Effective Social Media in 5 Steps

I am in the middle of doing some research for a presentation on how Social Media can be best utilised to recruit members for 3rd Level Clubs and Societies. Social Media is a powerful tool, but to be used most effectively, one has to ensure that they follow a few key steps. Having condensed my own research into a few short steps, I am writing this blog to share with you what I have found. I feel generous today so I guess its your lucky day.

These tips are the fundamentals behind running effective Social Media campaigns, reaching out to your target market and creating an interactive community among your members. While these points are aimed at University societies, the same principles are transferable to other areas.

  1. Personalise it – Nobody likes talking to a logo. It is vital that you show the real person behind the brand. People interact with people, so humanise your site. Use short bios to describe yourself and the other contributors. Each contributor should use their name. This makes it easier for your audience to interact as they recognise that it is another person at the other side and not an automated response.
  2. Be Authentic – Keep it real on Social Media. Don’t play to the audience with corporate press releases and rehearsed marketing ploys. Show the day to day life of your organisation. Give some feedback on the life of a coach, player etc. The day to day activities, the places they get to travel and the people they meet. For Social Media, your happy and successful employees are your best asset. Use video to get behind the personality of the organisation, ask your employees about work culture and why they enjoy working there. Create authenticity.
  3. Exclusivity – Use your Social Media to reward regular visitors and contributors. Give those who interact something the couldn’t get anywhere else. Offer a behind the scenes look at the job. Use photos of Staff nights out (the safe ones). Anything to create a sense of exclusivity and ownership for your audience and members. Host Facebook competitions and offer prizes such as a meeting with some Sports Star or tickets to a game. Be creative.
  4. Make it Sticky –  With a seemingly endless supply of organisations vying for our attention, how do you ensure that your organisation stands out in the public mind? Offer a unique service on your Social Media platforms. Look at how you can add value to your audience’s life. Offer webinars or Q&A sessions on Twitter. When trying to get people to look at your organisations, offer incentives for interaction. Offer Open Days or mentoring programs, training aides or whatever is unique to your organisation. In the Information Age of today it is important to do something positive to stand out and be recognised.
  5. Stay ahead of the Wave – Your audience – if young and technologically savvy- will be using the latest Social Media platforms to interact. If you are fumbling around on Facebook, while your competitor is using the latest Mobile Technology, who do you think will have most credibility among your target market? Examine your Social Media strategy to explore new avenues of interaction, using the latest crazes like QR codes or foursquare. Stay ahead of the curve to ensure you don’t get left behind. Constantly update your strategies and aim to be the best in you category.
So as you see, this Social Media game is not as easy as some might make it out to be. It takes real effort to make your Social Media campaign pay off. But if done correctly, your organisation can take advantage of the vast powers of Social Media to increase your audience, membership and viability. What approach have you found the most successful from your Social Media campaigns?
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