Your Federal Quarterly Tax Payments are due April 15th Get Help Now >>

The Big by dfgh4bnmu


     The Big
       A look at the world of
       social media beyond
       Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn.
        By Shannon Otto, MemberClicks Marketing Specialist

 Here at MemberClicks, we believe social media tools can greatly benefit
 small-staff associations and their members. There are many, many social
 media sites besides Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and to introduce you
 to 12 of them, we’ve put together summaries and real-life examples to get
 you started.
Beyond The Big Three
A look at the world of social media beyond Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

1. Flickr (visit Flickr)
Who doesn’t love taking photos, or at least looking
through them, to relive memories? If a picture really
does tell a thousand words, associations can use plenty
of photos to tell the stories of their organizations,
missions and causes.

Flickr allows users to upload photos to share with
others. There are two types of accounts – free accounts can store 100 megabytes of images and two videos
per month, while pro accounts (which cost about $25 per year) can upload unlimited photos and videos
each month. A complete collection of photos is referred to as a “photostream,” and Flickr also allows users
to organize their photos into smaller “sets.” One photo can belong to multiple sets, or no sets at all. Sets
can be grouped into “collections,” and those collections can also be organized into even higher-level

One of the best features of Flickr is its “tagging”
ability. When users add different identifying tags to
their photos, other users can find them if they
search for those specific terms.

Of course, you can choose if you want your photos
to be viewable by the public or if they’re private,
only able to be seen by you and your selected
contacts. But if your association’s goals are to
engage with its members, create awareness and
perhaps recruit new members, it’s probably best
to keep most of your photos public.

How Can Small-Staff Associations Use Flickr?
Flickr allows for some amazing collaboration and
sharing. An organization could create a “Group” for
its annual meeting or event and allow members to
join and upload their own photos. ASAE and The
Center did this for the 2009 annual meeting and
expo in August, and there are currently 573 items
from its 28 members. After all, no two people will
have the same experiences at your event, so
allowing everyone to upload to a shared space will let others (even non-attendees!) participate.

Flickr can be a powerful storytelling mechanism. One great collection, titled “Disaster Relief,” from the
American Red Cross’ Flickr stream, is a great example of how organizations can tell the stories of their
missions. Regardless of how big your organization is, photos can help tell its story and show how it
accomplishes its mission.

Other uses for Flickr:
• Let volunteers upload photos of their experiences
• Allow members to see “behind the scenes” at the organization
• Upload photos of chapter meetings
• Create a digital scrapbook of your association’s events, meetings, charity drives & volunteer opportunities                                       800.914.2441                                         2
Beyond The Big Three
A look at the world of social media beyond Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

2. Delicious (visit Delicious)
”Bookmarks,” “favorites,” “frequently visited” … there are several different ways you can save your favorite
websites for future reference. But one social network allows users to easily organize their favorite websites
and access them from any computer or Internet browser while sharing them with colleagues, friends and

Maybe you’re already familiar with Delicious — it’s truly one of the most underrated social networking sites.
If you’re looking for an easy way to jump into social networking without devoting your entire marketing or
public relations strategy to the social Web, Delicious can be a great place to start.

Upon creation of a Delicious account, users can sign in and bookmark any Web sites from any computer or
browser, and users are able to access them from anywhere. Additionally, users can tag their bookmarks –
some of The MemberClicks favorites include “socialmedia,” “associationmanagement” and “strategy.” (Tags
must be one word only.)

Users can search their bookmarks by multiple tags, which makes cross-referencing bookmarks a snap.
Want to find all your bookmarks that include “socialmedia” and “strategy?” Easy! Want “socialmedia” and
“associationmanagement?” No problem!

Delicious also allows for interaction between users. Bookmarks can be public or private, but this is after all
a social media site, so going private is a little counterproductive.

When bookmarks are public, others can find them based on the tags you give them. You can also add other
users to your network and search their bookmarks. Delicious even shows how many times a link has been
added and ranks bookmarks based on popularity – when you go to the homepage, you have the option of
viewing the newest bookmarks, or the most popular ones.                                       800.914.2441                                          3
Beyond The Big Three
A look at the world of social media beyond Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

2. Delicious (cont’d.)

Delicious recently added a “Share” feature, so users can e-mail bookmarks to contacts who don’t use

There are lots of add-ons for Delicious to improve the user experience. The Firefox add-on allows users to
have the option to automatically bookmark a website in Delicious with a simple right-click.

