Think you Can’t Make Money With Social Media? Think Again.

Jason Ebey, IOM, YGM Total Resource Campaign
Michele Trice

You came looking for money!

We are membership-based organizations.
What is your target audience?  Members or nonmembers.  It’s about connecting either of those groups that can provide value to your members.

How businesses got out their message in the past, they went to different platforms but we’re going to focus on Facebook today.  He suggested our demographic is on Facebook and number two YouTube.  Shotgun vs focused approach is the theme.

It’s all about the reach.  How do you reach your members?

Start by cleaning your Facebook page.  Don’t lose your identify by putting too much junk on your page.  It’s about getting your members or prospective members to engage on your page.

Now it’s time to put value on your page.  Talk about your program of work:

Ribbon Cuttings – picture (free), live, interview (charge for both of those options).  Monetize what you can.  Transaction or it’s part of a top tier of your membership.

Flashback Friday – a year later highlight that ribbon cutting with pics from the event.  Nice touch when they are getting ready to renew.  Also, you could find a sponsor for your Flashback Friday.

Member Spotlights – what a great way to highlight a member by telling their story.  Members will pay you to tell their story on Facebook.  Think about delivery real content on the business and how they are interacting with the community.  Don’t over play this on your page.  Maybe sell one a month or one a week.

Holiday Campaigns – shop local with a coupon.  He talked about a company that can embed your logo within a QR code.  Remember QR codes, Covid brought that dead industry back!  Everyone is using QR codes again to highlight a sponsor and their company.

He went on to talk about Facebook page vs group for your organization.  The groups is  market segmentation of your total membership (think of it as folks who rally around an issue like workforce, healthcare, etc.).  And think of it that way!  It’s all about engagement and he stated that Facebook groups have a higher level of engagement than pages.
He ended with suggesting you keep a balance on your Facebook page.  Don’t go all sponsorship but do focus on how you can monetize Facebook.  Do make sure you have quality content on your platform, page or group/s.  He quoted the p and ceo of the Robins chamber that said this has also increased their engagement, recruitment and retention.

Make sure you pick the right platform for your organization and more importantly that you can support with your organizations resources.

For more information on Jason Ebey go HERE.

To Inspire and Empower Curiosity – Disruptors Get Curious Not Furious

This post is based on a general session I attended at a recent membership and marketing conference in DC.

Mike Maddock, the author of Free the Idea Monkeymade some interesting comments based on his book.

In a nutshell, the:

  • Idea Monkey - is the person who can come up with hundreds of concepts before lunch; and the
  • Ringleader - is the person who manages the idea monkey’s.

He went on to state they are rarely the same person.  A number of idea monkey’s and ringleaders are profiled in the book.  I’m sure these names sound familiar.

  • Walt and Roy Disney
  • Orville and Wilbur Wright
  • Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak
  • Paul Allen and Bill Gates

He challenged the audience to identify the idea monkey’s on your staff?

He then went on to pose some interesting questions and statements for the audience to consider:

  • Who’s your soul mate at work?  Get outside the jar.
  • Insights first, ideas second and most importantly keep looking for treasure!
  • Can I see opportunity?
  • Am I and innovator or inventor?
  • You can’t read the label when you are sitting in the jar – expertise trap!
  • What business are we in?
  • What business could we be in?
  • Insight, Idea and Experience – where the three meet is where you need to be.
  • Invention or innovation?
  • Ringleaders need to drive the train – empathy.

For more information on Mike Maddock go HERE.

More Than a Membership: Create Belonging Through Sound Brand Strategy

This post is based on a recent seminar I attended a couple of months ago in Washington, DC.

The following are my notes based on the conversation led by Jennie Winton of Mission Minded.

What is your Brand?  Your logo (visual identity) is not your brand nor are the programs you produce are your brand.  Your brand is your reputation.  It’s what people think about you when they see your name.

Benefits of a Strong Brand – it creates a relationship with your key stakeholders.  It also minimizes competitive threats.  In other words, they think of you first instead of your competition.

