Lesley Kyle doesn’t profess to be a social media expert. Instead, she is a meeting professional who has learned the ins and outs of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and who is sharing her knowledge by making presentations to her peers.
Kyle’s hands-on experience made her social media marketing seminar all the more compelling to meeting planners at the Small Market Meetings Conference.
A senior event planner for the Society of Plastics Engineers, Kyle has used Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to market SPE and its events. Her presentation, she said, “is a case study of the society and what has worked for us.”
For meeting planners already overwhelmed by job responsibilities, an important takeaway from Kyle’s talk was her advice to make social media a team effort.
At SPE she created a social media team to “help deliver the message, respond to inquiries and monitor site postings.”
Team members can come from varied areas of an association she said, including the top. “If you have a board of directors who is enthused about it, it is helpful to get them onboard and creating messages.”
Kyle also hired a college intern, a youthful addition of immense value. “Who better to advise me on all things social media?” she said.
The team approach to social media has advantages beyond spreading the workload.
“Messages become dull and begin to lack credibility when you are the only one delivering them,” Kyle said.
After a team is created, messages must be posted consistently and diligently. “Post frequently,” she said, “but only when you have something meaningful to share.
“You should develop a messaging schedule,” Kyle said. “We do it on Mondays and Fridays.”
SPE picked those two days for good reason — on Monday morning professionals are gearing up for the week and are more apt to read incoming messages and on Fridays, they are likely to do the same because they are winding down.
SPE has found that LinkedIn works best for its membership, in part because of its focus on professional networking, its use of subgroups and features that allow professionals to share information like news articles. Improvements that are being made to LinkedIn’s event function will allow SPE to better market its upcoming events, Kyle said.
SPE’s least-successful venture on social media has been with Twitter, she said. But the organization will keep experimenting with the various forms of social media, trying different things to see what works best for its membership.
“Learn, learn and learn some more and keep experimenting,”she said.