How Can Small-Staff Associations Use Delicious?
For sharing useful information with your association’s staff and members, Delicious is a great option. The
profile URLs are easy to remember, and the site allows users to aggregate relevant and important content
to refer back to whenever they like. By tagging relevant bookmarks, associations can quickly find relevant
links on any subject they’ve bookmarked, allowing small staffs to create a virtual library of links, accessible
from anywhere.                                       800.914.2441                                           4
Beyond The Big Three
A look at the world of social media beyond Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

3. Tumblr (visit Tumblr)
What do you get when you cross Twitter with a traditional blog? One of two sites: Tumblr or Posterous.

Although there are some important differences, Tumblr and Posterous do have a lot in common. Both let
you compile all types of media – text, links, photos, videos, audio clips and more – into a virtual scrapbook
to share with your members.

First up, Tumblr.

Tumblr users can “follow” each other, much like on Twitter. (Following does not have to be reciprocal.)
There’s also the option to “like” a post, or “reblog” it and add your own comments if you’d prefer.

As far as mobility goes, there are great BlackBerry and iPhone apps for Tumblr. Tumblr also allows for
Twitter integration, so your posts on Tumblr can be automatically sent to your Twitter stream, and tweets
can be sent to Tumblr.

Newsweek magazine has started using Tumblr in recent months. They posted a great explanation of “Why
they Tumbl.” In the post, they fully admit they’re not sure how to monetize Tumblr, but that they hope it
creates a dialogue between magazine and readers, which is what social media is all about.                                      800.914.2441                                          5
Beyond The Big Three
A look at the world of social media beyond Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

4. Posterous (visit Posterous)
The great thing about Posterous is it was designed to be used via e-mail. To get started, simply e-mail
anything you want – text, photos, audio, even iPhone videos – to Your subject line
will become the title and the e-mail’s body will become the post itself. You can even add tags in the subject
line by including double parentheses: ((tag:socialmedia, photos, association)). You don’t have to set up an
account before e-mailing — whatever your e-mail address is becomes the URL (http://youremail.posterous.

However, if you have a specific URL in mind for your
Posterous account, it’s probably better to sign up
online before e-mailing a post.

Posterous is handy for the on-the-go association
executive and those attached to their smartphones.
Like Tumblr, the site also has a community aspect;
users can subscribe to other users and mark posts
as “favorites.”

Media Bistro has done an excellent job using
Posterous as a community blog. People can submit
contributions to a specific e-mail address, and three
curators approve and post the content. Although Media Bistro isn’t an association, they have created an
online community that uses Posterous as a user-generated blog. If your organization has active volunteers
or members who want to contribute to, but not be in charge of, the organization’s blog or online scrapbook,
Posterous could be a good choice.

The best part about the contributions?
People who submit don’t have to have
Posterous accounts – just an e-mail address
from which to send content. Users can
export content from Posterous to any other
social sites on which your association has a
following – and vice versa. Flickr, Twitter,
Facebook, YouTube – you name it, you can
automatically post information across the
board with a simple e-mail.                                      800.914.2441                                          6
Beyond The Big Three
A look at the world of social media beyond Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

How Can Small-Staff Associations Use Tumblr & Posterous?
Imagine if conference and meeting attendees could easily submit their own videos and photos to one main
aggregator. ASAE and The Center had a great online hub for ASAE09, and they also had a Flickr group to
aggregate attendees’ photos. Posterous would have been a comparable alternative because it lets many
people share different types of media in one place. Attendees (real-life and virtual) could contribute their
own videos, photos and thoughts to the community to create a great “scrapbook.”

Check out the FAQs for both Posterous and Tumblr, and I also love this Mashable post comparing and
contrasting them. Each has its pros and cons. Tumblr allows for more theme contributions while Posterous
lets people submit contributions more easily. However, each is inherently mobile and makes it easy for
organizations to share information in a variety of formats.

