Social media – shift in how we communicate with our members, and public at large. New communication tools to reach your goals; different communication style requiring new approaches. Your approach will determine your success. Traditional media is a 1 to many message, broadcasting. Social media is a 1 to 1 conversation, connecting.During2010 Generation Y will outnumber Baby Boomers, and 74% of GenY have joined a social network. Future membership, digital natives, need to be part of their world. Our competition will not be another association, but what’s available online.If I can find professional and business development resources online, as well as news and information, and if I can connect with folks to plan f2f meetups, what’s the point of joining an association?
Social, don’t just talk, but listen too, otherwise you’re broadcasting.Even if you do nothing, else– listen.Bepositioned to respond, engage and correct. Know who’s talking about you. Know where industry conversation is taking place.
Google Alerts,Twitter advanced search, Backtweets (shortened urls, like bit.ly and ow.ly, that are used in Twitter and elsewhere). Decide on keywords. Check Google (website) Analytics for search terms used to come to your site. Assn name/variations/misspellings/acronym, affiliate names, event/product/service names, CSE/leaders name, URL for web site/other sites, competitors’ names, industry terms/phrases. Biz use social media to respond to customer questions/complaints. Works for associations too. Very useful at conferences. Market research – social media as a never-ending online focus group. Early alert system for crises.Resource: http://deirdrereid.com/2010/10/12/social-media-brand-reputation-monitoring/
Website (or blog) – always your home base – get it in order first before jumping into social media. You own your site, can’t control fate of tools (Twitter goes down, Facebook makes changes affecting your page). Emphasizes your marketing (or political) message – what problems you solve for the member. Where people come to check you out and take action (join, register, buy). Is your site ready for action? (see http://vanguardtechnology.wordpress.com/2010/05/24/27-things-i-noticed-about-your-website/) Think like a search engine – if Google can’t find you, you don’t exist - good search engine optimization (SEO) - keywords. Dynamic - fresh content. Designed with visitor’s point of view in mind, how they would look for information; include only what they would care about. Get it tested for usability. Mobile friendly. No flash – not mobile or search friendly. Good analytics – traffic patterns, where visitors come from, where they go after they leave you, search terms used. RSS feed to push out new info to subscribers. Sharing button so visitors can share/spread your content (AddThis, ShareThis). Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/emdot/13519557
Use basic tools personally first so you get a feel for them, what they’re capable of, how they can help assn achieve its goals. Get sense of culture, do’s and don’ts, what others are doing (other associations), what might work for you. Goal - your professional development – assn mgmt and social media. Read blogs, subscribe, comment – check myblogroll(Association Bloggers in right column) on Reid All About It. Find thought leaders to follow on Twitter – my Twitter list, association tweeps.Join groups/pages on LI or FB. On LI, ASAE is good, AENC isn’t that lively.
Don’t work backwards, start with your strategic plan, i.e. don’t throw up a Fb page or start a LI group without first reviewing plan, learning the tools and figuring out how you can use the tools to achieve your assn goals. Create SM goals based on marketing, communication, membership, PR and GA goals.Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wscullin/3770015203/
LI – business suitreception, Twitter – after work happy hour, Facebook – backyard barbecue
Blogs – story time - share knowledge, entertainImage: http://www.flickr.com/photos/franklinparklibrary/4728689184/
Benefits for your association, its members, and for youResource on benefits (3-part series): http://deirdrereid.com/2010/07/23/why-you-should-give-social-media-a-chance-part-1/Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dave_fleet/2878217338/
Goal – professional development, news and information. Knowledge = value
Personal – Good 1st step for using social media for professional development - where I began – reading/subscribing to blogs, later commenting (social mojo, link exposure)Can subscribe to a blog’s RSS (real simple syndication) feed – orange or flame iconsResource: http://deirdrereid.com/2010/09/30/subscribe-to-blogs-rss-google-reader/
Association - provide knowledge/info/news, be known for itBe your members’ social media coach, encourage participation, train how to use tools for professional development, business developmentBenefits of blog: Like website, your homebase – in your control. Huge content source for members (and others). Establishes assn as thought-leader. Google loves blogsNaturally occurring, keyword-rich pages. Dynamic. Increases potential for incoming links from high-quality websites. Posts are sharedon Twitter, Fb, LI – more trafficHow to do it? – blog strategy, editorial calendarStaff in charge – writing, moderation, marketingContent curation – recommended readsTeam blog – members and others who want exposureOutsource – work with freelancersMixComments - potential for negativity, requires moderation. Leaders can’t write but have charisma/on screen presence – videos!
