Glickman stressed that the information associations deliver
to members, the press, and the public — including images — should be not only
informational, but also genuinely social.
"It’s not effective to keep the personal entirely separate
from the professional,” she argued. "You need to look and sound human and
interact with people. Mix it up. Show what’s going on behind the curtain.
People want to do business with those they trust.”
Glickman stressed that social media can be a "virtual
handshake” — a way of educating and providing content to journalists who use
the information we post — and a way of engaging and empowering employees as
"Show employees how to use social media wisely rather than
telling them they can’t participate or share content on other platforms. Train
them to be brand ambassadors,” she urged.
Glickman also advises associations to crowdsource. "Ask
conference attendees and staff to do things that you can use on social media.
Wear t-shirts that market the brand. Develop and use hashtags a lot to ensure
that your material can be organized easily and is searchable.” Popular hashtags
— a key part of widespread online conversations — are often picked up by others
and can spread like wildfire among posters, helping your association be more
Glickman stressed the importance of featuring your
association’s brand frequently and consistently. "If someone sends a photo from
your site to another platform, will the viewer be able to walk it back to your
organization?” Find a way to feature your logo in or with an image to make sure
the brand is captured and passed on, she said.
Glickfield offered the following additional tips on how
your association can make the best use of social media:
- It’s free — the way a puppy you adopt from a
friend is free. It takes care and feeding to stay relevant and be effective.
- The best social media platform for your
association is the one it will actually use.
- You need to be both a producer of content and a
curator of others’ content. Highlighting outside content — as others will do
with yours — is another form of a virtual handshake.
- To be successful, your association must be
memorable. One way to do that is to be repetitive. Deliver your message more than once and find
different ways to do so.
- Be whimsical. (She offered as an example, a
media campaign with a "talk-like-a-pirate” theme. The client was leery, but the
campaign turned out to be a big hit.)
- Emphasize quality rather than quantity — both
in terms of the content you post and whom you follow on Twitter or like on
for Making Pinterest Perform for Your Organization
Kellie Rowden-Racette focused on how ASHA uses its social
media platform of choice — Pinterest — to reach and engage its members. She
explained that 56 percent of the association’s social media audience is school-based,
and they look for curriculum resources on Pinterest.
ASHA uses social media for advocacy, education, and to sell
products through an online store. The association maintains 30 message boards
on various topics, and Rowden-Racette has recruited ambassadors from across the
association to keep them up-to-date. "They’re content specialists and know
their audience,” she explained.
allows the user to collect visual bookmarks called pins, on Pinterest or from
Rowden-Racette offered the following Pinterest-specific
lessons that ASHA has learned from using this platform:
- Make pins relevant and practical. They should
be designed for immediate use.
- Apply hashtags to make the content searchable (many
users don’t know that this can be done on Pinterest, she said).
- ASHA posts 50 percent association content and
50 percent outside material to mix up the subject matter and tone.
- Do an annual board clean up to weed outdated
- Use Tailwind, a scheduling app, to post pins.
It has a rich analytics tool called Virality. The tool divides the number of
repins by the number of total pins to show reach and what your audience likes
- Don’t use Pinterest for time-sensitive
calls-to-action or to incite other quick responses over a short timeframe
because most people don’t use this platform as often as they do Facebook or
- Buyable pins can be used for the online store.
Glickman also offered a quick overview of typical audiences
for various types of social media platforms, including a few with specialized
- Instagram. It’s
popular among millennials, and if you’re taking photos anyway, why not upload
- Twitter. The 140-character
limit can make it hard to deliver a complex message, but typing a teaser and a
link can get the job done. The fact that tweets can be pushed quickly off the
screen by more recent ones can make it hard to keep up with what’s being said,
so using a hashtag readers are likely to look for when searching for a topic is
- YouTube. According
to Google research, millennials spend 30 minutes a week looking at videos on
B2B topics. Associations can produce these types of videos to attract this
audience, which might not otherwise look to the nonprofit world for such
Because this platform is female driven and visual, it’s good for sales.
- Gramblr. Use
it to upload photos from your PC to Instagram.
Meerkat. These live-streaming
platforms can be used to capture meeting presentations and conversations. Their
downside: If accessed by cell phone, they drain the battery very quickly.
Barbara Bryant is editor, Association of Defense
Communities. Association Media & Publishing sincerely thanks her for
covering this informative Lunch & Learn for Sidebar readers.