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.
Let’s welcome Lauren Precker, Social Media Manager for ASAE to the SocialFish stage!
1) First things first – in what department in your organization does your role sit? Who do you report to?
At ASAE social media is in the Marketing and Communications Group, and the social media manager reports directly to the senior manager of public relations.
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?
ASAE is active on a variety of social media platforms both public and private. The social media manager oversees the daily operations (content creation, posting of content, monitoring, and responding) of the main ASAE Facebook and Twitter feed as well as the major ASAE conferences that have a social media presence. This includes the following:
ASAE Marketing, Membership, and Communications Conference Facebook and Twitter accounts.
ASAE Technology Conference & Expo Facebook page and Twitter account
Each conference has its own marketing cycle, so not all of these accounts are posting new content daily. However, they still need to be monitored for any questions or comments. While these accounts are not actively posting to the public, the social media manager and marketing managers for the individual conferences are working behind the scenes to create a content strategy for the next conference cycle.
In addition to the social media accounts listed above, staff from individual departments manage the following accounts:
Power of A Twitter account (public policy)
CareerHQ Twitter account
Associations Now Facebook Page, Twitter account, LinkedIn group and Instagram account (Associations Now staff)
ASAE LinkedIn Group (membership)
The public social media accounts are linked by the fact that they are all branded ASAE communities, and that the overall goals to connect and engage with members are the same. Each conference has a different focus, so the content that is published on the ASAE Springtime Expo account will not be same for the ASAE Technology Conference & Expo accounts. Content for each platform is developed by marketing managers with the assistance of the social media manager.
There is some cross over with content on the main ASAE accounts. For example, news about Power of A award winners, the opening of registration for major conferences, and news from other areas of ASAE that the overall membership would find valuable are shared, but it’s important not to overwhelm followers with the same message.
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?
The content collaboration process is something we are working to streamline to not only make it easier for the social media manager, but also for the content owners/submitters. Content comes from a variety of staff within the organization, and each submitter has their preferred way of submitting (Google doc, Word attachment, Excel spreadsheet, email, etc.).
To insure that no content gets lost, we are soft launching a new content submission form hosted on our internal staff network. This form will not only standardize the content format, but it will also remind the submitter what information is required to post it. For example, what platform/account should this content be published? What is the desired publish date? Any unique situations such as emergency updates, larger content calendars, and any staff needing assistance crafting content for the specific channels will still be handled via email and in-person meetings.
The social media manager is responsible for monitoring and responding to questions that appear on the platforms they manage. This is the same for platforms managed by other staff and volunteers. When a question appears, the social media manager will route it to either the marketing manager or department contact, so we can respond. Occasionally, the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer steps in to approve content that has the potential for broader ramifications.
4) Describe a typical day for you – and any favorite tools you use regularly for anything related to social media.
While two days are not completely the same, mine usually starts on the metro commute into work. It’s a great time to check my email for last minute content updates or changes as well as any mentions or comments that might have happened overnight. If I am not onsite managing social media at a conference, I go through all the accounts and take a more detailed look at any spikes in followers, engagement, or comments. Since a majority of ASAE members are based in DC, there are spikes in engagement around commuting times.
Before I dive back into my emails, I go over the content calendars for the day to make sure everything is scheduled for the day and has the necessary information (images, links, and videos). The rest of the day is filled with more monitoring, emails, scheduling upcoming content, reading blogs on new social media trends/tools, working with staff to develop content, and meetings where we discuss content strategy and how social media will play a role in future events. After I leave the office, I check back intermittently until it’s time to go to sleep. Having social media management apps on my phone is important, so I can take a quick peek to make sure a crisis isn’t happening.
One of my favorite tools is Hootsuite. It’s nothing flashy or new, but having dabbled with other social media management tools, I keep coming back to Hootsuite. I like the ability to manage multiple accounts in one place and then having multiple feeds under each account. The mobile app is also valuable while managing social media onsite. You can post, monitor, and respond all from your phone or tablet. I no longer have to lug a laptop with me everywhere!
5) Is community management (group moderation) part of your responsibilities? Please describe those activities.
ASAE members use the organization’s private social media network called Collaborate to connect and share content with other ASAE members. Since this is a private members’ only portal, management of this platform is handled by IT and member relations staff.
6) Have you done any social media campaigns? Can you share any success stories (or lessons learned)?
We have started utilizing social media advertising as part of our larger conferences. To start, the majority of our (small) budget went to paying for boost posts on Facebook. While these posts increased reach and helped to boost overall page likes, the few promoted tweets had a higher click through rate. Knowing this, the majority of the social media advertising budget for future conferences will be focused on Twitter.
7) What’s the hardest part of your job?
With all the organizations that I have worked in with regards to social media, it would be the education factor. I live and breathe social media, so I understand that not everyone will have the same level of understanding. Things change so fast with social media; it can be hard for me to keep up with it sometimes. The majority of the time when people come to me for help, they are awesome! They want to learn and it gets me excited about my job.
The challenging part comes in when I am working with individuals who have already decided that social media is not valuable to them, or members. Now that social media isn’t this new, fangled thing only the kids are using, its moments like these that are by far the hardest part of the job. Luckily, there is such a wealth of data available, it is much easier to show the ability to influence and engage with our target audiences via the social media.
8) Give us a glimpse into the future. If budget and resources was no object, what would you love to see in terms of your association’s social media presence in 3 years?
If we had no budgetary restrictions, it would be great to have the enterprise version of Hootsuite or some type of management tool where I could run all the data reports my little heart desired all in one place! Don’t get me wrong, the free and lower cost tools that we currently use provide the basics, but I am a data nerd.
In three years, it would also be great to see the organization bridge the gap between social media engagement and onsite engagement at our major events. During conferences attendees are very active on social media, but it would be great if we could merge the excitement generated online with what is happening onsite in something other than a feed of tweets scrolling across a screen. We have tested some methods, but I hope in three years it will be a standard component to every event.