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Whitepaper: Chamber Social Media Overview

This whitepaper discusses what Social Media is, and how chambers can use it to their advantage.


Date: November 4, 2011
Organization: ACCE
City: Alexandria, VA, National

Whitepaper: Chamber Social Media Overview

Social Media for Chambers of Commerce

Definitions, Samples, How-To, and More

Compiled by: Cathy Lada, American Chamber of Commerce Executives

 

Table of Contents

 

Social Media & Networking

What?

So What?

Social Networks

So what: MySpace

MySpace: Chamber examples

So what: Facebook

Facebook: Chamber examples

So what: Linked In

Small chamber examples

Now what?

Podcasting

What?

So what & Strategy

Where to start

How-to

What?

Chamber examples

So What?

3

3

3

3

3

3

4

4

4

5

5

7

7

8

8

8

9

9

9

RSS Feeds

What

Chamber RSS samples

So What

Now What

Blogs

What

Chamber samples

So What

Now What

Putting all the “Social Stuff” Together

Sample Social Media Policies

General Social Media Policies

Sample Corporate Blogging Policy

Sample Blogger Code Of Ethics

Anti-Trust

9

10

10

10

10

11

11

11

11

12

12

13

13

13

13

14

14

 

 

Social Media & Networking

What?

  • Social media is web content such as blogs and wikis, created by individuals or a collaboration of individuals. –Google.com

  • Social media describes the online technologies and practices that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives with each other. –Google.com

  • Social media use the “wisdom of crowds” to connect information in a collaborative manner. Social media can take many different forms, including Internet forums, message boards, weblogs, wikis, podcasts, pictures and video. Technologies such as blogs, picture-sharing, vlogs, wall-postings, email, instant messaging, music-sharing, group creation and voice over IP, to name a few. – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media

  • Social networking

 

So What?

  • Social networking applications are tools and technologies that make it easier to identify, meet, connect, share information and collaborate with other, appropriate people.” – Dave Pollard, Salon.com

  • One of the most significant ROI-type benefits chambers of commerce offer is the ability to network. Social networks can leverage the power of chambers’ face-to-face networking as well as create opportunities for new connections among members, chamber staff, other chambers, and vendors.

 

Social Networks

What?

  • Examples of social networks, Wikipedia (reference), MySpace (social networking), Facebook(social networking), Last.fm (personal music), YouTube (social networking and video sharing), Second Life (virtual reality), and Flickr (photo sharing). – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media

 

So what: MySpace

  • A MySpace page serves mainly as a portal to entice members, prospects, and vendors to visit your website

MySpace: Chamber examples

http://www.myspace.com/

 

Small Chambers

 

Large Chamber

 

So what: Facebook

  • A Facebook page serves mainly as a portal to entice members, prospects, and vendors to visit your website

  • A Facebook page could help your Young Professionals group form stronger networks

 

Facebook: Chamber examples

http://www.facebook.com/

 

 

Small Chambers

 

Large Chambers

 

Other

 

So what: Linked In

http://www.linkedin.com/

 

To join ACCE's LinkedIn group click here:

http://www.linkedin.com/e/gis/149168/0CD7E4672E0F

 

  • Can include recommendations of trusted vendors (or encourage members’ customers to do so)

  • Helps members network: Virtual connections help keep members keep in touch – or meet other members (giving your event attendees a chance to preview your connection list for a little bit of background on who they might want to meet)

  • Members can ask for introductions to others through a contact in common

  • Helps members “meet” your staff: listing job title, professional background, schools attended, people you might know in common

 

Small chamber examples

 

Large Chambers

 

Resources

See Guy Kawasaki’s How to Change the World: 10 Ways to Use LinkedIn: http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2007/01/ten_ways_to_use.html

  • Perform blind, “reverse,” and company reference checks. input a company name and the years the person worked at the company to search for references. Your search will find the people who worked at the company during the same time period. Since references provided by a candidate will generally be glowing, this is a good way to get more balanced data.”

  • When job-hunting, check your prospective manager’s references.

 

Now what?

  1. Search your Chamber’s name (and variants on it) on MySpace and on Facebook to see who includes you in their posts and what they’re saying. It’s becoming more common, for instance, for (younger) staff members, performers and speakers at your events, and vendors to list you on their pages. Former interns at the U.S. Chamber have their own Facebook page.

  2. Skip MySpace unless you want to reach people under 23 (or so) years of age AND unless you have a staff person with at least 10 hours a week to spend uploading photos, videos, inviting friends, etc.

  3. Facebook could be a good place to give your Young Professionals group a virtual home – emphasize the group’s tie to the Chamber with prominent links and mentions. Recruit someone from the group to create and maintain the site.

