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Chamber of Commerce’s Have Tremendous Opportunity with Social Media

Some of you might know this already, but I am a big fan of Chamber of Commerces.  I was an Ambassador for a Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) and later, I volunteered at a Chamber and did their social media for them.  I learned a lot there and enjoyed the friendships I gained working with the Chamber.  We were quite successful in communicating information to Chamber members and others in the area.


But I think that more can be done as a Chamber has a tremendous opportunity with social media including:

1) Strengthen digital presence – A Chamber can use social media to gain members  and followers.  This can be done by following others, retweeting others information and using the followers of other tweeters.  the Chamber should try to create a buzz to gain more fans and followers.  The more folks that see a Chamber’s posts the more likihood that the will become a Chamber member.

2) Create a portal – A Chamber has the opportunity to be the portal of information about an area for anyone that lives, works or shops in that area.  This portal would contain information about businesses, sports, fine arts, schools, city, nonprofits, etc. that are related to the area.  For it to be this, the Chamber must communicate out all information that concerns the area, not just information about Chamber members.  Information comes from many sources including : other Twitters, local newspapers, visitor bureaus, government agencies (such as the City the Chamber is located in), school districts, sport teams, fine art institutions, local area associations and groups, etc.   Twitter is excellent for immediate information.  FaceBook can be used as a portal for items that are visual.  A Chamber’s website can be used for upcoming events including its own.

3) Attract new members –  Social media gives the membership director a tremendous tool in attracting new members.   The membership director can show the potential Chamber member that the Chamber cares about them and can advertise for them with the social media capabilities of the Chamber.   Showing a potential member that they have already tweeted about them is a great psychological advantage in signing them up.

4) Get back lost members –  There must be a reason a Chamber member did not renew their membership, most likely that they did not see the value in it.  But if they see that the Chamber will be their voice in social media since they are too small to do it themselves they might decide to join again.

5) Promote area and businesses in area – The better an area does the better the Chamber will do.  If the social media efforts of the Chamber brings more people into the area to spend their dollars shopping, eating, attending sporting events, or attending fine art events then that is tax dollars that will be used to improve the area.  An improved area will allow businesses to stay viable and attract new sales.  That is what the Chamber needs as well.

6) Social media philosophy of giving – A key philosophy of social media is that you need to give before you get back.  Social media payback is not immediate.  Social media is used to create long lasting relationships.  Also social media is not just about sending out information about yourself.  Most of what is sent out using social media should be informational and non-salesy.  People want to be informed and not sold to.  If a Chamber only promotes Chamber members then that would not reflect the true activities and goings on of the area.  The Chamber should mention in its social media posts all the charities and non-profits in the Chamber area including their fund raising activities.

Many Chambers are old school and need to adjust.  Being a member of a Chamber is a relationship.  Social media is about engagement and relationships.  A Chamber is more effective with the more engaged its members are.  Chambers must foster this engagement with social media playing a large part in this. Chambers are a place for members to share and exchange information as well as to build relationships that will benefit the person and their business.  Social media helps with this sharing of information.  I feel that members could recognize that the value of Chamber membership by their ability to interact with other successful individuals; in building meaningful relationships that can provide critical insights for the challenges they are facing.  And social media can play a big part of the success of the Chamber and its members.  Let me know what you think.


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