For chambers of commerce, which for years have built their memberships by providing networking opportunities and business training, social media is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it makes networking easier, providing additional tools for the chamber to connect with its membership. On the other hand, those same tools enable potential members to make those connections on their own—without the chamber—much more easily than they could have just five or ten years ago.
When used correctly, social media can make membership in the chamber of commerce even more attractive to area businessmen. What’s the trick to making this happen? According to Frank J. Kenny, a social media expert who frequently speaks to chambers and their members, the chamber’s social media efforts must be primarily about the members, not about the chamber itself. This makes members feel valued, and shows that the organization cares about their success.
To determine the most social media friendly chambers of commerce in the U.S., the staff at OnlineMBApage.com, didn’t evaluate the content of the messages being put out. That would have been much too time-consuming. Instead, we relied on numbers. We searched the most popular social media sites and recorded the number of followers, likes, pins, etc. for around 550 chambers of commerce that met our minimum requirements for consideration.
The formula we used to compute the final scores was designed to give the most weight to the social media platforms that were most frequently used by the chambers on our list. There were 100 points possible, with 27 for Facebook, 26 for Twitter, 21 for LinkedIn, 19 for YouTube, and a total of 7 points for Flickr and Pinterest.
If your chamber made the list, feel free to use the top 100 badge on your website or any of your social media accounts, and let the country and your members know about this wonderful accomplishment.
#1) US Chamber of Commerce – Washington, DC
As the largest business organization—not just in the U.S., but in the world—it’s not much of a surprise to see the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at the top of the social media friendly list. With a membership list of more than three million, the U.S. Chamber represents the interests of small and large businesses alike in Washington, D.C.
#2) Greater Oklahoma City Chamber – Oklahoma City, OK
Following the devastating tornado that killed at least 51 people on Monday, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber posted instructions for people to text “Red Cross” to 90999 to send a $10 donation to help with recovery efforts.
#3) Dallas Regional Chamber – Dallas, TX
The Young Professionals program offered by the Dallas Regional Chamber is a rolling, twelve-month program that features educational breakfasts, CEO luncheons, volunteer projects, and more for emerging business leaders between the ages of 25 and 40.
#4) Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce – Las Vegas, NV
The Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce is pushing the Clark County Board of School Trustees to search far and wide for the next district superintendent rather than looking only at local candidates in order to find the best possible candidate.
#5) Knoxville Chamber – Knoxville, TN
Upcoming sessions of the Bright Ideas professional development series at the Knoxville Chamber include “Fundamentals of Strategic Planning” and “How to Attract, Retain, and Reward ‘A’ Team Employees.” The cost of admission includes lunch.
#6) Charlotte Chamber of Commerce – Charlotte, NC
The Member-to-Member series features events hosted by fellow Charlotte Chamber members. Upcoming events include “Affordable Health Care Act Seminar,” “Re:Imagine/Re.Focus/Re.Boot Conversations for Women,” and “Hike N Soak,” a 1.5-hour hike followed by a 2-hour hot tub soak.
#7) Greater Memphis Chamber – Memphis, TN
The Greater Memphis Chamber offers a luncheon series called “A Conversation With…” that features guest speakers who impact the local business community. Past guests have included Dr. Jack Truong, President and CEO of Electrolux; Memphis Mayor, A. C. Wharton, Jr.; and Michael Heisley, owner of the Memphis Grizzlies.
#8) Greater Omaha Chamber – Omaha, NE
Exhibiting at the Buy the Big O! Show allows you to connect with more than 5,000 business professionals for as little as $625. The show exists to help business owners establish new business relationships and develop leads to build their businesses.
#9) Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce – San Antonio, TX
Leads Explosion is like speed dating for businesspeople. You have two minutes to introduce yourself to a small group of people, and when the gong sounds, you start all over in another group.
#10) Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce – Springfield, MO
As part of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s Partnership for Sustainability, business owners can sign a pledge to assess their organization’s impact on the environment, take action to embrace policies that support sustainability, and help the initiative grow by sharing their progress and the lessons they learn along the way.
#11) Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce – Nashville, TN
Monthly events include the Chamber East and Chamber West networking coffees, an interactive media meet-up focusing on the use of mobile and web technology, and a social enterprise shared interest group.
#12) Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce – Phoenix, AZ
Upcoming workshops include “How to do Business with the State of Arizona” by Jean A. Clark and Jennifer Woods, “Having It All…Making Time for What Matters” by Nicole Stanton, and “10 Ways to Maximize Your Marketing Budget” by Scott Harkey.
