December 18, 2017
    Are you building community in your association?

    TRENDS Attends: ASAE Marketing, Membership and Communications Conference


    Building community in an association is an act of curation and of shared values.

    Community building was a theme that ran through the keynote addresses at ASAE’s Marketing, Membership and Communications Conference, this week in Washington.

    The opening speakers were Shama Hyder, CEO of the Marketing Zen Group, and Eric Kuhn, CMO of Layer 3 TV. While both are millennials, their thoughts were helpful to any association professional. The closing speaker was William Espey, the brand voice lead for Chipotle Mexican Grill.

    Hyder kicked off the conference by discussing  three trends of social media:

    1) identity-based ecosystem - Why do people share things that they do through social media? To showcase their own identity. So what does being a member of an association allow them to say about themselves? She noted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. People showcased themselves participating in a fun fundraiser for a good cause.

    2) Associations can be the content curators and aggregators for their industries. Hyder said associations can be the smart filter for all the noise out there. She noted many of the most popular sites do not feature original copy; rather they find an article that will be interesting to their readers, put a good headline on it and enjoy the traffic.

    3) She suggested that associations feature video on their social media, as it has become a the most popular  traffic driver. She noted one site gained many more visitors by featuring video via Facebook Live.

    Kuhn discussed “Generation C.” He said people now have a deep distrust of the media and are turning to unconventional media to get their information. He suggested that associations offer “content” that people can trust and to “curate” the content, which then leads to “community.”

    Espy emphasized shared values between an organization and its members. He said members are attracted to organizations because of its values. “Through shared values we create communities,” he said. Your organization’s brand’s values might not be the mission statement, but perhaps it is something your association has done spontaneously, which often speaks louder than words.

    “We should be looking at how people interact with us emotionally, not transactionally,” Espy said.

    More from the MMCC to come in the next few days.

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    Association TRENDS