all about the raw numbers and is great for seeing the big-picture results of your organization’s Twitter efforts.

If you are wondering which numbers to look at and include in this section of the report, here are a few we always find helpful: Followers gained, retweets, favourites, mentions/replies, URL clicks, total number of interactions, total number of impressions and average engagement rate. This section is also a chance to calculate and post preliminary ROI numbers, such as the average cost-per-impression.

You can access all these numbers through Twitter Analytics (general statistics for each tweet on an Excel spread sheet) or Bit.ly (used for tracking the performance of links posted to social media).

Significant Tweets and Interactions

This section of the Twitter report examines the tweets that generated the most attention or received high-quality interactions during the time period examined. This part of the report can be broken into two sub-sections: tweets with the highest quantity and tweets with the highest quality.

The first step is to review the tweets with the highest number of interactions and engagement. Using Twitter Analytics, review the tweets that generated the most retweets, the most favourites, the highest engagement rate, etc. It is always best to post the number of interactions these tweets receive as well as a screen shot of the tweet with a date and time. This is useful later for determining several factors related to the success of future posts that will be examined in the fourth section of the report.

The second step is to review the tweets with the highest quality of engagement. This part of the report highlights three to five tweets that did exceptionally well in all areas of engagement and provided value to the association through important interactions. The term ‘highest quality’ is very subjective; what may qualify as very valuable piece of engagement for one association may not be valuable at all for another association. There are, however, some guidelines that may be useful when creating this part of the report.

Look for tweets that had an above-average number of impressions or total interactions and also had a decent-to-above-average engagement rate. You can also examine the quality of engagement. For example, if an influential member who has a wide range of followers retweeted one of your posts, this is more valuable than if someone vaguely connected with your industry retweets it.

Again, screen shot the highlighted tweets to provide a visual representation of your association’s Twitter efforts and to use for fine-tuning your social media strategy. Explain in two to five sentences why each tweet was significant.

New Follower Demographics

This part of the report analyzes the new followers that your association’s Twitter account gained over the time period examined and places them into demographic categories. This section is important in determining if your organization’s Twitter account is reaching its target audience and how much the account’s audience is growing in general.

The first step to creating this section is to determine your association’s key influencers, or, in other words, your association’s target demographics. These different demographic segments can include industry professionals, member of the media in the industry, other industry-related organizations, business members, etc. You can get as specific or as broad as you’d like. The remaining followers can be separated into two other groups; Other Organizations and Other Individuals. These are often your spam accounts or followers that get very little value from your efforts and, in turn, your association received very little value from them.

The next step in creating this section is collecting the numbers. Go through the followers your account gained in the time period you are examining and place each of them into their corresponding audience segment. After you are finished, create a chart that makes a visual representation of each audience segment, how many new followers fall into each, the names/Twitter handles of each new follower and the percentage of new followers each demographic segment makes up.

At the end of this process, you will have a better idea of how effective your account is at connecting with your association’s target audience. For example, if you find that 50 per cent of your new followers in the last month were industry professionals and 20 per cent were industry-related media members, you are doing well. However, if 70 per cent are random individuals or organizations, you will have to develop strategies for reaching out to Twitter users who fit into your target audience.

Final Analysis and Goal Setting

This is the penultimate section of the report in which you must take all the raw numbers you have gathered and use them to analyze how well the Twitter has done while also charting the account’s course for months to come. Again, the information you include in this section varies greatly depending on the priorly-defined goals of the association and the account as well as the resources invested into your social media efforts, but there are some general topics you can hone in on to make this final analysis effective.

One approach to this final analysis is to examine the return on investment that you captured for your association through Twitter during the time period you are looking at. You can take a closer look at which tweets produced the best results and conclude the reason behind their success. You can also compare the return on investment metrics (such as cost-per-interaction or cost-per-follower) to past reports to determine the rate of growth of the Twitter account.

Another approach to this section is to look at the success of your association’s original content on Twitter and the platform’s ability to drive traffic to key parts of your association’s website. For example, if your association is pushing for more attendees at its annual conference, you can examine and analyze the performance of tweets related to the conference. Are they receiving a high quantity and quality of interactions? Are they generating enough clicks on links to the registration page of the association website? These are the areas you can look at to determine the effectiveness of the Twitter account and its usefulness to the association’s goals.

Lastly, you should present goals and recommendations for the association’s Twitter account in this section of the report. After analyzing the numbers, it is always a good idea to fine-tune the association’s Twitter strategy moving forward. This is when you look at the numbers and determine if tweeting on a certain day of the week or during a certain window of time generates more engagement. This is also when you can decide to reach out to more members of your target audience or develop strategies to generate more traffic to your association’s website. Whatever your analysis is, create clear, quantifiable goals and strategies for attaining them.