#13) Oceanside Chamber of Commerce – Oceanside, CA
During September, the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce presents Harbor Days, a two-day festival featuring arts and crafts, a Pirate’s Cove, and fun family activities. The event is free to the public.
#14) Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce – Allentown, PA
The full-day Lehigh Valley Women’s Summit will feature actress Kathy Najimy. Best known for her work in the Sister Act movies, Kathy is a supporter of women’s rights and provides inspiration for anyone who wants to make a difference in the world.
#15) Salt Lake Chamber – Salt Lake City, UT
The Great Salt Lake Business Expo is an annual event that got its start in 1987 as a five-hour after-hours trade show. This year’s expo was a two-day event with around 6,000 attendees. The keynote speaker was Dan Clark.
#16) Grand Rapids Area Chamber – Grand Rapids, MI
At the Grand Rapids Area Chamber’s Chef’s Table events, not only do you get to share a meal while making connections with other local businesspeople, but you prepare the meal yourself. One of Grand Rapids’ finest chefs will guide you as you learn new culinary skills and meet new people at the same time.
#17) Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce – Asheville, NC
The Asheville Area Chamber’s community event calendar features several events hosted by the Billy Graham Training Center, such as “Pastor’s Institute: True Spirituality: How to Move Your People from ‘In’ to ‘All In.'” Other events include photo tours and 5k runs.
#18) Austin Chamber of Commerce – Austin, TX
The Austin Chamber of Commerce offers a brown bag lunch series called “Now Serving” that meets on Fridays. Upcoming topics include Business Planning, Hiring for Small Businesses, Guerilla Marketing, and Avoid the 9 Branding Mistakes that Can Kill Your Business.
#19) Destin Area Chamber of Commerce – Destin, FL
Start your summer with Destin’s Memorial Day Concert Celebration, followed by Sunday evening fireworks. The fun continues with weekly Rock the Docks concerts every Saturday night and Pardi Gras parades every Tuesday night.
#20) Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce – Austin, TX
Established in 1973, the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s primary goal is to continue the advancement and progression of a strong and stable economic culture for Hispanic Businesses. The Chamber strives to reach these goals by developing business and management skills and bridging access to financial capital and maintaining our cultural values and integrity.
#21) Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce – Los Angeles, CA
The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce hosts annual events throughout the year, beginning with the Small Business Awards and World Trade Week breakfast in the spring. Other events include Access Sacramento during the summer, the Cash for College Convention in the fall, and the inaugural dinner during the winter.
#22) US Green Chamber of Commerce – Newport Beach, CA
The Cities for Change campaign is a grassroots movement to unite 100,000 businesses in a common cause: to prove that sustainability can be profitable. During the 100 Cities for Change campaign, membership in the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce is reduced to $197 per year.
#23) Aspen Chamber Resort Association – Aspen, CO
The Aspen Chamber hosts several special community events throughout the year. The first is WinterskölTM, a “toast to winter” that is held in January. The Food & Wine Classic is held in June, the Aspen Arts Festival in July, and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in August. The year ends with 12 Days of Aspen, a festival celebrating the Christmas holiday.
#24) Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce – Seattle, WA
The Toast of Seattle is a networking event that is conducted in three rounds over breakfast. The event is normally held at one of the local restaurants, but the May session was held at the chamber office with boxed breakfasts brought in by Gourmondo Catering.
#25) Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce – Fort Mitchell, KY
The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce has several educational sessions coming up, including “Effective Workplace Investigations,” “The Fearless Front Line,” and “Leadership: Build a Better Business Owner.”
#26) Sacramento Metro Chamber – Sacramento, CA
The 16th Annual Consular Corps Luncheon will recognize businesses that have contributed to the growth of the global marketplace. The theme is “Thinking Globally: The Economic Impact of Foreign Investment and Exports.”
#27) Manhattan Chamber of Commerce – New York, NY
In partnership with the Small Business Administration, the Harlem Community Development Corporation is hosting a series of workshops to celebrate Entrepreneurship Development Month. The series includes “Determining and Developing Your Entrepreneurial Potential,” “How to Start a Small Business,” “The Basics of Marketing on a Budget,” and more.
#28) Loveland Chamber of Commerce – Loveland, CO
Loveland’s calendar of events includes Memories in the Making, an artistic program for people who have Alzheimer’s, and a Lunch and Learn with Lori Gama. Lori’s topic is “Which social network is right for me?”
