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Associations And Social Media: Join In, Let Go Of Control

If your association isn’t communicating via social media, you’re missing out. Social media is a trend of the past; by now, your competition is already using it. You need to catch up.

If your association isn’t communicating via social media, you’re missing out. Social media is a trend of the past; by now, your competition is already using it. You need to catch up.

What’s keeping you from social media? Is it fear of losing control? The time for association leaders to face fears about loss of control in social media was years ago.

Have you seen Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb?  It’s a dark comedy  revolving around a group of men obsessed with gaining control of a dangerous situation. But they don’t have control. And neither do you.


Your association needs to learn to stop worrying and love the bomb.

In Dr. Strangelove, the nuclear holocaust could be easily averted, but lines of communication have been shut down. Be sure your lines of communication are open. That means you can be reached day and night on social media.

The NRA recently took flak for shutting down their social media lines of communication after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December. It’s one thing to be quiet, but quite another to be completely unavailable.

Perhaps you haven’t opened yourself up on social media because you are afraid of what people will say publicly. But people are talking about your association, whether you know about it or not. The conversation is happening.

Approximately 66% of online adults are using social media. If you aren’t there, you can’t be part of the conversation. You need to be part of the conversation, otherwise you’ll not only lack any control, you’re also cut off from useful insight. Your association might be destroyed before you even realize a nuclear holocaust is on the way.

If your association accepts and embraces lack of control over social media conversation, you actually stand to benefit.



Maybe your association doesn’t know what the conversation online should be about. Social media can help. You can engage your members and the community to find out what they are talking about. If it’s not what you’re talking about, you need to know so you can change your strategy to address real concerns. Even if you are only using your social media as a listening post, you’ll be better able to understand the latest trends and attitudes. This keeps your association timely and relevant.

Young members

Your young members and potential members are looking for you on social media. If you aren’t there, tech savvy Gen Y will not take you seriously. Your new generation of members value online research and social media when it comes to making informed decisions. Social media marketing works on Millennials; 67% go to social networking sites to get information about news or products, your association offers both. Make sure potential members can find you.


And of course, your competition is on social media. Embracing them there is a great way to learn from them, what their struggles are and how to avoid them yourself. You might even pick up on what works well and implement similar strategies for your association. More importantly, they are having real meaningful interaction with your potential members. Don’t let them be the only ones.

Perhaps you have been viewing social media as some sort of doomsday machine , but that’s just not accurate. For every mistake made, there are good lessons to be learned , and those mistakes don’t need to be yours. Associations need to learn to stop worrying and love social media. It will make you more real to your members.

Now, for the sake of your association and your way of life, I suggest you get some conversation started on social media.


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