Although it can be difficult for organizations to give up some control of their online presence, creating a
community blog is a great way to engage members. Because Tumblr and Posterous allow users to post
information in a variety of formats, they are great options for organizations that want to begin blogging
but don’t have time to write full-blown posts on a regular basis. By sharing pictures, video and text in one
place, associations can decrease the amount of different social media outposts members have to visit.                                       800.914.2441                                        7
Beyond The Big Three
A look at the world of social media beyond Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

5. YouTube (visit YouTube)
Although YouTube is often thought of as an endless source
of entertainment, there are plenty of ways small staff
association professionals can use it to their organization’s

For example, ASAE has its own YouTube channel. They
post interviews with ASAE staffers and conference speakers
every few weeks. Of course, during this year’s annual
meeting, posting was more frequent.

Maybe you don’t want to post videos right away. No problem! Simply create a channel for your organization
and compile some of your favorite YouTube videos for your members. But taking it one step further can
really enhance the experience for your members.

You don’t have to have any fancy video editing software to take advantage of YouTube. You don’t even have
to have a great camera — many cell phones have video capabilities, and Flip cameras are pretty popular.
Videos can also be easily embedded into your association’s blog or homepage.

One suggestion: Keep your videos shorter than five minutes — three, if possible. People just don’t have the
attention span to watch videos longer than that online — let alone waiting for it to buffer!

How Can Small-Staff Associations Use YouTube?
What videos could your association create and share?

• Conference highlights or random moments
• Interviews with keynote speakers
• Interviews with attendees
• Videos created by members
• News updates relating to the industry

The possibilities really are endless!

Videos can be great for helping virtual attendees get a more complete experience. Or they can just be
amusing — they don’t necessarily have to be 100 percent business-focused. They can showcase your
association’s personality and aid in recruiting new members.

One of the greatest YouTube features for organizations is their Nonprofit Program. Right now, the program
is only available in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia. Additionally, YouTube stipulates that the campaign
cannot be focused on religion or politics. YouTube provides nonprofit organizations with premium branding
capabilities, the option to allow fundraising through a Google “Donate” button and tons more tips and

Other benefits include:

- A listing on the Nonprofit channels and the Nonprofit videos pages
- Option to add a “Call to action” overlay on videos to drive campaigns                                       800.914.2441                                         8
Beyond The Big Three
A look at the world of social media beyond Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

5. YouTube (cont’d.)
The tips page is definitely helpful, and includes information on how to customize your organization’s
channel, develop content and network and distribute your videos.

The program also brings organizations with similar missions together, allowing them to partner and work

YouTube suggests telling serial stories, which is a great option for nonprofits — decide on a theme or
central message for your campaign and keep viewers coming back for more. Additionally, weaving any
current events into your videos will make them that much more timely and significant.

Also, YouTube recently rolled out YouTube Direct, which “enables your organization to request, review, and
re-broadcast user-submitted videos with ease.” Your members can upload videos directly to your site and
then administrators can review and approve (or deny) them. It was built with news organizations in mind
(“citizen journalists” can send amateur videos to them with ease), but I think it’d be great to issue a call for
videos from conference or meeting attendees!

YouTube is one of the most-trafficked sites on the Internet, and for good reason. There are lots of amusing
videos to be sure, but there is also a great potential for creating and sharing valuable content with your
members.                                        800.914.2441                                           9
Beyond The Big Three
A look at the world of social media beyond Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

6. Ning (visit Ning)
What do you do if none of the other social networks available
work for your organization, but you still want a fun, interactive
place for your members to converse online?

Ning is a service that allows you to create your own branded
social network. In addition to member profiles, Ning features sections for videos, photos, chat, music,
groups, events, forums and blogs. Ning offers users a free 30-day trial, but beyond that, a Ning community
costs as little as $2.95 per month or as much as $49.95 per month. The three paid levels offer different
amounts of storage space, as well as a certain number of custom profiles and features.

Ning can be a great outlet for niche organizations. Its purpose is to create community – but unlike Facebook
and Twitter, it’s completely customizable.

