Open Your Association's Online Social Network to All

By: Roy Snell

One association executive explains why you should take down the walls around your association's social network. [Titled "Open Wide" in the print edition.]

Private social networks are all the rage at associations these days. At the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics, we have one too, but we decided to keep it open to members and nonmembers alike. The results have been great. Here are three reasons you might consider opening up yours, too:

  1. More people leads to more discussion. About half of participants on SCCEnet are nonmembers, including professors, students, reporters, and other ancillary colleagues and experts in our industry.
  2. We're more competitive with other social networking platforms.More and more education and networking is happening on social media today because people use it every day. If you don't have the dominant social network for your profession, you're losing relevance.
  3. Our open social network is growing membership, not eroding it. People join our social platform, get to know us, and then become members of our association. We have had 25 percent membership growth each year since 2008. The marketing advantage of an open system is unbelievable.

Roy Snell is CEO of the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics in Minneapolis. Email: [email protected]