 

LinkedIn

Read LinkedIn's user agreement for do’s and don’ts before you start:

  1. Search your chamber’s name – who has created a profile listing you – staff? Former staff? Members? Vendors? What are they saying, and who are they connected to?

  2. Create a personal profile and invite your members to do so as well; host a LinkedIn circle meeting at your next Business After Hours to better help members meet each other

  3. Encourage both small business owners, MWBEs, or other entrepreneurs to log in, create a profile, and get recommendations from clients (who also have a LinkedIn profile) and ask for recommendations to potential suppliers – helps them generate business among other chamber members

 

In General

Source: http://blogs.salon.com/0002007/2006/12/05.html

  • Pilot a network among a small group of trusted friends – try Facebook. “Play” with it and see what you can do with it that would not be possible without an online social network: finding people better, creating a better virtual presence, manage relationships, build “know-who” directories for just in time needs, collaborate and share content with those in your network, etc.

    • Enable executives to understand how they could be used, and encourage them to provide resources for their acquisition, by developing a future state vision story that relates how your organization could accomplish things with social networking applications that would be impossible without them, and improve productivity in the process.

    • When the tools are introduced, make them simple and encourage the pilot groups to self-manage their use and to develop simple 'user guides' that can be used when they are scaled up; this will minimize support and training costs, which in most organizations vastly exceed the cost of the software.

    • Run lots of small-scale social networking application pilots/experiments in parallel, starting with people who either know and like the tools already, or have an urgent need for what they can offer; learn from both successes and failures and build on the successes.

    • Get the pilot teams to tell the executives their personal success stories that come from using social networking applications -- nothing gets interest and additional resources more than a delighted 'customer'.

 

Additional Resources

How to Use LinkedIn (a blog) http://linkedin-notes.blogspot.com/

Social Networking and Media Association http://www.snama.org/SNAMA/SNAMA/Home/

It is early days for SNAMA, but this website will not be just a network of professionals involved in the "Social" business, but it is the ideal candidate to demonstrate the future model of associations – “Associations 2.0”.

 

Podcasting

 

What?

  • A Podcast is a series of electronic sound-only (audio) recordings [similar a TV series, but without the picture].

  • A Podcast Episode is one of the recordings that make up the full series of recordings [similar to 1 episode of a TV show].

  • A Vodcast = A combination of a Podcast (which is audio) and some visual component, such as Powerpoint, video, etc.

  • A Podcatcher is a program, like iTunes.com, that allows you to subscribe to or to view podcasts. Other podcatchers include Bloglines.com, Newsgator.com, etc.

  • RSS/XML. The underlying codes that are the key component of a podcast and is distributing your podcast online. It’s updated automatically for each episode published.

 

Chamber examples

Small chambers

 

Large chambers

  • Wichita (KS) Chamber of Commerce: The Sound Chamber (monthly podcast)http://www.ventureboldly.com/ “A roundtable podcast focused on top community issues. Each dynamic dialogue session features candid discussion and thought-provoking insights on what our region must do to venture boldly and become a confident, aggressive and attractive community.”

  • Greater Philadelphia (PA) Chamber of Commerce (economic outlook, public policy): http://www.greaterphilachamber.com/rss/podcast.aspx

  • Muskegon (MI) Area Chamber of Commerce (public policy, tourism, etc. – a diverse series) http://feeds.feedburner.com/macc

  • Albany-Colonie (NY) Chamber of Commerce (a very large series of podcasts featuring lots of chamber speakers and chamber president talking about importance of being a member; can subscribe via iTunes) http://www.chspodzone.com/acchamber/

  • Greater Omaha (NE) Chamber of Commerce (economic development; over 100 episodes) http://www.omahachamber.org/news/Podcasts.aspx

  • Salt Lake (UT) Chamber: mayoral race debates http://www.saltlakechamber.org/policy/slcmayor/

  • Greater Columbus (GA) Chamber of Commerce (Viewpoint, a weekly podcast – community, regional, economic development issues) http://feeds.feedburner.com/columbusgachamber/vpt

 

Other examples

 

So what & Strategy

(Source: www.bostonconsulting.com primarily)

  • Knowledge – get your op/eds out there on hot topics

  • Creates name recognition; enhances brand

  • Reach Gen X & Y

  • Create chamber news channel

  • Position fee-based service with a custom place on website; offer a series subscription; also offer per-episode fee; fee + free = fee-based continuing learning for members – pretest knowledge + post-test quiz to reinforce what learned, i.e. value of podcast

  • Fee-based: offer incentives; if you attend in-person chamber event, get free podcast

  • Sponsor snippet – offset costs of producing with a :30 commercial; entice by targeting member provider with topic of podcast

 

Where to start

Don’t want to host your own, or just want to test the waters?