Some of the great features include:

- RSS feeds in and out: Stream information from your outside blog, a news Web site or another source.
- Chat: Much like Facebook’s chat, members can chat in real-time when they’re logged on.
- A variety of other apps, as well as search engine optimization

How Can Small-Staff Associations Use Ning?
If your members aren’t active on another social network, Ning could benefit your organization. It’s more
inclusive than Facebook and still allows your members to maintain their privacy while interacting with one
another. Ning is all about building a targeted community for your members. As it says on the home page,
“Ning lets you create and join new social networks for your interests and passions.”

As an example of an organization using
Ning, the International Society for
Technology in Education set up a great
Ning network for its 2010 conference. The
conference was in June 2010, but even
back in November 2009, the community
had 553 members, 23 groups and a good
sampling of photos and videos. ISTE is
building hype and anticipation for the
main event, and there’s even a great
countdown in the right column!

Ning can be a great option for small-staff
associations that are just getting started
with social media. Because Ning offers organizations to create a closed online community, it is If your
members are late adopters to social media and are not yet using the more common networks (Facebook,
for example), Ning could be a good choice to ease members into the Web’s social world. They can converse
using groups, chat in real time, watch videos, post photos and participate in a blog. Ning provides member
statistics at all levels, so you’ll always have analytic reports at your fingertips.                                        800.914.2441                                       10
Beyond The Big Three
A look at the world of social media beyond Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

7. SlideShare (visit SlideShare)
If your organization and members aren’t ready to jump into
the social Web, there are many smaller social media sites
 that are ideal for supplementing your communications and
marketing strategies. SlideShare is a great example of one such network.

You may have already — unknowingly — used SlideShare. Generally, whenever anyone embeds a
slideshow into their blog or sends a link to a presentation online, it’s hosted on SlideShare. Not only can
users share presentations (generally PowerPoint files), they can also upload documents and PDFs.

How Can Small-Staff Associations Use SlideShare?
You can use SlideShare to assist with virtual meeting experiences – if members can’t attend in person, it’s
easy to upload the presentation to one location and send the same link to all members and attendees.
You can adjust the privacy settings for each presentation you upload, so the links can be private and only
accessed by those who have the link if you so desire.

SlideShare can provide your organization with the tools to easily get your mission or message out to many
people at once. You can even sync audio to your slides for a complete presentation experience.

You can use SlideShare to:

-   Get the word out about your organization
-   Give information to those who can’t attend an event in person
-   Embed presentations on your blog or Web site
-   Connect with other association professionals

Another great feature: the transcripts of your presentations will be indexed by Google, which will help your
organization be found more easily in search engines.

SlideShare is also searchable, so you can find
other presentations and documents relating to
association management or your organization’s
particular industry.

Any presentation given, anywhere, can be
uploaded and then embedded onto the
organization’s website. With searchable
presentations and documents, indexed transcripts
and embedding features, SlideShare is a
slam-dunk for organizations and speakers
who want to spread the word about their
services and programs.                                       800.914.2441                                        11
Beyond The Big Three
A look at the world of social media beyond Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

8. Blogs
The heart of original content marketing, blogs aren’t exactly
social networking “sites,” but they certainly allow for social
networking. They’re also an easy way to update your members
on current news and events with the association.

Blogs are a great, tried-and-true way of communicating with
others online.

There are a few options for blogs: internal and external. For
associations with larger staffs, internal blogs can be useful for
keeping everyone in the loop about happenings within the organization. However, blogs can be great for
smaller staffs to update members all at one time and give them another way to communicate with the

A blog post doesn’t have to consist of hundreds of words – it can be as simple as an embedded video
or even a “Top 10” list. You don’t even have to post every (week)day, but the more you update (without
overdoing it), the better.

How Can Small-Staff Associations Use Blogs?
Your organization’s annual conference is an ideal time to promote the blog and share awesome content.
Even if your organization is a chapter within a big national association, the annual conference is a great
time to start to promote a blog and get the word out.

Blog before, during and after the conference, and share it in your conference e-mail marketing. You can also
interview your conference speakers for a more in-depth look. Let your members write guest posts and share
their pictures or videos. Some members will be more active than others. You may not get comments or
feedback right away. But even lurkers — people who read but do not comment — are valuable. They make
up the greatest portion of most blog audiences, and just because they aren’t commenting doesn’t mean
they’re not getting value from the blog.

