Best Practices for Social Networking

Our world is transforming from print to online quite quickly. Social media is not only for the younger generation; it is becoming almost a necessity for businesses to create accounts. So, if you have created a few accounts for your association, now what? How do you know what to post- or even if what you post is what your audience wants to see? When will you receive the most views and interaction? Here are the essential tips you should know in order to build your social media presence:

General Tips:
1) Humanize your association online. People get tired of seeing strictly promotional and marketing posts. Your main purpose online is to serve the needs and interests of your members and potential members.
2) Make sure to be consistent when posting on your account. It is important to make sure you post regularly so your viewers expect when you will be posting.
3) Make your content easily shareable to generate more attention to your account.
4) Set goals for your association and track how effective your social media accounts have been to contributing to that goal. For example, grow membership/likes on the account by x percent each year.
5) Not all social media platforms are necessary. Know your audience and understand which platforms are the most effective.
6) Stimulate discussion and feedback with your audience by posting topics of interest or posting about their thoughts on a past event.
7) Follow organizations and news channels that are relevant to the industry your association is a part of. This could be useful by sharing content from their pages onto yours so your members and potential members are up-to-date with industry news.

What to post:
- Sneak peeks to future events
- Save-the-dates/reminders of events coming up
- Member stories
- Topics that can generate discussion
- Industry news
- Acknowledgement of members’ hard work and welcoming of new members

When to post:
There have been multiple studies conducted to discover what times and days are best for posting material online. During these times, posts get the most views and interaction, so it would be wise to try and be mindful of this when posting online. Here are the results:
Facebook: During the afternoon slump about 1-4pm during weekdays. These times have the highest average click through. Weekends before 8am and after 8pm is the worst time to post.
Twitter: Monday-Thursday during lunch time (1-3pm, peaking between 9am-3pm) has the most traction to this site. The worst time discovered was every day after 8pm and Friday after 3pm.
LinkedIn: Tuesday-Thursday around 12pm and 5-6pm. The worst times are Monday-Friday 10pm-6am.

Summary:
- DON’T: Make the account strictly promotional posts.
- DON’T: Be inconsistent with posting material. Make sure to stay on top of posting material.
- DO: Make it easy for people to share your content by making sure a “share” button is accessible.
- DO: Set goals for your association and reach them by tracking the success of your social media.

Social media plays a huge role in our society today. By creating social media accounts, you can make your association more known and relevant. ADS can help your association set up and manage these accounts to attain your organizations goals.