Idea Bank: Let's Connect

By: Rob Stott

Help your members get to know you by adding social media to your online staff directory.

What's the great idea? Placing links to social media pages on the association website's staff directory.

Who's doing it? The Pennsylvania Association of Realtors.

What's involved? Members of PAR staff are required to include links to social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn in their listing on the directory page. They choose to set up a business account or can link their personal account.

"The commitment that we made quite a while ago is that … we embraced all of the electronic versions of communication," says David R. Phillips, CAE, CEO at PAR. "We made it a priority to interact with our members via social media because, the way things already have gone or are going, the one way to engage members, particularly at a state level, is electronically."

Phillips believes that by encouraging staff to engage in social media, PAR can build an online community and maintain an accessible presence to members who follow the organization on those sites.

What are people saying? Members say they feel closer to a staff that they might otherwise never know, and they appreciate being able to connect directly with them. And staff engage with members more frequently.

"People pretty much embraced it," says Meghan Tinkham, PAR's community manager. "It's really just another way to get out there and meet members virtually. When they see us, they feel like they know us."

Rob Stott is editorial assistant at Associations Now in Washington, DC. Email: [email protected]

Rob Stott

Rob Stott is a contributing editor to Associations Now.