There are many options for creating a blog. The two most popular are WordPress and Blogger. Both are
free, very user-friendly and intuitive. However, the paid version of WordPress allows for more plug-ins, so if
you think you’ll need additional options down the road, it can be a good option.

The most important advice about a blog is to mix it up and show some personality. Be creative! For many
organizations, a blog is the cornerstone of a content marketing strategy. You can “sell” the organization
without actually selling it. You can show how the association provides value for its members without simply
telling prospective members.

Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to write hundreds of words each and every day. Update
regularly — for example, two or three times per week — so your readers know when to expect posts. Be
sure your posts share something of value with your readers and members. And don’t be afraid to show
some personality!                                       800.914.2441                                          12
Beyond The Big Three
A look at the world of social media beyond Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

9. Good Reads (visit Good Reads)
Between our existing job descriptions, other
responsibilities and trying to keep up with friends,
family and blogs, it can be difficult to stay on top
of your reading list.

For all you bookworms out there, there is a great
social networking site to keep track of the books
you’ve read and get recommendations from others: Good Reads. The site, which has more than 2 million
users, describes itself as a “large library that you can wander through and see everyone’s bookshelves,
their reviews, and their ratings.”

Once you create your profile, you simply select books you’re read, are currently reading or plan to read.
You can rate each one and write reviews, which will be shared with others. Good Reads uses Amazon
as its book catalog, but if, for whatever reason, Amazon doesn’t carry a book you’re reading, you can
add it manually. You can “friend” other users and browse others’ reviews. Additionally, Good Reads can
recommend new books based on the ones you’ve read and rated highly.

How Can Small-Staff Associations Use Good Reads?
This site probably is more useful for individuals rather than associations, but it can certainly be used
for organizational purposes, as well. No matter how big or small your association, staffers can share
recommendations easily among yourselves. You can also connect with other association professionals in
discussion groups. Groups can be public, moderated, restricted by
domain, or secret. And associations could even host groups for their
members to discuss books if there is an interest.

Good Reads wants to “make reading fun again.”Whether you think
reading has always been fun or not, the site’s mission is a great
one and there are tons of opportunities to connect with fellow
association professionals who have similar literary interests.

Happy reading!                                      800.914.2441                                      13
Beyond The Big Three
A look at the world of social media beyond Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

10. UStream (visit UStream)
When you click over to, you might be
wondering what makes it different from other
video-sharing sites such as YouTube or Vimeo.
The awesome thing about UStream is you can
record video live!

One example of a UStream show for associations is KiKi L’Italien’s“Social Media Sweet Spot” show,
is broadcast every Friday at 12:30 p.m. ET. This is a great example of how live video can be used for
communication both at the time of recording and later on.

On its About page, UStream explains, In less than two minutes, anyone can become a broadcaster by
creating their own channel on UStream or by broadcasting through their own site, empowering them to
engage with their audience and further build their brand.

How Can Small-Staff Associations Use UStream?
Many associations are finding a great deal of value in allowing virtual attendees for their conferences and
meetings, and UStream could certainly be used to stream keynote speeches or learning sessions.

There is an interactive broadcast functionality, which allows viewers to interact with whoever is
broadcasting. If the presenter chooses, virtual attendees could ask the presenter questions rather than just
being passive viewers. For larger events (such as a keynote speech), UStream also offers a one-to-many
broadcast feature. Associations could also use it for various training sessions, speeches or rallies or other
events. You don’t have to have an account to view videos, which is nice for people who just want to watch
videos occasionally.

Getting started is very easy – all you need is an Internet connection and webcam.

Even if your organization doesn’t host a big conference or annual meeting, it can be used to train volunteers
from afar, live stream board meetings or rallies. Any event pertaining to the association’s mission and cause
can be live-streamed with the right equipment — and it doesn’t necessarily have to be fancy equipment!                                      800.914.2441                                          14
Beyond The Big Three
A look at the world of social media beyond Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

11. Foursquare (visit Foursquare)
You may have heard about Foursquare in recent months;
it’s been called the “Twitter of 2010” by some.
Foursquare combines two important trends in the social
web: location and mobile technology. But if you haven’t
heard about it, don’t worry! It’s generally more popular
in larger cities right now, but it’s expanding quickly.

