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How to Lead Your Social Organization

Are you an association CEO or Executive Director?

Your staff, your members, and your allies (not to mention your competitors) are all discovering new, exciting ways to apply social media to their work. From membership, communications and marketing, to education, conferences, government relations and publications, the social web touches everything. As a leader in your organization, it’s up to you to untangle the threads and help everyone make sense of this new way of working.

And that’s no easy feat. But innovation is rarely easy, and you didn’t get to your level without taking some chances or making tough decisions. Leading your organization’s transformation into social will be one of the most rewarding times in your career. You have the privilege of mentoring and guiding your staff as they grow into Social CRM heroes. And thanks to the online member engagement your Social CRM heroes drive, your board and the members you serve will feel a new sense of connectedness and loyalty to the association. That makes it all worthwhile.

With your staff, your board, and your members in mind, what can YOU as a leader do to help your association get the most out of social? Everybody says you should be using social, but nobody tells you how. This is how.

 SUBSCRIBE TO THE FULL “BE A SOCIAL CRM HERO” SERIES HERE.  These are short, checklist-style handy guides that take you step-by-step through social media activities for each department.  

1.    Build the foundation for social media work in your organization. That takes vision and commitment. As the leader, you can establish the checks and balances that your organization needs to achieve any objective worth pursuing. The first questions to answer: who is in charge of social media for the organization, and who is allowed to contribute? Establishing clarity here can take you far… and setting good policies will ENABLE intelligent action, not discourage it.

2. Define your organizational objectives. Work with your social media team to establish the most important objectives for using social media, both short-term and long-term. You will bring the high-level strategic viewpoint to the conversation, and your team will help you refine your ideas based on what’s realistic to achieve through social.  Look for both ROI and impact. You need both in order to understand the complete picture – and have your team measure against objectives in a way that helps you and your board understand your true progress.

3. Budget wisely. Get a handle on your organization’s social media expenses. It’s trickier than it sounds. Your expenses may be distributed across several departments and it could fall under a number of different line items. You may be able to eliminate waste, even as you invest more in certain key areas, like headcount or content development for social. Figure out what you can outsource. Make sure you technology expediture is holistic and always connects back to your AMS, which is the beating heart of any association.

Want the full scoop with all the tactics to explain all of this?   SUBSCRIBE TO THE FULL “BE A SOCIAL CRM HERO” SERIES HERE. This is just a taster.

It’s never too late to recalibrate your organization’s social media efforts. Your leadership may be the key to moving from just doing social media to truly being a social organization. Your strategic vision will point your staff in the right direction and put the engine into gear. Good luck, and have fun transforming your organization.

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