Does Your Social Media Really Increase Engagement?

All association marketers have seen the reports listing the number of shares, likes, and click-throughs for specific social media posts. But, what do those numbers mean, and how do they impact the association’s efforts to increase retention, attract new members, and generate revenue?

While social media is a great way to engage an audience, a great social media campaign captures attention and then draws the visitor to the association website where more robust information about the organization and its benefits helps “close the deal.”

According to Dan Stevens, president of WorkerBee TV, too many associations post the full version of their content on social media, which does not incentivize viewers to move to the website. Pointing out that social media’s value is not to collect “likes” but to create “awareness and conversion,” he recommends the micromarketing strategy – use snippets of content to pull people to the website.

One example of effective use of social media as a starting point, not the end point, of engagement, is:

  • Post 30 seconds of a virtual conference session on social media.
  • Provide a click-through link to a three-minute version of the one-hour session.
  • Offer paid access to the full session at the end of the three-minute clip – via one-time charge or behind a member paywall.

This approach accomplishes several goals.

  • Members and potential members see the variety of content available on the social media site and can easily move to the website to learn more.
  • Once on the website, viewers not only see the expanded content, but also the range of other resources provided by the association.
  • Access to full content is clearly defined as a member benefit – one of many benefits listed on the website.

Stevens cautions association marketers that social media campaigns can be an effective, low-cost approach to recruitment, retention, and revenue generation, but only if the entire interaction leads to conversion. If social media campaigns don’t convert engagements to memberships or revenue, the marketer has made social media another cost center for the association versus a profit center, he adds.