Sensible Social Media Strategy

We recently sent an email out with the subject line “Sensible Social Media Strategy.” The response was overwhelming! Although many associations have integrated social media into their marketing programs, there are still big concerns about results, relevance, and participation. I wanted to share some of the questions we’re hearing over and over:

* How do we get our customers to interact with us?

* How do we use social media to reach beyond our members/supporters?

* Is it worth spending time/money just to communicate with a small subset of our existing audience?

* Who manages content? Marketing or publications staff?

* How do we handle negative comments?

* How do we measure ROI?

* We have a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Now what?

Or to quote Bruce Springsteen “Is there anybody alive out there?” Many groups have invested time and energy but don’t see their members/customers responding.

These questions are coming from seasoned marketing and communications professionals. They aren’t afraid of the technology, and many have led their organizations through the e-marketing explosion of the last decade. Still, coming up with a social media strategy that delivers measurable results is proving to be a bigger challenge than they expected. Here’s what one Vice President had to say:

“If we were promoting a game to young adults there are all kinds of fun things we could do online. But we’re a professional society. Our members are business people. They value the services we provide, but there’s just no way that anyone is going to view our topic as fun.”

Clearly, finding a sensible social media strategy is a challenge for even the most experienced marketers.  In the days and weeks ahead, we’ll be posting a series of short articles and tips designed to share what we’ve learned.

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