I gave a webinar recently on Social Media for Non-Profits and Associations and what companies should be considering in 2009. It’s a new year, a down economy, and there are still a ton of opportunities so let’s turn a frown into a smile.
Here is a snapshot at my recommendations.
– Take advantage of the social networks that already exist out there instead of recreating your own. Very few companies have created their own successful community. If they have done a good job – it is because of the demand for the content not the technology.
– Video is in.
– Podcasts are out.
– Don’t spend tons of money on high-end commercial videos. They cost way too much and it’s going to take a while to recoup the expense. Guerilla marketing is in – it’s more trusted today than commercials. Use a basic video cam and do it yourself.
– Add social media bookmarks to your site. (AddThis.com has them all)
– Facebook. Fastest growing segment. Ages 35-55. Not teens. Who knew? Approaching 200 million really quick. I project it will hit it in April.
– Discussion Forums should be public. Paid models do not work very well as people expect to network for free. Your members will go and find a free resource to connect else where. Consider giving away your forums and just increasing membership dues for your other added benefits.
– Expect 10% of your members to participate in Social media. Similar to association annual trade shows.
– Most popular: YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Wikipedia.
– Remember, social media sites are for marketing. They are a marketing channel. They do not belong to IT, they belong to marketers.
– Define your social media goals upfront — the purpose of each site you will actively participate on.
– Get on these sites before one of your members does and owns your brand on the site. Start small now.
– There is an opportunity to sell ads on these sites in your alloted space.
– Do 1-2 hours of research each week on your company on the Internet. Who is posting anything about your organization?
– User generated content and images.