My Counter-Rant on Social Media ROI

David Meerman Scott posted a podcast rant against demands for assessing the specific ROI of social media efforts. Here is my podcast push-back on that rant.


In short: Asking how social media can generate value for the company or organization is a perfectly valid question. Any social media advocate or expert has to embrace answering that question if they want to gain support from decision makers. It doesn’t have to be in dollars and cents but it must be answered in the context of how it contributes to the organization’s goals, strategy and operations.

And thanks to David for stirring the pot on this issue!

Hear Me: Podcast and Webinar

A couple free resources for you on a lovely Thursday afternoon.

First up, my second podcast interview with Sue Pelletier is up on the Face2Face blog. We tackle lots of issues around social media and events, including back channels, blogging, and if a blog will put your event out of business (answer: no).

Next Tuesday I’m leading a webinar on using data to drive membership marketing for associations.

The presentation is part of the Avectra Academy series and is free to attend. I’ve been told there has been a huge response to this one, which makes all sorts of sense. I’ll share why NOW is the best time to be a marketer ever (really!) and how associations can benefit from using data to focus their marketing rather than spamming the hell out of everyone in your database. Hope to see you there!

Web Strategy for Meetings and Events

Sue Pelletier of MeetingsNet and the Face2Face blog interviewed me last week about web strategy for event web sites. This previews some of the ideas I will be covering at ASAE’s Annual Meeting in Toronto this August.

I was fortunate today to have the chance to speak with Web guru C. David Gammel about what organizations can do to make their event Web sites really get the results they want. He has lots of ideas that you can use to increase the likelihood that potential attendees will register, exhibitors sign up for booths, and overall increase the buzz around your meeting.

You can listen to the podcast here. Thanks Sue!

Defining Breakthrough Results with Social Media

Today’s podcast covers what I consider to be breakthrough results with social media for membership organizations.


I debut a new offering in the podcast as well, David Gammel’s Coaching Club on Social Media. This is the perfect opportunity for any executive who wants to work collaboratively on achieving breakthrough results with social media for themselves and their organization.

Marketing Annual Meetings Webinar Q&A

I gave a webinar presentation about marketing annual meetings on Monday as part of Avectra’s Academy. The full archive of the audio and slides is available for free on the Avectra web site: Marketing Strategies and Tips to Drive Annual Meeting Attendance.

I have also recorded another podcast covering some additional questions from the session that I wasn’t able to cover. I also go back over some questions I thought were particularly important.


Finally, here is a link to Kevin Holland’s post the served as one of the cases I covered in the presentation.


They Built It and We Were There: More Qs and As

Here is one more podcast following up on the webinar last week about increasing participation in association social media programs. I merged a few similar questions into one. An archive of the program will be available soon and I’ll update this post with a link when I have it.


Here are a few supporting links: for tracking hashtags on twitter. main search page for twitter, showing trending topics. Now also rolled into main Twitter interface.
Association People on Twitter: part of the Association Social Media Wiki.
Association Social Media Wiki: great site for seeing who is up to what with social media in the association world.

They Built It and We Were There: The Missing Tapes

We had a great crowd at the webinar today. I spoke about increasing participation with association social media programs. About 100 sites signed on, many of them with teams listening in. We had over 30 questions submitted and I didn’t get through all of the promised content for the session. So, without further ado, here is a podcast of the 3 ways to kill an online community and the one secret to success. (Runtime: 5 minute-ish.)


Also, Ryan at Boston Conferencing is going to send me the unanswered questions which I will address in another podcast on this blog. Hope to record and post it over the weekend, so stay tuned!

By the way, I am available for keynotes and workshops to address your staff, members, customers and other audiences. Check out the speaking page for more. I’m starting to book out late summer and into fall now.

Webinar Next Week: They Built It and We Were There

I am leading a webinar with Boston Conferencing next week on social media and associations. The session is titled They Built It and We Were There: Maximizing Participation in Association Social Media Programs. The session will be held at 12 Noon Eastern on Thursday March 12.

Here is an audio summary of the program.


Lots of organizations are experimenting with social media these days. I often hear laments about lack of participation and engagement during early efforts. If that is something you are concerned about then this is the session for you!

Our learning objectives for the session include:

  • Top uses of social media to create value for associations and their members
  • A clear plan of action for developing and sustaining social media projects
  • Key staff and volunteer capabilities for working with social media
  • Concrete examples and ideas that you can use immediately

Should be a fun program! For those of you who were following me on Twitter earlier this week, the discussion about cathedrals and bazaars will be a central theme and framing device for our discussion of social media and associations.

I hope you will register for the program and join us online next Thursday!

Podcast: Social Media and Young Professionals: An Interview with Lauren Turner

Today I have a real treat for you: an interview with Lauren Turner who is leading some innovative efforts to use social media to engage with young professionals for the Chamber of Commerce in Fort Worth Texas.

In the interview I ask Lauren about where their young professionals are engaging online, how they have reach out to them and which techniques seem to be the most effective.

Here are a few links mentioned in the interview:

The podcast is a tad over 15 minutes long. I will also be discussing Vision Fort Worth as a case in an American Chamber of Commerce Executives webinar on October 2. Be sure to register for that event if you are interested how to engage with young professionals in your community.

Play the interview below or follow the link to download the MP3 file.

Podcast: Interview with Jeremiah Owyang on Measuring Social Media

I am working on an article for Associations Now about how to measure social media success. The questions I am exploring: How can you measure success with these tools? How do you know you are creating value with a blog, podcast, wiki, RSS, etc.? What’s beyond the page view?

I interviewed Jeremiah Owyang, about this issue last week. Jeremiah is with PodTech, an online video network. Jeremiah has been writing about social media, and metrics in particular, quite a bit this year. He even started a Facebook group on social media measurement.

In the recording attached to this post we discuss the idea of measuring engagement, subjective vs. objective measures and what the near term future might look like. Jeremiah shares several tips on getting started with measuring social media (follow the link for a write-up of these). Thanks Jeremiah!

Drop me a line if you are using social media at your association and would like to share your experience for the article. You don’t have to have solved the problem (if you have you can write the article!) but I am very interested in talking about the value you think your efforts are providing and issues related to measuring that value.

Update: Jeremiah has posted a few additional comments and links related to what we discussed in the interview.