Social media can bring you a world of attention for very little money. Its only cost is time. But if you don’t have a good, strong following you’re just shouting into the wind. Still, when you need attention right away, growing a social media following seems to take forever. And when you’re worried about revenue, you don’t have forever. But there is a tool in your community that can help you improve your reach, share its audience, and get your content in front of people who make decisions, and better yet, purchases.
It’s a chamber membership.
Many business professionals think of joining the chamber for networking but few understand that the chamber also offers a world of marketing opportunities. Here are a few of them.
It’s likely your local chamber has a larger following on social media than your business does. The chamber can help you get in front of your target market and help your content achieve more views. Once you establish yourself as an industry expert, you’ll have more traffic visit your site. And often posts shared by the chamber feel like endorsements to the chamber’s audience. Their social media platforms are highly respected.<o:p>
In addition to helping you share your content, the chamber may have opportunities for you to showcase your expertise in a non-sales way. For instance, if you are a CPA and a new tax law or exemption is available this year, you may be able to talk to chamber membership about the topic in a lunch and learn. By doing so, the chamber audience will see you as an industry expert and possibly turn to you for their tax needs. The opportunity to write blog posts and newsletter content for the chamber may also help your brand. <o:p>
If you’re struggling with social media as a business owner, you can pay to take an online course or you can consult your local chamber. Some have lunch and learns on social media or new features on social media platforms, while others offer social media membership tiers that provide businesses with the social media know-how that they may be lacking.
Nowhere in the Social Media How-To book does it say you must create all your own content. The chamber can be a very rich source of content and while you don’t need a membership to use their social media posts, they often make some content available to members-only through newsletters and other places that you may not see by merely following them as an outsider.
A chamber directory lists your business for all to see. The directories come in print and online versions. Most people believe that chamber member businesses are reputable organizations so to be listed in the directory not only brings traffic to your site but conveys legitimacy as well. If your community is a travel destination, your chamber may also have a public map that it gives out to visitors. This can be an inexpensive way to get noticed as well.
From an SEO perspective, chamber websites are often highly ranked and considered sites of authority. A link to your business from a site of high authority can mean more traffic and a higher rank for your site.<o:p>
Networking and the chamber are synonymous for many businesses but they often forget all the marketing resources the local chamber can provide. Speak with your area chambers to understand how you can leverage their marketing acumen and resources to help alleviate the stresses on your marketing engine. When you’re at your limit on time and money, calling in a business partner like the chamber to help can do wonders for extending your reach.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and the Event Manager Blog. <o:p></o:p>
She’s a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.<o:p></o:p>