Essentially, Foursquare is an application that enables “checking in” at various locations. The application
uses GPS to identify where you are and will give a list of nearby places from which to choose, but you can
always add a place if it’s not available.

According to its Help page, When you tell foursquare where you are, that’s called “checking-in”. You can
check-in from parks, bars, museums, restaurants… really anywhere. Foursquare then will let your friends
know where to find you.

The site aims to help you find friends and acquaintances in your city. There are apps available for
smartphones such as iPhone, BlackBerry, Palm Pre and Android, but if you don’t own one of those phones,
you can check in using a basic text message – attach your phone number to your account and text your
check-ins to 50500.

Besides checking in and updating your location, there are few other parts of Foursquare.

The Mayor
If you check into a certain location more than anyone else, Foursquare will crown you “The Mayor.” Many
bars and cafes in bigger cities (such as New York) sometimes give the current mayor some perks, such as a
discount or a free coffee. But if someone comes along behind you who has checked in more often, they can
“steal” the title.

According to Foursquare, Badges are little rewards you earn for doing checking-into interesting places. For
example, staying out late on a school night or frequenting too many karaoke bars. Foursquare says many
badges are tagged to venues. For example, people could tag a bar “karaoke,” “pool table,” etc…

Foursquare awards points for pretty much every check-in. You’ll get points the first time you check in at a
certain location and when you add a new venue. Basically, the more you experience, the more points you’ll
get. Foursquare says it is still figuring
out what to do with the points earned.
In December 2009, though, the company
donated $0.04 to charity for every point

Since Foursquare updates are tied to
locations, when you click on someone’s
update, you’re brought to a page that
looks like the one to the right.                                       800.914.2441                                       15
Beyond The Big Three
A look at the world of social media beyond Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

11. Foursquare (cont’d.)

How Can Small-Staff Associations Use Foursquare?
1. Events and conferences: Thinking back to ASAE and The Center’s 2009 Annual Meeting and Expo, I
think a Foursquare-type application would have been immensely useful. (The fact that the meeting was in
Toronto made using our cell phones a little more difficult, but I digress.) The convention center was so huge
and after-hours, people were spread out at tons of different restaurants and bars. Using location-based
technology might have allowed us to meet even more people!

2. Volunteer incentives: How do you reward your frequent volunteers? Recognizing those who check in
often to a particular venue to volunteer could receive perks, discounts or another form of recognition. Many
Foursquare users see mayorship as a point of pride, and will frequent the same venue again and again to
become its mayor. Recognize your frequent volunteers online.

3. Brand your event: Create a Foursquare badge people can earn when they check into several venues
around your event. Badges are fun ways to reward Foursquare users who do interesting things. For
example, checking into a gym 10 times in 30 days earns users the “Gym Rat” badge.

4. Team up with a for-profit for fundraising: Would it be possible for your organization to team up with a
restaurant? When patrons check into a restaurant, could a percent of the profits go toward a cause your
organization promotes? By teaming up with for-profits, your organization can spread the word about its

Foursquare can be integrated with both Facebook and Twitter, so your status updates there can also be read
as check-ins.

Using Foursquare, you can monitor your organization’s venue and see who checks in. Perhaps your
organization could reward the mayor or volunteers who check in frequently.

There are also a few applications available — such as DoubleDutch — that let your organization create its
own branded location-based iPhone app. If your small staff is part of a larger national organization with a
huge conference, the organization can create an iPhone app specifically for the conference, and designate
different meeting rooms, exhibit halls and hotels as venues.                                      800.914.2441                                          16
Beyond The Big Three
A look at the world of social media beyond Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

12. FriendFeed (visit FriendFeed)
If you’re not familiar with FriendFeed, it’s a really cool tool that
lets you post status updates, photos and links (and more!) across
multiple social networks, including Facebook and Twitter.

What makes FriendFeed different? It combines feeds from other outposts — such as Facebook, Flickr,
YouTube and Twitter — to create one complete stream in one place. And it lets you access that stream in
multiple ways.

