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6 Steps for Getting Started with Social CRM for Membership Orgs

Written by Maddie Grant, CAE on . Posted in Social CRM for Associations


Here’s my slide deck from the presentation I gave this week at the Avectra Users and Developers Conference. You’ve seen these use cases before, but here’s a handy reminder with more details about them.

My most important points from the session:

1. Social CRM is a business philosophy supported by technology and workflow.  It’s not something you buy off the shelf, and you can’t get to ROI without it.

2. For membership organizations, that simply means that social CRM is the discipline of applying social media data to membership management.

3. If we change the conversation away from tool talk (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc) and towards social CRM, it becomes much more natural to think of it as part of your day job.  It also becomes easier to get buy it from those (fewer and fewer, luckily) executives who still don’t understand it.

4. Start by simply asking, how can social media data help solve our business challenges?  Such as:

  • better targeting for membership recruitment
  • identifying influencers
  • getting more engagement (because more engaged members tend to renew – that’s our hypothesis, that we want YOU to test for us)
  • keeping track of members when they change jobs
  • connecting with more people in our member companies
  • improving customer service so we spend less time on the phone answering the same questions over and over again
  • getting more event registrations

5. Most importantly - start mapping social data (eg asking members for their Twitter profiles, LinkedIn profiles etc) NOW.  Do it manually (add a field to your AMS and any form where you ask members for contact info) or do it with a social discovery service like SmallAct; but start now and start small, before it becomes too unwieldy to manage.

6. Identify recruitment, retention, member services or outreach (marketing) challenges – figure out how social can help solve them – and prioritize.  Because it’s not about doing everything at once – it’s about integrating social into your (daily) workflow and into your (monthly) reporting.

*** PLEASE NOTE – we’re working on a “How-to” series of one-sheets, addressed to individual departments, on how to do this at a granular level.  Keep an eye out for those, coming soon.  ***

Good luck and let us know how it goes!  Please contact us if things are going well and you have an interesting success story we can write about on SocialFishing to help other orgs.


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Maddie Grant, CAE

Maddie is a guest blogger for Avectra on all things association and social. She is the co-author of Open Community: a little book of big ideas for associations navigating the social web and Humanize: How People-Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World. As the chief social media strategist for the social media strategy consulting firm, SocialFish (www.socialfish.org), Maddie helps associations large and small build capacity for using social media to achieve business results.

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