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Sweating is for the gym – not for social media

sweat III

Managing social media is like working out. You know you should be doing it regularly, but it’s so easy to neglect when so many other tasks need our focus.

From day one, we at AMPED have made social media part of our marketing and communications strategy, opening and managing accounts in Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for all of our clients. And while we have seen impressive growth in our audience and impressions, I’ll be the first to admit it hasn’t always been a smooth process.

In the beginning, Ann Nelson and I managed the process and met weekly to identify subjects for posting. We had a running date every Monday morning at 9:00. And we kept it . . . for a while. But, like trips to the gym, our commitment to these sit-down-and-make-a-plan meetings began to wane, and with it went the frequency and robustness of our content.

So we turned to key management staff, asking for their engagement.  They were working directly with boards and members, so it made sense that they be part of the plan. And they embraced it!

Soon, everyone on staff was posting! Membership managers were sharing dues renewal alerts and congratulating award winners. Event planners were featuring speakers or announcing schedule changes. Communications staff were culling online community discussions and highlighting new services. We didn’t need to set goals or plan schedules – the whole process kind of happened organically!

We learned that social media doesn’t need to be managed or forced by one person or department — it should be everyone’s responsibility. Just as we expect all staff to answer phones or keep the breakroom clean, we encourage – and expect — all staff to post to social media on behalf of the clients with whom they work.

To keep this “all-in” approach running smoothly, we customized a set of social media guidelines. Among them are roles and responsibilities, rules of thumb for using particular social media platforms (Facebook for visuals, LinkedIn for discussions, Twitter for events, etc.), frequency of posts, and general guidelines (being responsive, giving proper credit, etc.). Ultimately, it’s a matter of trust.

This approach is working for us. We continue to encourage and be accountable to one another and the analytics show that it’s effective. 

Now if we could only apply that that same support model to getting to the gym . . .

For a copy of our social media guidelines, please email me at jrosen@manageassociations.com.

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