An Executive Director's point of view
January 14, 2013: Tips for association blogs
Here are some additional suggestions for organizing a blog for your association, tips on how to write appropriately, and ways of avoiding obstacles to blog viewing.
December 20, 2012: Measuring social media impact
So, is social media really effective at driving sales?
May 15, 2012: Is a social media strategy necessary?
May 01, 2012: Age is just the starting point
But age is a greater determinant of use for other social media sites.
So, either young people make up a larger proportion of early adopters, and the age disparity disappears as use of that venue increases; or, Facebook simply provides a service that is equally valued by all age groups, and other venues don't.
February 28, 2012: Slowing down the Pinterest bandwagon
February 26, 2012: No secrets
Facebook was created to be public, not private.
It was meant to enable you to meet lots of people and to share information about yourself with them.
To share your friends and contacts. To share happenings in your life. To share what you are thinking about, what you are doing (and what you did last night), and what your friends are doing (and what they did last night).
Facebook is a big party and everybody is invited (including businesses that may want to sell you stuff).
If you don't like that, then maybe Facebook is not for you.
February 07, 2012: Young people using LinkedIn
It should not be surprising that many young people, upon graduating from college and landing jobs, have begun to separate their professional lives from their personal lives. They know that each has a place, but that the two don't need to mix.
So, they'll use Facebook for social networking and LinkedIn for professional networking. As their careers advance, they may start developing tamer Facebook personas that are more compatible with their LinkedIn personalities.
These folks are also quick to adopt email for professional communication, while still preferring calling or texting for social activities. They'll employ whatever tool works in any given situation.
Remember that young people, like everybody else, will adapt to the changing needs of their environment. They won't retain their teenage habits forever (neither did we).
January 29, 2012: Social media is not a silver bullet
Terrance Barkan, on ASAE Collaborate, and on various LinkedIn groups, wonders why association professionals are going to such great lengths to determine the effectiveness of social media before using it.
Perhaps that's because it has been hyped so much that decision-makers are hesitant to dump their other marketing vehicles and gamble on what they've been led to believe will be huge returns from social media.
Well, they shouldn't dump anything. Social media adds to the marketing mix, it doesn't replace everything in it. It provides opportunities for interaction that did not exist in the past.
For example, gobs of your members and prospects may be at a party in a place called Facebook (or another site). They've chosen to be there (you didn't tell them to be there) and they value the connections they are making there.
If you attend the party, too, you can talk with them, recruit them, and communicate in ways you think may be useful. Being there makes you more credible. You don't have to embrace the concept of the party site. You have to exploit it.
It's like mingling at a cocktail party or campaigning for votes at a crowded bus stop. You are fishing where the fishes are. And, very often, they are on social media sites.
So, add social media to your marketing strategy and get help from experts so you don't have to learn everything yourself.
Fit it into a plan that may already include direct mail, e-blasts, blogging, and other promotional activities. Keep your web site up-to-date and connect with your audiences where they are and in the way(s) they want to connect.
Take advantage of all the tools at your disposal, but don't rely on just one.
January 08, 2012: Successful social media activities
July 18, 2011: Cyberbullying
He was wrong.
Some strong opinions had been expressed on the listserv, but that's what discussions and debates consist of. It was civil and nobody was personally attacked.
Everybody is not going to agree about everything - and that's OK. And everybody does not have to think every idea is a good idea - many aren't.
But you should not be intimidated by strong opinions. Those are part of the decision-making process. People express their views, advocate their ideas, disagree with others, and vote. The final decision may not be unanimous - but that's OK, too.
It's democracy, not bullying.