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Introducing Kevin Cahalane – Membership Strategies with Social Media

Kevin Cahalane

Kevin Cahalane

Kevin is a membership recruitment specialist who will be sharing his expertise with Syneka Marketing and our clients. Kevin has worked with some of Australia’s top Associations, Clubs and other non-profit Organisations including CPA Australia, Financial Planning Association of Australia, Kindergarten Parents Victoria, Deakin University and Zoo’s Victoria.

Kevin will be sharing his insights through blog posts at Syneka Snippets.

Kevin’s first Syneka Snippets Blog Post is a recent interview with Alex on using social media effectively in not-for-profit organisations:

Kevin Cahalane
You are heavily involved in developing social media for not-for-profit organisations … what are some of the key requirements for a nfp to develop a social media strategy?

Alex Makin

A not-for-profit organisation, like any organisation, needs to know what they are seeking to achieve from social media. Social media is a communications tool to achieve your marketing objectives. Your messages and brand need to be consistent across all forms of marketing.

Kevin Cahalane
Put up a Facebook page … and you’re on your way, right?

Alex Makin

While it may sound this simple, there is to more to social media than simply putting up a Facebook Page or creating a Twitter account.

Firstly, social media, like a website, is only effective if it regularly updated. The best way to achieve this is to integrate social media with your website. Updated website content should be posted automatically to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email subscribers and other social media tools.

This approach ensures that you have consistent communication across your online marketing tools. Your goal should be to ensure that someone who connects with your organisation is able to receive the same content, regardless of whether they visit your website, Like your Facebook page, or follow you on Twitter.

Also, do not neglect email subscribers, email is still a very effective form of sharing content and should be utilised along with social media to ensure that you engage with your community.

Kevin Cahalane
What are some of the issues and pitfalls they face?

Alex Makin

You need to make sure that your social media presence is continually updated and maintained. An empty Facebook page or a lack of Tweets will deter people from connecting with your organisation.

Your website should be continually updated, add regular articles, such as content from your newsletters and media releases to demonstrate that you are an active organisation. The branding and identity of your organisation needs to be consistent across all forms of marketing including social media and your website.

Social media and the Internet is essentially a marketing and community engagement and exercise. If you do not engage your online community then you will not be effective in harnessing social media.

This does not need to be time consuming. If you integrate social media with your website then you only need to write content once and it will be replicated automatically through Facebook, Twitter and other tools.

Consider the information you currently develop, such as brochures, newsletters and factsheets and use this information for your website and social media.

Kevin Cahalane
If an organisation does not currently have a social media strategy, what are their first 2 – 3 steps?

Alex Makin

  1. Make sure your brand and messages are consistent across all your marketing materials. You should be able to easily add and maintain your own website. If you cannot do this, then it is time to consider a redesign with a content management system. This will enable you to maintain and add content to your website, as easily as typing a document on a letterhead.
  2. Create a Facebook page, Twitter profile and other social media tools. Make sure you know who is authorised to speak on behalf of your organisation.
  3. Integrate social media with your website and engage your online community. Make sure you regularly add content and promote your social media presence in your newsletter, website and other forms of marketing.
Kevin Cahalane
What do you find are some of the biggest obstacles to successful social media implementation?

Alex Makin

Organisations need to remember that social media is a marketing activity and its use needs to be effectively planned and developed.

An ad-hoc approach with irregular updates is not going to be effective.

Integration is the key to social media success so that you write content once and replicate it across your networks. This saves time and ensures ongoing engagement with your online community.

Kevin Cahalane
Any other advice for those starting out or those who have some social media (eg a Facebook page) plans in place, but are struggling?

Alex Makin

Remember that social media is widely utilised across all demographics. Facebook and Twitter are no longer just used by younger people. In fact, the fastest growing Facebook demographic are people over 55 years old.

Also, do not neglect LinkedIn as it can be a very useful tool to strengthen and build connections between your organisation and other like minded organisations.

If you are struggling then it is time to consider what goals you have for social media and develop a strategy to work towards these outcomes. Social media should complement your marketing activities.

Kevin Cahalane

Author Kevin Cahalane

Kevin has been involved in the fields of sales, service, management, retail, training, business development and marketing, for 30 years. As an executive he has worked for companies such as IBM, and The Age newspaper. Kevin has worked with some of Australia’s top Associations, Clubs and other non-profit Organisations including CPA Australia, Financial Planning Association of Australia, Kindergarten Parents Victoria, Deakin University and Zoo's Victoria.

More posts by Kevin Cahalane

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