Online Communities For Associations: The Power of Now


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Associations are one of the strongest candidates for online communities because they are able to accelerate member-care efforts, which is at the core of the association model. This plenary session, presented in April 2012 at the Digital Now conference in Orlando, FL addressed an audience of of association leadership.

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Online Communities For Associations: The Power of Now

  1. 1. L E A D E R NETWORKSBuilding Online Communities For Associations: The Power Of Now Vanessa DiMauro CEO, Leader Networks @vdimauro April, 2012Copyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC 1
  2. 2. L E A D E R NETWORKSThere are 3 main reasons why people join Associations Access member services • Member services, discounts, newsletters, trade show Professional or business gain • Networking, access to peers and best practices, educational materials, training Participate in the industry • Ability to influence outcomes in one’s profession or industry Copyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC 2
  3. 3. L E A D E R NETWORKSBut Associations face some challenges…• Associations are facing a national decline in membership – Growth is dependent upon younger members• Event attendance is waning• Fewer members are participating in the associations they join• Members prefer ongoing communications to static or spotty communicationMemberSuite Annual Survey of Associations (2011, n=1200)Copyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC 3
  4. 4. L E A D E R NETWORKSThere is a demand to do things differently! Attract a younger membership, sooner Deliver information and resources (online education) on demand Engage with members 24X7Copyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC 4
  5. 5. L E A D E R NETWORKS The burning question… do we need to include social business?Copyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC 5
  6. 6. L E A D E R NETWORKSBut what is social business & how can we use it? Copyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC 6
  7. 7. L E A D E R NETWORKS Social Business is NOT just about using marketing tools online!Copyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC 7
  8. 8. L E A D E R NETWORKS Social business is the strategic use of social media tools and tactics to drive stakeholder and customer value. It is often the evolution of social media marketing activities into a larger, integrated strategic platform.Copyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC 8
  9. 9. L E A D E R NETWORKS The social business ecosystem Marketing: • Social tools -Twitter, traffic & Facebook , G+ & LinkedIN awareness • Online community Thought • Peer discussions Leader- ship Intimacy: • Online events • Member• Online Events 24X7 directory• Digital Newsletters member • User generated• Products /Services services content• Tap into leading trends Copyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC 9
  10. 10. L E A D E R NETWORKS6 Ways Online Community Can Support Associations Offer a platform Increase event for member attendance generated thought leadership Strengthen the Offer educational relationships offerings between your members Raise your Get closer to your organization’s members’ and the thought leadership issues that matter Copyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC position to them 10
  11. 11. L E A D E R NETWORKSHow An Online Community Can CreateSignificant Member Value1. Member has an idea Goes to discussions or content2. Member seeks advice Accesses online advisory service3. Member evaluates options Joins buying pack or transacts online5. Member makes purchase Online support opportunity emerges get benefit create value Copyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC 11
  12. 12. L E A D E R NETWORKSDefining The Digital “Gimme”• What do members want from the digital experience?• What does the digital experience have to offer to members?Copyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC 12
  13. 13. L E A D E R NETWORKSASCA - SCENE Community Fast Facts Sponsoring Organization: The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Audience: School counselors (global) Size: 19,000 School counselors Launch date: 2008 Won multiple awards including •2011 Silver Excel Award for Media Innovation •2011 MarCom Gold Award for Social Media SitesCopyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC 13
  14. 14. L E A D E R NETWORKSAbout ASCA SCENE Case for • Enable School Counselors to communicate andCommunity collaborate • Reduce professional isolation • Give back to members of ASCA and keep top of mind • Enable much needed social networking skills • Grow ASCA’s best practices resource center Results to Date • Since community introduction in 2008, membership growth +5000K members. Now at 30,000K. • Active, involved membership leadership base on SCENE • Integration of association events and offers • Tap into trendsCopyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC 14
  15. 15. L E A D E R NETWORKS6 Reasons Why ASCA SCENE Is So Successful1. It identified an unmet need and serviced it clearly, with integrity2. Timing was paramount – the topics school counselors focus on are complex and they need each other3. The community was allowed to grow organically and focused on the members, not on ASCA4. Size matters – it served a large but focused audience5. It is evolving – features and focus ebb and flow based on member needs6. There is a clear mission and vision for the members to convene (on and off line)Copyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC 15
  16. 16. L E A D E R NETWORKSPalladium Group’s Execution PremiumCommunity Community Fast Facts Sponsoring Company: Palladium Group (founders of the Balanced Scorecard approach to corporate measurement) Audience: Senior strategy professionals from organizations worldwide Size: More than 2,700 organizations Launch date: April 2010 Won multiple awards including SNCR Best Online CommunityCopyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC 16