LI groups - content provider and curatorLI groups – decision open (public) or closed (private, members-only). Requiresmoderation – community, can’t leave alone, nurture; spamSubgroups for board/committees/SIGs - can be open or closed too, irrespective of what main group isLead generation – members, attendees, volunteersMarket research – focus group - members’ problems, needs, perspectivesOpen vs closed groups: Time management - Public – Time saver Members-only - Can upload a CSV file of preapproved names/emails - automatic approval. Will have to manually approve members whose email addresses aren’t on your list. Advantages of public group: Larger community/audience for marketing, showing value (a peek under the tent). Larger community for members to connect with others. Platform to find “lost” members and prospects. Participation of thought leaders who may not be members. Advantages of members-only group: Exclusive benefit – still good argument today? #1 symptom of failing LI group – too much noise (self-promotion, spam), not enough real discussion. How to prevent? Welcome members (can set up automated message), give them guidelines (what’s encouraged, what’s not), contact info. You must moderate your group (daily) to keep noise level down. Delete self-promoting comments/discussions. Send message to the one who posted it and ask them to share something of value, not disguised advertisement (content marketing). See example of group gone wild, almost all spam. Nurture your group:Ask questions about hot topics, how-to’s, questions younger members might ask. Idea - guest appearances from speakers or authors for a few days – interview, questions from group (market it). Recognition for member contributions to community. Answer Questions or alert members to Questions – professional branding. Face-to-face meet-ups for group members. Resource: http://deirdrereid.com/2009/03/25/convincing-your-boss-that-a-linkedin-group-is-right-for-your-association/
Twitter - my #1 source for prof dev nowYou - #assnchat– Tuesday at 2pm – online Twitter chat for association professionals.Reserve your Twitter username so no one else takes it. People don’t get Twitter – experience depends on whom you follow (be selective) and how often you engage with them. Association – share news, information, good resources (yours and others)Resource (7-part series): http://deirdrereid.com/2010/08/10/twitter-basics-part-1-benefits/
Professional development – share updates, news, links, videos, blog feed
Goal – provide opportunity for members to network/connect/build relationships – peer-to-peer networking, business developmentTwitter Conversational - mix of personal/professional tweets – get to know whole personLike LinkedIn and Facebook, platform for peer-to-peer networking and relationship buildinghttp://www.flickr.com/photos/brentdpayne/3013674488/ (photo of a tweetup)
Twitter lists (helps members find each other)
Assn – Fb as member platform for connecting – comments become conversationBlog comments
Goal - marketingMembership – showing what you offer, trusted resource – recruitment, retentionEvent marketing (conference, seminars) – Twitter hashtags, videos, blog posts, FB page (next slide), LI group – before, during and after eventPublic image – PA and GASocial media - public platform demonstrating valueyou providemembers.However, do not use it solely to broadcast promotions or advertise/announce – low tolerance for that, major turn-off. Your social media outposts (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, blogs, blog comments, other online communities) indexed by Google. Allows you to take over Google front page. Increased traffic to website. Blog – image/membership marketing, events, resources
Facebook – most ppl log on at night/weekendsevents – rsvp/shares – viralCreate LI events – when someone clicks “attending” their network sees that – viral.
ASAE EngageSocial media very effective for marketing a conference experience and extending that experience to both before and after the actual conference dates. Conference stays alive in public, creates buzz/interest for prospective attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, speakers. Use Twitter hashtag to organize conference tweets, for example, #asae10. ASAE’s Engage page for their Annual Meetings – blog roll (attending bloggers), Twitter roll (attending Twitter users), mobile application, videos of interviews with speakers, graphic badges that attendees can display on their blog/website (“I’m attending ASAE10”), the Hub (aggregated content from Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Slideshare, the Daily Now/show daily into one place accessible by mobile or computer).
