Chambers of commerce can
By Joan Stewart
Local chambers of commerce are always looking for new ways to add value for their members.
That’s why social media sites are perfect for them. Here are nine ways chambers can use these sites:
- Create a Facebook Fan Page and share information about things that are happening within the chamber. Include information on events, sales and other things your members are promoting. This is a huge value-added for your members, and you can mention your social media activities when you recruit a new member. See 11 Ways to Avoid Missed Opportunities on Facebook.
- Ditto with Twitter. Tweet special events, grand openings, open houses, news, tips, free advice and other things that involve your members. They’ll love you for it!
- Retweet your members’ tweets.
- Use a photo-sharing site like Flickr to upload photos from chamber events like grand openings, ribbon-cuttings, open houses and even photos from new member companies. These will help pull in traffic from the search engines.
- Use an inexpensive Flip video camera to record special events, tourist attractions, after-work networking events and other things the media won’t cover. If you’re a chamber member, shoot it yourself if your chamber won’t, and give the video to the chamber to share with its members. It will bring you added publicity. You can also upload the video to video-sharing sites like YouTube. Videographer John Easton of Charlotte, NC, says this is one of 9 clever ways to use video to become a publicity darling in your industry or community.
- You can sometimes upload these same videos to the website of your local TV station or newspaper. Newspapers, in particular, are hungry for video.
- Include your members’ social media URLs in your members directory. Include your own URLs in your newsletters, on other marketing materials you send to members, and on invoices, signs and placards.
- Use the social media sites as powerful, free tools to generate support for or against local, state or national legislation.
- Create your own group on LinkedIn, the world’s largest networking site for business.
What have I missed? How does your chamber use social media? And what kinds of results have you seen?