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Association Knowledge Workshop 1:
How to Increase your Community and Add Value to your Members through Social Media and Online Networking
Speaker: Gerrit Heijkoop, Executive Partner & Strategy Advisor How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)
Location: Conference Room 4.1, EIBTM, Barcelpona, Spain
Date: 20 Nov 2013, 09:30 - 10:30
In this energetic and interactive hour you will learn to separate sense from nonsense regarding online networking technology. Get fresh insights in how it can create, maintain and strengthen relationships between your association’s members.
Article related to session in EIBTM Daily:
Build your community online, but make sure it has a purpose first
If you are an association (and even somehow if you are a corporate), you manage a community. How to build and grow this community? Social networks and online solutions are an obvious candidate… but you probably are a bit lost about how to use them exactly. Lucky day for you: Gerrit Heijkoop from How Can I Be Social (HCIBS) has the answer (hint: it has to start way before considering a social network!).
Community building - this sounds like the key issue for associations, and social network look like an obvious element of that. Do associations really start to understand their importance?
I see a lot of associations struggling with the subject. All too often the subject is approached from a technology perspective: should we be on Facebook or LinkedIn? Should we invest in a bespoke online environment? Yet if associations stay close to their purpose, close to the core reason why their members want to unite, the solutions become rather simple. Communication through online networks is merely a means to an end, not a goal in itself.
Connecting members with content, with other members and with other stakeholders seems to be one of the core purposes of an association. Online social networks are a cheap and fast way to facilitate (parts of) this. Unfortunately I am not aware of a lot of associations that embrace them in this way. Instead, most efforts I see by associations are aimed at general PR, membership growth and event marketing.
Social networks have spontaneously generated groups of people who share contacts, advice, experience… don’t they become a competitor of associations?
Yes, very much! They are definitely a low-cost competitive alternative to associations who merely focus on 'networking'. In fact, I don’t see why anyone would pay a membership fee to be able to network with peers. In that case the association is simply not providing enough added value. Associations should have alternative purposes, such as education, research, political lobby, combined buying power, licensing or quality control.
Read the full article in the EIBTM Daily or on the HCIBS Blog