10 Facebook Assignments for Association Executives

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Note: This post is now part of the structured curriculum for Social Media University, Global (SMUG). It has been designated Facebook 102.

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What would a Knowledge Lab be without some take-home assignments that let participants get hands-on experience?Here are 10 steps I’m suggesting for people who attended my part of the Knowledge Lab at the Association Forum of Chicagoland Holiday Showcase 2007.

  1. Join Facebook and “friend” me. I’ll add you right away, and you can check out my profile and some of the groups I’ve joined or created. Check out groups like this one (which I created for my daughter’s high school basketball team) that use video and photo sharing, or the Web Strategy Group or the New Media group. These are just some examples of how groups can be used in Facebook.
  2. Join the Association Forum of Chicagoland group.
  3. Invite your staff or leadership team to join Facebook, too. You can be “friends” if it’s mutually agreeable, but as you will see, that’s not necessary for you to interact in Facebook.
  4. Form a “secret” Facebook group, not necessarily as a crisis communications “dark” site, but to experiment with some of Facebook’s group features without anyone seeing it. Invite your work colleagues from step #3 above to join the group and experiment with you.
  5. Have some fun. Challenge me to a game of Scrabulous if you’d like. Part of the reason Facebook is so potentially powerful is that people like to go there. With 58 million active users (visiting at least once a month), half of whom visit every day and spend an average of 20 minutes a day, it has a level of user engagement that makes it practical for communicating.
  6. Upload some photos that include your Facebook friends, and “tag” yourself and your friends. Then you’ll start to see some of the viral potential as your photo shows up in your friends’ mini-feeds. You also can upload photos to groups, like the Association Forum group.
  7. Check out Facebook pages, which could at least be the equivalent of a free Yellow Pages ad for your non-profit organization.
  8. Explore Facebook’s demographically targeted social ads program. You can use either a pay-per-click (PPC) or pay-for-impressions (CPM) model. Here’s an explanatory post. You can advertise things that aren’t on Facebook (like your association’s web site) just to try it. I recommend PPC, because you only pay for clicks. Because the click-through rate is quite low, you won’t be spending a ton to try this. But you’ll at least get a sense for the possibilities.
  9. Add an application like Simply RSS to your profile or Page. In the spirit of shameless self-promotion, here’s an RSS feed (Just copy and paste this: http://feeds.feedburner.com/LinesFromLee) you could make one of the three that Simply RSS updates for you. (OK, maybe I’m a little bit ashamed.) Then as I write new posts (lots of them are about Facebook), you can continue your education.
  10. Join my 12-step social media program. (You know the drill, first you have to admit you have a problem.) This covers more than just Facebook, but it’s a good way to get a feel for the broader subject of social media. My program was originally intended for PR professionals, but then Lisa Junker asked if she could modify it for Association Executives (which I’m sure had something to do with me being asked to participate in the Knowledge Lab.) You can read that version here. I recently got a request to reprint it for an association of veterinarians, too.

These steps will be a good, practical, hands-on way for you to learn about the potential of social media, particularly Facebook, in a low-risk environment. I look forward to continued interaction.TechnoratiTechnorati: , , , , , , , ,

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Author: Lee Aase

Married father of six and grandfather of seven, and the Chancellor of SMUG - Social Media University, Global. By day I'm the Director of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network. Whatever I say here is my personal opinion, and doesn't reflect the positions of my employer.

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