dont-be-stupid-bannerI was recently at a meeting of associations executives when the subject of social media came up.

“Who does your social media directed toward your members?” was the question.

“I have people on staff who do that.” was the reply from many.

“Do you ever read what is going on?” I asked. “and do you every post to further the conversation?”

“No. Don’t have time.” was the reply. “That is for young people. Not me.”

How foolish. Here are leaders of different non-profits basically admitting that they do not listen to their members. Instead, they have delegated that responsibility to people under them who may or may not keep them totally informed.

These leaders are missing out on a major benefit of social media…to hear what is on the minds of their members.

Social media is not a one way communication tool where an association puts out what it wants its community to know. It has become a more democratic process where members and potential members talk about what is important to them.

It is actually a great way to learn what is on the minds of a group’s constituency before it bubbles up to be a problem, creates dissention or results in the creation of a competing organization.

When leaders do not pay attention to what is going on with its members, they doom themselves and the association to extinction.  Don’t believe me?  Check this out:

So, get off your duffs. Start reading what is going on your non-profit’s social media outlets. Compare what is being said to what the group is doing and offering. If they are not the same, why not? If your association is able to provide resources, show how.

Be part of the greater community. Be relevant and proactive. And don’t be stupid and ignore social media…especially if you are a leader.

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