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5 Out-of-the-Box Ways to Engage Members on Social Media

When I first joined Twitter in 2009, I was a 19-year-old concert junkie who thought it was the COOLEST thing to have a direct line to my favorite bands and their members. That summer, the Vans Warped Tour production team used the social media network to ask concert goers to volunteer for a couple of hours, in exchange for a spot on stage during the set of their choosing. Um, excuse me? 28-year-old me is still reeling over how cool that was. And without a tool like Twitter, it would’ve been nearly impossible to pull off.

Using social media as a way to engage an audience in unique and unexpected ways has been a no-brainer to me ever since. These platform’s very existence depend on interaction. And as a member-based organization, fostering a sense of community is in your roots. That will always be true, no matter how communication channels change over the years. The real-time, highly visible nature of social media is just what associations need to create meaningful and continuous member engagement.

Here are a few thought starters:

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3 Lessons Associations Can Learn from Super Bowl Ads

Posted by Callie Walker


According to Fortune Magazine, a 30-second spot during the 2016 Super Bowl is selling for as much as $5 million. Don’t have that kind of cash to shell out on marketing (or anything else for that matter)? You don’t have to!

You don’t need a multi-million dollar budget to borrow plays from the big guys. In fact, here are three important lessons associations can learn from Super Bowl ads:

Lesson #1: Tell a story

Storytelling is a huge part of marketing, and as all you’ll notice year after year, the Super Bowl commercials that tell a good story are generally the ones that prove most successful. Just think about Budweiser’s “Lost Dog” commercial. Not only was it completely adorable, but it was hopeful, joyful, and triumphant. And best of all? It got people talking. Because what’s the first thing people want to do when they hear a good story? They want to tell others! And word of mouth marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing there is.

Lesson #2: Embrace social media

Remember three years ago when the power went out during Super Bowl XLVII? More importantly, remember what happened afterwards? Oreo came out with this little Tweet:


Now it may not seem like much, but this was a game changer for Super Bowl advertising. (Just look at those retweets!) Thanks to the cream-filled cookie company, advertisers now have to work harder to create powerful ads coupled with tweetable moments. In fact, during last year’s game, 50 percent of Super Bowl ads had special hashtags to support them.

Now I know adding a social media component to your organization’s promotional efforts can seem like extra work, but if done correctly, the payoff can be HUGE. So try incorporating social media at your next conference or big event. Who knows? You may get your conference trending on Twitter!

Lesson #3: Harness the power of intrigue

Super Bowl advertisers are great at capitalizing on people’s curiosity. Just think about Bud Light’s “Up for Whatever” campaign. Last year, it featured a guy who had to promise the bartender if she gave him a Bud Light, he’d be up for whatever. Once he promised, he was then entered into a game of human Pac-Man. Super Bowl viewers were then glued to their TVs to see how the game was going to play out.

Now we don’t expect your organization to create a game of human Pac-Man (although if you can pull that off, more power to you). But what we are saying is, when possible, harness the power of intrigue. Get your members excited about something! Tease your next event. And don’t be afraid to try something outside the box! If you can pique your members’ interest, they’ll keep coming back.

Want more tips for engaging your organization’s members? Check out our free member engagement guide below!

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Topics: association management, association leadership, small staff association, Small Staff Chatter

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