What the SocialFish taught me.

10Dec08

I was lucky enough to attend the SocialFish, LLC “Blogging for Associations” workshop yesterday with Peggy Hoffman and Rene Shonerd. It was a great session!

Here’s what I learned/revisited:

* Your content needs to be about the community
Don’t have your blog be about the association, have it be about the community as a whole and you are more likely to engage your members. Visit topics that are relative to members and non-members alike.

* Stroke some egos
People like to have their egos stroked. So when looking for bloggers, don’t be afraid to entice them with fame. Speakers love the opportunity to promote themselves and their knowledge and thought leaders in your industry like to be reminded that people care what they think.

*Interview Blogging
Want a simple way to create content for your blog? Interview someone! How about your President or Pres-Elect? Upcoming Speakers? Snag a spectacular interview with someone engaging that your industry cares about and you’ve just turned your blog into something your membership looks to as a leader in the industry.

* Talk about other people and they will talk about you
Related to ego stroking, but the more you talk about people, the more they will talk about you. Some great examples of this are The Buzz Bin, Bounce These Ideas Around & your general blog roll.

*Keep your content on the page

Do you include videos, podcasts, slideshare content? Make sure you embed the content into the blog post. If you just simply link to the content, you drive people away from your own pages. When you are linking somewhere, make sure you code the link so it will pop up in a new tab or window. By doing these things you will keep people on your pages and more engaged in what you are offering them.

*Greatest Hits
A lot of bloggers have their “greatest hits” or “most popular posts” which are self-fulfilling because since they get the most exposure, they will get the most views. How about changing it up slightly and making those your most important posts, things you think your community NEEDS to know about. Call this section whatever you want, but make sure the content is engaging.

*Aggregation Blogs
A great example is A-List Bloggers or Marketing Profs Daily Fix. They pull posts from all over to create their content. Usually there are guidelines about how often to post and what-not to be included in this type of blog, but if your community already has bloggers, it is a great way to get them all into one place.

*Commenting
Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT restrict your comments. By allowing people to see their comments pop-up automatically they will get a sense of satisfaction. You can include a captcha which will help cut down on any spam, delete any spam comments manually or if you use WordPress-their spam filters for comments are awesome. Also, don’t allow for anonymous commenting.

My favorite takeaway tools: The Flip Video Camera and SpeechTRACK

Personal Note: I’ve wanted a Flip for awhile, but since I actually got to see one in person yesterday and got feedback, I’m considering siphoning off the Christmas money to get one. A basic model for $130? How can you beat that?

I learned a bunch of other stuff too, a lot about how to marketing your blog and using other online tools to bring exposure to what you are doing. I came away with a lot of great info and take-aways, and found a ton of other PA blogs b/c of a simple suggestion from Maddie!

Not to be too promo, but visit their School of SocialFish at http://www.socialfish.org/. These girls really support the association community and provide a wealth of knowledge for use. Both Maddie and Lindy blog about how associations can get involved in social media.

I’ll let you know how the implementation goes!

~Lynn

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6 Responses to “What the SocialFish taught me.”

  1. Thanks for the kudos Lynn! We’re glad you got something out of the workshop (especially you, someone we know is totally clued in on this stuff). Thanks for spreading the SocialFish love!

  2. I loved it! Seriously.

    Plus everyone has a different perspective on different tools and methods, so I love hearing everyone’s approach. Plus a personal takeaway I got was that I really need to start including more media & visually stimulating things into my posts. I think I get a little too text heavy some times.

    Plus the blogroll tip was right in front of me and I never even thought of it! 🙂

    Can’t wait to see what else the SocialFish bring!

  3. Great recap – I’d like to add that one of my take-aways was how a a chapter I would get a feed from national to appear on my home page and using the same feed concept pull in blog posts from say my national assn blog into a chapter blog.

    Coolest thing about the workshop – was sitting in a room and bouncing around ideas – both words and images.

  4. Thanks!

    I learned a lot getting a perspective from sitting with you who does so much with Chapters. Working with a National the thought process is flowing in the opposite way. You brought to the table a lot of perspective for me as my association moves forward.

    Having everyone just sitting around the table was an awesome experience for me. I loved it.

    Can’t wait for us all to get together again!

  5. 5 Jan

    Just encountered a tweet referencing SocialFish so was glad to find out even more about you here. I am fairly new to blogging but trying to use it for work and engage Boomers and seniors.

  6. Jan,

    The SocialFish are great. They really understand social media and understand that a strategy is key to succeeding. If you haven’t yet, check out their site http://www.socialfish.org. They have lots of goodies for you to read. I find myself regularly checking out what new they’ve added to their “living bibliographies”.


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