Important lessons and observations
regarding trends in social media for the association CEO.
By John Mancini
mobile, and local technologies are transforming the nature of what it means to
be an association and what it means to be a member of an association. Those of
us working in associations struggle with the implications of this transition as
business models are turned on their heads and the traditional financial anchors
of our organizations—trade shows, restricted content, and paid memberships—morph
into unrecognizable forms.
revolution is also changing the nature of what it means to be an association
staff person—as well as what it means to be the CEO of an association. The
opportunities represented by social spaces and more public presences within
those spaces are hard to resist.
an early adopter of social technologies in my role as an association CEO, here are
a few epiphanies I would like to share:
1) Social technologies are all about
marketing—or maybe more accurately, the future
of marketing. Good marketing is targeted at someone and at meeting the needs
of that person.
2) Connecting the dots across social
initiatives and between social initiatives and more traditional forms of
customer communication is hard work. A good organizing principle is to focus
your activities around getting people to do something—whatever
that is—and to measure your effectiveness
by that yardstick across social platforms.
3) It's increasingly difficult to keep
separate my own multiple social personas. Initially, I kept Facebook focused on
personal stuff, and LinkedIn and Twitter on business. Google Plus Circles
offered a chance to segment these personas, but has been slow to acquire
critical mass, and without critical mass it merely becomes yet another social
thing to check rather than a replacement.
4) For the most part, the ship has sailed
on doing website-specific. online communities for associations. My own
organization still runs communities on our home domain, but I am convinced that
virtual networking activity will ultimately thrive where our members are doing the
rest of their networking—namely, on
either Facebook or LinkedIn.
5) Sharing works. You don’t
have to always write original content. You can organize a structure to gather
other people's content and then curate it.
6) The days of marketing "at"
someone are over. The power is in the hands of the person on the receiving
end of the communication because they can shut it off any time.
massive changes in the way we view enterprise IT systems and their deployment
(the "appification" and consumerization of the enterprise) are
ultimately creating a need for a new type of information professional in our
association has built a comprehensive body of knowledge around the needs of
this information professional, and I invite you to check it out.
John Mancini is president
of the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM). Don’t miss
Mancini’s expanded article, "True Confessions of a Social CEO,” in the next
issue of Signature magazine.