Is Your Association Doing Social Media? If So, You Can't Miss This.
Welcome to the Vanguard Technology 5 Questions Series where we ask an association professional who is doing unique and innovative things with technology to share with us what it's like to be them. The purpose of this series is to help association professionals learn how to better use technology or to help streamline operations or even attract more members.
The format for the 5 Questions Series is that one question is answered in writing right here on our blog and the other 4 are answered in a recorded interview that you can listen to now or download to listen to later.
Our guest for this edition is Shana Rieger, social media program manager, for InfoComm International. Shana manages social networking for InfoComm full time. She has unsurpassed real-world experience in making social media work for her association. So, if you're trying to piece together an effective social networking initiative and need help, this is the episode for you.
Shana talks about the challenges and, more importantly, about the misconceptions associations have about social networking. She also offers up some secrets to social media success that any association involved in Web 2.0 could apply and find useful immediately.
So, let's get right to it. Below is Shana's written answer to one of the five questions. Click the play button below to hear the rest.
Question: Describe a day in the life of a full-time social networking manager.
As the association’s social media manager I am a researcher, product tester, brand monitor and journalist. The job is ever changing, requires spontaneity and I am responsible for making a lot of judgment calls – which tool to use, what’s the proper use of the tools, who uses them, for what, etc. It’s fun, but serious work. Our reputation is on the line with each key stroke and multimedia submission I make.
In late 2007, InfoComm started a LinkedIn group for members only and a Facebook group for anyone interested in joining. After a technology conference in early 2008, we selected a social network solution that we developed over a 5-month period. It debuted at our tradeshow in June 2008. Since then we have created a YouTube channel and Vimeo account and have recently begun using Twitter. We actively used Twitter at our tradeshow this past June. I am currently trying to transition all of our Facebook group members to a Facebook page.
We may soon have a Flicker account and I am always looking to see what new (or already available) social networks we may want to start participating in. I joined the social network to learn more and to determine if it would be an additional site we should have a presence on.
My typical day is checking on discussions, blogs, news and/or postings in each of our social networks. More than once a day I check the monitor sites that I use: Google Alerts, NetVibes and Technorati. If needed, I will respond to a posting or I will forward it to the appropriate staff member, so we can respond to questions/concerns/praise that is posted.
We actively post to our groups, so when needed I meet with marketing staff to know what events/products/articles they want to post in our groups.
I also stay on top of social media/technology blogs and tweets that I follow, so I learn what others are doing or what the next new thing may be.
I answer any questions that come in by phone or email from members of our social networking groups and any questions co-workers may have about social networking or our groups. It is important that I regularly update staff about the activity in our social networking groups, so they know what sites we are on and what is being posted.
The most important part of my day-to-day job is to monitor our groups. They have taken the time to share their thoughts and we believe it is important to listen to what our members are posting.
Hear Shana's answers to the other 4 questions. This is a quick and informative listen, lasting about 10 minutes. Grab a sandwich and prepare to learn.