Sunday, August 30, 2009

Engaging Your Chapters with Social Media: Resources

In my recent presentation "Engaging Your Chapters with Social Media" at the ASAE Annual Meeting (with co-presenter Peggy Hoffman), we mentioned several resources we found to be useful for listening and monitoring online conversations about your organization or industry. I decided to share several of these resources here. Please note that I haven't included information on paid online community sites as that topic lends itself to a blog post all its own (NFi, HigherLogic, Socious, ...etc...). If you have questions about these sites or if you know of some new sites that are even better, please comment here.

The two basic social media alerts you need to have now!

Google Alerts
Examples of things to monitor:
  • Mentions of your Society
  • Mentions of your competitor
  • Industry keywords
Google alerts
Google Alerts are emails automatically sent to you when there are new Google results for your search terms. You can also choose to have your alerts delivered via feed to the feedreader of your choice (e.g., Google Reader or add the feed to your iGoogle page). They currently offer alerts with results from News, Web, Blogs, Video and Groups. (formerly known as "TweetLater")
Examples of things to monitor:
  • Mentions of your Society
  • Mentions of your competitor
  • Industry keywords

SocialOomph can be used to set up alerts and track keywords in the public Twitter stream. SocialOomph monitors the Twitter tweet stream and periodically emails you a digest of the tweets that contain those keywords. You can also use this to track your @replies.

Another great thing you can get from SocialOomph is the Twitter aliases who are commenting on your topic area or Society.

For example, some of the people who post information you put out are not your members...
1. You can get new members this way
2. You can identify current very vocal members this way
3. You can also view these sources as outlets for your many followers do they have?

Transparency is the expectation.

Some examples of free groupsites you can use to start member communities: (formerly known as "CollectiveX")



Great sites for managing multiple Twitter accounts:

HootSuite: **Note: I really enjoy HootSuite for its ability to track link clicks when using its link shortener which is built in and doesn't require visiting another site!

TweetDeck: **Note: I like the way TweetDeck is formatted and its iPhone app works well for tracking various hashtags and groups!


Other helpful links:

Twellow: **Note: This particular link will be very helpful to you if you are trying to build up your list of people to follow (listen to) for your association. You can identify Twitter users who follow or show interest in your association topics/industry.


KnowEm UserName Check:

These are just several of the helpful resources you can use to help manage your online social media engagement with members. I have my favorites, but I've included some second and third favorites here since tastes can vary. Do you have some that you think should be added to this list? Essentials you can't live without for your monitoring and engagement practices?

Friday, August 21, 2009

My Highlights from the ASAE Annual Meeting

I am a learning junkie. I like to jump into whatever subject is near to my heart and then learn as much as possible about it. That’s why going to something like the ASAE Annual Meeting, which is what I did last week, is especially exciting for me.

Along with learning more about some of my favorite topics, like membership development and community building using new media, I was also able to talk in person with members of the Association Twitterati, who are without a doubt some of the most innovative and fun-loving people I have ever met. Maddie Grant, Lindy Dreyer, Elizabeth Weaver Engel, Sandra Giarde, Jeff De Cagna, Jamie Notter, Jay Moonah, Ben Martin, Matt Baehr, Peggy Hoffman, Jeff Cobb, Deirdre Reid and numerous other association superstars met up at the meeting and generated a plethora of tweets and posts. We are all geeks about engagement and that made the conference a kind of nerdy heaven for me. I’m surprised we didn’t make up campfire songs. Oh wait…we kind of did at dinner one night. Nevermind.

Anyway, the miracle of the meeting will be if I can possibly keep by note or memory even a tenth of what I learned.

Here is my Top 10 List of the Absolute Coolest Highlights of the ASAE Annual Meeting:

  1. Hanging with my ASAE homies
  2. The Delcor/Syscom Party at the Fifth Grill
  3. Talking about Netbooks and then about trends with Clay Shirky and about 15 other people
  4. Charlene Li answering our small group’s questions – easy with only 10 people in the room
  5. Listening to David Nour’s presentation on Relationship Economics
  6. Good lunch food provided on the show floor…on bamboo plates no less!
  7. Tweetups and the active Twitterstream for #asae09 (Also, the online hub! And the WiFi!)
  8. Meeting some awesome vendors in the Expo Hall
  9. My session with Peggy Hoffman, naturally!
  10. The Online Engagement Lounge (thank you, ASAE!)
Here is my Top 5 List of Things That Could Have Been Better:

  1. Ribbon bar available at registration area by council meetings for the volunteers on the first day…I didn’t actually get my ribbons until Day 3 of being there and I noticed several others missed out on theirs. It would have been more natural to pick them up right in the beginning.
  2. Bamboo forks were kind of ridiculous. The idea was good, but fell short in execution.
  3. Not such a long walk from one side of Convention Center to the other
  4. A bag check by the front of the Convention Center for Tuesday
  5. My scheduling abilities – I missed out on a couple of things I wish I could have attended…I did better than last year, but STILL missed out on a little even though I planned ahead of time. *sigh*

Moral of the story? I’m not sure. But I had a fabulous time in Toronto and will write some follow up commentary from the notes I took during the Nour and Shirky presentations..