She went on to talk about how it can defend you against negative news.  A strong brand will make it easier for your sales team to bring on new members and retain the ones you have.  A strong brand is built on benefits not features (we generally talk about our “features” not the “benefits,” something that might solve their problems.

I’ve talked about that in a past post that can be found HERE.

Here are Jennie's 6 Steps to Rebranding:

1. Assess the brand you have now – survey your members and non-members to find out what your known for or not known for.  Look for patterns.

2. Identify your audience – those that are most likely to join.  That’s another way of saying you can’t be all things to all people.  Who are our core members that allow us to fulfill our mission?

3. Examine the competition – I’ve said this before, look to the next town or community and that chamber is your competition.  What makes you different?  Create a brand that differentiates you from the competition.

4. Find the open opportunity – how are you different?  What are we offering to our members that they can’t get elsewhere?  Do they feel good by joining your organization?

5. Distill that difference into its purest essence, your brand positioning – think Volvo/Safety, Apple/Innovation, Nike/Celebrate Athletes and Athletics.

6. Intentionally begin to send signals that reinforce the band you want to have – what we do, how we sound, how we look, and how we act.

She ended with “Brand is everyone’s responsibility.”

For more information on branding from One Marketing Limited go HERE.

A great resource on How To Craft Your Belief Message can be found HERE by Mission Minded.

Hyper Personalize to “Market of One”

This post is based on a recent seminar I attended a couple of months ago in Washington, DC.

The following are my notes based on the conversation led by Dave Will, PropFuel, CoFounder and CEO, and Jemilah Senter, VP of Marketing and Communications, Special Libraries Association.
They started out talking about marketing and how that is really broadcasting to your general audience.  And how you need to think about marketing to one.  There is a difference in membership needs vs an individual member’s needs.
The “Market of One” Philosophy
Personalization vs Individualization Personas – first name and other demographics is what personalization is all about.  Individualization is about just in time information on what your members need.
One to one conversation = market of one.  If you were face to face with a new member, what would you ask them?
Conversational engagement is about asking questions any time you are communicating with your members and getting that information in your database.
Segmentation is the key word they used over and over and the importance of starting there and then drilling down on what the individual wants from the membership.  That’s hyper-personalization.

For more information on the subject visit PropFuel's website HERE.

The Seven Deadly Sins of Marketing

Tony Rossell, SVP, Marketing General Inc.
has been in the association sector for 30 years and the following post is based on his presentation at a recent conference I attended in DC.

1. Undefined Value Proposition – how compelling is your value prop?  It’s important to be clear in your communications on how you are helping your members grow their business, comply with a new regulation or gain access to capital to name a few.  Members renew from received value.  Members join for perceived value.  Do your research (i.e. survey your members etc.) and find out what they want.

2. Excessive Planning – some associations are suffering from “paralysis from analysis.”  His point is just get out there!  Set a plan, launch a campaign, study the results and act on your results.  Continue to test, track and adjust as needed.

3. Abandonment of Membership Recruitment – you can’t just rely on renewing your members.  Even if you have high retention rates, in order to grow your chamber, you need to continue to recruit new members.  Keep potential new members in your sales funnel.

4. Overreliance on a Single Channel – don’t just rely on one communication tool (i.e. email).  You need to create an omnichannel marketing campaign (i.e. email, mail, annual meeting, social media, digital ads, texting, video, content marketing, etc.).

5. Insufficient Frequency of Contact – 5 email, 3 online, 1 mail, 1 phone call is the average number of touches based on their research.  It’s not enough! 

6. Inadequate Special Offers – the speaker is an advocate of special offers.  They could come in the form of a gift card, logo shirt or additional months of membership.  I personally am not a fan of discounting membership rates.  I view that as your not worth the price of dues.  I am fine with sending a shirt with your logo.

7. Lack of testing and Analysis – he finished with the key point of folks not testing what’s working for you.  It’s imperative that you test everything (i.e. subject lines, sender, format, message, call to action to name)

He finished with the statement that associations showing growth are seen as innovative.

For a free copy of Marketing General's annual membership and marketing benchmarking report go HERE.