#29) Lubbock Chamber of Commerce – Lubbock, TX
The Lubbock Chamber of Commerce now has an app! Available for iPhone or Android, the app allows members to keep in interact with one another and offers special member-only deals. In addition, there is now an option to share deals with the public through the app.
#30) Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce – Duluth, GA
The Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce’s Gwinnet Edge magazine is now available for the iPad. To find it, search the app store for “Gwinnet edge.” You can also download a .pdf if you prefer to read the magazine on your computer screen.
#31) Greater Pensacola Chamber – Pensacola, FL
The Greater Pensacola Chamber has five monthly events: a Business After Hours on the third Thursday, the monthly Gopher Club breakfast, a speed networking event called Greeters, a hospitality round table, and a series of 60-minute seminars presented by chamber members.
#32) JAX Chamber – Jacksonville, FL
Enjoy Community First Saturdays with your entire family. There are activities for everyone, including tai chi, yoga, and a spin class. There are food trucks, children’s activities, free parking, and free Wi-Fi. You can even take the kids for a free ride on the Skyway between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
#33) Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce – North Charleston, SC
Leadership Charleston is a leadership training program that runs for ten months, from September to June. Some of the topics covered in the program are job growth, workforce development, social services, crime, and the political process.
#34) Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce – Boston, MA
The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce offers a series of 30-minute webinars to help new members learn how the Chamber works and engage with the staff. Upcoming topics include “Connect with Local Talent: Chamber Intern Connect,” “Maximize Your Membership: Member Engagement,” and “Prospecting the Chamber.”
#35) Gilbert Chamber of Commerce – Gilbert, AZ
As part of the “What Women Want…In Business” event series, Victoria Trafton will be making a presentation titled “Vulnerability… the Path to Success!” Before attending the session, women are encouraged to watch two TED talks by Brené Brown on “The Power of Vulnerability” and “Listening to Shame.”
#36) Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce – Miami, FL
The Greater Miami Goals Conference will be held May 30-31 at Jungle Island. Each year over 1,000 business leaders meet at the conference to determine the Chamber’s direction for the following year. Events include a Business Leader Luncheon, committee workshops, a general session, and the Mojitos, Martinis & More reception.
#37) Kentucky Chamber of Commerce – Frankfort, KY
The Kentucky Chamber’s calendar lists a variety of educational opportunities, including the 25th Annual Kentucky HR Update and several classes related to compliance with OSHA and EPA regulations, such as “Forklift Safety: Train the Trainer” and “Practical Compliance with EPA Regulations.”
#38) Maryland Chamber of Commerce – Annapolis, MD
An upcoming roundtable titled “Leveraging Government Contracts and Government Grants to Grow Your Business: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” will consider topics such as how your budget affects your strategy, the best time to pursue funding from the government, and how comply with FAR requirements.
#39) Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce – Lowell, MA
At the Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce, W.I.S.E. stands for Women Inspiring Success and Empowerment. This group has quarterly events, an annual breakfast, and an annual scholarship that is given to a woman who wants to return to college to improve her life.
#40) Fullerton Chamber of Commerce – Fullerton, CA
The Fullerton Chamber takes networking seriously, with five regular networking events every month. The AM Networking Connect breakfast is on the fourth Thursday of each month, Happy Hour Networking on the first Friday, Networking at Noon on the first and third Tuesdays, and Sunset Mixers on the second Wednesday of each month.
#41) Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce – Saint Paul, MN
Upcoming events for Chamber members include a social reception at Stout’s Pub & Grill, the 26th Annual Golf Classic at Tartan Park Golf Course, and a class on cloud computing presented by CenturyLink.
#42) Metro Atlanta Chamber – Atlanta, GA
The Metro Atlanta Chamber presents “Eyes on Entrepreneurs” with Bob Pinckney, CEO of EvoShield. The company makes custom lightweight sports protection gear. Admission is free to Chamber members.
#43) Clovis Chamber of Commerce – Clovis, CA
The 39th Annual ClovisFest will feature hot air balloons at the Clovis Rodeo Grounds. Across the street, you’ll find arts and crafts and food vendors. There will be a beer garden, multi-cultural food fair, live entertainment, a carnival, and more.
#44) Greater Spokane Incorporated – Spokane, WA
Greater Spokane Incorporated is offering a free Women Owned Small Business Certification workshop to help women business owners take advantage of the pressure being put on government agencies to award contracts to WOSBs.
#45) Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce – Greenville, SC
The member events calendar lists several educational programs, including “Dr. Kim’s Facebook & LinkedIn Boot Camp,” “The WISE Way to Healthcare: Medical Tourism Solutions for Self-Funded Companies,” and “The Product Is Me.”
