How chapters & social media are alike

My aha for the day (maybe the week or month!): associations are approaching social media the same way they approach chapters and other components.  The aha came out of reading an insightful post from Scott Gould on How I Profile A Community’s Participation To Inform Next Actions. About four paragraphs into what Scott warns at the start is a long post, there is the statement that triggered by aha:

Relationship is participation with one another.

Two thoughts followed my aha. First, that explains a lot about why associations are reticent to embrace social media for as with components, success requires they “give up” control while steadfastly remaining committed to supporting the efforts. Second, it’s just likely that associations will have a forever “love-hate” relationship with social media as they do components (particularly chapters!) because it’s seen as a competition. Of course there is a more compelling reason to figure out how to effectively operate in the social media sphere than there ever was on the components side. This is all tied into the fact that social media or media 2.0 is a game-changing force.  So just maybe, associations will succeed in this arena more so than the components arena. This was certainly be true if we’re willing follow the lead of folks like Scott.

Scott’s post goes on to provide a very interesting approach to profile participation specifically to fuel group action and I highly recommend you read further. And while you do, consider these similarities between social media and components and ask if we truly embark on building our skills and shifting our culture to embrace the power of the social media, can we apply this throughout our associations? Will this equip us with creating the association of the future that embraces social as a way of being (no-one says it better than Jeff De Cagna) and lets us grow all our networks – including chapters, SIGs, CoPs, councils, groups, fans, etc.?

Social Media & Components both are:

  • Built on community
  • Built by participation
  • Reflections of the community involved
  • All about sharing and shared beliefs, experiences, needs, wishes …
  • Driven by collaboration and co-creation
  • Out of our (HQ’s) control
  • Going to exist with or without us (HQ)
  • Having a profound effect on our brands (good, bad, indifferent)
  • Having a profound effect on our bottom line – they drive engagement which drives dollars

In what other ways do you see the two similar? And can creating a culture in which one thrives, help the other too as well?