17 November 2009

Twitter Story: Member Engagement

We all know that the Holy Grail of Associations is member engagement. Engaged members care, participate, evangelize, volunteer, and, most importantly, renew. There are LOTS of ways you can engage your members, and you should do as many as your level of staffing and organizational culture can support, but Twitter can be one of them.

My favorite current example of member engagement through Twitter is the American Academy of Physician Assistants. Rather than having a faceless organizational Twitter account, they've chosen to have 3 staff people tweet officially for the association as individuals: AAPALynn, AAPABrooke, and chemonesiacjan.

Twitter is a good platform for AAPA because of the demographics of their members, who trend heavily to GenX and Millennials and work in healthcare, so they're on mobile devices all day rather than sitting at a computer. And Brooke, Lynn, and Janette certainly use the platform for other functions - broadcast, marketing, etc.

But in a recent conversation, Lynn Morton (AAPALynn) shared with me a few examples of how they're using Twitter to facilitate actual conversation and connection both between physician assistants and between the PAs and the association. My favorite? A PA student tweeted Lynn in a panic, not knowing what to wear to a critical interview. She re-tweeted it out to everyone who follows her, and the student got some useful advice to help her choose a good interview outfit. Sounds trivial, right? But I'll bet that PA now feels a deep connection to her association due to what, for her, was extraordinary customer service.

What are you doing to provide extraordinary customer service for your members and other constituents? Could Twitter help you create those magic moments that turn people into evangelists?


1 comment:

Miss Lynn said...

Thanks for all the love Elizabeth!

I will say that the three that tweet for AAPA are the only ones that have really embraced it. All employees are encouraged to tweet if they feel comfortable doing so. I give coaching classes internally on social media tools, Twitter being one of them! We don't force anyone to tweet & we want to make it a positive experience for all involved.

And to nip it in the bud... I'm sure someone will ask "What happens if those employees leave AAPA?"

Well I'd personally surrender my account to the org and let the PAs that I connected with know what my personal account is in case they want to keep the connection going and then introduce them to whoever my replacement would be & change the username. Now this may not be the right choice for every org, but it's really working for us, without turning us into spam.