Monday, August 10, 2009

When Do You Become the Great Benefactor?

This post is a bit of a departure from my usual association-related fare, but I am interested in how y'all might respond to the subject, so let me begin...

I went to a small college in Southwest Missouri called Missouri Southern State University. MSSU was not an Ivy League, but we grew plenty of moss in the pond out by the biology lab. In fact, in preparing to settle into this post I attempted to visit the website for facts about my alma mater and the site is still loading. Do I need to say more?

What made MSSU a diamond in the rough was something called the "International Mission" - a promise that the institution made to its students to help engage them with the world outside of Joplin, Missouri. And the promise wasn't empty - rather, many students took part in overseas study with partial to full funding in the form of travel grants.

I took part in the International Mission and along with my participation as editor/writer for The Chart campus newspaper, I consider it one of the shining examples of how a small university can provide a well-rounded experience to students., considered it I should say. Past tense. Because I discovered that with a new campus president and the economic downturn in 2008, several distingushing features of MSSU were disappearing and one of them was the International Mission.

What I couldn't understand and what infuriated me most was why the alumni hadn't been consulted before a public announcement about the end of the program. Certainly, an institution's "mission" was important enough to consider all the options and all the avenues for possible support. After many years of my explaining to my friends in DC (and worldwide) why I had not missed out by going to a small, little known college in southwest Missouri; how the International Mission, award-winning paper, and top-notch faculty had all offered me a unique and personalized experience; I was watching a huge foundation stone for the future of MSSU crumbling to dust without so much as a postcard asking for financial help from the alumni.

Blind donations? I understand why people wouldn't want to be bothered. But for something like a trademark mission? Some things are big enough to ask for the dollars.

Last week I received hope in the mail. A letter from MSSU asking their alumni who had experienced the International Mission for a donation to support the same kind of programs that we had experienced. I was ecstatic. Finally! A chance to help! I thought I'd send in $300 for this year...something I could do without that wouldn't be difficult to miss. But now I want to do more...I want to send in more than that. This is my chance to do something to change a situation for the better!

My question: How? How do I reach out and motivate people to contribute to the cause?

Anyone in fundraising have some good ideas?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Wanted: Member Communities in Need of a Social Media Make-Over!

We’re looking for one chapter who would like to create (or re-create) their social media presence for a FREE make-over at a special session at ASAE & The Center 2009 Annual Meeting in Toronto.

Every nonprofit is looking to create a presence on the web that boosts visibility, creates a strong fan base, builds community and translates to more members, more dollars and ultimately moving the mission forward.

For chapters though it’s a little challenging. There are generally fewer resources at hand. Plus a chapter should be building this presence in a way that supports national’s efforts.

That’s where this contest comes in. We’re going to show associations how it can be done with success and pizzazz!

Here’s the scoop: Some of you may know that master CRP* KiKi L’Italien (Optical Society of America) is also a much-sought after make-up artist to the stars (really!). So we’ve invited her to work her magic on a very lucky Chapter. With able assistant (and also master CRP) Peggy Hoffman CAE (Mariner Management, an AMC), KiKi will create a Social Media Face on the spot.

When: It all takes place on Tuesday, August 18 from 12:45 - 2:00 pm in the session “Adding Power to Member Communities with Social Media.” During the session, attendees will also see real life examples and gain a simple social media strategy outline for chapters.

How do you get involved? Nominate one of your chapters for a social media make-over. All you have to do is answer the following questions and email to Peggy Hoffman ( by August 10, 2009. We’ll contact one lucky winner by August 15.

*That’s Component Relations Professional in Association-speak!

I Nominate ____________________________________ for a Social Media Make-over!

Your Name:
Your Association:
Best Way to Contact You:
Briefly describe who your members are:
National Website:
National Outposts:

Describe the national organization’s social media efforts thus far, noting any particular successes or challenges:
Will you or someone from your association be in Toronto?

Chapter Name:
Chapter Location:
Chapter Website:
Chapter Outposts:

Resources/options available from National (e.g., do you handle or host their website? Offer a members-only community?):
Describe the chapter’s social media efforts thus far, noting any particular successes or challenges:

Briefly, why did you nominate this chapter?