Engaging Your Members Through Facebook?

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I had the pleasure of presenting to a group at this past year’s CMAA conference in San Diego where we talked about Social Media Strategies: Using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & YouTube. One of the questions that I was asked was how to better use Facebook for member engagement. There are multiple tools to stay in touch with members and to make sure they are aware of what is going on.  Facebook is one of those tools and can be a powerful one when used strategically.

Below are five tips for using Facebook to effectively engage your members and create your online community.
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Updates

Scheduling — Create a regular schedule of when you will update. Whether it is once a week or twice, try to stay consistent with when you update, you can even let members know that they should look at Facebook on Friday and Sundays (highest engagement rates in the Food and Beverage Industry are on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays) for the latest happenings. Statistically, it is best to post on Facebook during peak traffic time.  (1PM to 4PM). When you post during these times, you will get a higher click-through rate.

Length — Keep your updates short. In today’s world, people have short attention spans.  Try to keep your characters to fewer than 100 and use a photo whenever you can. Combining a short, targeted message with an eye-catching picture will generate a higher engagement percentage. If you want members to know what is going on at the club, show them with some great shots of fun-filled events.  They might be sorry they missed that one and then come out for the next one.

Call to Action — To better engage your members, invite them to contribute to the conversation with action words such as “post”, “what do you think about…”, “Tell us…”, “comment,” etc. Request that people get in on the action. Ask people for their opinion and ask questions.  It is best to do this toward the end of the post as it will increase the response rate. Be direct; ask for “likes”

Keep the long URL — Research suggests that including the full URL increased engagement rates 3X; tiny URLs had lower engagement rates.

Stay current and relevant — Make your club Facebook page the place to check out what is new and exciting from events to renovations, and to tell people about the accomplishments of your staff. If an employee received really great feedback from a member, why not share it? Let other members know about your fine staff.

I look forward to seeing you in Orlando, 2014.  I will be speaking on If You Aren’t On LinkedIn, You Don’t Exist: Connecting and Networking in the 21st Century. CMAA offers résumé writing services at Club Careers.

Michelle_Riklan_PicMichelle A. Riklan, ACRW, CPRW, CEIC is an internationally recognized, award winning résumé writer and a member of several prestigious career and résumé writing organizations. She is a speaker, author, corporate trainer, career coach, and employment/interview consultant.