Sunaina Kamal
Sunaina Kamal
Society Innovations and Tools, Wiley
  Kiera Sullivan
Kiera Sullivan
Society Innovations and Tools, Wiley

Social media has given us all new ways to have conversations and share knowledge. For societies and associations, social media has become one of the ways they communicate with their members as well as a way to easily extend communication reach to thousands of people outside their memberships. Importantly, social media enables conversations and members can respond directly and immediately.459226275_232991289_232991290_256224451.jpg

As social media has grown and matured, the ways we can communicate have grown; alongside Facebook and Twitter we now also have LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest. Your members are likely already participating and have expectations of being able to communicate with you. Without a social media presence, you cannot contribute to the conversations already taking place.

Using social media well lets you engage with your current and potential members in direct conversations-finding out what they want and building your relationships with them.

But of the many social channels available, how do you know which is the best to use to communicate with your members? and how do you use them well? This is where having best practice knowledge can help.

Our research

We wanted a better understanding of how and why societies and associations use social media. So, beginning in July 2014, for 12 weeks we looked at and analyzed the ways nearly 300 Societies used social media. We looked at the accounts they used and the content they posted.


Our findings

We found most societies used one or more social media platforms; with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn clearly the most popular. Only a few societies had no social accounts at all.

Social media for societies image

Looking at the content shared by societies on the three main platforms we found:

social media for societies image 2

We noticed societies mainly promote conferences, events, grants, awards, and membership. They also share news and often use their social accounts as part of their mass marketing, one-to-many campaigns that result in little direct conversation.

To understand the activity and engagement levels of societies, we looked at their Twitter accounts in more detail. As expected, the topics and subjects which resulted in the most engagement were different for each society and association. Good engagement results from sharing content which is interesting, relevant and useful for your specific audience.

How do you compare?

How does your Society’s social media activities compare with similar member organizations? Take our social media quiz to benchmark your social media awareness against our results.

Take the next step by sharing your results by commenting below and follow us on Twitter. We will be sharing free best practice tips for smart social media improvements.

Image Credit/Source:rustemgurler/iStockphoto

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