Use of social media by membership associations

Almost all membership associations are using at least one form of social media. Twitter is the most common followed by LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube.

Almost two-thirds of membership associations would describe their social media presence as fairly strong though recognise that it could be better. This probably explains why most are planning to increase it over the next year or so.

The big question for them however is how they are going to resource it? Currently, according to the recent Harnessing the Web survey, 74% of associations are using staff in other roles to perform this task. Is this sustainable, especially if there is to be even more social media activity in the future?

It is really difficult for membership associations to get any real measure on ROI in this area and to put a strong business case together for recruiting additional staff to this role. Although many would argue that a social media presence helps market the membership offer and serves to both recruit and retain members, there is little direct evidence.

Furthermore, the budget holders would be well within their rights to argue that the reach of social media across the membership (and beyond) still isn’t that great. Just over 40% of associations reckon that it is 10% or less whilst another 30% haven’t got a clue. Hardly a strong case for increased investment.

And yet intuitively we all know that this is the way things are going – more and more people are referencing social media and grabbing sound bites. To not invest simply adds to the sense of being a little out-dated and behind the times. And who wants to be seeing those adjectives in the next membership survey?  

By, Heather Forrester, Managing Director

This entry was posted in Membership, tagged Communication, Social media and posted on July 10, 2015

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