Tune Up and Rev Up: Improving Your Membership Recruitment

The following post is based on a session at the MMCC recently held in Washington, DC, by members of ASAE's Membership Council.

It was a great discussion on utilizing 8 tools in tuning up and revving up your membership recruitment.

Here are the 8 highlighted tools:

Target Audiences – who do you want to join your chamber?  Define those that are most likely to join (i.e., your lapsed members are at the top of that list).

Value propositions – why should your members join?  It’s about that radio station, WIIFM, what’s in it for me?  Talk about the benefits that your members will get by being a member – knowledge, business, etc. not about features – newsletter, monthly luncheon, etc.  Meet their needs.

Offer – why should your members join now?  Special offers (i.e. 25% off, please note I’m not a fan of discounts)?  Just be clear in the value of joining your chamber.

Multi-channel, multi-touch – ask your prospects to join via multiple channels on a regular basis.

The ASK – is it clear that you want them to join?  Make it front and center and make it easy to join.

Testing – you should be do some A/B testing to see what message or offer is working best in converting your prospects into members.

Results evaluation – analyze your different campaigns and figure out which campaign generated the most money for your chamber.

Budget – fuel up!  Get your list updated, and start sending your marketing campaigns, whether mail or email, and send them on a regular basis.

They left us with three final takeaways:

  • Evaluate your membership recruitment campaigns.
  • Measure your performance, what’s working and what’s not working.
  • Make changes to improve your response rates.  And remember, these changes can be very simple.

For a great resource from Aptify on membership recruitment for associations go HERE.

Should Your Association Launch a Podcast? 5 Questions to Ask

I attended a great session presented by Evan Sparks, American Bankers Association, on the title of this blog at the recent ASAE Marketing and Membership meeting in DC.

He started by saying that some folks feel podcasts are replacing radio – radio duplication.

Are you part of the 62% of Americans that are listening to podcasts?

He explained three types of podcasts:

  1. Q&A
  2. Panel discussion – one-on-one, not a panel of four
  3. In-depth lecture

But before you dive in, ask yourself the following five questions?

1.    Who are your members?

  • Will there be enough members that will engage to make the podcast sustainable?

2.    How do your members currently engage with your organization?

  • You must understand this to make an informed decision on whether your members will engage, do they have the time or are they already getting the information they need through your current communication vehicles?  Can the podcast supplement your current program of work as it relates to your content, advocacy work, training programs?  Think of a podcast as the new conference call you use to do with your members on a hot topic.

3.    What’s your content strategy?

  • Free vs paid – is this a marketing opportunity for new members?  This is also an opportunity to get a sponsor to generate non-dues revenue.
  • The content long tail – use the podcast as a way to tease upcoming programming or keep the content alive and in front of your members.
  • Adapting existing content – don’t recreate the wheel.  You’ve heard me say it before, repurpose your content on multiple channels.

4.    What is your current content mix, and how would podcasting fit into that?

  • Range of topics.
  • Your print vs digital.
  • What frequency strategy will you have for your podcast?  Daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly?
  • Long-form or short-form?  Most will say 15 – 20 minutes tops.
  • Active and passive.

5.    What resources can you devote to production and distribution?

  • Goals and objectives (engagement vs revenue).
  • Who will host the podcast?  Be consistent.
  • Format – as mentioned above, long-form or short-form.
  • Equipment you need?
  • Production – staff vs dollars?
  • Distribution – what channels will you use to reach your audience?
  • Marketing – if you don’t market it, no one will listen.

At the end of the day, make sure you have a base of people that will engage with a new podcast on a regular basis.

The speaker’s final comments:

  • Podcasting is not for everyone.  
  • Your organization should be able to identify your goals for creating the podcast, including but not limited to, the tailoring of your content, format and frequency that fits your audience and your content strategy.
  • It’s a great way to introduce members of your team that are subject matter experts to your membership and community.
  • Don’t give your guests the questions.  Do give them a sense of the overall direction of the session.

For more information on starting a podcast, the logistics side of the equation, go HERE.