 

How-to

Strategy (Source: www.bostonconsulting.com primarily)

  • Maintain same look & feel as regular website if use separate podcast statement; each episode described – topic, download size; duration; different ways to listen on demand w/o download and w/o subscribing; is key to offer different podcast aggregators – (which are like die-hard diet coke/coke fans – will not use the other).

  • Recommended duration – 60 or 90 seconds; or 10-15 minutes. Not a webinar at an hour.Avoid using webinar audio clips. Webinar has visuals; podcast does not.

  • Don’t refer to dates – if content will still be relevant in 2-3 years your audience will think old content if dated today.

  • Can pre-record and re-use series intro & splice into all/some recordings

  • Compelling formats- 4 format ideas:

      • NPR Storycorps (drive around and pull people off street to tell story of their life) – collect at trade show, conference --- anecdotal;

      • Michael Katz – podcast “newslettes” – how to engage prospects & clients. Monologue style – rarely interviews anyone – 7-12 minutes focused on 1 topic; very concise; tells entertaining and interesting story;

      • 60-second science – new daily podcast on some scientific topic; joke of the day podcast; etc;

      • panel discussion – usually 45-60 minutes – TWIT this week in tech – use worldwide presenters into a SKYPE format.

  • Entertainment – education impo too but – make it fun. – ie no boring speakers

    • Metrics. Can you know how many people are listening? If use iTunes or other aggregator – no metrics; if have own website track page views and/or brief registration to capture the “who” is listening in.

 

Video & Vodcasts

 

What?

 

  • In this context video is a video shown online; a vodcast is the way to “subscribe” to frequently updated videos, or is the content itself – a series of related videos.

 

Chamber examples

Small Chambers

 

Large Chambers

 

So What?

  • Uses in economic development – vast majority of site selectors use online content in selecting communities that make a first cut

  • Uses in attracting new residents

  • Member sponsors = more revenue

 

 

 

RSS Feeds

 

What

  • RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and Rich Site Summary. The majority of RSS feeds currently contain news headlines or breaking information, from news outlets, corporations, public agencies, nonprofits and associations.

  • Using the RSS standard, webmasters provide headlines and fresh content (news, events, research, etc.) in a succinct manner.

  • Content viewed in the RSS reader (such as Bloglines.com) or news aggregator (such as Newsgator.com) is place known as an RSS feed.

 

Chamber RSS samples

ACCE’s JobWatch (search chamber jobs or post a job opening) http://jobwatch.acce.org/search/results/

 

Small Chambers

 

Large Chambers

 

Other examples

 

So What

  • RSS is a free and easy way to promote a site and its content (your events listings, your news releases, your grassroots lobbying requests, etc.) without the need to advertise or create complicated content sharing partnerships.

  • Consumers use RSS readers and news aggregators to collect and monitor their favorite feeds in one centralized program or location - thus avoiding the trap of spam filters that e-newsletters or other Chamber email.

 

Now What

How-to

  • Here’s a site that contains tools will help webmasters generate java or html that can be used to display content in RSS feeds.

http://www.rss-specifications.com/display-rss.htm

  • This is an excellent “top ten” list of RSS topics, tutorials, free RSS hosting, etc.

http://www.rss-specifications.com/rss-top-10.htm

 

Blogs

What

  • A blog [short for Web log] is a web site, where you write stuff on an ongoing basis. New stuff shows up at the top, so your visitors can read what's new. Then they comment on it or link to it or email you. Or not.” Source: http://www.blogger.com/tour_start.g

  • Moblogging. “Short for ‘mobile blogging,’ refers to posting blog updates from remote or mobile equipment, such as a cell phone or camera phone.” Source: The Nonprofit Times

  • Twitter is a minute-by-minute “blog”. From the www.twitter.com website: “Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?”

Chamber samples

Small chambers

 

Large chambers

 

So What

  • Blogs provide an interactive (you talk, members talk, communities talk – two-way conversation) way for your chamber to engage business and community. More engagement = more loyalty and renewal checks; more brand recognition, etc.

 

Chambers are using blogs to supplement offline activities such as:

  • Economic development

  • Leadership [insert city name here] programs

  • Quality of life & tourism

  • Chamber and/or community news

  • Outreach to young professionals

  • Reach the news media (reporters, op/ed boards)

 

Now What

Browse the blogs

 

Browse and monitor relevant blogs

    • Go to www.bloglines.com

    • Create a (free) account.

    • In the right-hand column, click on Bloglines-News. You’ll get a sense for what types of information are sent through RSS feeds and how to quickly scan the headlines.