#46) Manatee Chamber of Commerce – Manatee County, FL
The community calendar published by the Manatee Chamber of Commerce is just packed with fun things to do. Programs include the Waterlefe Summer Golf Program, the GCBX Spring Golf Tournament, the Downtown Bradenton Farmer’s Market, and the antiques, arts, and crafts fairs at Mixon Fruit Farms.
#47) Napa Chamber of Commerce – Napa, CA
June events for the Napa Chamber of Commerce consist of the First Friday Business Development meeting featuring a Mediterranean lunch and an after-hours mixer at Mechanics Bank.
#48) Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce – Tampa, FL
As part of the Competitive Edge series, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce presents “Competing with Business Analytics,” presented by Moez Limayem. This program will show attendees how to use data to make decisions and overcome challenges.
#49) Prince William Chamber of Commerce – Manassas, VA
The Prince William Business Academy presents “Branding: More than a Nice Design” by Peyton Hughes of Marvelous Marketing LLC. Learn what a brand really is, why it is important to use branding, and how to brand effectively.
#50) Columbus Chamber of Commerce – Columbus, OH
The Franklin County Retail Summit 2013 will be held in June. Attendees will learn about in-store marketing innovations, brand recognition, store design trends, and the state of the retail industry in Franklin County.
#51) Frederick County Chamber of Commerce – Frederick, MD
#52) Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce – Lakeland, FL
#53) San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce – San Luis Obispo, CA
#54) Tulsa Regional Chamber – Tulsa, OK
#55) Cobb Chamber of Commerce – Atlanta, GA
#56) Indiana Chamber of Commerce – Indianapolis, IN
#57) Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce – Bowling Green, KY
#58) Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce – Temecula, CA
#59) Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce – Muskegon, MI
#60) Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce – Lafayette, LA
#61) San Diego North Chamber of Commerce – San Diego, CA
#62) Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce – Chicago, IL
#63) Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce – Lansing, MI
#64) Greater Louisville Inc. – Louisville, KY
#65) Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Metro Orlando – Orlando, FL
#66) Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce – Raleigh, NC
#67) Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce – Miami Beach, FL
#68) Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce – Naperville, IL
#69) Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce – Beaverton, OR
#70) Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Phoenix, AZ
#71) Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce – Cincinnati, OH
#72) Siouxland Chamber of Commerce – Sioux City, IA
#73) Frisco Chamber of Commerce – Frisco, TX
#74) Chamber of Commerce Mountain View – Mountain View, CA
#75) Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce – Coral Gables, FL
#76) Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce – Oshkosh, WI
#77) Chandler Chamber of Commerce – Chandler, AZ
#78) Boulder Chamber of Commerce – Boulder, CO
#79) Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce – Riverside, CA
#80) Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce – Tucson, AZ
#81) Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce – Jackson, WY
#82) Clearwater Beach Chamber of Commerce – Clearwater, FL
#83) Mesa Chamber of Commerce – Mesa, AZ
#84) Greer Chamber of Commerce – Greer, SC
#85) Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce – Santa Monica, CA
#86) Georgia Chamber of Commerce – Atlanta, GA
#87) Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce – Rogers, AR
#88) Salem Area Chamber of Commerce – Salem, OR
#89) Greater Richmond Chamber – Richmond, VA
#90) Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce – Denver, CO
#91) Lincoln Chamber of Commerce – Lincoln, NE
#92) DeKalb Chamber of Commerce – Decatur, GA
#93) United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce – Washington, DC
#94) Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce – Manchester, NH
#95) North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce – North Little Rock, AR
#96) Ann Arbor / Ypsilanti Regional Chamber – Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti, MI
#97) Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County – Huntsville, AL
#98) Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce – Fort Wayne, IN
#99) Irvine Chamber of Commerce – Irvine, CA
#100) Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce – Scottsdale, AZ
Social Media at Your Chamber: How Are You Doing?
There are thousands of chambers throughout the country, so not making this list doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong. There is always room for improvement, but that doesn’t mean you should rush out and set up new accounts without any sort of plan. That sort of thing leads to a string of abandoned accounts that don’t do anyone any good.
First, decide what type of stories or content you’d like to share. Then, determine which platform is the best fit. Make sure you know who will be responsible for posting content, who will monitor the account and respond to comments or questions, and how you will measure the success of your social media strategy. By having a goal in mind from the beginning, you’ll be able to see what’s working and what’s not and make adjustments as needed.
Note: Please let us know if you notice any errors so we can make corrections as needed.