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Prevent Your Members from Going Dark

How to Prevent Your Members from "Going Dark" This Holiday Season

Engaging your members throughout the year is hard enough. But throw in the holidays, and it often feels downright impossible.

Your members are on vacation, enjoying time with their loved ones, taking a much needed break from their jobs/professions - and rightfully so!

So how can your association or chamber still engage with members, even during the busy holiday season? Here are a few tips:

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4 Ways to Leverage Social Media During the Holidays

Posted by Callie Walker

Holiday Social Media Engagement

Note: This post was originally published on 11/4/15; Updated 11/19/18 for added value.

The holiday season is officially upon us, and with that comes a certain level of increased social media visibility. (People are on their phones a lot more, after all.) But how can your organization really leverage that visibility to increase online member engagement? We’ve got a few ideas!

1. Deck the walls

Most social media sites allow for at least some profile customization, so why not take advantage of that and really celebrate the season? We’re talking about a festive cover photo and/or profile picture (your organization’s logo with a Santa hat, for example).

This adds an element of fun that your members - and followers - will not only enjoy, but appreciate.

Here’s how we did it this year on both Facebook and Twitter:

Thanksgiving Cover Photo

2. Go behind the scenes

The holiday season is the PERFECT time to show off your organization’s true personality. Post pictures of your office decorated for Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa, your employees volunteering at a local food bank, your staff enjoying a Thanksgiving potluck, etc. This allows your members and followers to relate to you on a more personal level, and that’s really what social media is all about.

Here’s a pic we posted last year from our annual Thanksgiving potluck. Simple, but relatable - and festive! (A nice change of pace from what we typically post throughout the year.)

MC Potluck Example 

3. Get in on the hashtags

To give your posts more visibility (which you want), be sure to take advantage of holiday-related hashtags. For example:

  • #HappyThanksgiving
  • #HappyHolidays
  • #SmallBusinessSaturday
  • #HappyNewYear

There are obviously far more holiday hashtags than that, but you get the gist. The more of those you can use, the more you can insert your organization into a larger, more broad conversation. (But note: Don’t go hashtag crazy. Three or less hashtags per tweet is the magic number for engagement!) 

4. Ditch business (temporarily)

The holidays are a time to have fun on social media! You spend all year posting about your events, renewals, industry news, etc. - and that’s GOOD. You need to be posting content like that!

But take a step back for a few weeks and just try to have a little fun. Your members likely aren’t thinking about their profession during this time, so if you want them to engage with you, you have to go where their minds are: and that’s on all things festive! (Family, friends, food, shopping, holiday movies - you know, the fun stuff!)

For example, ask your members what their favorite holiday tradition is. Or, put together a simple Twitter poll asking people to vote for their favorite Thanksgiving dish. (Dressing all the way, here!) Once the new year rolls around, you can get back to your regular content. But, again, this just helps build the relationship you have with your followers on a deeper, more personal level. (There’s more to you and your organization than the industry you work in - and same with your members! Find that common ground.)

Want more tips for engaging your members throughout the year on social media? Check out our free Small-Staff Guide to Social Media below! It’s filled with best practices (and post ideas) for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and more!

The Small-Staff Guide to Social Media  How to engage your members (and prospects) using social media Download this guide

Topics: Small Staff Chatter, member engagement, social media for associations

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