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Build Outward-Facing Social Media Profiles - 4/14/2015 -



Build Outward-Facing Social Media Profiles

In addition to traditional media standards, these days we have the added responsibility of involving the audience. Whether your media is a blog, newsletter, or a live presentation, you need to find ways to have a conversation with your audience.

By Jeff Korhan

My informal survey of audiences at recent speaking engagements assures me that while bloggers are still in the minority, nearly every individual — and most organizations — have a presence on LinkedIn. Media is media, so this is a good place to initiate conversations with your members and extended audience.

Your association’s LinkedIn profile may be professionally prepared and current — but is it conversational? The Summary section, in particular, should be more about the audience than your organization, and is what we like to call "outward facing. ”Use it to welcome visitors — especially those who align with your ideal member, reader, or advertiser persona.

Your association’s content, events, and credentials are relevant, but you will create more opportunities by personally acknowledging your audience with the intent of initiating conversations. No matter how hard you try, you cannot have a conversation with an organization. Therefore, if you expect to have meaningful conversations with the communities you serve, someone representing the voice of your association must be personally accessible.

Meaningful Conversations are Always Personal 

If you grew up with network television, when you hear the word media, some form of regularly scheduled programming probably comes to mind. There is nothing wrong with your media being predictably programmed. In fact, it is highly recommended that is to meet the expectations of your audience.

Contrary to its name, an e-newsletter should be more than news nowadays. You need to have an editorial calendar and publish regularly, but also seek to develop a conversational rhythm and flow with it. One way of doing this is sharing conversations from one of your association’s media channels to another.

For example, real stories from Facebook are the seeds of conversations for reliably engaging and growing an audience on your other channels. Even big brands are rethinking their marketing media to make emotional connections that spark conversations. It’s why the most successful commercials from the Super Bowl are not so much advertising as they are memorable stories that get talked about.

Start a conversation. Use your association’s media to give your audience something to talk about.  And don't worry — readers will remember your organization and what it does well, too.

Jeff Korhan, MBA, author of "Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business” helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world.



 

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