If your social media initiative doesn’t have support from senior management, it may be doomed to fail. Support needs to go much further than budget approval and releasing funds. When we talk about senior management, we are not just referring to the chief of staff, we are talking about the volunteer leadership team and its key members.
Why do we think it is so imperative that key association leaders are involved? If social tools are being developed to enhance member engagement, lack of presence by the top association players sends a pretty powerful contrary signal to the membership.
We’ve often said that a social site that has no activity is like a party without music. You wouldn’t stay long at the party, and web surfers will alight but will be off to something more interesting in one quick click. Association leaders need to be actively championing the social initiative by being involved in key business decisions and mandating participation by key team leaders. Without this, association staff will feel the lack of buy-in, ultimately leading to implementation and maintenance failure.
There should also be a regular dialogue between association staff and volunteer leadership to discuss progress achieved and to ensure that the projects are on target and results are evident. This will go a long way towards ensuring a successful social media presence.