Developing a Social Media Strategy: A Professional Association Perspective


  • Wendy McLean-Cobban



social media, strategic communications, professional associations, communication metrics,


Relationship engagement is the cornerstone of social media, hence the word “networking” in social networking sites. Social media sites can make excellent communications vehicles for many not-for-profits since building and maintaining relationships are fundamental to their existence. This social media strategy audit and case study examines the best practices for organizations, in particular, non-profit professional associations, and proposes a social media strategy for a national Canadian professional association. The study found that while many professional associations are using social media to engage with their members and other stakeholders, there are a number of key elements that need to be considered when associations develop social media strategies including: implementing a social media policy for staff and members; allocating proper staff resources, including training; tying social media activities back to the strategic plan of the organization; ensuring consistency of messages and content across platforms; and finally making sure social media activities are measured with both quantitative and qualitative measures.