Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Association Chat to feature authors of "Leading Engagement from the Outside-In" on July 14th

Associations have always been “about” engagement, and in the past several years, we’ve had a renewed focus on engaging our members and other audiences. The thing is, most of us aren’t really doing it well. Could that be because we’ve been thinking about engagement all wrong, focusing on what we want members to do and how we define value?

Join Anna Caraveli (The Demand Networks) and Elizabeth Weaver Engel (Spark Consulting) on Tuesday, July 14 at 2 pm ET on Twitter (follow the hashtag #assnchat) to chat about their new whitepaper, Leading Engagement from the Outside-In, which describes a radical shift in our understanding of engagement, one based on an approach that encourages us to view the world from our audiences’ perspective, focus on the outcomes they want to achieve, build authentic relationships, and harness the power of collaboration to co-create the value our organizations provide.

Download the whitepaper at http://bit.ly/1GPNUM6 and come ready to share your thoughts on developing an outside-in perspective on your interactions and relationships with your members and other audiences. 

Anna Caraveli is CEO of the Demand Networks, LLC, author of the new book, The Demand Perspective: Leading from the Outside-In, published by ASAE, and of numerous articles. She has over 20 years of experience in non-profit membership organizations, helping them resonate and connect with new generations of members, build new value propositions, and increase engagement and revenue. The Demand Networks and her research are focused on understanding what it takes to engage today, executing new models of member relationships and helping to build engaging organizations, at the pulse of their markets. When she is not saving the world, Anna walks her dog and cheers for the Washington Capitals.

Elizabeth is CEO and Chief Strategist at Spark Consulting LLC. She has more than seventeen years of experience helping associations grow, in membership, marketing, communications, public presence, and especially revenue, which is what Spark is all about. Elizabeth speaks and writes frequently on a variety of topics in association management. When she's not helping associations grow, she loves to dance, listen to live music, cook, and blog about the Philadelphia Eagles.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The 5 Best Resources to Improve Your Social Media Influence By 35%

We've all heard the statistics about driving engagement on social media by using pictures, but questions abound about how to use this information to really move the needle on social media outcomes. 

Every morning I walk my seven-year-old daughter to her bus stop. We talk about nature, comment on the things we see along the way, and look both ways before crossing the street. On one of these morning journeys I noticed the carpet cleaning van parked on the corner of the street. As I read past the name and busy design work on the van, I noticed four little words plastered across its back right panel: "Follow us on Twitter."

The benefit to thinking through your content strategy along with your social media plan, making sure to measure engagement along the way, will allow you to implement a clear, concise strategy. Organizations who do this will find better engagement and brand recognition than others who don’t have a coordinated plan in place.
Truth is, I didn't look up that carpet cleaning business on Twitter. It may be an expert resource on cleaning carpets with high engagement with its followers, but if it's like many businesses I see on social media, it is likely a social media parking lot for the occasional promotional post. A social media plan should be comprised of so much more than a quick, primarily reactive channel for promotion. It should combine everything you know about your audience, your objectives, your strategies for achieving those objectives, and the tools you plan to use. Add to that your content strategy and you have a strong social media plan that will help you achieve your goals while you gain valuable insights from your audience along the way.
Why is content strategy necessary for your social media plan? Because you need to have a keen understanding of your audience, the types of conversations they are interested in having, and an idea about where, online, they want to have those conversations. In addition, you need to measure those conversations and be able to translate the metrics into insights. Your content strategy will inform your decisions on what to post where. 
Images and video drive more engagement than text-only posts in social media and if you have analyzed your audience, you should be able to identify the online outposts that would maximize your use of images for your audience. Using images, visual pictures, videos, and graphs, for better information sharing has been proven to improve social media influence by 35%. Here are 5 great resources to help you up your social media game by 35%*:
  1. Blogger Beware: You CAN Get Sued For Using Photos You Don't Own on Your Blog by Roni Loren (January 12, 2015) http://www.blogher.com/bloggers-beware-you-can-get-sued-using-photos-your-blog-my-story?page=full
  2. Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner reminds us that, “as humans, we connect emotionally to images more than video, audio or text. People make decisions and take action quicker when promoted by images.”
  3. From a user’s perspective, photos are also the most engaging type of content on Facebook, with a whopping 87% interaction rate from fans! No other post type received more than a 4% interaction rate. (http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/photos-generate-engagement-research/)
  4. 12 Clever Ways to Use More Visuals on Social Media (Dec 2014) http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/visual-content-social-media-tips
  5. Unsplash - This is my favorite new site. 10 new photos every 10 days. They're beautiful. And you can use this little tool to instantly add your quotes and upload to social media in seconds.
You have to try a few of these resources out and see how they impact your social media strategy. Email me with your results at kiki@amplifiedgrowth.net - I'd love to hear about what you're doing!
*Source: Adding a photo to your tweet can boost retweets by an impressive 35% (https://blog.twitter.com/2014/what-fuels-a-tweets-engagement) - March 2014