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6 Social Media Trends for Associations to Get on Board With for the Future

Social media is a dynamic space with endless options for increased engagement. Take advantage of these trends to stay ahead of the curve and step up your social media game.

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As the digital world continues to evolve, there is no stopping the growth of social media dependency - especially as connecting in person has been put on hold for the foreseeable future.

To be successful, every organization needs to build a brand reputation that can be felt through social media. Interacting and delivering relevant content to your members is a top priority when it comes to marketing and advertising efforts.

For associations, this can be a tool for success - if executed properly. Creating enticing content that keeps people engaged and wanting more can be fun, but as technology continues to evolve, it can be hard to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices. If you need some help figuring out what's next in the world of social media, here are 6 social media trends to get on board with for the future.

1. Video - the King of Content

We consume a lot of content over social media - whether it's connecting with family and friends, or interacting with marketing and advertising campaigns. Video is the preferred way to consume content. It's visually appealing, engaging to watch and feels effortless to do. Studies have show that by 2022, 82% of social media content will be video, so it's important to build your library now instead of playing catch-up later.

How can you incorporate more video content into your social media plan? here are two ideas to get your started:

  1. Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook stories. Capture events you attend, outings your team participates in, or live stream discussions about current topics in your industry your members and prospects would benefit from learning about.
  2. YouTube channel. You can post longer videos about topics your association is passionate about, how-to videos, and other educational content that would engage your audience and increase traffic to your other social media channels.

2. Social Media for Customer Service

Organizations began to set up social media accounts when everyone saw what a great marketing and business tool it could be. Consumers began to reach out via social media and quickly became a trusted platform for customer service.

Faster replies - and sometimes discounted products and services - made social media a popular channel for customer service departments to adopt. Additionally, it helps with brand exposure and increases traffic to organization profiles.

Associations can use this feature to their advantage by engaging with their members - and potential members - by answering questions and handling concerns on a public platform. When other people see how your association handles disgruntled members in a professional and positive manner, or  engaging in relevant discussions, it can increase the likelihood of them becoming a member. It also helps people understand your association's voice and build a positive image of your association.

3. Use Local Targeting to Reach a Bigger Audience

If your association has members from all over the world, location-based targeting can be an impactful tool to increase exposure. It operates similar to SEO, but uses geo-fencing technology to reach specific areas of interest. This works by geo-tagging your post to a specific location and draws in that local audience.

Social platforms, like Instagram, provide the option to search for posts from nearby places or specific locations. If you add locations to your content, it will show up in the search results and people local to that area will be exposed to your content.

Geo-targeting works especially well for promoted posts or tweets as these platforms help you target the right audience. For example, if you use the "boost post" option on Facebook, you can select the locations that you want to engage with.

4. Social Listening for Better Understanding

Social listening helps organizations understand the impact of a campaign, how people view your brand, and what's going on in the industry at the time. By analyzing this type of information, you can learn a lot about your audience and market to them more effectively. You'll gain understanding of their likes and dislikes, what they're interested in, what they say about your organization, and what they're looking for in terms of products and services. To make it easier for organizations to do this type of research, there are many different social media listening tools you can use to monitor your audiences conversations.

5. Build Trust with User-Generated Content

User-generated content is a great tool for associations to use because it's free and shows the authenticity of your organization - making your brand more trustworthy. Your members are your best advocates for your association and can have a tremendous impact on recruiting.

If you're struggling to get user-generated content, motivate your members to create content by offering incentives, running challenges to win prizes, and chances to be featured on your social media pages.

6. Start a Social Media Community

I'm sure many of you saw the Facebook Super Bowl ad that showed the benefits of creating and joining a Facebook group that's specific to people's interests. Associations can take advantage of this tool and create social media groups that are specific to the interests of your members. Here's a few ideas:

  1. Career path interests
  2. Ways to improve your resume
  3. How to nail your interview
  4. Trending industry topics

From these groups, you'll build small communities within your association that help members find the information they're looking for all in one place. This also allows your members to engage and interact with one another to share ideas and create meaningful connections.

Incorporating a social media strategy can seem like a daunting task to take on, but it's well worth it in the long run. There's a lot to gain from staying on top of trends - like increase in the quality of site traffic and engagement, and a positive brand reputation.

Social media is a dynamic space with endless options for increased engagement. Take advantage of these trends to stay ahead of the curve and step -up your social media game. In no time, you'll be a pro!