5 Ways Your Chamber of Commerce can Use Social Media [and be more effective]
Every business that is using social media is wanting to have business growth.
That is given.
And Chambers of Commerce are no exception. Many Chambers are non-profits but still, they have decisions that need to be made and operate like a business, regardless of their tax status with the government.
In this blog post we’ll share with you 5 Ways Your Chamber of Commerce can Use Social Media [and be more effective].
As of this year (2016), 76% of Americans have a social media profile. This is a 5% increase from 2015. 66% said that they go to social media for their news. As a Chamber of Commerce, social media is an excellent opportunity to be where the younger generation is hanging out. If the 25 – 35 year olds are the next generation of business people, entrepreneurs and society leaders, it’s important to be where they’re at and showing up in a relevant and engaging way.
The bottom line, from the start, is use photos and videos in ALL your posts. Posts with photos receive an 87% interaction rate versus 4% for all other posts.
Funny photos, statistics or data photos (even better if it’s your own research!) and inspirational photos are among the top posts that are responded to and receive the most likes and shares. On average, videos and photos are shared 12X more than posts that include text only. Use pictures of your town, local people from events or use resources such as Pexels or Librestock for stock photos. You also can utilize a tool such as Canva to create appealing social media graphics for free.
Yes, we said free. All of the above referenced resources have a free version that work quite nicely. In fact, we use them every single day.
Aspen, CO Chamber did an excellent job in posting this picture. When you live in Colorado you’ve got a lot of great content to work with. When in doubt, post a photo.
Hashtags are mostly used on the social media platforms (or channels as some refer to them) Twitter and Instagram. Hashtags are incredibly helpful for people to find conversations or topics they may be interested in. Hashtags will drive people to your account and will increase your followers when your info is relevant to what they’re looking for.
It is important to use hashtags that are relevant to your industry, business or town. Another great way to think about hashtags is the concept of keywords all together with no spaces. Don’t go over the top and use too many hashtags just to gain followers. Be responsible and use those that are applicable to your business.
- NINJA TIP: CREAT YOUR OWN HASHTAG
Have a hashtag that is specific to your chamber and town? It is a great way to research the social space and see who is mentioning your Chamber.
The Greater Des Moines Metro Partnership is a great example of using an original hashtag (#SeizeDesMoines) to gain followers and momentum. They were able to grow their Twitter feed to 26,000 followers! Creating a personal hashtag brings a sense of family, pride and ownership to what’s happening in one’s town.
BLOGGING AS AN EXPERT
Having a blog on your website is a smart strategy when it comes to growing engagement for a Chamber. Especially when you are using social media to let people know about the latest blog post you have available for people to read. It also continually gives people a reason to be checking out your website. What you don’t want to do is have a website that is launched and created and then never touched again.
Continually creating content that is valuable to your audience sets you up as expert in your field. It builds trust with your audience that you are knowledge and know what you’re talking about. Having a blog is a great way to get information out there about who you, what you’re doing and what’s going on in your city, town or community.
FEATURE A MEMBER OR BUSINESS
Social media is a great place to feature your members of your chamber. Consider this a ‘perk’ for your members. The more followers and subscribers you have, the more people will see each of their businesses, ultimately driving more traffic to said business and feeding into the local economy. A great cycle, right?
The L.A. Chamber of Commerce has the start of something great here. I would, personally, take it a step further and feature each business separately with compelling and engaging photos (just as we said earlier) that give your audience a real taste of what that specific business is all about.
In this example below, the Blythewood Chamber of Commerce in South Carolina made great use of visual content on their Facebook page. They captured a Chamber member giving them a quote as to why they enjoyed being in the Chamber and then created a testimonial graphic spotlighting both the member and it positively represents the Chamber That is what we call a double hitter.
In social media we don’t always have to be doing everything out there that comes out. But what we do need to do it maintain our focus on whom it is we’re trying to serve and make sure that the content we create appeals to them. Social media for Chambers does not need to be a process of reinventing the wheel. When Chambers are able to see what businesses are doing that gets results they absolutely should test it and see what works for them too.
My suggestion is for you to take the top 3 from this list that you think best are a good fit for your business or Chamber and go ahead and brainstorm for 5 minutes on what type of changes you could make and be ready to implement.
DO ONE THING TIP – Rather than getting overwhelmed that you can’t implement all the things you like, pick one thing that you could accomplish in 30 minutes and make it happen.pick one thing that you could accomplish in 30 minutes and make it happen. @heatherheuman #SweetTeaSocialClick To Tweet
In the comments below, tell me which of the above ways would be helpful for you or your Chamber to start making some changes to get more engagement and more exposure on social media? I can’t wait to see your responses. If you aren’t with a Chamber of Commerce, let me know if you think you can apply these to your business too.
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