Seventy-odd association executives discussed the merits of public vs. private communities, and the rules that govern them, during "Conversation that Matters: How Online Community is Changing the Way We Work Join" during ASAE's annual event this weekend. Engagement guru Lindy Dreyer facilitated, urging the execs to consider a) community mods and staff, b) community champions, c) content and social objectives and d) different platforms in their efforts to integrate community engagement. Dreyer is the co-author of Open Community and the chief social media marketer for association consultant SocialFish. Some key takeaways:
- Many organizations started their online communities without metrics for determining ROI. Current objectives surrounded networking, product sales, retention and youth involvement, but these are seen as difficult to measure, and not necessarily appropriate for ROI.
- Online communities can't be implemented in the same way as businesses have worked in the past.
- More and more execs are seeing the need for dedicated social community managers, which is a scary prospect for small staffs.
- Community champions need to help attract buy-in for their platforms.
- Execs are challenged as to whether or not to "compete" with LinkedIn/Facebook by establishing a private network.
- Leaders are redirecting efforts based on member value.