As more and more organizations embrace the idea of social media, itâ€™s important to remember what social media really means and how it can work for your organization. Social media is more than just creating a Facebook page or developing a Twitter handle. The umbrella term â€śsocial mediaâ€ť can be thought of as an expression for the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue. And itâ€™s how/where/when your organization chooses to engage in these conversations that will define your role in the marketplace.
So what does that mean for associations? David Nour, a speaker at this yearâ€™s ASAE 2012 Technology Conference, explained, â€śEnhanced digital experiences in the consumer world have created soaring expectations for members.â€ť
In return, what is the digital experience members have with your association? Associations need to understand the interactions that are created by social media, and comprehensively use that insight to create new opportunities in the marketplace.
As we gaze into the proverbial crystal ball to see what the future of social media has in store for us, it can all be summarized in one word: interconnectivity. The physical and digital worlds will be more highly connected than ever before and the need to manage all those touch points and provide relevant metrics will be vital to the success of your social media strategy. But keep in mind, the vast number of touch points highlights the demand for agility in meeting membersâ€™ needs at specific points in time. Analyzing and interpreting these patterns of behavior and developing an ability to respond quickly to change is a must.
Stepping back to the big picture, the goal is to position your organization in such a way to help your target audience find what they need, keep them coming back, and to build a community around shared interests.
So before your organization asks the question, should we â€śdoâ€ť social media, instead ask yourself, what do we want social media to do for us and our members?