LI groups, if open – lead gen for memb, events, political actionPersonal marketingBlog – best thingLinkedIn - status updates, social profiles, blog feed, group participation, questions/answers, online resumeTwitter – share good stuff,participate in chats – get knownFacebook – not as easy as others since most assn groups aren’t that livelyTeach your members this stuff!Resource: http://deirdrereid.com/2010/07/13/linkedin-basics-part-1/
Marketing conference speakers (previews/post), booth interviews/demos. Lend Flip cameras to members – stories re volunteering, political action/lobbying day, behind the scenes, a day in the life of (for young members/students). Answer typical questions (FAQ) – member and public. How-to’s – vendor members. Interviews to supplement magazine. Tips – create and customize your channel so it looks like your brand, moderate comments, create playlists to organize videos, tag videos (search), engage (reply to comments). Make it keyword-rich – YouTube is owned and indexed by Google.
Future is mobile – younger generation, everyone’s attached to their phoneMobile applicationsLatest tool – geolocation – Foursquare, TriOut, Facebook PlacesApplication for assns – Conferences? Volunteering? Still figuring that out.
Goal – educate members and policy-makers/staff, grassroots political actionAnothereducation channel both for members but also for policy-makers, just like your website is now. Communication tool to alert members to take action. Twitter - follow policymakers and staff, follow journalists, if they follow back, education re issues. Lobbyists FB friending capital staff relationship strengthenerMobile apps – texting for political action - also volunteer calls, polling,crowdsourcing decision-making (articles, session topics), promo codes
FancyAmerican Speech Language Hearing Assn – customized tab by Grassroots Enterprise, their state assns can use it too. When someone takes action, they’re prompted to share it with their Fb friends (spreading the word).
Find target audience - members, prospects, attendees, customers, thought leaders, policy-makers and their staff, community influencers, traditional/new media. Can’t count on “build it and they will come.” Start with the tool (Fb, Twitter, LI) that your target audience already is using.Upload email addresses. Simple process. However, can’t rely on this alone because your members (or other targets) may be using a different email address than the one that you have in your database. Also, do member social media surveys (SurveyMonkey or Zommerang). Send one to everyone then get this info from members as they join or renew. What socmed tools do you use regularly – personally and/or professionally? What blogs do you read professionally? ProfessionalLinkedIn groups do you belong to? Professional Facebook groups/pages? What type of social media training would you likefor your professional and business development? Associations as social media coach for member – valuable member benefit. And, check your Google (website) analytics – what sites are your visitors coming from and leaving your page for? Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/laszlo-photo/2062181707
Choose one tool. Let your members know (market).
Can’t throw up a page and walk away, requires daily attention. Ideal – cross-departmental team. Social media touches many departments – membership, member services, government affairs, public affairs/relations, communication, events, education, IT, executive/governance. Anti-silo catalyst. If small staff, supplement with members. One person takes lead or specific responsibilities divided between a few with input/collaboration from entire team. Who’s on the team? Who’s using social media now, who’s a learner, who shares information, who’s a relationship-builder (particularly with members). Members - who’s a thought leader, who has social juice (influencer, sharer), who wants professional branding opportunity? Integrate social media w all communication – why it’s critical that this is a cross-dept effort, touches all areas. Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kcode/2879429718/
Team responsibilities – one person’s or divided among team. Must make time to do it. Raises issue – how to make room for new responsibilities? Which programs need to be reviewed and eliminated? Are there sacred cows that need to go? Requires communication – meetings, wiki/intranet. Listening: Review (twice a day) RSS feeds of alerts from Google, Twitter, blogs, etc. Take note of hot topics. Content creation, collection and curation. Brainstorm monthly for content seeds – hot issues (use your listening tools to figure this out), resources for younger generations (digital natives, different needs), continue conversations from publications/events. Content must be interesting, valuable and something worth sharing. Engaging/responding/nurturing – Respond to alerts, participate in conversations, moderate LI/FB/blog comments, nurture conversation, post/share content. Continual training, esp at the beginning – how to use tools wisely (assn and personal use), what working, what isn’t. Coaching/mentoring of each others. Create guidelines (or policy) for staff that encourage best practices and outline what’s not appropriate (or just plain wrong – copyright infringement, confidentiality issues, anti-trust, libel). Measuring – weekly log, review strategies/tactics. Image - http://www.flickr.com/photos/koalazymonkey/3596829214/
