What’s New in Social Media for Associations

I have a confession: one of my least favorite things to do is public speaking. I had never done it at all until three years ago when Debra Stratton of Stratton Publishing & Marketing asked me if I’d present with her at ASAE’s Great Ideas conference, which just happened to be in Miami in February. So I said yes. I was terrified, and incredibly relieved when it was over. I figured that if I forced myself to do more of this dreaded public speaking it would get better in time, so over the past few years any time someone has asked me to speak or wanted to collaborate with me to submit a proposal to speak, I’ve said yes. While it’s gotten a tiny bit less intimidating, for the most part I still dread it, but I continue to do it, both out of desire to overcome my fear and, more importantly, because I do like to help others and share the knowledge I gain being immersed in social media on a daily basis. I figure if I’m going to spend countless hours online, reading and learning and doing, others may as well benefit from my compulsive information gathering.

At any rate, last week I presented at an Association Foundation Group  lunch about association social media. They were super nice and it was a good incentive for me to collect my thoughts on the state of association social media right now. The presentation is below. I based my thoughts on a recent comScore report “It’s a Social World: Top 10 Need-to-Knows About Social Networking and Where It’s Headed.” I won’t reiterate everything I said in the presentation, but basically my top points were:

  1. Social networking is HUGE now–people are spending a very significant portion of their online time on social networking sites. So  not being there, or not at least knowing which sites your members are using, is a huge missed opportunity.
  2. Google+ is potentially changing SEO, so at a bare minimum, educate yourself about its implications. Here are two good articles about it.
  3. Email is still effective now, but digital natives’ use of email has plummeted while their time on social networking sites remains significant. What does this mean for your association’s marketing tactics over the next decade?


Adrienne Bryant January 25, 2012 at 8:51 am

Thanks for sharing not only your knowledge, Maggie, but your fears in regards to public speaking as well. I know that so many of us sit back and watch yourself and others like you and think, “Man, they have it so together and are such great speakers but I could NEVER do that.” It’s nice to know that even the best of the best are sometimes terrified. :) I suffer the same but like you have “forced” myself to get out there and just do it because I not only want to share the knowledge that I have gained, but also learn from those in the audience as I may never have the opportunity to learn from them otherwise.

Keep up the good work! Cheers!

Maggie McGary January 25, 2012 at 8:56 am

Adrienne–I’m glad I’m not the only one! I guess it could be worse–what if we had to sing instead of just talk? Now that would be really bad! (to me, at least–and for the audience–as bad a speaker as I am, my singing is a million times worse!)

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