Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Social media and associations

I have been asked to talk to the Australian Associations Forum in Canberra tomorrow about the use of social media by associations - the associations that will be represented in the audience will be anything from the Association of Social Workers to Australian Forest Growers. I will be looking at questions such as:
  • Why associations should have a social media prescence?
  • What should go into a social media policy?
  • How can social media be used effectively, yet professionally?
  • What tools best suit associations? 
Having recently moved from education to working for the Australian College of Midwives which is a non-profit association, I have been reflecting on how my message to associations will be different to the message I used to give teachers about social media in education. The answer I think is fundamentally "no".

The reason for this is however you use social media, the key engaging people be they students, members or customers is that social media is about two-way communication. It's about conversation....collaboration...sharing...feedback....honesty...transparency...

So I am thinking that my take-home message is that associations need to make a start with social media by thinking about the way they do business and want to interact with members and community before they launch into technology, and the ins and outs of Facebook. What do you think?

Image: 'in Spire Jump'
Found on flickrcc.net


Andy Glenn said...

I have social media for what I do (A martial art I teach) and social media is indeed good to get the word across but depending on your crowd, you may find that they are clicking "Like" more than actually doing the deed

Sarah Stewart said...

Hi Andy, yes...that's what I am finding too...Its very easy to @like@ something and then do nothing. What advice can you pass on to help me get members to do more than just that?