Discuss ahead of time – how do we handle negativity, for example, negative blog comments, erroneous or critical information elsewhere. Deleting negative comments – bad practice (seen as censorship), unless they’re trolls (offensive, vulgar, etc.). Ideally, your community (fans, members) will address negative comments on your behalf – that’s the goal. PR crisis? How do you handle them now? Do you have a crisis communication plan? You should. Adapt it for social media. Will our governance prevent us acting in a nimble manner? Must be able to respond in a matter of hours, no longer. Who mans the listening post at nights, or last check of day/first of morning, on weekends? Something can blow up during the weekend – will you know, can you respond immediately and not have to wait until Monday morning? http://www.flickr.com/photos/philliecasablanca/2070476609/
Big issue – trust and control – train your staff and then you must let go and trust. Why guidelines may evolve, why training and policy is necessary. Issue – staff personalprivacy. Views may evolve. Everyone has a different comfort level. Discuss with staff – how to handle it when a member wants to be your Fb friend or follow personal Twitter account. Walls between personal and professional lives may crumble a bit. Consider that in Google search, both personal and private activities appear side by side and both live forever online. Staff as 24/7 ambassadors of assn, new role. Negative – personal life is unbecoming (need to train staff on how to clean up their personal profiles online, how to use privacy settings), sense of privacy/comfort level is threatened. Positive – staff as face of assn - leads to relationships, people prefer to connect with a person (rather than institution or logo) - social mediaSocial media succession planSuccess in social media = bring your personality to the space, makes you/assn more interesting and accessibleImage: http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/189364
Must schedule social media activity into daily work. The schedule will depend on number of people involved. Will need editorial/content schedule – work out ahead of time, keep content pipeline full. Daily attention - 4-hour intervals (arrival, lunch, end of day). Set timer. Shut down apps in between. Can send alerts to cell phone (FB comments/posts, Twitter mentions/messages) so can respond in real time, or wait. Can post “office hours” so people don’t expect a reply at night or on weekends.Weekly time to nurture. Comment in LI groups, answer LI questions, comment on other blogs. Find people to follow. Measure. Content meetings – come up with content ideas. Time-saving tools - Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, new tools all the time – these are applications/dashboards that aggregate Twitter, Fb, LI. Can schedule tweets. Can post simultaneously.Content feeds – feed blog posts into Twitter, Fb, LI. Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thenandagain/26288869/lly
Repurposing content so you can use one content idea in several ways on several platforms (different times/audiences). Example – VA Assn of Realtors used same content on website, blog, Twitter and Facebook. Idea - Email w link asking members to share answers on FB page. The conversation starts as “one to many” – email broadcast. If each member replied back to email, it would be “one to one.” But now that it’s on Facebook, it’s a “many to many” conversation, where you get to know your members, and your members get to know each other.
Market youroutposts onhome page (icons), social media page like this example from Chicago Realtors, enewsletter link to blog or LI group or FB discussion, pre-event powerpoint, email signatures, conferences (twitter hashtag), links in Twitter to blog, etc.Be a social media coach on your website – give resources on why and how to use.
Before starting, define success in relation to strategic plan goal. What does that look like? Establish baseline – where do traffic, revenue, new members, registrants, volunteers, etc. come from now? Examples: Weekly log - number of group members, new discussions, number of comments, etc. Track the click through rate of links (in Twitter, LI group, FB page, enewsletter), using a URL shortener with analytics like bit.ly. Where is website traffic coming from? Which platform/tool? Collect data on where new members, registrants, volunteers come from? Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/38389073@N04/3723712803/
We’re dealing with a lot of change now and we will continue to do so in the near future – budgets, industry, online communities, younger generation’s expectations.Time to be innovative, takes some risks, try some new things/approaches.Anticipate mistakes, learn from them and move on. Everyone’s learning in this new space.
Social media cultural influence on your association because of new ways of communicating and interacting: New communication style – not broadcasting, but rather engaging. More collaboration – between staff and on social media platforms. Giving up control – need to train and trust staff. More personality is encouraged. More transparency is demanded. Learning culture – everyone is learning about this new medium together in this space and at your association. Inevitable changes are coming to association due to younger generations’ expectations and ways of associating, and due to influence on online communities (threat). Goal - become community providing valuable services and knowledge, providing new ways for members to connect with each other and with the association. Image:http://www.flickr.com/photos/orangeacid/420493902
Social Media<br />ForYour Association<br />(and for you too)<br />Deirdre Reid<br />IMI Association Executives<br />October 2010<br />1<br />
Today’s Objectives<br />How social media can help your association achieve its goals.<br />What to do to ensure positive ROI.<br />Listening – Team<br />Plan – Issues to consider<br />Best practices – Time management<br />2<br />
Social Media<br />Web-based tools that provide a platform for conversation and community<br />3<br />