    • In the right-hand column, click on Bloglines Top 100. You’ll see a list of the most-visited blogs or RSS feeds. Many are either tech-related, from top news sources, entertainment, etc. Click through to a few to get a sense for what types of information you can subscribe to.

 

Resources

Learn more about how nonprofits use blogs: Sign up for one of the free virtual groups at www.nten.org.

 

Putting all the “Social Stuff” Together

Small Chambers

 

Large Chambers

 

Other

 

Sample Social Media Policies

The information listed here is not intended to provide legal advice. These policies and procedures are presented here as a starting point to discuss with your legal counsel. These are practices used in corporations or associations.

 

General Social Media Policies

Jeffrey Tenenbaum, partner at Venable, LLP (the firm that advises ASAE) recommends you include the following concepts in all policies related to social media (blogs, podcasts, etc.)

  • A clause that prohibits defamatory, profane, threatening, offensive or illegal information

  • A clause that indemnities the association from any copyright violations

  • A clause that specifically bans any antitrust or anticompetitive violations

  • Guidance for the types of posts, comments, etc. that are desired, along with a notice that the association has the right to delete any posts for any reason

Tenenbaum recommends the following site for sample policy language: http://www.npr.org/about/termsofuse.html

Source: The Risky Business of Social Media, by Scott Briscoe, Associations Now Supplement March 2007

 

Sample Corporate Blogging Policy

  • Make it clear that the views expressed in the blog are yours alone and do not necessarily represent the views of your employer.

  • Respect the company's confidentiality and proprietary information.

  • Ask your manager if you have any questions about what is appropriate to include in your blog.

  • Be respectful to the company, employees, customers, partners, and competitors.

  • Understand when the company asks that topics not be discussed for confidentiality or legal compliance reasons.

  • Ensure that your blogging activity does not interfere with your work commitments.

  • You may not use the company name to endorse or promote any product, opinion, cause or political candidate. Representation of your personal opinions as institutionally endorsed by our organization is strictly prohibited.

Source: Blogging: Bubble Or Big Deal? When And How Businesses Should Use Blogs, by Charlene Li. Original Source: Forrester Best Practice report

 

Sample Blogger Code Of Ethics

  • I will tell the truth.

  • I will write deliberately and with accuracy.

  • I will acknowledge and correct mistakes promptly.

  • I will preserve the original post, using notations to show where I have made changes so as to maintain the integrity of my publishing.

  • I will never delete a post.

  • I will not delete comments unless they are spam or off-topic.

  • I will reply to emails and comments when appropriate, and do so promptly.

  • I will strive for high quality with every post - including basic spellchecking.

  • I will stay on topic.

  • I will disagree with other opinions respectfully.

  • I will link to online references and original source materials directly.

  • I will disclose conflicts of interest.

  • I will keep private issues and topics private, since discussing private issues would jeopardize my personal and work relationships.

 

Source: Blogging: Bubble Or Big Deal? When And How Businesses Should Use Blogs, by Charlene Li. Original Source: Forrester Best Practice report

 

Anti-Trust

Sample from: National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA)

In NEMA’s words, a very conservative and stringent policy is adhered to: “Each NEMA meeting must be preceded by a notice mailed to the members. A copy of the meeting agenda should also be sent. This will alert the members to the business to be considered, enabling them to prepare for a productive meeting. The agenda can also alert members and staff to matters which may raise legal questions for which the advice of counsel may be sought prior to the meeting.”

It is not possible to provide a comprehensive list of antitrust rules that would cover every situation that might be encountered at a NEMA meeting. Nevertheless, a prudent general rule, which is to be followed at all NEMA meetings, is that no commercial topics should be acted upon or even considered. To avoid the most sensitive areas, there should never be a discussion of the following at NEMA meetings:

  • current or future prices or components thereof, including discounts, rebates, and credit terms;

  • price lists or procedures for coordinating price changes;

  • sales or production quotas;

  • allocation or division of territories or customers along manufacturers, distributors, or retailers;

  • boycotting any part or denying any party access to markets, products, product inputs, or information;

  • identified individual company statistics, market shares, inventories or merchandising methods;

  • commercial practices of particular competitors or customers;

  • commercial liabilities, warranties, guarantees, or the particular terms and conditions of sales, including credit, shipping and transportation arrangements, or

  • anything dealing with ‘arm-twisting’, trade abuses, or excluding or controlling competition.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compiler:

Cathy Lada

Communications Strategist

American Chamber of Commerce Executives

4875 Eisenhower Ave., Ste. 250

Alexandria, VA 22304

(703) 998-3560

clada@acce.org

 

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