Post image for Association Social Media: Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC)

Association Social Media: Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC)

In this series of interviews of Association Social Media Managers, you’ll be able to compare notes on what all of these fab organizations are doing with their social media management – from how they organize the roles and responsibilities, to how they manage content flow through the organization and out to social, to what campaigns they tried, to how they see the future of association social media.  Read lots more of them here.

Up on the SocialFish podium this week: Debbie Stadtler, Director of Communications for the Independent Electrical Contractors, Inc. Welcome, Debbie!

1) Who do you report to? What department are you in?037b0c8

I report to the Vice President of Public Affairs. He heads up the communications department, which is where I am. We have three people in communications.

2) Describe your social/digital “ecosystem” – what social media sites do you (or the org as a whole) manage? Are they interlinked in specific ways? How do you decide what content to post where? Do they have different audiences?

We have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (a group and a company page), and just recently added Instagram. Facebook and Twitter see the majority of our content and have similar audiences. Our LinkedIn pages are targeted more to the electrical contractor so we use more business-related content there. Facebook and Twitter is more general content, news, company reports, etc. Our new Instagram account is aimed at apprentices, and the content there will be to build a sense of belonging in the organization for people who are just starting in the industry.

FB screenshot

3) Can you describe the internal collaboration workflow with other areas of the association (e.g. are you part of a team that meets on a regular basis)? How do you manage content flow? How do you manage monitoring and responding across the organization?

Our communication team meets regularly and we discuss social media generally: are there any specific things coming up that should get posts? Do we need new hashtags? I handle finding, creating, and curating content across our accounts. My boss and I both monitor the accounts to make sure we respond quickly to anything that comes up.

twitter screenshot

4) Describe a typical day for you – and any favorite tools you use regularly for anything related to social media.

I’m not sure I have a typical day. We have a lot going on in communications at any one time so my time is split between our trade publication, marketing, e-mail newsletters, and social media. Each day I try to find content, create graphics/web pages needed for social media, and schedule posts. I use Hootsuite for scheduling posts.

5) Is community management (group moderation) part of your responsibilities? Please describe those activities.

Yes, I moderate our LinkedIn group. Mainly, I try to add content that will spark some discussion, comment on other content, try to keep discussions going, and keep an eye out for anything that would be questionable.

linked in group

6) Have you done any social media campaigns?  Can you share any success stories (or lessons learned)?

We have done some social media campaigns. We’ve learned some interesting lessons. Social media is not as helpful in producing event registrations as we would have thought. But it is great for getting engagement during an event with live posts and photos. It’s like an ongoing experiment. We try new things and see what works for our audience.

We are launching a new campaign, #IamIEC, on Instagram to boost participation among our apprentices. We hope that will be a big success.

7) What’s the hardest part of your job?

I think the toughest part is finding the best content for use. Sometimes it feels like trying to drink from a firehose trying to find the right mix of content for our social media. I’m also still getting a handle on what our members really respond to. Some things I think will be great get mediocre numbers while the posts that get big numbers sometimes surprise me.

8) Give us a glimpse into the future. If budget and resources were no object, what would you love to see in terms of your association’s social media presence in 3 years?

I would love to see us be more sophisticated. We would have a dedicated social media manager with an editorial calendar of planned content. We would have more capacity for infographics, video, and new technology.

You can take a look at IEC’s social media sites here:

And connect with Debbie on LinkedIn here –


(photo credit)


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