The Vanguard View: Insight for Association Websites

The Conference-Klout Experiment: The Results Show

Posted by Ray van Hilst on Thu, Sep 06, 2012

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Topics: web strategy, ASAE, Ray van Hilst, Uncategorized, twitter, Klout, Experiment, social media

5 Quick Tips For Your Association Twitter Account

Posted by Chris Bonney on Sat, Sep 01, 2012

Who knew that Twitter would become a major marketing tool for associations? Probably the same people who thought Facebook would be a great way to connect people with associations. Like it or not, all associations have a place in the Twitterverse – including yours.

But just because Twitter is one of the fastest-growing social media site in the world doesn’t mean your association will explode with new members and even attendees as soon as you create a Twitter handle.

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Topics: Tactics, twitter, web 2.0, checklist, social media, associations

The Klout-Conference Connection

Posted by Ray van Hilst on Fri, Aug 03, 2012

I know. I know. I whined in an earlier post about my Klout score going down. But then I realized…

I’m going to #asae12 next week!

(also known as “ASAE 2012 Annual Meeting” for the hashtag impaired)

When I attend conferences or education events, I’m one of those people with the iPhone/iPad/computer busy tweeting away comments, asking questions, and nodding my head in agreement up at one of my fellow attendees’ Tweets.

So I wondered… “What is this going to do to my Klout score? What is the cumulative effect on Klout scores for all of the Tweeps actively participating?”

Which leads us to the Conference/Klout Connection Experiment.

    • Capture pre-meeting Klout scores and Twitter Profiles

    • Follow-up after the meeting to collect Klout scores and other data

    • Analyze and see if there are patterns in the changes (or if there even are any changes)

If you are curious and want to participate, fill out this quick survey.

Then Tweet away and have fun. After the meeting, I’ll email everyone with the link to the post-meeting survey.

And if you would like to discuss or take a look at some of the preliminary results – Tweet me (@rvanhilst) or come by the Higher Logic booth (booth #617) where I will be hanging out.

Oh…. And thanks for participating in my experiment.


    • This experiment is for fun, curiosity and information only. Unless you request it, I will only email you to follow-up or share the results. 

    • Vanguard Technology is a Higher Logic Solutions Partner and will be participating in their booth.

Ray van Hilst is Director of Client Strategy and Marketing at Vanguard Technology. Connect with him @rvanhilst or rvanhilst(at)

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Topics: ASAE, Ray van Hilst, Uncategorized, twitter, Klout, Experiment, social media

Amazon Trick Could Get You More Members Or Why A Confirmation Page Is Your Most Important Salesperson

Posted by Chris Bonney on Thu, Feb 16, 2012

Have you purchased from lately?

If so, you've hopefully noticed the new share feature they've added on their purchase confirmation page.

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Topics: web strategy, Tactics, twitter, facebook, Chris Bonney, social media, Websites, associations

5 Critical Association Web Strategies For 2012

Posted by Chris Bonney on Fri, Feb 03, 2012

1. Leverage What Works.

The Internet is full of “good enough” information. Trying to be all things to all members is the kiss of death online in 2012. Determine what’s working on your website, what your members seem to gravitate toward, and do more of that. Don’t be afraid to cut content for the sake of doing fewer things better.

2. Curate.

Do the searching for your members. Content curation sites like and make it drop dead simple for people to cull niche content for specialized audiences. Is there a way to curate your organizational or industry content in a relevant and meaningful way for your members? When isn’t making your members’ lives easier a killer member benefit?

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Topics: web strategy, marketing, twitter, web 2.0, checklist, higher logic, facebook, Chris Bonney, social media, website redesign, Google+, association technology, Websites, associations

A Tale of Two Tweets - Part I

Posted by Ray van Hilst on Wed, Mar 23, 2011

It was the best of tweets. It was the worst of tweets.  With respect to Charles Dickens, tweets aren’t classic literature.  But the emotions, plots and aftermath of tweets often make for great stories… and important lessons.

Obviously, two of the most talked about tweets (at least in social media “expert” circles) in the past months are in this realm – the mistweets by @redcross and @chryslerautos.

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Topics: web strategy, Ray van Hilst, Uncategorized, twitter, social media, crisis communications, red cross, Vendor Relations

5 Ways To Tell If Your Association Website Is A Dead Man Walking

Posted by Chris Bonney on Sun, Mar 06, 2011

One of the best films of 1995 featuring Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon was Dead Man Walking. As I consider the metaphor, while somewhat extreme (and you could even debate a bit of a harsh judgment), I can't help but think about your association's website.

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Topics: web strategy, twitter, facebook, Chris Bonney, social media, blogs, LinkedIn, association technology, Websites, associations

The Power Of Twitter Or Why You Should Run Your Association Like A Bakery

Posted by Chris Bonney on Fri, Feb 19, 2010

Let's start off by dispelling a few lingering myths about Twitter. Twitter can be, but is mostly not:

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Topics: vanguard technology, twitter, web 2.0, social media, foursquare, specialty's, associations

Guest Post: Building Relationships is a Process, Not an Event

Posted by Chris Bonney on Mon, Feb 01, 2010

Whenever I ask people what their #1 reason for attending an event is, the answer is always "networking". Millions of people attend business events every year – more than 80 million people attended business events in 2007 in the US alone. Does this mean that every attendee actually realizes the benefits of networking and is successful in building lasting relationships? Do we always get a true return on the time, money and energy we spend on these events? Unfortunately, the answer is usually no.

Why? The simple answer is that networking is a process, not something you do once at an event. We need to re-frame networking as a brick-by-brick building process, needing careful thought, planning and time rather than a one-time sporadic thing at an event. Events play a big role in providing a platform to kick-start the process of building and enhancing business relationships.

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Topics: twitter, facebook, social media, Events, networking, event

Don't Get Beat To The Tweet

Posted by Chris Bonney on Tue, Nov 10, 2009

Don't Make The Same Mistake Twice

Remember when you waited to buy a domain name for  your organization because you wanted to see what was going to happen with this new-fangled thing called the Internet? Would this crazy concept ever catch on? Many thought it wouldn't. Now those organizations have URLs for their website with words like "now" or "net" or "online" in them while the more savvy organizations have rock solid, memorable URLs for what turns out to be the most valuable marketing tool you'll organization will ever have.

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Topics: ad age, web strategy, twitter, web 2.0, social media, domain name, association technology

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