3 Ways For Associations To Team Up With Industry Influencers On Social Media

Technology has been a way for marketers to engage their target audience for centuries, from the printing press, to radio, TV and, most recently, online platforms. However, the best way to get people to invest in membership or go to your event is still word of mouth.

Word of mouth has been shown to still be the most effective marketing tool there is. A large factor in its success is the fact that someone you know and respect is telling you that investing in a product, service or organization is valuable, rather than the organization itself, who has an ulterior motive, no matter how noble.

The people who have the widest network, are the most trustworthy and respected and who champion your cause the most are called industry influencers. With one conversation, they have the power to potentially convince dozens of people to shell out some money to attend your association’s event or try a trial membership. Getting these industry influencers to talk up your organization is the key to harnessing word of mouth marketing and marrying this engagement tool with social media’s mammoth potential is one more step to maximizing your efforts and the results. Here are three ways to team up industry influencers on social media and boost your association’s marketing strategy.

Plan A Facebook Live Interview

Facebook Live is a great tool to make communication more accessible, open and engaging. A Facebook Live chat gives your association an opportunity to expose members to experiences they would otherwise miss out on, such on taking them behind the scenes of an event or connecting them to the CEO/executive director after a big announcement.

Use industry influencers together with Facebook Live to cultivate excitement for an association initiative. Have an influential member or industry professional come in and answer questions submitted live on Facebook. Streaming the discussion is not only a great way for members to receive information and take advantage of a networking opportunity, but it allows the industry influencer to talk up whatever initiative or project your association is trying to promote at the moment but putting them in front of a wide and receptive audience.

Host A VIP Event

Word of mouth doesn’t necessarily mean a member in a bar talking up the association to non-members in the industry. These days, many people get their word of mouth recommendations from the social media accounts of the people they know and trust around the industry. These influencers have blogs, Twitter accounts, Instagram accounts and Facebook pages that are full of posts detailing their experiences with a new products, event or service. These critiques are then viewed by many and their actions are often dictated by what they read. Use this digital word of mouth to your advantage by putting favourable content right in the lap of these savvy industry influencers that they can spread with a VIP Event

For example, your association may be starting a new seminar series it hopes to use as a springboard for greater member education and engagement and a source of revenue for the organization. Before the seminar series begins, create a seminar event and invite only five or six of your industry influencers who have a large social media following. Put on a great show with lots of visual appeal, great content and lots of hospitality. Encourage the influencers to post lots about the seminar to their following. Investing in one great event could result in scores of people following up on the influencers’ social media suggestion of going to the association’s seminar series.

Create A Testimonial Video With A Twist

Everybody likes a great late night show; they have funny hosts, captivating anecdotes from celebrities and engaging skits. It provides audiences with a relatable connection to someone they see as both exclusive and some worth emulating, which means that if a celebrity talks about a certain restaurant, bar or movie that they enjoyed, you can expect a big bump in revenue for that one things they mention. The same concept can fit into your association’s social media marketing strategy, where industry influencers are similar to celebrities and their endorsements are valued above all. But think like a late night show and spice up the regular, old testimonial.

For example, take a couple cues from the Late, Late Show with James Corden and his wildly popular segments like Carpool Karaoke or Take A Break. Have an industry influencer come in and sub in for various association staff members throughout the day, having them do the work that the staff member usually does. Film them while they help staff members ‘take a break’ and edit it together to create a short video that captures some funny moments, the reality of what it takes to run the association, the value it provides and how much the influencer respects the association and its staff at the end of the day. Post the video to all your association’s social platforms and have the influencer do the same so a twist on the usual testimonial.

Five Ways Your Organization’s Committee and Board Members Can Get Involved On Social Media

Word of mouth is crucial to spreading the reach and effectiveness of your association or non-profit. People are a lot more likely to become a member or give to a cause, and realize the potential benefits, when someone they trust tells them about the positive experience they’ve had with organization X, Y or Z.

If your organization has a board of directors and/or committees made up of members, they are probably your biggest supporters and the best source for word of mouth marketing. These are some of the most involved people in your organization who want to see its goals and mission achieved. Many are also well-respected and well-known in their industries; people that others will listen to and trust when they say that investing in an association or a non-profit is worthwhile.

Social media can help your committee and board members spread the word. Social media is word of mouth made easy. Your members, sponsors, volunteers and donors can tell hundreds of their colleagues and friends something great about your organization with one minute and one click. Twitter, blogs, Facebook, Instagram; you name any platform and your members are on it.

Here are five platforms your board and committee members can be included in when planning your social media strategy and letting others know about the good your organization is doing.

Twitter

Twitter is a great platform for committee or board members to get involved with when trying to engage others. By sharing the news, achievements, goals, benefits and the personal side of your organization with their networks, your content could reach thousands more people that may have an interest in joining the association or non-profit.

One way to get the best out of this scenario is to engage the committee or board members directly. Ask them questions, retweet their content and get them involved in twitter chats, which are open and ongoing conversations on twitter about certain topics, usually grouped by a hashtag (ex. #assnchat = association chat).

Twitter chats are a great way for your committee or board members to invite others into the conversation, introduce them to the world of your organization and provide them with information about the organization. Twitter chats open the door to conversations that, before, would only happen at industry events, small gatherings or meetings. Chats get those who might not be aware of your organization involved.

Instagram

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again; photos are one of the most powerful forms of communication. They convey messages that words sometimes cannot. That is why Instagram is a great tool in a board or committee member’s kit.

Instagram comes in handy at conferences, seminars, initiatives and other events. You can’t be everywhere at once and it is likely that you will miss an inspiring moment or an instant that captures the character of your organization. So it is great when your organization’s members are there to help out. Taking pictures of their experiences gives a unique perspective and tells a story, whether it be funny, moving or informative, that shows their network that the event, and the organization, is worth investing part in.

LinkedIn

Odds are your organization’s committee and board members have at least some experience in the industry. This means that they know others in the industry. LinkedIn is the perfect place for professions in the same industry to connect and share ideas, advice and thoughts. Creating LinkedIn groups, posting discussions and having your committee or board members invite others and moderate the discussion alongside yourself is a great way of showing others how beneficial it would be to join your organization in some capacity.

YouTube

The most direct way for your organization’s committee or board members to spread the word about your non-profit or association is to tell others what they like best about the organization and why they are a part of it. YouTube is a great way for them to tell this to not just one person, but to hundreds or thousands.

A simple video that has committee or board members saying, in their own words, why the organization is great and why they are involved does a few crucial things. It puts a human face to an organization, it puts a more personal spin on the goals and benefits of the organization (rather than an oft-repeated and formal mission statement) and it comes from a well-respected member with intimate knowledge of the organization. People will appreciate this information and feel connected with your non-profit or association right away.

Blogs

Blogs allow your organization to go more in-depth on issues and tell colourful and interesting stories. Just like YouTube, it can be a great platform for your committee or board members to tell their stories and explain their reasons for getting involved in the organization. Some amazing tales can come out this opportunity, tales that could inspire others to get involved as well.

Blogs can also generate discussion and feedback, something the board or committee members can engage with and take back to meetings to help the organization grow.

Your board and committee members are integral parts of your organization. They devote time, money and ideas to your non-profit and association and they do it because they believe in what it is working for or towards. Let this belief shine through to others with social media and the results could be astoundingly positive.