Case Study: Professional Association Content that Converts

by | Apr 9, 2024 | Case study | 0 comments

Photo by Daniele Franchi

Social media marketing for any business is challenging, but for a business in the process of rebranding, maintaining its brand identity while integrating its diverse offerings can seem daunting. 

Meeting that particular challenge is especially critical when that business is a professional association focused on the marketing field. Here is a case study in how rethinking social media marketing for a professional association can not only ensure brand consistency but drive greater engagement and involvement. 

The Client and The Concern

The client was a marketing-focused professional association with (then) approximately 45,000 members. Their social media specialist had gone on leave, and the association was moving forward on a rebranding initiative. As part of this six-month initiative, the client sought to integrate content about its various departments into its social media marketing efforts while rethinking the visual look of their brand. These departments included:

  • Content, focusing primarily on global themes in marketing;
  • Academics, highlighting latest academic works on marketing best practices;
  • Online Learning with a focus on availability for busy professionals;
  • Webinars focused on one-time conversations, and sharing low;
  • Real-time social media engagement at Conferences/Conventions, and
  • Developing a social media strategy for Human Relations to provide insight into “company culture.”

Although their general content was more heavily marketed via social media, the association’s other departments were rarely integrated into their outreach and showed extremely low engagement numbers. Primary social media channels for engagement were Facebook, Twitter (now X), and LinkedIn. 

Two key questions that the client wanted to ask was what is preventing us from engaging more professionals? And can we integrate content from our various departments in a way that preserves brand consistency while strengthening our social media strategy?

Social Media Marketing Next Steps

Although this particular marketing association had prewritten social media content, much of it was generic and geared primarily toward promotion and search optimization. Creating engaging content would be critical for this revamp of existing social strategy not just to rebuild brand credibility but also generate leads for potential members. As part of outreach strategy, each department developed unique content ideas and guidelines

  • Content would focus solely on general information and insight;
  • Academics/Journals developed one-page “snapshots” of research findings to ease reader understanding around specific busines marketing issues;
  • Social media content around Online Learning and Webinars shifted from general information to focusing on professional development benefits to experienced marketerst;  
  • Real-time planning and other marketing efforts (including SEO) to drive awareness and engagement with Conferences/Conventions to drive a cohesive online experience; and
  • A specific Instagram-driven strategy for Human Relations to create a “behind-the-scenes” perspective of internal organizational culture

Although Hootsuite was used to automate the process, a dedicated analytics team tracked traffic using in-channel and web analytics. The overall goal was to determine extent of reach, amount of conversation, and website conversions (differentiating between membership acquisition and membership renewal). 

Six Months Later – The Results

As the association’s social marketing initiative began ending, the internal analytics team worked with appropriate stakeholders around interpretation of social media and web data analysis. Looking at all of the data, several interesting results were found

  • Snapshots and journal-based content saw an average reach of 15,000 – 20,000 users per channel, tripling the reach of other content.
  • Event, webinar and online learning based content increased in reach from 1,200 – 1,500 users to 3,000 – 4,000 unique users
  • Generic marketing content reach and engagement remained constant
  • The increase in reach had a direct impact on conversation volume with greater comments, questions, and retweets/post shares across all social media channels
  • An initial HR Instagram strategy was drafted but the project ended before formal implementation.
  • Based on web analytics, the association experienced a 3 – 4% increase in both new member acquisition and current member retention primarily which resulted in an increase of purchases of event, webinar, and online learning materials.

From an overarching standpoint, the professional association found that social media content which spoke to very specific business issues outperformed boilerplate content. Although this may seem self-evident, this insight informed the association’s rebranding efforts. 

  • Although regular membership was approximately $400 a year, they implemented a “trial” membership of $99 for three months (with discount when extended), increasing new member acquisition.
  • Returning members also opted for the trial, choosing to renew only to gain immediate benefit from educational services but finding other options worth pursuing

Professional associations focus on providing direct benefit for their members, and crafting social media content that speaks to the professional (and personal) development of its members is critical for social media marketing success. It provides a greater rationale for engagement and the establishment of longer-term member relationships.


Author: Gordon Dymowski

B2B Social Media Marketing Consultant/Copywriter

Gordon Dymowski is a B2B social media consultant and copywriter working with small to medium-sized businesses around audience engagement, lead generation, and driving revenues. Gordon has assisted various organizations in social media strategy, engagement, and analytics with a specific focus on healthcare, technology, and mission-driven ventures. He is also a fiction writer who has written for various independent publishers.

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