Thursday, March 20, 2014

Successful Associations Fish Where the Fish Are!

I enjoy catch & release fishing.

Over the years, I’ve learned that successful fishing means:

  • recognizing that not all fish are alike
  • determine what you are fishing for and go to where they are
  • fish at the time of day those fish are feeding
  • use the bait designed just for those fish
Last week I was speaking about How Specialty Contractors can Use the Web and Social Media with members of the Maple Flooring Contractors Association.

In reviewing the responses to my pre-conference survey (something I do with audiences for my speeches and presentations), I noticed that a big issue for the audience involved which social media tools do I use.

These contractors were trying to determine which forms of social media they should be using. Many said they had no idea.

Since they install sports floors, athletic directors are a likely key target. While I love Twitter, I did a quick LinkedIn search for this group. Here’s what I discovered:

Individuals with the following titles in their LinkedIn profiles:
  • 36,137 athletic directors
  • 815 athletic administrators
LinkedIn discussion groups with athletic director in the group name:
  • 428 in Athletic Directors Facilities Forum
  • 4,004 in Intercollegiate Athletic Administrators
  • 2,310 in High School Athletic Directors group
Based on my “fish where the fish are,” I suggested that they may want to start with a LinkedIn strategy and if they did that they should consider upgrading to LinkedIn Pro.

Here’s how I suggested they get started:
  • Get a LinkedIn profile
  • Join LinkedIn groups that fit your target audiences
  • Engage (in a non selling way) with prospects via LinkedIn including posting content, posing questions, providing answers
As an association executive,
  • has your association developed target audiences? 
  • has it identified decision makers and influencers? 
  • has it developed personas for each?
  • has it searched to determine where those “fish” might be found?
If appropriate, do you have a LinkedIn strategy?
  • Four years ago, the marketing committee of a health care association we managed was discussing how they could “find a list” of senior staff at large medical and health care organizations. While they talked, I searched LinkedIn and discovered more than 3,000 people with the titles this group wanted. I said, “You don’t need to buy a list, you need to develop a LinkedIn strategy.”
Fishing where the fish are yields better results for your association whether you goal is more members or more donors or more engagement.

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