By Jeff Kline


Social Media for Chambers of Commerce

Thursday, October 4, 2012

5 Reasons Why Your Chamber Should Use Social Media 

pet rockWe’ve experienced the odd rise and fall of many fads in the past several decades – the Pet Rock in the ‘70s, the mullet in the ‘80s, and that dance in the ‘90s that everyone seemed to know - the Macarena.

Some people might consider social media to be just another fad – but they couldn’t be more wrong.

Social media is no fad. The way it looks and feels might change (who knows what Facebook will be capable of in five years?), but the strategy that social media has spawned – social marketing – is here to stay. It’s simply a better way to do business. That extra "something" that Mom ‘n Pop shops have always brought to the table - that ability to have personal, one-on-one conversations with customers - is now a possibility for any company or organization.

In today’s blog post, I have shared 5 reasons why social media marketing is a valuable strategy for chambers of commerce.


1) Stay relevant in an increasingly digital marketplace.
One of the biggest benefits to a chamber membership is the opportunity to network with local business leaders. The problem is, some social networks now offer the very same benefit. LinkedIn, for example, is essentially a digitized form of swapping business cards, and MeetUp makes it easy to arrange face-to-face networking opportunities. These social networks pose a threat to chambers – UNLESS you leverage these networks yourself, combining your industry leadership with smart digital strategy to make your chamber more valuable than ever.
2) Reach more people.
Social networks like Twitter make is easy for your content to extend to a large audience. When your chamber tweets a link to your most recent blog post, all it takes is one person to retweet your message. And suddenly your blog post is visible to that person’s network – an entirely new audience. In the social media world, we call this amplifying your message.
3) Enhance your members’ experience.
Social media enables you to provide your chamber members with instant, personalized customer service. Facebook is perfect for sharing important announcements to keep members informed. In your chamber’s LinkedIn group, members can ask questions and share answers. And on Twitter, you can have one-on-one conversations with multiple people at the same time! 
4) Claim ownership of your online presence.
Just because your chamber isn’t on Facebook doesn’t mean Facebook users aren’t talking about you. By having a presence on social networks, you get the opportunity to address negative comments and resolve the problems that caused them. 
5) Increase traffic to your website.
At least 1/3 of what you post on social media should come from your own chamber website. That way you have tons of links coming back to your website, bringing in more visitors. Just like search advertising and email marketing campaigns, social media generates traffic and serves as an important component of your chamber’s digital marketing plan.
Social media is no fad - it's here to stay. So if you’re not already taking advantage of the many benefits it has to offer, it’s time to get started! Follow along with my Social Media for Chambers series to learn how to utilize social networks (including Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin) to strengthen your chamber’s digital strategy.
Download the Blueprint to Social Media Success for Chambers of Commerce!


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