I had a meeting with a great client yesterday, nothing unusual about that I guess.
One of the things that I do is work with small and medium sized associations, event companies and corporations and help them set up and understand Social Media programs.
This association had no experience on the Social Side, but they get it and they are going to do FANTASTIC when we are finished. My goal is to help them get it running and then set them free, understanding breeds expertise.
They have absolute buy-in for the program from everyone including the executive director, the board, the marketing manager, all the way down to the receptionist who is being trained to answer questions that callers may have about the new program and its finer points.
I love these guys because they understand the power of social and want everyone in the entire organization to be involved in a positive way. That is good thinking.
I am not kidding about the receptionist either, she is great and the focus of this little post.
I sat with her for two hours going through all of the finer points of the new Social program. This wonderful lady not only drank the kool-aid, she went back for a second and then a third cup. She listened, understood and that is when I saw the light go off in her brain. That look that someone gets when they not only understand, they fully comprehend what they are being told. That is when she wanted to talk about some suggestions that she had. You know, those timid, I have an idea, please don’t think I am stupid type of suggestions.
I love people that have enough faith in themselves and their ideas to overcome the fear of looking like an idiot; that is true bravery. I was thrilled when her suggestions were not only good, they were downright great. I recommended to the client that they implement a few of them (with her in the room because she deserved the kudos).
One of her suggestions was to have a monthly note (blog post) from someone in the association that the members would not ordinarily hear from. I thought that this was a really unique concept. A team member fom the shipping department, the accounting department or even reception will write a quick note to the members each month about something… what they are thinking, what they are feeling or just a note about what they do for members.
A totally voluntary program, the receptionist will be the first to jump in the pool. She wants to tell the members what treat it is to talk to them and how she enjoys her interactions, no matter how small. She wants them to understand her role and how it impacts callers on a daily basis.
The one suggestion that she made that really made sense and is the key to her program is that she will ask members for ideas on how she can better serve them when they call.
I actually sat there for a few seconds in silence and thought to myself, how amazing, how refreshing and how fortunate is this organization that they have a star like this on their team.
What she has hit on is perfect on many levels and actually shows a perfect grasp of what Social Media is. She wants to include a personal note which people love, she will ask for feedback which is one of the keys to social and she will follow up with the people that respond. This is way more than is in her job description, of that, I am sure. She is the type of team member we all wish we could have!
Now, this idea will hit a few bumps along the way, most good plans do. They will need to monitor the posts of course, but the moral of the story is this; when you are implementing a Social Media strategy for your association or your events, include everyone in the plans and get buy in from everyone.
Do not keep your plans confined to the conference room, the marketing department or office of the Director because you may miss out on some of the best ideas that YOU have never thought of.