By Jean Whiddon
Timely, clear & relevant information is what your members want – and being able to provide it to them shows your value as an association. But with websites, e-mail, social networks and all the other channels the web now has, what’s the best way to reach who with what info? Unfortunately, there is no single answer because everyone uses the web differently. But there are some tips you can follow to be as effective as possible. Why just 9? See tip #1.
1) Be aware of information overload. Be sure what you are providing is helpful and necessary, and don’t overwhelm your members.
2) Make your website a timely information resource – not just brochure-ware. Build an RSS, blog roll, or Twitter feed into your homepage, so the relevant industry news of the day is always right there.
3) Regular e-newsletters, with short, relevant topics that link to more in-depth information let you deliver information to those not actively seeking it. Plus, it’s a great way to keep your e-mail list/CRM scrubbed.
4) Make sure your website is designed for mobile screens. Big graphics, wide horizontal navigations and the like don’t allow convenient communication with mobile users. Be sure to have a mobile friendly or mobile site.
5) If you’re going to have a Twitter account, tweet regularly. Twitter users want to know what’s happening, daily. Product trends, governmental regulations and trade show happenings are just a few of the things you can tweet about.
6) If you have a blog , be sure to post at least 3-5 times a week to keep your audience engaged. The posts can and should be more informal and personal than your main website. Entries should encourage discussion through comments.
7) Re-tweet and use hash (#) tags.
8) If you have a Facebook page, the more people who’ve friended you, the better. Host a contest that exchanges trade show sponsorship points for friend acceptances. Whichever company drives the most friends gets a free sponsorship. Post regularly with all sorts of information.
9) Keep Facebook and Twitter separate – do not repost the same info to both as they each serve different audiences. Facebook is to people who have opt-ed in by “liking” you. Twitter is mostly public and can be searched or followed by anyone with hash (#) tags.
Jean Whiddon is President & CEO of Fixation Marketing, the largest full-service agency specializing in creative strategy, design and interactive solutions for association events and trade shows.