Four Reasons Your Association Should Embrace Social

Four Reasons Your Association Should Embrace Social

By Molly Anderson, NANN Senior Manager, Marketing and Membership

All good content marketers – corporate and nonprofit alike—dream of elusive viral posts and skyrocketing social growth. But how do you get there? How do you find and engage your audience and better yet, elicit likes, shares, and retweets beyond your wildest dreams?

Like many associations, the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN) had a minimalistic presence on social media just over a year ago. With no real strategy at play, the association used Facebook to share a very occasional promotional post. Even with limited effort, a following of close to 10K grew, highlighting a potential opportunity for the association. A little over a year later, NANN thrives in the social space, demonstrating steady growth and impressive engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. More involvement is planned to better understand and connect with the association’s audience, like introducing a conference geofilter on Snapchat and rolling out robust social campaigns in the coming months.

Debating whether or not to create a social strategy for your association? Here’s why it’s worth your time:

nann socialmedia babyolivia resizedShow your human side. Social media offers a new way to share content you care about and speaks to who you are as an association. NANN achieves this through inspirational images and quotes, curated career development articles, nursing humor, and pieces on trending clinical topics. Our 17K+ Facebook followers get to know us through our content choices and more importantly, know weunderstand their needs because we share content they find meaningful.

Learn from your audience. Viral posts are achieved by NANN regularly, sometimes reaching a quarter of a million of people with hundreds of shares, likes, and comments. So what’s the secret sauce? To start with, NANN works hard to hit the mark in terms of the content we share. We tally the likes and shares, we read every comment, and respond promptly to private messages. We learn, research, and deliver topics that spark healthy neonatal conversation. It feels great to serve our audience in a way they appreciate and we consider it an honor to delve deeper into what matters most to them.

Connect in a new way. We all have websites and email nurture campaigns, but taking the social world by storm may not be what your members expect. If you know your members frequent social media, why aren’t you there, too? Maybe it’s time to shake things up.

Take an assessment of various social networks to determine where your members are and how engaged they seem to be, and focus your attentions there. For NANN’s audience, Facebook is currently the network of choice, but for your association, it may be Twitter or Instagram. Once you find the right network, play around with content type, voice, post times, and frequency to determine audience preferences.

Relate to younger generations. If your association is like NANN, “Millennials” is a bigtime buzzword. As association member populations age, it’s never been more critical to find ways to relate to a younger audience. And if you happen to be close to anyone from the Millennial or Z generations, you know one thing for sure: they’re on social and connected all the time. If you want to be top of mind with them, you must create a presence on social.

While every association is different, our need to communicate and feel connected to our professional peers and the good work we can collectively achieve is universal. So give that social connection a try. And once you’re out there, remember the real trick is turning that connection into meaningful, deep, lifelong member relationships. Good luck and stay tuned for more on NANN’s evolving social strategy.

Molly Anderson serves as the Senior Manager of Marketing and Membership for the National Association of Neonatal Nurses. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it...