Social Media for Trade Associations

by | Feb 7, 2011 | At Checkerboard, Integrated Marketing, Social Media, Web Development | 0 comments

I spoke with a client today with whom I hadn’t spoken to in a while.  She works for a national trade association and was interested in what we were up to.  I talked about how our focus has been directed towards Web sites that are used for communication and content syndication.  Really part sales, part content management and syndication, and part inbound marketing through targeting search terms.  I had a full day and my presentation, which usually flows right off my tongue, came out rather sloppily.  You really need to be “on” when explaining this stuff.

Our sites are used to create communication channels between you and your intended audience.  Often they are a source for content syndication through pre-set downstream such as members, through influencers around your industry and the media.  Because the site serves as a content hub storing all content you push out, over time it builds a great resource. It can draw the search engines’ focus for people who are in need of your information.

Thinking it over, I came up with 7 things you could do with your new WordPress site:

rss1. Make your content portable: You want your content syndicated beyond your site through key influencers, and through your own promotional channels such as Twitter and Facebook.   Because of your position in the industry your content automatically has value and can become the source for stories both in the old and new media.  The first step is to make your content available through RSS (real simple syndication).

2.  Communicate with the Media: Post all your communications through your site.  Allow interaction with the media both old and new through your comments section.  Stay connected with them. They are often looking for good story ideas.

3.  Make a Vibrant Member Section: For private content syndication through a password-protected members area, make it a place where you can listen to your members’ concerns.  Connect your emailing system with your content stream so you can push your updates to members who are interested.

4.  Build a resource over time: All posts you make to your site and through your syndication channels store on your site.  Make sure they are categorized and tagged in a way that makes sense to your target market.  All that great content is like spreading out a net over the search engines so you are being found by the right people.

5.  Participate in blogs: Watch for blogs from members and other experts in the industry.  These are a great source of content for your site. Participate in the discussion through the comments on those posts. Always be transparent stating who you are with, and how the issue is of concern to your organization.  The nice side effect of transparency is that you can provide a link.

6.  Socialize your site: Add sharing tools to your content so your visitors can easily share the content through the social networks.

7. Start a YouTube channel: The second most-used search engine is YouTube.  You need a channel there so your target market finds your video content.  YouTube then becomes your syndication source for video.  You can embed your video in your blog and so can anyone else.

Check out the National Association of Wheat Growers for an example of the direction we would take with our tool set:
It also runs on the WordPress platform.

Don’t get overwhelmed with all of the this.  While these sites really put you in the driver site, you can grow at your own pace.  Our program is designed to be developed over time at your pace and of course we can help with programmers, designer, writers, publicists and trainers.


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