The Vanguard View: Insight for Association Websites

Find Your Association's Creative Strategy for Social Media

Posted by Ray van Hilst on Wed, Feb 01, 2012


“What should my organization be doing with social media?” continues to be one of the biggest questions from associations - no matter what their level of engagement is.

That’s why today’s ASAE Idea Swap in Reston Virginia by Kiki L’Italien from Delcor Technology Solutions titled “Roadmap to Creative Social Media for Your Association” was so important.

The big takeaway Kiki hammered home is that social media is constantly changing (for example, 6 months ago there would be no mention of Pinterest… but more on that later).  That’s why it is so important to have a strategy and know not just WHAT you are going to do by WHY you are going to do it.  So let’s dive into some key points and tips.

The POST Social Media Strategy

“We want to be on Facebook and Twitter because that’s where the young members are” is not a strategy.  Instead, know why you are engaging in social media and then decide what to do.  Forrester Research’s POST Methodology is a great place to start.  In a nutshell it helps you identify:

    • People – Who are you targeting and engaging?

    • Objectives – What are you trying to accomplish?

    • Strategy – How will you accomplish your objectives?

    • Technology – What tools will you use to get it done?

Notice that talk of Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest accounts didn’t come up until last?  That’s because it’s more important to know where you are going and be able to plug in the right (or new) tools that will help you meet those goals.


Speaking of shiny new tools, Pinterest is clearly the latest buzz of social media bloggers and associations are trying to figure it out.  I’ll leave it to others to fill you in a bit more about it, but is what I have learned from my short time playing working with it and discussing it with Kiki today:

    • Visually Stimulating Content Curation – Images drive engagement. If your images and ideas are engaging users will “Pin” your content and collect/share it.  Likewise the platform goes beyond simply saying “I like this” but says “these are the best ideas I found around concepts.”

    • You Better Have Images – This is key for your specific content items as it is about VISUAL curation so there needs to be a compelling image to share.  I see this as a growing trend that Maggie McGary wrote about in her latest post Want Traffic? You Need Visuals.

    • Analytics Will Help You Decide When to Invest“I’m already on all these other platforms, should I be on Pinterest?” To answer that, start by looking at your web analytics and see how much traffic is coming from Pinterest. Monitor it over time and look for an increase. It should tell you when it’s time to do it or to wait for the traffic to grow.

For more on Pinterest, here are two other resources to get up to speed:

Rethink Video

The days of the droning talking head video are over.  In the engaging world of social media, it is time to think about the humans in front of the camera and capture their personality.  Here’s your opportunity to create a “Video Bomb.”

Put simply, chance grab your Flip Camera or iPhone and put someone on the spot talking about a subject.  The key is to keep it short, give them 2 or 3 quick things to talk about, capture it and share it.

To see it at work, here’s a Video Bomb I shot of Kiki as she was explaining the concept.

The key here is to look for opportunities to create content on the fly, then quickly publish and share that content.

Topics: web strategy, ASAE, Ray van Hilst, Delcor, video, Kiki L'Italien, social media, Pinterest

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