  17. 17. L E A D E R NETWORKSAbout Palladium Group’s XPC Case for • Help practitioners of the Balanced Scorecard share knowledgeCommunity • Increase customer intimacy • Raise awareness of products and services • Tap into leading trends in strategy execution • Create a new revenue-generating service line • More than 50% of the membership from non-US countries, Results to deepening Palladium’s market reach Date • Drives conference attendance, consulting projects and publishing arm of Palladium • Revenue-generating in first 6 months • Over 15% of new members come from peer referralsCopyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC 17
  18. 18. L E A D E R NETWORKS At every stageIt’s all about connecting Copyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC 18
  19. 19. L E A D E R NETWORKS But who are these “social” people? Hint - it’s not just teenagers!Copyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC 19
  20. 20. L E A D E R NETWORKS The Social Mind Study (2012)Focus of the study: Examination of the interrelationships created by theconsumption of information across social media channels and influence flow.Sample composition: The survey was administered online to 390 participantsThere is a shift in information flow – traditional media is no longer an authoritative source of information• The role of the online expert is rising in importance• The need for expert content is high among content consumers online• People are looking to peers and experts to discover what they need to know and learn• People are directly influenced online by the people they trustCopyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC 20
  21. 21. L E A D E R NETWORKS People Participate Online To Help Others Help others by sharing information, 78% ideas & experiencesParticipate in a professional community 66% of colleagues & peers Belong to an active community of 41% friends & family I want to be seen as someone 39% knowledgeable I am a passive participant & prefer to 31% observe others dialog Persuade others adopt my POV, buy 19% product/service Enjoy interacting using social games 3% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Question: Why do you participate in groups and communities online? Select the top three responses Copyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC 21
  22. 22. L E A D E R NETWORKSOnline Network Users Are Driven To DiscoverEducational Information What kinds of information are you most likely to share online? Other, 5% Controversial, 6% Supportive, 13% Entertaining, 15% Educational, 61%Copyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC 22
  23. 23. L E A D E R NETWORKS Three Operational Processes Needed To Succeed Expert community facilitation A healthy balance of Institutional content (IC) and user generated content (UGC) Persistent and programmatic outreachCopyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC 23
  24. 24. L E A D E R NETWORKS Types Of Digital Members & How To Activate Them Fame Connectors Problem seekers SolverKey Characteristic Seeks opportunities Seeks opportunity to Reticent participant to grow reputation be valued. but overcomes in showcase thought Connect people with order to get answer leadership each other and with to their questions contentMotivators Public recognition Off-line and online Timely response & appreciation appreciation information Validation thru forum Thought leadershipExample Rewards Member spotlight Additional Offline supplemental Bylined article responsibility as research or pointers opportunity content curator or to content or people Shout-out in people matcher who may help them newsletter or in a discussion Copyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC 24
  25. 25. L E A D E R NETWORKS People come for content and stay for community!Copyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC 25
  26. 26. L E A D E R NETWORKS Framework For Social Business/Community Metrics Strategic Objectives (financial, customer, value drivers, learning & growth) Business Unit / Functional Objectives (sales, customer service, product development) Social Business Objectives / Business Case (executive sponsorship) Members Content Traffic Responsive Interaction LivelinessSocial business Registration # of posts / Page views Speed of Thread depth / # of posts /characteristics count distribution response unique distribution/ health factors contributorsSocial business Target Quality & Most # of issues Key insights, Hot topics,metrics demographics, quantity of frequented surfaced & product trend analysis # of return user generated pages, top resolved enhancement visits, top users content areas of interest Copyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC
  27. 27. L E A D E R NETWORKSThere is a opportunity for Associations to usesocial business, especially online communities,to get closer to their membersCopyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC 27
  28. 28. L E A D E R NETWORKS Take Aways• Social business is here to stay! – We have crossed the chasm – Set clear goals and objectives and measure them in order to understand what is working – from an business point of view.• Online communities and Associations are a match made in heaven – Successful communities are dedicated to member relations – Need a combination of off-line and online programs to thrive – Leverage education and learning opportunities• There are powerful examples of Associations using online community to get closer to their members – See ASCA and many others for lessons learned – They take time and effort to build, but can yield strong resultsCopyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC 28
  29. 29. L E A D E R NETWORKS Volunteerism: The next frontierOutreachers• 1-3 hours per week• 1:300 membersData Miners• 2-3 hours per week• 1-2 per 10 active forumsDiscussion Group Facilitators• 2-3 hours per week• 1-2 per 10 active forumsTechnical Keepers• 1-3 hours per week• 1–2 peopleWriters & Interviewers• 2-4 hours every other week• 2 columns & 1 interview per monthCopyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC29
  30. 30. L E A D E R NETWORKSThank You!For more information please contact meVanessa DiMauroCEO, Leader Networkshttp://www.leadernetworks.com617-484-0778vdimauro@leadernetworks.comCopyright © 2012 Leader Networks, LLC 30