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Engaging First-Time Conference Attendees

Engaging First-Time Conference Attendees: 4 Tactics to Try

Of course you want to provide an exceptional experience for ALL of your conference attendees, but ensuring that happens for your first-time attendees is particularly important. Their decision to attend future events (and possibly even renew their membership) depends heavily on that first experience, so going the extra mile for those folks, in particular, is certainly worth it.

What does “going the extra mile” for your first-time attendees look like? Here are a few tactics worth trying:

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Creating a Social Media Content Calendar at Your Association

Posted by Callie Walker

Creating a Social Media Content Calendar

By now, you probably know the importance of social media. But have you ever sat there thinking, “What on earth am I supposed to post?!”

Or…”Why does no one ever like our stuff?!”

Yeah, we’ve been there too. It can be frustrating, no doubt. But whether you’re struggling with lack of content or lack of engagement (or both), we’ve found there’s one tool that typically prompts some activity: a social media content calendar.

First things first: A social media content calendar does NOT have to be fancy. We repeat: A social media content calendar does NOT have to be fancy. It can be as simple as adding notes on your Google or Outlook calendar. But the point is having a plan. While it can be hard to come up with relevant and engaging content on the spot, planning in advance for posts like that is much more doable.

When creating a social media content calendar, here are a few tips…

  • Start with your own meetings and events - What events does your association have planned for the next quarter? A luncheon? A happy hour? Your spring conference? Place those on the calendar, and not only that, but photo ops for each. For example, at your luncheon, you may want to get pictures of the food, your speaker, the audience, members networking, etc. Having a plan makes it MUCH more easy to execute.
  • Don’t forget internal happenings/celebrations - People often disregard the little things that go on in the office - when two people show up matching, when a cake is brought in for someone’s birthday, when beautiful flowers are sent from a client, etc. But those are the things that resonate with people. While some of that can’t be planned in advance (you don’t know if flowers are going to be delivered), some of it can (people’s birthdays, work anniversaries, etc.). Mark those on the calendar and try and come up with a photo op for each (your coworker blowing out candles, for example). (And as far as the other more spontaneous happenings go, just be open and willing to carve out a little time to snap a quick pic and post it - even if you have to ask people to gather, and yes, of course, smile.)
  • Plan for traditional holidays - and quirky ones! - Holidays are great for social media content planning. Valentine’s Day coming up? Get themed doughnuts for the office! (With a pic, of course.) St. Patrick’s Day around the corner? Encourage your staff members to wear all green. These are things are that easy, but require just a tad bit of planning. Then, there are the wacky holidays (our favorite). National Cookie Day, National Coffee Day, National Pizza Day, etc. They sound silly, but trust us, they’re GREAT for social media engagement. (Just search the hashtags if you don’t believe us!)

We get it, getting started is the hardest part. So to help you get the ball rolling (and the creative juices flowing), here are a few dates to be sure to add to your 2018 social media content calendar:

Traditional holidays:

  • March 17 - St. Patrick’s Day
  • April 1 - Easter
  • May 28 - Memorial Day
  • July 4 - Independence Day
  • Sept. 3 - Labor Day
  • Oct. 8 - Columbus Day
  • Oct. 31 - Halloween
  • Nov. 12 - Veterans Day
  • Nov. 22 - Thanksgiving
  • Dec. 2 - 10 - Hanukkah
  • Dec. 25 - Christmas

More obscure holidays:

  • March 14 - Pi Day
  • June 1 - National Doughnut Day
  • Sept. 29 - National Coffee Day
  • Oct. 4 - National Taco Day
  • Nov. 12 - National Pizza Day

Seasonal holidays:

  • March 20 - First day of spring
  • June 21  - First day of summer
  • Sept. 22 - First day of fall
  • Dec. 21 - First day of winter

(If you’re at a total loss for how to turn these holidays into social media photo ops, take a look at MemberClicks! We try to capitalize on these pretty regularly.)

And for more tips on boosting social media engagement, check out our free Small-Staff Guide to Social Media below! It’s filled with best practices 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: social media for associations, member engagement, Small Staff Chatter

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