If you already have a Facebook, Twitter or Google account, you don’t even need to create a separate
account for FriendFeed. You can use any of your login information for the previous sites, which is extremely

When you add fellow FriendFeed users as friends, you receive a customized stream that includes their
Twitter updates, Facebook updates, videos and links. You can view your stream directly on FriendFeed’s site,
through Facebook, via e-mail or via RSS (in a reader such as Google Reader).

Similar to Facebook, there is a “Like” button for your friends’ items, as well as the option to comment.

There are a few different ways to post something on FriendFeed. You can simply update from FriendFeed.
com, and direct your update to whichever outposts you’d like. You can also post via e-mail (which works
well for attached photos). And FriendFeed has its own version of Twitter’s “re-tweet,” as well. Each entry
has a “Share” link beneath it, and clicking that will bring up a box with a few options for sharing it.                                       800.914.2441                                        17
Beyond The Big Three
A look at the world of social media beyond Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

12. FriendFeed (cont’d.)

How Can Small-Staff Associations Use FriendFeed?
The site supports “Groups,” which multiple people can subscribe to and receive information from. For
example, if your association began a FriendFeed account for the organization and a corresponding group,
members could join the group and receive updates from one another and the association simultaneously.
Everyone in the group can share things with one another, and leave comments that all members can see.
Groups can be public or private.

FriendFeed could be a unique way for members to interact while still experiencing the “stream-style” of
information, which is becoming increasingly popular, thanks in part to Facebook. It is similar to the mobile
hub ASAE and The Center created for the Annual Meeting back in August 2009, which combined everyone’s
comments about #asae09 in one place.

But meetings and events aren’t the only times small staff associations could potentially use FriendFeed. The
site is an ideal way for members to interact and share information about the industry. Imagine a “mini-
Twitter,” in which only members’ and the organization’s updates appear and everyone can interact within it.
Members can share information all the time — FriendFeed allows them a central location to collect all status
updates and one condensed feed from which to view them. Your group can be private or public, depending
on how you want to use it. If you want to show potential members how much community the organization
has online, it may be wise to make the group public. There’s nothing to install on your computer, just a
customized stream full of updates about the association and industry and causes it supports!                                      800.914.2441                                         18
Beyond The Big Three
A look at the world of social media beyond Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Small staff association professionals should by no means feel obligated to use all of the social networking
sites highlighted in this series. We have always advocated picking and choosing based on which ones are
correct fits for your organization, but it’s important to take the time to explore the ones you’re unfamiliar

Whether you’re an active participant in social media or not, information overload is easy to experience in the
21st century. People can get news and updates from more sources now than ever before. There are so many
communication outlets – it’s overwhelming!

Blogs, RSS, Twitter (including text alerts and all the smartphone apps), Facebook (online and via cell or
smartphone), text messages, e-mail, phone call, direct mail, newspaper (online or in print), magazine
(online or in print), television, YouTube … even this incomplete list is exhausting.

Associations don’t have to be everywhere, all the time. It’s crucial to realize what’s worth your time and
what’s just going to waste time.

When your organization audits its communication strategy, be sure to ask members how they like to receive
information. If a significant portion chooses a certain option, consider adding it to your organization’s
strategy. If there’s no interest, don’t waste your time there. Maybe your association doesn’t even need to
have a huge social Web presence. Going forward, it likely will be necessary eventually, but there’s no need
to rush it if there’s no demand at the moment.

Asking your members what they want – it’s as simple as taking a poll – can be very educational for
association staffers. Encouraging two-way communication is a great first step to engage members who have
become unengaged. Offering information through different online avenues can be a little time-consuming,
but many of these tools are free or extremely cost-effective, and it’s important for small staff association
executives to evaluate what’s worth their time and what isn’t. if your goals include grabbing the attention
of a niche group that’s not engaged in the association or fostering a community that already exists, social
media can be the answer.

We Hope This Helps
If you have any further question about social media, MemberClicks, or anything else, don’t hesitate to get in
touch! Email us at, and we’ll be happy to help.

And keep in touch with us through social media!
• Visit our small-staff focused blog, Splash.
• Follow us on Twitter
• Friend us on Facebook                                       800.914.2441                                          19

To top