Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Monitoring what is being said about your association.

Monitoring your brand represents a key component of the work of associations and nonprofits. Back in the last century, that meant having a “clipping service” that monitored media coverage.

The explosion in digital (social) media platforms has made monitoring today more complicated and most instant.

Three things happened to me last week that helped reinforce the need for associations and nonprofits to upgrade their monitoring efforts.

1. Molson TV Commercial followup

While watching the Stanley Cup finals on Hockey Night in Canada a week ago, I saw a TV commercial about Molson’s Red Leaf cause marketing project.  Since I’m also @causeaholic, the spot grabbed my attention so I Tweeted a link to the story. 

I was surprised when – just 13 minutes later – Tonia at Molson retweeted my tweet about the cause marketing project. Wow! Great monitoring! 
So, I’m wondering who is this @MolsonTonia? As you can see below, she is part of the Molson Coors Community Relations, PR and Social Media team. 

Pretty impressive!  And, as a consumer, it made me feel could about Molson. 

2. Monitoring Customer Comments

  •  Later in the week, I read a St. Louis Post-Dispatch column about the power of listening 24/7 from the view point of the owner of Pi Pizza. 
    • “Chris Sommers, owner of Pi Pizzeria, was at a concert the other night when he received a notification that a customer had just tweeted a complaint that her food was taking a long time. Without missing a beat, he responded back to her through a hospitality platform he founded called Sqwid. He offered to give her the pizza for free. Soon after, the formerly-disgruntled woman was tweeting away about her great experience at Pi.” 
    • First, I’m impressed that a “local pizza guy” has created such a cool engagement tool! Second, I’m impressed that he eagerly responds to customer concerns. Third, I’m wondering what associations are doing to listen to members and engage them in conversations and concerns about their organization.

3. Engaging Members/Donors: the Rest of the Story
    1. No amount of advertising can make up for a lack of social and earned media.
    2. Weekends may be a particularly important time for your audience to connect and engage.
    3. “Going dark” makes your organization passive on social media and leaves a gaping hole in reputation management.
    4. Posting over the weekend allows you to remain top-of-mind as a weekend destination (if you are a visitor-serving organization).
  • Simply put, going dark is a “you” customer service problem not a problem that should be borne by your constituents. Allow them to ask questions and communicate with you at the time that works best for them - regardless of the time and date. This will create optimal engagement rates and maintain the greatest chances of capturing evangelists.
So, here are the big questions for you: 

  • Does your association “go dark” on the evenings and weekends? 
  • Does that push your members away ... to other sources that can answer their questions because you are not available when they want or need it?


  1. Hello Steve!

    Thanks so much for including me/Molson in your blog post. I was thrilled when I saw your tweet about #redleafproject (one of my favourite programs here).

    We try to take a multi-faceted approach to social media at Molson Coors, using the direct to consumer channels to communicate about our programs, advanced customer service, cultivate and manage relationships, and of course, to measure our programs and their effectiveness.

    We share responsiblities across our teams (which is cross functional collaboration from PR, brand marketing, digital/social, agencies, and so on) and that certainly includes weekends and evenings!


  2. Thanks Tonia!

    One question (that many association executives may be asking) is how you "staff" the process weekends and evenings? Are you assigned specific days/hours? Or, do you all monitor all the time?


  3. Well done Steve. You make several good points here. Business is personal and vice versa. To keep up, much less excell, requires giving up old assumptions, like the 9-5.

    And hats off to Molson for commenting.