A YP-Friendly Social Media Strategy

Young professionals can serve your association well in that these digital natives will help you keep up on the social media front.  And by having a solid social media strategy, your association will also appeal to young professional member prospects.

Social media is constantly changing. And, in the race to keep up with the latest technology trends, associations—just like larger, for-profit brands—are being forced to adapt.

But, while associations likely don’t have the budgets that these bigger brands do, they do have another resource at their fingertips: young professionals. As the first generation to be considered digital natives, this group is quick to understand different social media platforms and how to best put them to use. Hiring young professionals is one way to help to keep you organization up to date on the social media front.

While associations likely don’t have the budgets that these bigger brands do, they do have another resource at their fingertips: young professionals.

Adding these staffers to your team will not only help your association stay up to date on the social media front but also appeal to other young professionals to sign up for membership. Here are four social media trends and tactics to utilize to woo these next-gen members.

Live streaming. Content is created and consumed rapidly. Because of this, young professionals want more in-the-moment content. There are many benefits associated with live streaming, including the opportunity for viewers to engage in real-time, the possibility to reach a larger audience, and the chance to expand conference participation beyond onsite attendees.

With Facebook and Twitter’s expansion of live streaming, now is the time to hop onto this trend. Ready to go live? Check out the Facebook Live map to see how other organizations are using this tool. Remember, preparation is key—practice and promote your efforts before broadcasting.

Quality over quantity. Quality has always been more important than quantity. Social media platforms and young professionals are now further cementing that fact.
Remember, competition is high. There are billions of social media users, and they all follow hundreds or even thousands of accounts. Social media channels are making it harder and harder for organic content to reach your audience. Not to mention, most platforms’ newsfeed algorithms now sort posts based on perceived relevance, instead of the time of publication. Concentrate on creating a few high-quality posts instead of oversaturating your members’ news feeds.

Micro-communities. Young professionals are tired of seeing the same type of content pop up on their newsfeeds. They crave meaningful and personalized engagement. In the search for authenticity, many young professionals are moving away from major news feeds and toward intimate micro-communities.

How can association social media managers tap into micro-communities? Remember, these are places to engage in genuine conversations and build relationships with your prospective members. Consider starting with the social media platforms your association is already active on.

Research active Facebook groups within your association’s niche and start participating in discussions. Establish your authority in the field by answering questions, networking with potential members, and actively engaging in conversations. Twitter chats let you connect with your current and potential members by discussing industry topics. Host your own chat, participate in one, or consider sponsoring one.

Reverse mentoring. Young professionals are one of associations’ best assets and can help facilitate these trends. In the typical mentor relationship, the older professional guides the younger professional. Think about reversing this model as a way to position your association as a social media leader. Plan a brown bag lunch with your marketing team and choose a talented young professional member or staffer to take the lead as the in-house social media expert.

(Associations Now Illustration/iStock/Thinkstock)

Kate Sigety

By Kate Sigety

Kate Sigety is manager of communications, content, and social media at the National Association for College Admission Counseling in Arlington, Virginia. MORE

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