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TheSocialCEO - Feedback from the Community

TheSocialCEO is an "association CEO only" peer group formed on LinkedIn to help answer the many questions that exist around the best use of social media today.

The objective is for association CEO's to share information and experience, helping to identify smart, long term strategies that leverage the advantages of social media and drive results.

The following content is taken from recent online dialogue in TheSocialCEO Group.


Is social media a new “core competency” required of CEO’s today?


Thomas Dammrich

"Yes, association CEOs need to have, at the very least, a high level understanding of how to use social media strategically as a core competency today. That doesn't mean they have to engage in it themselves, though I think they should. But, you must understand it and how to use it effectively to benefit your organization.

I have a staff of 90. Nearly all of them are involved using social media for our business. I have two people dedicated solely to social media and another 25-30 who are very active. We use it for prospecting, for communications, for community building, for promotion and to build our brand and the personal brands of our staff.

Personally, I blog 3-4 times a week, and am engaged with Twitter and Linked In professionally. We operate nearly 20 Facebook pages and the largest has 220,000 fans or likes. It is integral to our communications, PR and marketing as well as community building."


Skip Henk

"Social media is an absolute necessity as it is how many of our members communicate and certainly will be the method of communication for our members of tomorrow.

If done correctly, it establishes a more personal, direct relationship due in fact to it is 100% opt in and in some cases, the preferred method of communicating, especially with the younger generation.

To answer your questions:

- How do I measure and drive real ROI?  There are tools in each of the social media venues that allow you to track a variety of information. Xplor is also incorporating CVENT for our member database and events that will allow us to track where members and attendees come from in terms of media channels.

- How should I staff and manage for social media?   I hired a consultant to do my social media. Facebook, twitter, linked in and she formats and publishes my blogs also, although I create the content. The cost is under $1000 per month. Money well spent.

- How can I leverage this new bag of tricks to make a significant advance in the way my association operates?  It must be part of the communication strategy, not the communication strategy. It needs to be integrated with your traditional media, mail, emails, websites. The key is to provide communication and information when, where and how you members want to receive it.

- What am I missing today that I will wish I knew tomorrow?   The window of opportunity. If you wait too long, the window will close on some current members and certainly close in obtaining new (younger) members."


How are you using social media in your organization and what kind of results are you getting?


Jeff Spivey

“Social media allows connections and collaboration to make great decisions faster... But the value of understanding a specific community's values, structure, likes and dislikes" allows the “new CEO” the obligation to use this new intelligence in a responsible way.

The old guard is gone...withering on the vine and the NEW CEO has to understand and leverage this tremendous resource!


Tom Morrison

"We have been doing this very well with our private social network we launched in Sept. 2009 and have been a case study for social media on numerous webinars and sessions at FSAE and ASAE.

I will say to start the discussion that if you are looking at ROI for social media, you are looking at the wrong metric. Social media is a communication necessity just like the telephone and fax machine was when they were developed.

Social technology has literally been like an extra employee. Had we not invested in it 2 years ago, we would have had to hire another person with all the headaches, salary and benefits that come from adding staff vs technology.

Regarding a CEO's visibility on social media.... do you want a relationship with your membership or not. Social media has allowed me to develop a relationship with members I may never get to see.... Pretty simple."

Do you Blog?


 Skip Henk

"I do write a blog, and typically post every 7-10 days. I found the interval accommodates my schedule and it not overbearing on the audience. I have been doing the blog since February when our PR agency suggested I do. They knew I would have fun and felt I needed to project a bit of thought leadership.

I write the articles and send them to a person I hired to handle social media. (facebook, twitter, linked in, blog and Xplor Daily) She selects graphics, formats and publishes. If you don't have a person like this to handle your social media, you should. It is inexpensive and well worth it.

Whether it is worth it or not depends on what your objectives are. Mine were to have fun and to allow people to get to know me as a person, not an association CEO. The feedback has been positive and when tied to our social media outlets it boosts awareness and activity of our programming.

I believe the secret is to have fun, appeal to a broad audience and have a effective distribution channel. My blog is http://skiphenk.wordpress.com/


Jeff Morgan   

"I also blog - a weekly blog for my members on what is going in Washington and what is the top news for the profession that crossed my desk, as well as any must know's from our organization's members. The blog is part of a weekly communication that includes news clips to members via email, posting on the our website for members to discuss/comment and also tweeted out to members and non-members.

It is a great way for us to expose potential members to what is happening at our organization and also re-enforcing our value to current members. Ironically most of the comments and discussion about it happens via twitter.

I write the blog, but someone else on staff edits it. I sit down over the weekend and probably spend an hour reviewing the past week and writing it."


Who do you "Friend"?


Natasha L Rankin

“Here's my breakdown:

*Facebook: I keep Facebook purely personal, and I do not friend staff, members, vendors, or others from my professional world--unless they've crossed that line from being a professional to a personal friend.

*LinkedIn and ASAE Collaborate: I keep my connections--and my postings--purely professional, although, I do connect with friends there, too.

*Google+: I haven't yet decided how I'll treat Google+, as I'm still working out the specifics of the circles and huddles, but it looks like this one will be a bit more mixed with personal and professionals.

Twitter: While I do tweet (@natashalrankin), it's my personal (non-GFWC) account, but I still keep it "professionally," although I will occasionally tweet something personal.

Regarding policies and procedures, I understand that many organizations are trying to balance the risks of social media through policy setting. My concern is that social media is an incredibly difficult area to seek control over (especially through policies) and difficult to monitor and enforce.

For now, we might be better served by creating flexible guidelines (collaborating with staff to create agreed upon guidelines) and then modeling the expected behavior as senior staff.”


Are you the CEO of an Association? Would you like to network with other CEO's and get answers to pressing social media related issues? Join TheSocialCEO on LinkedIn!