Almost three years ago, I unsubscribed from ASAE’s awful, circa 1995 listservs. I was getting nothing out of them. Read up on my riveting experience.
But, time marches on, people start new jobs (haven’t heard my news?), yada, yada, yada… I recently updated my ASAE listserv details and began receiving daily digests again.
So here’s a popular question on ASAE’s listservs (and, to be fair, some others that I’m a part of):
I’m trying to market a conference.
How do I get my members to
tweet, do facebook, and various and sundry other
social media stuff so I can
reach them with marketing messages?
They could have just said: help me get my Anglophone members to listen to my French-language advertising.
Mon Dieu! Rule #1 of marketing: Know thy market. That’s why it’s called market-ing.
If your market isn’t tweeting, facebooking, foursquareing, or whatever, your association probably shouldn’t be putting too much time and energy in communicating through social media.
I repeat: Know thy market. Communicate like they do.
When I was at VAR, I figured this out pretty quickly. In 2007 I was hired to give our association a social media presence, and I did. We were viewed as a social media leader. I was asked to write articles, speak, consult. Awards and recognition came, my email and voicemail filled up with messages asking for my advice, and other associations in our industry followed suit.
But a funny thing happened along the way: I discovered that our blog, tweets and facebook posts weren’t making much progress in catching up to our magazine and e-mails in popularity. I won’t claim to have executed the perfect social media strategy, but it was a darn good program. The e-mails and magazines were more effective. Period. So we redirected our efforts into e-mail and print.
We didn’t stop doing social media. We did it smarter. Faster. And in a way that supported print and e-mail. Come to my session at the Great Ideas Conference on March 13 at 2:45 for the juicy deets.
Your market will give you their attention if you communicate a meaningful message in their terms, and on their terms. It’s not quite that simple, but you’ve got to start there.
– fin –