It’s not about being ahead of your members, it’s about serving them.

30Nov08

Originally embedded presentation can be found at: http://www.slideboom.com/presentations/28626/Social-Networking-Insights-for-Associations

Maddie and Lindy gave a presentation in a Higher Logic webinar a couple of weeks ago. Their slideshow is above (embedded via Maddie’s blog).

Though I’m not one for going through slideshow presentations (outside of them actually being presented), this one had a message that could be gleaned without actually listening in on the webinar. What I got is that it isn’t about being ahead of what your members are doing, it’s more important that your social media efforts are there to serve your members. For example, Comcast (the big cable company) has a large presence on Twitter. They use Twitter as a real time customer service channel. It’s much better than their call center, the service is faster and they actually listen to what their customer’s complaints are. Being a Comcast customer, I prefer using the Twitter channel than calling in. It’s instantaneous service. As a customer, I am taken care of.

Everybody wonders where to start, they wonder which conversations to join. Reality: There are a LOT of conversations out there. Probably more than you can actually stay connected to in a valuable way. The trick is to figure out which conversations are most valuable to you/your organization at this point in time, of course this will probably change and adapt just the way the conversation does (think about Myspace’s dominance and how that has shifted more to Facebook). Start with listening of course, this is how you find out who is talking about you. Then pay attention to the conversation, notice the little things. Run through the comments, see what is actually being said. What is the tone of what you are reading? Is it good, is it bad, is this what you want being said about you? Now what can you contribute to this conversation? What does you being involved add? Is it anything? In some cases the conversation might be worth only monitoring and seeing what comes up later. The point is to glean whether or not your organization is doing something helpful to your audience/members or whether they are still looking for something.

As association professionals, I think should take the same approach to working with our members. Look at your social media endeavors and see what service or value they are providing to your members. Associations exists because we provide service and value, by just diving into the social media pool and not going in with a purpose (even if that purpose is just to find out what is being said about you in the social media sphere) your efforts may become muddled and unfocused. Without a purpose, then you don’t know why you are there and if you don’t know why you are there, then what are you adding to the conversation?

~Lynn

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2 Responses to “It’s not about being ahead of your members, it’s about serving them.”

  1. I actually obviously must think much more in that direction and find out a few things i can do about it.

  2. It’s always a relief when someone with obvious extrpeise answers. Thanks!


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